Advice on boosting radio reception?

Hey all - strange question I know but I find that the radio rarely seems to pick anything up for me, leaving me wondering if there’s something I am missing.

Is the best setup 1) to have the Tracker plugged into mains power and 2) to use a good long headphone lead, as I think that’s what’s used for the aerial, correct?

Also curious if it’s a regional thing. I’m in the UK FWIW, but have so far failed to pick up anything with it. I don’t think it’s a fault; just something I’m probably not doing right…

I get great reception in the southern US, and pick up all the extreme evangelical stations. These are soundbite gold.

I had a look through our support tickets and unfortunately the only complaints we have ever had on the radio were in the UK. This leads me to guess something is up with UK broadcast laws that make it incompatible? I don’t know why only the UK has problems with the radio.

As for improving it, a straight headphone lead will work better than a coil.


I live in the middle of a city in Germany with plenty of local FM radio stations, and I don’t pick any either. All I get is a couple of spots of no-noise (almost silence).

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I wondered if it might be a regional thing - e.g. the Tracker not quite being calibrated to UK/European frequencies or something. Seems a bit unlikely though given the company is based in Poland…

Would be curious to hear if anyone else in the UK or Europe has got it working though.

Yeah after further reading I don’t think it is a UK or European only problem.
A couple other things:

  1. Make sure you have the proper radio region set in the General Config menu.
  2. Some regions seem to have poor radio coverage, even in the middle of cities.
  3. Also some countries, such as Norway, have switched entirely to DAB from FM, and you probably wouldn’t get any reception there.
  4. The FM reception is limited and it does help if you are closer to a radio transmitter. Even in a big city you may not be near enough to a transmitter to pick anything up unfortunately.

I’m in Italy and radio is working fine…

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Out of curiosity are you on mains power or running from a USB battery?

Working fine on both. I always use a power bank.

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Oh well now I’m just jealous :laughing:

I’m in the Azores islands, Portugal, and works perfectly here, clear and strong on all frequencies…

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I’m gonna make some accurate tests. However as stated above I think that most areas are now covered by DAB, digital audio broadcasting signals, so old FM radio channels maybe are weak in you area.

The small things to live in an not well developed country (mine, IT) :)… you got radio channels :slight_smile:

Radio doesn’t work well for me. Mostly static. I’m in Canada.

In northern Italy all is working fine :slight_smile:

Time to start testing what works and what doesn’t. I have a cheap handheld radio here too so am thinking if that can pick up any kind of signal, the Tracker should be able to as well.

I shall report back!

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I had this problem a while back, and the most helpful thing I found was Does the Tracker's FM radio need an antenna? (which is basically what @Mitch said):

Whatever you hook to Output jack port becomes the antenna. From our experience - straight cables work better than the spring ones.

So I plugged in an extra-long cable that connected to a wire that ran around the room. It made reception better, but it was still touchy.


I have also had reception problems with my Tracker. I have tried long cables on the input and output neither of which made any difference.
I also have a Teenage Engineering OP-1, the radio in that has exactly the same problem. I would guess that they both have aerials that are not up to the job
Now if I want to record anything from the radio I connect a small radio receiver output to the Tracker input. The radio I use gives me a choice of FM, AM, LW and SW so plenty to choose from.

Is it possible that FM has been dismantled where you live? Nowadays in some countries “radio” is not what it used to be.

There certainly isn’t the same quality reception as there used to be.
However, I’ll bet the main reason these instruments have the radio facility is because that feature is on one of the chips that drive them and it’s just a matter of putting in another connection on the main board.
The more “Features” the easier it is to justify the price.
In some ways, I would have preferred it if they didn’t have a built-in radio, I wouldn’t have wasted time trying to get them working.
The Tracker Mini has no radio, even though it would probably make more sense in a portable unit.

I’m talking about the replacement of FM by DAB or other digital systems, not about poorer FM reception. See for instance Digital Audio Broadcasting - Wikipedia

I agree, DAB radio seems to be the way things are going. However, DAB seems to be more localised, the signals don’t carry as far as FM and nowhere near as far as the other bands. But DAB can provide far better reception of the stations that are in range.
The DAB hardware is currently much more expensive than FM hardware so I don’t expect we will see it included in synth gear just yet. Not that there is any real need, if I want music from a DAB station I can connect my little DAB radio.