AVS Forum banner

1 - 20 of 101 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
433 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So, my car has a pretty lousy antenna. I noticed it when I first got the car, that the reception isn't as good as my old car Old car had a slantyways antenna sticking up on the roof. This car has one of those grid things right on the rear windshield.


Especially now that I've got the HD Radio, poor reception issues can be an annoyance --- if I'm listening to a -2 station, it'll completely drop out.


Does anybody have any suggestions on just general tips and tricks on improving reception in the car? I've seen amps, I'm thinking about trying to rig up another antenna somehow... ideally, whatever I do I'd like to be non-destructive (aka no drilling please!)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
211 Posts
My truck radio reception is fair, but could be better, I'd like to know also if their is a better antenna out there. I drive in a pretty fringe areas, so I want the best reception!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,182 Posts
Years ago, Radio Shack sold a clamp-on car radio antenna that clipped onto side mirrors on trucks and other vehicles. It may be best now to look for specialty car-customizing Web sites or dealers to see what they offer. There are certainly no-drill antenna mounts of many types for ham radio antennas, but I have never seen an AM/FM broadcast antenna that fits any of these mounts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
I purchased one of these antenna's on ebay. It worked real well. Increased my range by about 50%. It has a separate AM/FM amplifier built in to it.


Fuba-VW-Antenna-Combo-AM-FM


Search this on ebay or google and you'll find a couple of companies that sell them. I paid about $50
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
433 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
So, my research has lead me to these two products:

http://www.crutchfield.com/S-5xDpwGs...o&i=12044UA200

and
http://www.crutchfield.com/S-WpqLw99...fo&i=12044UA20


Available from a bunch of different resellers. I was hoping for something magnetic that would "stick up" like those window-mount cell phone antennas. These don't look like they'd do much better than the stock on-the-rear-windshield thing I've got now (Although, I might be able to mount one on the sunroof visor).


I finally found my old AM/FM Signal Amp, which I'm going to hook up. That might be good enough under the circumstances.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
330 Posts
i recently had both of these antennas installed with an alpine hd box. the little one thats 29.95 did not work as well as the wide one at 19.95. what i found with the alpine was that i had to try five different antennas and that wide one did the trick. i live in los angeles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
433 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Yeah if I wind up getting one of those, I think I like that one better.


Thanks for the feedback, it helps (c: I'm trying to avoid going through buyingi tons of crap like I usually wind up doing :b~


Out of curiosity, were any of the other antennas you tried along the same lines of "doesn't require drilling holes"?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,182 Posts
Here is what I had in mind, an antenna that clamps onto an external mirror or other location:

http://www.partsamerica.com/ProductD...egoryCode=3531


The problem I see with the two Crutchfield items is that both of them have less metal outside and/or above the car body than a standard radio antenna. TydalForce, you have already experienced the limitations of such antennas, and I doubt either of the linked ones would be much better (basically, I agree with your doubts in that post). For good reception, you need as large an antenna, as high up and far away from other metal, as possible (within reason, of course). Anything else is a compromise... How much compromise can you accept?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
433 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I don't mind something sticking up like a more "normal" car antenna; I'm just unwilling to punch holes in my car to do it. Something that clips/clamps on (like, at the hood or trunk) and sticks up would be acceptable.


The one you linked, Chris, might work. I'm going to have to dig up some more info about it when I have the time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,182 Posts
I have not used an AM or FM broadcast-band on-glass antenna, but the ones for ham radio VHF and UHF have worked well for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by TydalForce /forum/post/0


...Anyone know how good these "through the glass" sticky things are?

I have tried both of those antennas that you referenced. Neither of them worked very well, they only picked up only strong local channels. I had trouble keeping HD reception while driving around. I think a metal coat hanger shoved in the antenna jack would provide equivalent performance to those antennas.


I'm looking for a decent window mount antenna too. These low profile things just don't work. I'm anxious to hear about your experience with the JC Whitney antenna. What's the verdict?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
433 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
According to FedEx tracking, it'll arrive Tuesday. I should have a preliminary report for everybody Wednesday, and a better report next weekend (c:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
433 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
So far, I'm disappointed.


It was easy enough to install, hardest part was running the cable. But, sitting in my driveway, it's getting reception not-quite-as-good as the built in antenna. Grr. I'm hoping that it's just a matter of "my house is surrounded by hills and this'll be better when driving".


There's a "hinge" point, the antenna itself can be angled from its base. There's a screw holding it in place. It's awfully hard to tighten, but I think I've got it. I fully expect it'll fly backwards on me tomorrow when I'm driving to work though...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
433 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
yeah the factory antenna is a wire-grid thingie that looks a little like the defroster, on the top 3 or 4 inches of the rear windshield. When I first got the car, I noticed the reception wasn't nearly as good as my previous car, which had a metal "stick" antenna that came out at an angle right above the driver's door. But it didn't bother me enough to do anything about it until I got the HD Radio.


I'm really hoping this new antenna will prove itself worthy once I start driving with it. Otherwise, I dunno what I'm gonna do... maybe I'll hook up that signal amp and putz around some more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
433 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Oh, it gets worse! I walk out to my car this morning, and the antenna is laying on the back windshield. The adhesive didn't survive last night's rain.


Probably better that happened *before* I started driving and lost it on the road!


Interestingly enough, just the "box" on the inside of the windshield did a remarkable job of FM reception on my drive to work. AM, on the other hand, got zero.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,182 Posts
That is odd, about the adhesive. I have never had any problems with several on-glass antennas. In fact, when I have needed to remove them (typically after being on there a few years), I had to slowly pry them off while pushing a metal putty knife/spatula under the edges.


Here is how I installed them, which may be critical to getting them to stick securely:

-Clean the window surface with alcohol right before installing the antenna module.

-Press the module onto the window very hard, just a bit less than "so hard I am afraid I will push the whole window out".

-If the mount allows it, avoid all stress on it for the first 24 hours by removing/unscrewing the antenna rod/element (on the outside) and the coax cable (on the inside) for that first day.


Obviously, none of this will help with your already-fallen-off mount, but if you want to give it another try, get some of the extra-thin, dark gray "heavy duty" double-stick foam tape made by 3M (as opposed to the normal, thicker, white kind). Remove every trace of the old tape using a metal scraper/putty knife and WD-40 or Goof-Off followed by alcohol to be sure it is totally clean before applying the new tape.
 
1 - 20 of 101 Posts
Top