Tuesday, September 1, 2015

DIY Better indoor FM antenna

I encountered FM reception issues when setting up my 2nd set comprising of the Quad FM3/33/303 in the spare room.

The  setup in the main hall had access to the radio antenna for the building. However there was no such access point in the spare room.

I initially experimented using a bare wire antenna (pix below). 
Bare wire antenna and the removed SMA connector from the other antenna experiment

While the Quad FM3 could receive stereo broadcast, the signal strength would waver eg LHS and RHS indicators would dim and brighten every so often. You would hear distortion(s) every now and then.

Checking the shops in the neighbourhood reveal the available indoor antennas were either too cumbersome, expensive or look like something from Dr.Frankenstein's basement!!

Hence I then search thru my recyclable items (aka junk pile) and came across a WIFI antenna scavenged from a dead router eg 2.4Ghz 54Mbps. As the WIFI antenna required a SMA connector, I had to procure a suitable mounting interface online (see pix below) as the local DIY or electronic part stores does not carry such a component(???).
SMA base with 3m cable and SMA connector

WIFI antenna and the SMA base with cable
WIFI antenna mounted onto the SMA base

Once the SMA base arrived, I cut off the SMA connector at the end of the cable (Ref: 1st pix) and strip the coax cable to enable connectivity to the olden-type TV antenna connector (see below).

Old TV-type connector with the stripped cable from the SMA base
Old TV type antenna connector inserted into Quad FM3

Connecting the above setup to the FM3 produce a solid unwavering signal. The STEREO, LHS and RHS signal indicators on the FM3 now remain lit brightly all the time!

Solid tuning lights and Stereo indicators on the FM3 after using the WIFI antenna
Location of the SMA base with WIFI antenna respective to the FM3