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Omni or Bi-Directional

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  • Omni or Bi-Directional

    Hello all, what would be the best choice for installing an FM antenna on my balcony in Manhattan? Should I go with bi-directional or omni? Or just plain rabbit ears? BTW does anyone know the difference between bi and omni?

  • #2
    I use a $10 pair of RCA rabbit ears out on my back porch (ground level) in Florida, works far better than any indoor antenna solution.
    Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mono) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

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    • #3
      Actually, I should say, I don't put the rabbit ears on the ground. I place them on top of an A/C unit which is a couple feet tall.
      Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mono) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

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      • #4
        I use modern rabbit ears with 75 ohm coaxial output cable, not the old 300 ohm twin lead.
        Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mono) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

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        • #5
          Originally posted by volvic View Post
          Hello all, what would be the best choice for installing an FM antenna on my balcony in Manhattan? Should I go with bi-directional or omni? Or just plain rabbit ears? BTW does anyone know the difference between bi and omni?
          it really depends on your location, (and elevation), location of the stations you're listening to, and what obstructions, (i.e.: adjacent buildings), may be between you and the stations. manhattan is likely a difficult reception environment. in general, if you could point a directional antenna towards the stations you want to receive, this is your best option. a bi-directional antenna (like the ubiquitous t-wire dipole) would also work assuming the stations are in the direction you want to receive. the opposite direction would likely be blocked by your building. which would also likely interfere w/an omni antenna, and an omni in an area surrounded by buildings will likely pick up a lot of reflected and interfering signals. you may have to experiement with different possible solutions.

          doug s.

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          • #6
            The antenna is the most important part of the system for listening to FM broadcast so get a decent one at least...

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            • #7
              I would buy a cheap bi dir and try that fist. In nyc there is so much obstruction it may not matter anyway. Also I know years ago cabke tv did offer fm on the cable direct
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              • #8
                A omni usually has no gain in any direction, whereas a directional or bi directional has gain, directional has small drawback is it needs to see where the signal is originating from for best performance.

                A discone which is a true omni , can receive from any direction. It has two distinct bigger advantages over other antenna, namely it is almost always a good match to 50 ohm coax, as it has 10-1 bandwidth with frequency which it can receive, so is wideband and its ground as such, is created by the cone, that naturally forms a elevated ground plane. It relies on a tuner having good selectivity, and in my experience outperforms all other antenna.


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