Low Cost FM Aerial Testing – April 2020
Over the past few days, I have been testing a few different low cost / simple aerials for use on the FM broadcast band (87.5-108MHz).
All these aerials have a cost of under $10, the idea of this test was to see which one would do the best job of pulling in signals on a range of test frequencies, these are a mix of community stations and also some commercial stations from both the North West and South of the state.
The table below shows the results of each aerial on each frequency. All stations were checked on multiple radios at different times of the day and night to account for any differences, the results below are the best each aerial was able to pull in each station during these times.
Normal in-built whip
3M of wire hanging vertically from a window.
$6 VHF/UHF TV Rabbits Ears
1/4 wave whip
1/8 wave whip
Overall, the four external aerials all preformed much better than the built-in whip. Both the Rabbits Ears and 1/4 wave whip performed much the same and tied for the best signal levels, the Rabbit Ears having the advantage of being smaller and easier to move around. The 3M length of wire was not far behind with the 1/8 wave whip being the poorest of these four, it still however pulled in four stations that were missing on the standard whip.
These tested were preformed at home (due to the current COVID-19 restrictions) I am planning on repeating these tests again in the future for a lookout and seeing what difference this makes.
Paul - Moderator