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human body antenna

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Harry, Feb 24, 2007.

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  1. Harry

    Harry Guest

    Why is it that radios and TVs get better reception when someone is
    touching the antenna?

    The probability that a "human body antenna" receives the same inphase
    signal as a radio or TV does is almost zero. If many people have
    similar experience, then there must be a reason other than that.....
    Any thoughts?

    -- Harry Lin
  2. Joel Kolstad

    Joel Kolstad Guest

    I don't think they necessarily do... rather, if reception is poor, and if
    someone touches the antenna and it improves, they remember it. If it doesn't
    improve or actually gets worse, they tend not to remember. :) (Kind of like
    "psychic" TV shows... people remember the "hits" and forget all the misses...)
  3. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    Well, the body does act like an antenna, but like Harry Lin said, it's
    hit and miss.

    What it is is that the antenna is not exactly tuned to the signal's
    frequency, and your body changes the resonance of the antenna. I have
    a little random-wire UHF antenna, which when I adjust it, I have to
    position it so that I get a really crappy signal, then when I go
    back to the couch, it cleans right up! :)

  4. Why? In case of LW / MW radio wavelength is usually much longer then the
    human body.
    And it indeed works.

    In case of TV or FM I have not noticed the effect very much.
    There is also the attenuation / resistance in the arm, so maybe the first
    10cm does the most ;-)
  5. Barry Lennox

    Barry Lennox Guest

    The effect only works well with a marginal signal. It maybe that your
    capacitance to ground alters the impedance of the antenna, or. that
    you are just increasing the aperture. The human body (being a bag of
    mostly water and fat) is a lossy conductor.
  6. joseph2k

    joseph2k Guest

    all said and done contact makes a somewhat larger antenna, with different
    pattern and resonances.
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