Friday, July 29, 2011

One listener's many attempts to receive 91.7 FM KUHA in Southwest Houston

I have a large stereo receiver with FM/AM, CD, tape, and record player inputs. It is in a cavernous den with six large windows that face northeast. The receiver is placed against the wall opposite the windows. The antenna that came with the receiver picks up 91.7, but with substantial static. I tried six antennas, ranging in price from three to fifty dollars, and none worked any better. A discussion of the attempts follows:
1. I attached a standard folded dipole antenna, unfurled it completely, and nailed it to the wall above the radio. It produced worse reception than the original.
2. Next up was a TERK FM+ indoor radio antenna. No improvement was heard.
3. Then I tried a TERK FM-4000 Edge Amplified indoor antenna. Without the amplification it was better, and while the number of other FM stations that could be heard clearly was increased, 91.7 remained poorly audible.
4. Next came a TERK PI-B AM/FM indoor antenna. If anything, this was worse than previous antennas, no matter whether it was powered or not.
5. Next was a TERK AF-9330 Powered AM/FM antenna, shaped like a thick, rigid telescoping antenna of the type found on cars. Again, there was no improvement.
6. The method of last resort involved attaching the AF-9330 to 50 feet of RG-59 cable and a two-way “F” connector and placing it on the ledge of one of the windows, situated 8 feet off the ground, then connecting it to the receiver. Strangely, the reception was again poor and barely audible.

Of all six attempts, the Edge antenna, unpowered, sounded best, but still pretty bad. I find it untenable that a receiver of great quality with an antenna in a high window was still unable to receive KUHA 91.7. I wish better luck to anyone who wants to improve their reception of classical music on 91.7 FM.

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