One question we’ve been asked over and over again by DXers is where can they buy a decent FM yagi? And we answer them by telling them that for the past ten years or so it has been really difficult. The market just isn’t there anymore. Companies like Winegard, Channel Master, Antennacraft and APS have either gone out of business or discontinued the manufacturing of FM only yagi antennas. So now that reality has set in, here’s what we know about FM yagi availability at this time.
Stellar Labs sells their own brand of both TV and FM antennas. The antenna we’re concerned about in this article is their 4 element FM yagi. Because of the scarcity of FM antennas this one has become quite popular with FM DXers and it’s probable that because of that popularity the price has gone up.
There’s only a few db gain that you could squeeze out of a 4 element yagi and only so much directivity. But DXers who use this antenna are happy with its performance. The URL for this yagi is here.
Innovantennas is a company in the UK that a line of amateur radio yagis plus a line of high performance FM yagis. If you want the best, at this point in time Innov is the place to go. Their smallest FM yagi is an 8 element model and their longest is a whopping 14 elements. Feedback from FM DXers indicates that the longer models may perform like the legendary APS-13 thirteen element yagi which has been out of production for some years.
Some things we have heard regarding these models are 1.they are very good performers, 2.they are heavy 3. installation instructions are not that good, 4. the antennas may be a challenge to put together and 5. these antennas definitely are NOT inexpensive. The smallest of the lot, the 8 model yagi, lists on their site for $225USD while the 14 element yagi goes for $361. And remember, you will pay shipping charges from the UK to your home.
AMAZON AND EBAY
The first places some people will look for FM yagis will be on eBay or Amazon. Why not? They have everything, don’t they?
Do yourself a huge favor and stay away from both places, at least for antennas. Most of them are junk for FM reception. The only antenna we’d recommend there is the basic dipole. A dipole is the basic FM antenna. It is directional in two directions (front and back). It does have gain although the dipole is used as a reference for other antennas and considered to have “zero” db gain. If you do use a dipole, run the coax out a window and lay your dipole on the roof. Outdoors is always better than indoors.
Is that it, you ask? Unfortunately, yes. But you may get lucky. Occasionally classic FM yagis show up on eBay. You just need to be in the right place at the right time. There are antenna fanatics out there who buy “new” old stock from suppliers who have gone out of business and have unsold stock laying around. These people buy it at rock-bottom prices and try to resell it at rock bottom prices on places like eBay and they often ask three times the original cost of the product or more. If you would like to try this method, here are some antennas you should look for. These are all classic fringe antennas that were all sought after by FM Dxers back in the day: 1. The Channel Master 4408, otherwise known as the Stereo Probe 9, 2.The APS-13 13 element yagi, The Antennacraft FM-6, The Winegard HD6065. You may find someone selling one of these on social media sites.