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Storyteller
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4,783 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Many folks reading this have an AM radio with an internal ferrite rod or ferrite bar antenna. Like this -
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When away from local AM stations or when trying to hear distant stations, these are less than swell... If you have a higher end portable radio - like the TECSUN 600 series or the SANGEAN ATS-909, you may attach a long wire antenna (with a tuner if desired) to the supplied radio port for an external antenna.

If you have a smaller portable like a SONY SRF- series, there is no method to attach a long wire antenna. You can build or buy a so-called signal booster. This is a loop antenna that inductively couples to your smaller AM radio antenna..


First, with some wire, a cardboard box and a variable capacitor, you can roll your own for indoor use:
Improve AM Radio Reception with a DIY Loop Antenna! - YouTube

For a field-expedient fix if outdoors:
A super-cheap, super-easy, very effective AM radio antenna - YouTube

There are multiple commercial products to be found:
The grandaddy of these is the Select-a-tenna
Data storage device Dvd Electronic instrument Gas Automotive wheel system

still sold by CCrane
(instructions - SELANTIN.QXD (ccrane.com))

Other, Chinese made boosters, these look very much alike as form follows function- these are passive devices, no battery/power required to work.

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Output device Wheel Tire Peripheral Audio equipment



***
"Active loop" antennas have an amplifier in line. These have an added cost and will raise the background noise level along with any desired AM station signal. Also, many of these are engineered for Shortwave bands, so read product descriptions carefully.

SHOP AROUND - prices vary wildly by vendor.

My suggestion is to make your own.

If you use a crystal radio, a loop antenna can be directly atached
Crystal Radio with "Spiralgraphic" Loop Antenna - YouTube

Turn AM Radio Loop Antenna Into Crystal Set, Great For Preppers - YouTube
(Nicely done, recommend for your time to watch)

See also
Tecsun AM Radio Broadcast Band Loop Antenna Demo - YouTube
AM Radio Directional Loop Antenna Demo Homemade..Make Your Own For A Few Dollars! And They Work. - YouTube



Several booster device in side by side 'test'
SV2CZF AM Ferrite Antenna Review And Comparison With Other AM Loop Antennas - YouTube
 

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Retired curmudgeon
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23,510 Posts
I have a Yaesu FT-897, an IC-7300, an HF horizontal delta loop and a EFHW wire tuned for 75 m. The radios tune the broadcast bands and the wire antenna, all 300 feet of it picks up plenty of signal. I don't know if that AM loop antenna would make much of an improvement. I was scrolling around with the Icom in the AM band and it was so thick with stations I had never heard on any portable before that I was quite surprised.

I might try building the loop signal booster if I can find a cheap/free tuning capacitor.

P.S. I have my parents old Silvertone radio/phonograph/wire recorder. The AM antenna is a flat loop of wire similar to the booster above. It still works and has great AM reception.



It looks almost exactly like the pic above. 8103a model.

I found this pic of the antenna;

 
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Storyteller
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4,783 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
I have one on order, as the homemade one I have now looks a bit to 'ratty' to have outside the shack....
The unit arrived in the mail today. The box was crushed, but to my surprise, the unit itself was undamaged and a quick test showed that is was working.

The seller (insert string of very bad words here) slapped a mailing label on he OEM display box and drooped it in the mail - to Alaska. Unfortunately, I don't buy enough on Amazon to be allowed a change to leave a bad rating....

The interconnect cord had disappeared - now doubt thru the many holes in the crushed box/ The vendor - based at a PO Box in North Las Vegas (no doubt in the garage) is off my buyers list...

I have another cable I can use, but it just chapes my ass that I can't leave a warning to other buyers...

Anyway, the AN200 works the treat and makes a real difference on daytime reception - can't wait for tonight! I'm going to pair it with my SONY SRF prison radio and a Sanegan ATS 909 on AM band.
 

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Storyteller
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4,783 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Just for fun last nite, I tried my PL-600 and the An-200 together. WOW

Picked up KFBK, AM 1530 in Sacramento Ca as copiable. The coil pulls in enough RF energy to seriously overload the front end of the PL-600..

Well worth considering if you live any distance from power house *Clear Channel) stations...
 
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