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3RRR reception in East Gippsland?


pwstereo

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Item: Receiving 3RRR fm station in East Gippsland
Location: East Gippsland

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I love my aussie, indie, and alternate music, I love 3RRR (and 3PBS to a lesser extent), and have recently moved from Melbourne to East Gippsland.

I made a loop antenna tuned to 102.7 MHz and can get a barely discernable output from my Denon AV receiver with it indoors.

Outdoors I can tell what song is playing with the loop held up high on my back (West facing) porch.

The loop is not weatherproof, it was just quickly built as a test.

 

I'm preparing to build a 6 element Yagi-Uda antenna tuned to 102.7 MHz for erection on the same bargeboard mount as my UHF TV antenna.

Before I do that, I'm wondering if anyone else in the Bairnsdale area has had any success in getting a quality output from the lower powered

Melbourne FM stations? If so, what antenna arrangements were used?

 

Thanks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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2 hours ago, Ian McP said:

Thanks Ian, I'd visited that site and checked the info there. The 6 element Yagi-Uda antenna I'm building should give me around 10 db gain.

From what I can see, the FM tuner in my Denon AV receiver has fairly good sensitivity, I do also have a Rotel tuner that I could try.

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Some of the best performing tuners were made before the accountants got to company's budgets and can be had for not much moolah on ebay if you're quick. Back in the late 70's through to the early 80's models.

My late father had amazing reception in Mt Eliza with home built antennas and a just a mid range Rotel RT624.

One of my fave magazines Audio had an equipment directory published in each October issue. Here you could check many tuners' sensitivities and other specs, a handy guide. You can find many archived here:

https://www.americanradiohistory.com/Audio-Magazine.htm

Hifi Engine is an excellent source for user and service manuals

https://www.hifiengine.com/

I've been a die hard PBS and RRR listener since the late 70's! One of my fave shows just finished a few hours ago today.

Black Wax on PBS, prefer listening to it live however on demand handy when you miss an episode

https://www.pbsfm.org.au/blackwax

regards Ian

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The Rotel tuner I have is the RT-850A and it seems to have very good sensitivity, it's from 1990 I think.

RRR and PBS are very good, I've learnt of a lot of new music from listening over the years.

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On 15/02/2019 at 5:02 PM, pwstereo said:

Item: Receiving 3RRR fm station in East Gippsland
Location: East Gippsland

Price:
Item Condition:
Reason for selling:
Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only
Extra Info:

 Why is a new post in this forum formatted as a For Sale ad?

 

I love my aussie, indie, and alternate music, I love 3RRR (and 3PBS to a lesser extent), and have recently moved from Melbourne to East Gippsland.

I made a loop antenna tuned to 102.7 MHz and can get a barely discernable output from my Denon AV receiver with it indoors.

Outdoors I can tell what song is playing with the loop held up high on my back (West facing) porch.

The loop is not weatherproof, it was just quickly built as a test.

 

I'm preparing to build a 6 element Yagi-Uda antenna tuned to 102.7 MHz for erection on the same bargeboard mount as my UHF TV antenna.

Before I do that, I'm wondering if anyone else in the Bairnsdale area has had any success in getting a quality output from the lower powered

Melbourne FM stations? If so, what antenna arrangements were used?

Thanks.
Pictures:

Wow, that's going to be a challenge.

I struggle to get full quieting at Gembrook when the weather isn't favourable.

However, if your loop gets some reception, then the tuned Yagi might do the job. You could also try adding a good quality VHF masthead amp if the Yagi doesn't quite get you there.

Make sure the antenna impedance matches the tuners antenna input impedance

 

I feel for you.  I spent a lot of weekends up at Stawell last year sorting out Mum & Dad's place after they went into care, and really missed my PBS & RRR weekend listening.  JJ and SBS Chill via their set-top box had to be my substitute.

 

Your RT-850A does have excellent sensitivity specs.  I had an RX-850 Receiver in my garage for a while, and even it was quite good.  Only thing it lacks is a "Blend" (sometimes labelled "Hi-blend" or "NR") button which can be really useful for maintaining listenable stereo in fringe reception areas.  If you do consider another tuner, make sure it has that facility and matches or betters the sensitivity specs of your Rotel.

 

Keep us posted on your progress.

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20 hours ago, surprisetech said:

Wow, that's going to be a challenge.

However, if your loop gets some reception, then the tuned Yagi might do the job. You could also try adding a good quality VHF masthead amp if the Yagi doesn't quite get you there.

Make sure the antenna impedance matches the tuners antenna input impedance

Yes, it is a challenge ?

I built the 6 element Yagi, it has a folded dipole as the driven element, so a 300 Ohm feedpoint impedance, that is connected to the RG6 coax by a balun, so impedance and balanced to unbalanced is taken care of.

 

I propped it up on my back porch on a bargeboard mount (just sitting on the concrete and resting in the corner of the handrailing), so the antenna was about 2 metres above the concrete and it was very close to metal window and door frames on one side.

Connected to the Denon receiver I had very noisy results, but could understand talking and music easily enough. Tried it on the Rotel and it was slightly better.

 

I'm going to need a bigger mast, and to get it clear of the house.

Back in the days of VHF TV, people here used 30 and 50 foot masts with phased array antennas to receive Melbourne TV from Mt Dandenong, but the transmitter power of those was way more than a community FM station like RRR or PBS. I'm still hopeful, but I know it will be a challenge.

 

I did make an enquiry about a masthead amp that someone on these forums was making and tuning to particular bands, but have not heard any news about how succesful they were in practice.

 

 

 

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Some further experiments were conducted today.

I found a 30 foot telescopic mast, so I mounted the antenna at the top and extended the top section (so I had a 20 foot mast).

I walked it up against the back porch and secured it temporarily (nice windless day) to the porch railing.

The antenna was now well clear of any part of the house and I was able to rotate it easily from the back porch.

 

On the Rotel tuner I had 1 out of 5 signal strength LEDs lit for 3RRR, and a listenable but noisy mono signal, it wasn't enough to open the muting or get stereo.

I tried other Melbourne FM stations and with the exception of 3JJJ they were all similar in strength and sound quality to 3RRR, (3JJJ on the Melbourne frequency would show 3 LEDs and was much stronger than any other station).

 

So, I'm a bit more hopeful that with a masthead preamp and the 30 foot mast properly erected I might get listenable 3RRR.

Edited by pwstereo
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4 minutes ago, surprisetech said:

Yes, I put my hand up for one of those too.

So you didn't hear any more or get one?

 

I've been looking at the commercial amps like Kingray, but none seems specially made for the FM broadcast band. Many of the TV ones seem to actually have blocking filters for the FM band, although a couple of models had a jumper you could move to pass and amplify the FM band.

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On 15/02/2019 at 8:57 PM, proftournesol said:

I certainly don't get reception in the Ovens Valley but just stream it. Have you good enough internet for that option?

Last night I tried streaming 3RRR, using their high bitrate option, it cut out a few times, then I repeatedly got server errors instead of the player in my browser window. So I'm thinking their streaming isn't too reliable. I had previously used the high bitrate stream a few times and it was OK.

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3 hours ago, pwstereo said:

So you didn't hear any more or get one?

 

I've been looking at the commercial amps like Kingray, but none seems specially made for the FM broadcast band. Many of the TV ones seem to actually have blocking filters for the FM band, although a couple of models had a jumper you could move to pass and amplify the FM band.

No, didn't hear any more and forgot to follow up.

I couldn't find any dedicated FM band masthead amps either, so I used a Kingray MHW25FE with the FM trap disabled and let the antenna and tuner do the filtering.  It's the simplest model with one input and one output and will give you at least 22dB gain across the whole FM band.

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Having gone to the effort of constructing the yagi, I do hope a masthead amp will help, but do be aware that there is a point where the ratio of wanted signal to in-channel noise is so poor that a masthead amp may not help because it is going to boost the in-channel noise and the signal equally.

Which side of that line you reside on remains to be seen!

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I cut out all the "middle men" in transmission and went in person to Jon Von Goes annual RRR BBQ live to air special at CERES environment park on Sunday, fortunately I live closeby! Beer in hand and experienced the bands live!!

Much hilarity ensued!

Tim Chuma will have his photos up soon

http://photos.timchuma.com/

https://www.facebook.com/timchumaphotography/

play back the live to air, in the second hour the band and guests really hit their stride!

https://www.rrr.org.au/explore/programs/jvg-radio-method

regards Ian

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

I've given up on the FM reception idea for high quality listening, it's just too far with the relatively low power of the 3RRR transmitter.

It seems I'd have to be having multiple large Yagi-Uda antennas and mast-head amps and so on.

 

So, I killed two birds with one stone and got a Raspberry Pi 3B+, and an Allo Boss V1.2 DAC. Installed in a nice black acrylic case.

On that I've installed Volumio and have added some great internet radio streams, including the high bit rate 3RRR stream.

I'll also be able to play my collection of FLAC music, hence the two birds.

So far I'm happy.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 15/02/2019 at 5:02 PM, pwstereo said:

Item: Receiving 3RRR fm station in East Gippsland
Location: East Gippsland

Price:
Item Condition:
Reason for selling:
Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only
Extra Info:

 Why is a new post in this forum formatted as a For Sale ad?

 

I love my aussie, indie, and alternate music, I love 3RRR (and 3PBS to a lesser extent), and have recently moved from Melbourne to East Gippsland.

I made a loop antenna tuned to 102.7 MHz and can get a barely discernable output from my Denon AV receiver with it indoors.

Outdoors I can tell what song is playing with the loop held up high on my back (West facing) porch.

The loop is not weatherproof, it was just quickly built as a test.

 

I'm preparing to build a 6 element Yagi-Uda antenna tuned to 102.7 MHz for erection on the same bargeboard mount as my UHF TV antenna.

Before I do that, I'm wondering if anyone else in the Bairnsdale area has had any success in getting a quality output from the lower powered

Melbourne FM stations? If so, what antenna arrangements were used?

 

Thanks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Pictures:

 

 

Try taking a look at this, there are user real world stats in it...

https://www.scribd.com/document/396824710/FM-AM-Antenna-Setup-Standard-50-cm-1-8th-wave-Unit

 

https://www.scribd.com/document/400632904/FM-AM-long-range-30-cm-housing-1-16th-wave-Antenna-unit-setup

 

The following is PDF document with all australias stations location(transmitter) power e.t.c.

https://www.acma.gov.au/-/media/Licence-Issue-and-Allocation/Publication/pdf/TVRadio_Handbook_Electronic_edition-pdf.pdf?la=en

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  • 4 weeks later...

Getting 3RRR in Bairnsdale on a permanent basis would be a tough ask. Both 3RRR and 3PBS are very weak in that direction. Vega, Nova, Classic, JJJ, and 3SBS are significantly stronger and can just be heard on my car radio when travelling through on the Princes Highway. Reception from Mount Dandenong gets notably better around Stratford, but still no 3RRR or 3PBS. 

 

Your best bet would be a roof mounted 8 element Yagi beamed roughly due west (~270 degrees). A low noise preamp  may also be needed. If you're right near Mount Taylor, though, you might get overload if you use a preamp. To minimise the chance of overload, connect the preamp indoors, not at the masthead. 

 

The reason for the discrepancy between the Mount Dandenong stations is partially due to frequency, but mostly due to antenna siting. The tower that Vega, Nova, and the ABC stations are on has a much better takeoff to the east. 

Edited by billybob_chider
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2 hours ago, billybob_chider said:

Your best bet would be a roof mounted 8 element Yagi beamed roughly due west (~270 degrees). A low noise preamp  may also be needed.

As noted previously, the FM broadcast reception proved too difficult and I've come up with an excellent streaming solution.

When I did an elevation plot between my home and Mt Dandenong, I found there was no line of sight due to Mt Baw Baw.

 

My Raspberry Pi and Allo Boss DAC on a solid NBN connection have given me great listening to the high bitrate 3RRR stream, as well as several other high quality (FLAC etc) internet radio streams that specialise in musical genres that I love.

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