Notices
Marine Electronics Forum

Best FM radio antenna ?

Old 05-12-2010, 03:25 PM
  #1  
srx
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 68
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default Best FM radio antenna ?

I only get 3 stations when out on the water and of course its the 3 i don't like!

anyhow its a bowrider and im not sure on the best antenna/mounting for this type of boat.

any help is greatly appreciated!



thanks!
Old 05-12-2010, 03:31 PM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 119
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

Are u into xm radio? I think that is much better than fm, but if you are keen on FM im sure someone will come along to help ya out.
Old 05-12-2010, 04:16 PM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: PORT ST LUCIE, FL
Posts: 3,491
Likes: 0
Received 8 Likes on 8 Posts
Default

I just bought one of these. http://www.ecshylites.com/catalog/it...91/7002884.htm I can't tell you how well it works because the boat isn't finished yet.
Old 05-12-2010, 08:05 PM
  #4  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: See screen name
Posts: 5,856
Received 822 Likes on 513 Posts
Default

Is there anything hooked up to your antenna jack now? If so what? Most times a simple pigtail will work great. My guess is that simple di-pole pigtail will solve your issues on a bow rider. Or, go to a 4 footer from Digital Antenna amongst others.
Old 05-13-2010, 08:36 AM
  #5  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location:
Posts: 4,042
Received 241 Likes on 201 Posts
Default

It all depends on how far away you are from the FM radio stations you are trying to receive and their respective power class. If only 10 miles or less a piece of wire or simple FM dipole antenna will work just fine.

If the stations are over say 30 miles away you may need to start thinking about a high performance marine FM antenna say like form Shakespeare or Digital

FM stations have different power classes determining how high their towers can be and how much power they can transmit, all FM stations are not equal in receive signal distance, so go with what works for you starting with a small piece of wire first, than a small FM antenna from WestMarine, than if needed a large marine antenna from one of the marine antenna guys. Find out what is working for others and go that route.

Make sure your FM stereo is set to distance not local.

Jim
Old 05-13-2010, 08:45 AM
  #6  
srx
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 68
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by jfwireless View Post

Make sure your FM stereo is set to distance not local.

Jim
I see no setting for distance or local.. please explain!

Currently it has a dipole wire antenna
I was thinking about this
http://www.dakotadigital.com/index.c...rod/prd241.htm
but wasn't sure if anyone here has used these "hidden" antenna's or are they just junk?
Old 05-13-2010, 11:11 AM
  #7  
Senior MemberCaptains Club MemberPLEDGER
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Kent Narrows, MD
Posts: 7,139
Received 772 Likes on 364 Posts
Default

I had a Clarion head unit and a dipole antenna that worked great for FM. Replaced it with a Fusion and tried a dipole, amplified, VHF/FM splitter and finally installed a Digital 8' AM/FM antenna that does not work as well as the old setup.

The point I'm trying to make is that there is no guaranteed solution. It depends on a number of factors. My experience is that you will have to experiment.

I like FM also since my ipod always seems to repeat the same songs
Old 05-13-2010, 12:09 PM
  #8  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location:
Posts: 4,042
Received 241 Likes on 201 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by srx View Post
I see no setting for distance or local.. please explain!

Currently it has a dipole wire antenna
I was thinking about this
http://www.dakotadigital.com/index.c...rod/prd241.htm
but wasn't sure if anyone here has used these "hidden" antenna's or are they just junk?
Jim

Many FM stereos have a switch for local/distance settings, when in local you reduce the sensitivity of the receiver. Check your manual to see if you have such a setting.

Jim
Old 05-14-2010, 05:24 AM
  #9  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 9,211
Received 773 Likes on 502 Posts
Default

Shakespeare 39" 4350 or 4351 has worked well for me, and it is only $40; I also have the Shakespears Galaxy 4' 5420-XTFM, and that work great too, but it is bulkier, which may look out of place on a bowrider and more expensive ($65). No personal experience, but the Digital 500 series in 4' or 8' should be good too.
Old 05-14-2010, 07:07 AM
  #10  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: North Charleston, SC USA
Posts: 22,073
Likes: 0
Received 24 Likes on 24 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by jfwireless View Post
...........
Make sure your FM stereo is set to distance not local.
That would be my first thought.

That and make sure there actually is some sort of antenna connected to the radio.
Old 05-14-2010, 07:14 AM
  #11  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: North Charleston, SC USA
Posts: 22,073
Likes: 0
Received 24 Likes on 24 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by srx View Post
I see no setting for distance or local.. please explain!

Currently it has a dipole wire antenna
I was thinking about this
http://www.dakotadigital.com/index.c...rod/prd241.htm
but wasn't sure if anyone here has used these "hidden" antenna's or are they just junk?
I wouldn't call it "junk", but that's not the solution you need.

The "best" FM antenna would be an 8' FM antenna from Shakespere, but that might look a little silly on a bowrider.

They make one about three feet long that should work pretty well and they also make a "rubber ducky" (flexible) antenna about 12" long.

Buy one from West Marine and don't install it, juts plug it into the radio and prop it up or tape it to the windshield. If it works, install it. If not, exchange it for something better.
Old 05-14-2010, 07:17 AM
  #12  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: North Charleston, SC USA
Posts: 22,073
Likes: 0
Received 24 Likes on 24 Posts
Default

Currently it has a dipole wire antenna
A dipole antenna is a poor solution for a boat because a dipole antenna is bi-directional (picks up signals in two directions but not other directions. More or less like a figure "8".)

As the boat turns, the signal will fade in and out.
Old 05-14-2010, 07:30 AM
  #13  
Admirals ClubCaptains Club MemberPLEDGER Admiral's Club Member
THT sponsor
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: cape cod
Posts: 9,250
Received 693 Likes on 342 Posts
Default



I purchased this splitter from West marine and it works great. It turns your vhf antenna into a radio antenna. at 25 bucks it's a great solution.
Old 05-14-2010, 07:59 AM
  #14  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: North Charleston, SC USA
Posts: 22,073
Likes: 0
Received 24 Likes on 24 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by jbg108 View Post


I purchased this splitter from West marine and it works great. It turns your vhf antenna into a radio antenna. at 25 bucks it's a great solution.
Well, I don't see a VHF antenna on his boat. It could be laying down on the other side or it could be that he doesn't have one.

I wouldn't put one of those splitters on my boat because there has to be at least a little loss on the VHF side. For someone tooling around a lake or river it might not matter, but for someone who wants the greatest distance, I don't recommend it.
Old 05-23-2010, 10:50 AM
  #15  
Senior Member
 
rcdelude's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: nh
Posts: 678
Likes: 0
Received 95 Likes on 58 Posts
Default

shakespeare 4350 (or 4351), great pulling power 39"( ht) lift & lay mount included. Mid $ 30's from "manventure out post" online. very impressed with this ant. receives Boston stations at the isles of shoals(aprox. 70 miles)
Old 05-23-2010, 10:56 AM
  #16  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: S Fla
Posts: 23,411
Likes: 0
Received 30 Likes on 26 Posts
Default

ipod
XM radio
free pandora thru an iPhone or BB if you have an unlimited plan..

FM is dead unless there is something special locally you need...but for tunes, it DOA
Old 05-24-2010, 06:30 AM
  #17  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: New England
Posts: 5,278
Received 271 Likes on 172 Posts
Default

Many years ago, when I knew nothing and there was no THT, I got one of those Shakespeare VHF splitters, I didn't know any better.

I now have the antenna cable plugged into my JBL stereo with no antenna, just the cable coiled up inside of the "radio box" in my console and I pull many stations that way. It could help that I'm in a radio-rich environment but I like the option of FM/CD/MP3.

If it were me, I'd try any old cheap auto antenna and just leave it in the console to start as they are dirt cheap nowadays.
Old 03-20-2016, 03:17 PM
  #18  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 1
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default David

I live in Poplar Grove Illinois on a 360 acer lake I am 70 nautical miles from chicago, 57 from Madison Wi, and 66 from Milwaukee Wi. I have a Shakespeare 5120 8' AM / FM Antenna and get excellent reception.
Old 03-21-2016, 04:03 AM
  #19  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Chesapeake
Posts: 637
Received 22 Likes on 19 Posts
Default

amplified small am/fm antenna, mount under helm etc , less than $20



http://www.jensenmarinedirect.com/je...d-antenna.html

Last edited by cptkatz; 03-21-2016 at 04:46 AM.
Old 03-21-2016, 07:20 AM
  #20  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Charlotte / Southport
Posts: 3,575
Received 495 Likes on 191 Posts
Default

I put a tune trapper on my skiff, which I don't go offshore in but picks up well....on my big boat I just use a mp3 jack to my amp....

Amazon Amazon

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.