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Improving Car Reception - Antenna Talk - Page 3

post #61 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by radioagogo View Post

Danieloneil01, Sounds like the problem is in your spark plugs, depending on the make, model & year, you ,might have non-resistor plugs, you need resistor plugs. But you also need a better ground for your radio’s antenna. run 16 gauge single conductor medium to heavy jacketed wire to the back of your radio and attach it to the chassis, that’s why you have a constant hum. "ground loop" on your AM radio stations. The antenna isn't fully grounded and this will cause the Hum. In short positive power is not fully discharging to the ground circuit and since it has no place to go it disperses through all the circuits in your radio, including speakers.


I tried the ground (is said GRND on it and it's black) wire but it didn't help at all.. I didn't see any other type of ground wire coming from the radio. I will say that I tried to hook up another antenna but it had a booster on it and it did help but inside the car it didn't come in very good and there's no way I'm going to drill a hole for it on my car.

I did changed the spark plugs when I first got the car. It's a '02 Honda Civic Hatchback SI.. I could change the spark plugs since it's only a 4 banger and cheap..
post #62 of 90
hi,read through all the post and trying to understand.amps are good on the whole,but bad in some cases.,and i think i understood cb ants work best?or built in boosted am/fm ants.and the higher the better.hope i understand the theory right.i need better reception where i drive and its not cool to be grovving along and miss that on good part of the song or show.
thanks guys for all the help didn't realize there was so much to this.
and this was supposed to be a simple procject
lol
post #63 of 90
Thread Starter 
If you're very near the towers, an amp will hurt. Fortunately, they have on/off switches.

The theory is that, if you're getting far from the tower the amp can boost the signal so it's less likely to drop. My own experience has been rather mixed; I'm running without an amp right now and it works really well. Overall, about as good as with the amp. I lose signal here and there, but get it back in other places. It's weird
post #64 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by TydalForce View Post

OK My last experiment, I SWEAR

I found what appears to be an awesome AM/FM Antenna from Firestik (they make lots of CB equipment)...

http://www.westcoastmall.net/firesti...-antenna/212/p (also comes in a 4-foot version)

Combined with a "Trunk Lip Mount" so I don't have to drill....
http://www.westcoastmall.net/firesti...ip-mount/257/p

And some cable:
http://www.westcoastmall.net/firesti...ex-coax/1642/p

And I just might have myself a solution that doesn't totally suck. According to the specs, it looks like I should have no problem attaching that mount to my trunk (center, closest to the rear windshield) and then running the cable into the trunk and through the car to the stereo. Although it might block the trunk from opening slightly, it looks like it'll be within a tolerable limit.

I'll keep everyone who still pays attention to this thread posted. My gosh, I hope *somebody*'s finding this useful or interesting!

Can this antenna be mounted in the place of my existing whip style antenna on my 1998 Honda Civic (at the top of the post between the front driver's side window and the windshield)? If so, what adapter/mount should I use?
post #65 of 90
Most likely, that antenna could not be mounted there easily. Making any type of mount work in that location is the problem.
post #66 of 90
Thread Starter 
This antenna is SOLID. It's diameter is thicker than a dime but thinner than a nickel. It doesn't bend easily (and makes a nice "Clunk" noise as I drive through parking garages). You don't want it on the roof!

It's better than my rear-windshield "etched on the glass" antenna, but honestly it's a little fugly and I'm tired of hitting things with it so I might take it down. The reception isn't "amazingly better" though it did eliminate some of my dead spots.

It might be my imagination, but I think a year of hitting things with it has taken its toll; I don't think it's doing as good of a job as it did when it was new.
post #67 of 90
Well when you first hooked it up, it looked great.

I wonder if the same antenna, but in a shorter length, would do as good a job?
post #68 of 90
Thread Starter 
As far as I know, there are only 2 lengths: 3 foot and 4 foot. I had the 3 foot. I would expect that a shorter antenna would do a worse job, as it wouldn't have as much height or surface area.
post #69 of 90
Well if you decide to throw it away, I'd be happy to dispose of it for you. ;-)
post #70 of 90
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by electrictroy View Post

Well if you decide to throw it away, I'd be happy to dispose of it for you. ;-)

Hah; I've been thinking about trying to find another way to mount it, like maybe if it's sideways inside the rear mirror, behind the etched-on-glass antenna... maybe it would still work better than the etched-on-glass antenna that came with the car (which sucks)

WestCoastMall.net still has the 4' in stock, tho it looks like they're out of the 3' version
http://www.westcoastmall.net/antenna...a-c-21_39.html

They're only $15
post #71 of 90
Magnum Dynalab ST-2 Not incog but they work!!! For FM ! Anything you find that claims both AM and FM is a compromise at best. Oh yea make sure you use 75 ohm cable and connectors not 50ohm the mismatch will cause signal loss at the receiver!!!!
post #72 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by danieloneil01 View Post

Sorry for hijacking but I'm in the same boat

My stock rec. was perfect for AM but not after aftermarket radio.. It's been like this the last 2 cars I've replaced the stock radio. I have it done at CC so....... When I have the key turned to ACC or whatever it is before the next position, the AM is still bad but understandable at times.. But when the car is turned to the next position (sorry I don't know the technical term, but the electric windows work) the AM is complete static and stays the same way when the car is running only a hum is there but it doesn't get louder the faster I go..

daniel I've had quite a bit of experience with these problems what we need to find out is where the noise is getting in and what's actually causing it. Disconnect your antenna from the radio and see if the noise is still there.If not it's on the dc. I suspect the fuel pump. Do you have the noise with the ignition in run pos or only when engine is running??
post #73 of 90
TydalForce, just wanted to say THANKS in advance, I've been looking for a solution to the lousy HD Radio reception I've been getting (I have a 2010 Jetta with a window grid antenna) and added the JVC KT-HDP1 (these are cheap now!) ... Been struggling to find a solution which doesn't involve drilling a hole into my car and I found your thread through Google!

My commute takes about 40 miles north of NYC and it's difficult to get HD Radio reception in the car once I'm about 15 miles north... I know this can be improved because I am able to pull in HD Radio with an indoor antenna in my office (with the indoor dipole antenna from fmdxantenna.com)

TydalForce, what kind of HD Radio reception range are you seeing with your FireStik setup?
post #74 of 90
It would help reception if more of these HD Radio stations would go ahead and increase power. It has been more than a year now since the FCC granted permission for HD Radio signals to almost double their power, but I have yet to see any stations in my area to do so. I thought WLNK 107.9 the Link from Charlotte was going to, but it hasn't happened yet.
post #75 of 90
Thread Starter 
I actually removed the FireStik from my car. For one thing, the mounting clip I had on the trunk was starting to chip my rear windshield... plus the antenna was a little unforgiving when I drove through parking garages. lol. BUT when I had it hooked up, the reception was noticeably better than the stock etched-on-glass antenna Subaru put on my rear windshield. Not so much in terms of distance, but in terms of dropouts. The suburban Philadelphia area in which I live is very hilly, so there's lots of places where the signal would hiccup, and the FireStik reduced that significantly.

The FireStik was the only antenna solution I could find that actually made a difference; I tried a few different non-drilling kits, and they all sucked. Your other option would be to add some sort of signal booster -- I know I've discussed those around here, too -- and that solution isn't exclusive of changing up the antenna. I'd have one in my car now if I could figure out a good place to mount the thing where I could hit the power switch easily ;-}
post #76 of 90
Thanks for the reply, TydalForce.

With the FireStik antenna setup, and the vehicle in motion, it looks like I'm able to get pretty solid HD lock about 25 miles from the transmitter.

With the vehicle stationary, and in a good location, I get get HD reception much further away but it cuts in and out...

I wonder what kind of range people are getting with HD Radios already built-in to the car??

Jason
post #77 of 90
Thread Starter 
Seems to vary also based on the unit itself. I used to have the Visteon HD Jump and it did pretty well. I replaced it with a Directed Electronics HD Car Connect, and it does slightly worse. I have the JVC thing in my home; never had it in my car, but it doesn't do so well (though being alongside a concrete wall probably isn't helping). I'm hoping to get the new Subaru Impreza this fall, which comes with HD radio, and hoping they have a good receiver in it... but only time will tell. The greater Philadelphia area is very hilly, and that's not so good for reception ;-}
post #78 of 90
Excellent thread - thanks for posting. I've purchased the FireStik AMFM3-B 3 Foot AM FM Antenna and will post back upon install.

I'll be using it in a 2000 Tundra with an aftermarket Pioneer head unit.

http://www.wearecb.com/store/firesti...nna-p-212.html
post #79 of 90
TydalForce, I found this thread through searching for a way to improve my car radio reception and decided to try out the Firestick antenna. Believe it or not, I think it made my reception even worse so I don't think I have done something correctly installing it. I will tell my story below and hopefully someone can give me some advice. This will be a long post so please bear with me.

About 3 1/2 years ago I bought a 1996 Honda Civic to drive back and forth to work to save on fuel. My other vehicle is a 2003 Chevy 2500HD with a stock head unit and radio reception is perfect for any station I want to listen to. The car has never had great reception. It had a cheap aftermarket Jensen stereo and stock antenna when I bought it and would only pick up a fraction of the stations my truck would so I bought a new "stock" antenna. That seemed to help some but didn't last long. I lived with the poor reception for about 3 years and decided there had to be a solution. I came across this thread during a Google search and thought that the Firestick antenna would probably be just the ticket. I mounted it on the trunk just like you but for testing purposes I didn't hide the cable, just ran it through the back seats, between the two front seats, and then into the stereo. The reception was a little better but not much. Here is where it gets good...if I hold onto the cable and move it around the reception gets better or worse, like messing with television rabbit ears. Also, if I take the stereo out of the dash and sit it on the passenger seat (the wires are barely long enough), the reception gets somewhat better. I'm about to the point where I think it may be a problem with the stereo and might try replacing it next. I have found a Sony CD receiver at Crutchfield for $60 that has an FM sensitivity of 8 dBf. That is the best sensitivity rating I can find on there and I love that price!

Anyway, I put my story out there to see if anyone has any suggestions for me before I spend money and time on a new stereo. Could I have a grounding issue? Should the Firestick antenna be grounded somewhere? Anything else that jumps out at anybody?
post #80 of 90
Thread Starter 
That's... odd. My best guess would be some sort of wiring issue. If I'm reading the story correctly (first thing in the morning, and I have a headache... lol) your Civic came with an aftermarket stereo. Perhaps whoever installed it did something wrong with the wiring, and while that was "good enough" to make things work it's not good enough to make the reception situation work correctly.

I'd double-check the wiring. If you go about replacing the stereo, I'd take the opportunity to re-do the aftermarket wiring adapters (I think Crutchfield will include that equipment with your purchase anyway)

Do you have a rough idea how far away from the broadcast towers you are?
post #81 of 90
Thanks for the reply. You are correct, it did come with an aftermarket stereo but it's a cheapo Jensen. I've wondered about wiring issues as well but haven't had the patients to try to trouble shoot it. I need to just remove and reinstall the antenna to make sure all connections are tight and I think I'm just going to spend the $82 at Crutchfield on the Sony CDX-GT260MP to get a new stereo with good FM sensitivity and a new wiring harness. If I still have problems then the I'm just not meant to listen to the radio in that car.

The main station I'm after is a sports talk station (105.5) that is only 20 miles as the crow flies from my house. I actually drive towards it in the mornings and can only start to pick it up when I'm like 7 miles away. I can get other stations that are much farther away to come in a lot better but no stations are ever 100% clear. I live in South Alabama so I'm not in the mountains or anything like that. I'm really thinking its a problem with the stereo itself.
post #82 of 90
Thread Starter 
Yeah, 7 miles or so is about what you'd get if your antenna wasn't plugged in correctly. Maybe the stereo's just a POS. Good opportunity to upgrade, get yourself a nice one, maybe with the HD Radio all the kids are talking about these days ;-}

Whatever you wind up doing, let us know how it goes!
post #83 of 90
Well tydal thanks for the information but it looks like this whole thing failed and your back to the stock...thats sad to hear because I was looking for a way to boost HD radio in my car as well....I wonder how well an antenna would work if you mounted it in the trunk..like horizontal attached to the top of it
post #84 of 90
Installed the Firestik with an Alpine CDA 117 (better options for processing vs the Pioneer I mentioned earlier) - noticed greater FM reception but not by much. I'd recommend it but caveat this with "don't expect vast improvement." The Firestik was installed on a 2000 Toyota Tundra, and mounted on the rear driver's side of bed in the stake hole.
post #85 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by TydalForce View Post

Yeah, 7 miles or so is about what you'd get if your antenna wasn't plugged in correctly. Maybe the stereo's just a POS. Good opportunity to upgrade, get yourself a nice one, maybe with the HD Radio all the kids are talking about these days ;-}

Whatever you wind up doing, let us know how it goes!

My reception finally completely died so I recently ordered a Dual XHD6430 from Crutchfield which has HD radio and I'm still using the Firestick antenna. I have good reception again but there is some static in the background on most stations when the engine is running so something is causing interference. When I have the radio on without the engine running there is no static. Any suggestions on what could be causing interference?
post #86 of 90
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bad_Luck_Chuck View Post

My reception finally completely died so I recently ordered a Dual XHD6430 from Crutchfield which has HD radio and I'm still using the Firestick antenna. I have good reception again but there is some static in the background on most stations when the engine is running so something is causing interference. When I have the radio on without the engine running there is no static. Any suggestions on what could be causing interference?

Not entirely sure. Probably a bad ground. Crutchfield's got a guide to help you troubleshoot:

http://www.crutchfield.com/learn/lea...ion_guide.html

Probably just a loose/disconnected wire somewhere. Or maybe you can add some sort of noise filter somewhere.
post #87 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by jp_over View Post

Installed the Firestik with an Alpine CDA 117 (better options for processing vs the Pioneer I mentioned earlier) - noticed greater FM reception but not by much. I'd recommend it but caveat this with "don't expect vast improvement." The Firestik was installed on a 2000 Toyota Tundra, and mounted on the rear driver's side of bed in the stake hole.


I agree with this statement. I installed this on my Honda Ridgeline, but i'm not getting anything better than the OEM Stealth Antenna box. Of course the OEM is amplified. My HD radio stations that I want to get is about 30 miles away from me. I wonder if I add an inline amp/booster to see what I get. Also I found this antenna, which actually claims better HD Radio signals, but the antenna is pretty ugly and expensive ($70 on ebay).

http://www.godarusa.com/id83.html

Anyone try this one??
post #88 of 90
Hey, regarding the general issue of HD reception on a glass-printed antenna, have you checked to make sure your car's antenna amo is working? If not, it might be worth doing before investibg in an afternarket antenna.

I discovered that in the process of installing my after-market audio system, my installer disconnected the OEM antenna amplifier. (He connected the amp's out to the reciever's antenna in, but he didn't connect the amp's trigger, so the amp never powered on.) the result was massively reduced reception. I eventually found a Subaru tech to talk me through the ORM antenna amp wiring, and eventually gave my installer instructions on how to wire the trigger to power the amp on. Problem solved -- reception is now tolerable.
post #89 of 90
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thunder240 View Post

Hey, regarding the general issue of HD reception on a glass-printed antenna, have you checked to make sure your car's antenna amo is working? If not, it might be worth doing before investibg in an afternarket antenna.

Is that at me? That was my 2005 Legacy, which I traded in last January for a 2012 Impreza, which has the little nubby antenna on the roof. But yes, the amp was working. I remember once I accidentally disconnected it (I forget how) and made the reception much worse. Glass printed antennas just suck :b lol
post #90 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by TydalForce View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thunder240 View Post

Hey, regarding the general issue of HD reception on a glass-printed antenna, have you checked to make sure your car's antenna amo is working? If not, it might be worth doing before investibg in an afternarket antenna.

Is that at me? That was my 2005 Legacy, which I traded in last January for a 2012 Impreza, which has the little nubby antenna on the roof. But yes, the amp was working. I remember once I accidentally disconnected it (I forget how) and made the reception much worse. Glass printed antennas just suck :b lol

Hey Tydalforce, yeah, my post was generally aimed at you, but it sounded like others were chiming in with similar issues. Truth be told, I read the beginning and end posts in the thread but not many in the middle, so I missed the part where you traded you car!
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