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Car reception question

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  • jim_waris
    Hello. I was wondering what options there exist for someone with a modern car with a rear window-mounted antenna and near-useless or intermittent AM reception
    Message 1 of 8 , Sep 1, 2012
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      Hello. I was wondering what options there exist for someone with a modern car with a rear window-mounted antenna and near-useless or intermittent AM reception to improve AM reception? I am referring to stations that are easily picked up by older cars with external antennas.

      Thanks,
      Jim
    • David
      Jim, You could replace your current antenna with something like this . It would make your
      Message 2 of 8 , Sep 1, 2012
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        Jim,

        You could replace your current antenna with something like this.  It would make your embedded antenna useless, but it sounds like you already feel that way about it :)

        It also looks like this one requires a hole drilled in your car...not sure you want to do that.  There are mounts that could be found that would allow you to mount on a gap...like between your trunk and rear quarterpanel.

        Dave


        --- In loopantennas@yahoogroups.com, "jim_waris" <lostinwoods@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hello. I was wondering what options there exist for someone with a modern car with a rear window-mounted antenna and near-useless or intermittent AM reception to improve AM reception? I am referring to stations that are easily picked up by older cars with external antennas.
        >
        > Thanks,
        > Jim
        >

      • jim_waris
        Thanks for your suggestion Dave. I looked at their website and it appears they have other types as well, including the following:
        Message 3 of 8 , Sep 3, 2012
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          Thanks for your suggestion Dave. I looked at their website and it appears they have other types as well, including the following:

          http://www.carid.com/metra/item-1185404.html

          which might work well enough for me inside the car.

          Jim

          loopantennas@yahoogroups.com, "David" <dcastor@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Jim,
          >
          > You could replace your current antenna with something like this
          > <http://www.carid.com/metra/item-1185428.html?CAWELAID=1498516837&> .
          > It would make your embedded antenna useless, but it sounds like you
          > already feel that way about it :)
          >
          > It also looks like this one requires a hole drilled in your car...not
          > sure you want to do that. There are mounts that could be found that
          > would allow you to mount on a gap...like between your trunk and rear
          > quarterpanel.
          >
          > Dave
          >
          >
          >
          > --- In loopantennas@yahoogroups.com, "jim_waris" <lostinwoods@>
          > wrote:
          > >
          > > Hello. I was wondering what options there exist for someone with a
          > modern car with a rear window-mounted antenna and near-useless or
          > intermittent AM reception to improve AM reception? I am referring to
          > stations that are easily picked up by older cars with external antennas.
          > >
          > > Thanks,
          > > Jim
          > >
          >
        • wa1edn
          AM car reception often depends on the radio itself and not just the antenna. My 2004 Bonneville with a rear window antenna easily outperforms my 2005 Mustang
          Message 4 of 8 , Sep 3, 2012
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            AM car reception often depends on the radio itself and not just the antenna. My 2004 Bonneville with a rear window antenna easily outperforms my 2005 Mustang with a fender mounted whip. Stations come in stronger and with less electrical noise in the Bonneville. Best car dx was KOA Denver and WOAI San Antonio into Mass. Jim

            --- In loopantennas@yahoogroups.com, "jim_waris" <lostinwoods@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hello. I was wondering what options there exist for someone with a modern car with a rear window-mounted antenna and near-useless or intermittent AM reception to improve AM reception? I am referring to stations that are easily picked up by older cars with external antennas.
            >
            > Thanks,
            > Jim
            >
          • jim_waris
            Hmm... Thanks. Food for thought. I will try to not loose sight of this advice. I hate tossing the stock set since it has an integrated cassette player, and I
            Message 5 of 8 , Sep 3, 2012
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              Hmm... Thanks. Food for thought. I will try to not loose sight of this advice. I hate tossing the stock set since it has an integrated cassette player, and I have found a source for auxiliary adapters for ipods and stuff like that should I need them.

              --- In loopantennas@yahoogroups.com, "wa1edn" <jim01028@...> wrote:
              >
              >
              >
              > AM car reception often depends on the radio itself and not just the antenna. My 2004 Bonneville with a rear window antenna easily outperforms my 2005 Mustang with a fender mounted whip. Stations come in stronger and with less electrical noise in the Bonneville. Best car dx was KOA Denver and WOAI San Antonio into Mass. Jim
              >
              > --- In loopantennas@yahoogroups.com, "jim_waris" <lostinwoods@> wrote:
              > >
              > > Hello. I was wondering what options there exist for someone with a modern car with a rear window-mounted antenna and near-useless or intermittent AM reception to improve AM reception? I am referring to stations that are easily picked up by older cars with external antennas.
              > >
              > > Thanks,
              > > Jim
              > >
              >
            • Craig Smith
              I hope you and others on this list won t find this post offensive, but here is an approach that - depending on your priorities - you may want to consider. Let
              Message 6 of 8 , Sep 4, 2012
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                I hope you and others on this list won't find this post offensive, but here is an approach that - depending on your priorities - you may want to consider.

                Let me begin by saying that I too am a lover of good AM repletion while in the car, to the extent that I've let it influence what car I bought.  But, like it or not, times are changing.  Some factors that make it more difficult than in the past are:  As you point out, car radio antennas are no longer performance oriented.  Cosmetics are more important.   The same can be said for the in-car receiver itself.  As more and more AM transmitters are loading up their sidebands with extra services, the adjacent channel interference wipes out many stations.  The addition of more and more in-car electronics, including several processors and computers creates a much noisier RF environment.   Modification of the antenna, possibly the head unit and addition of filtering are often required to obtain only mediocre reception.

                OK, time for the blasphemy - Use streaming audio from the hundreds (probably including the ones you want) of AM stations offering it.  I stopped fighting with conventional reception a year or so ago and am happy I did.  On long distance trips I just connect the audio from my iPad into the car's audio in jack.   Free applications such as IHeartRadio, TuneinRadio, RadioBox and NPR easily provide one-touch selection of dozens of your favorite stations from all over the country (and beyond).   Streaming audio isn't data intensive.  I have the $20 a month Verizon 1 GB data plan on my iPad and only use a very small fraction of it for streaming radio stations.   

                Of course this all depends on your motivation for wanting better AM reception.   You might be looking for the satisfaction of solving an interesting engineering challenge.  I can totally understand that - I've been there for many decades myself.   On the other hand, if your main objective is obtaining the content of the AM stations with high listenability while in the car, the streaming audio solution is the way to go.   Essentially hassle free compared with the other alternatives.

                By the way, this advice applies equally well to AM reception in many of today's homes.  With the EMC environment of all the computers, smart appliances and close neighbors with the same, its a similar problem as in a car unless you have the space to install an outside antenna that is 50 ft or more away from any houses.


                73    Craig    AC0DS







              • Laurence Taylor
                ... The problem with this typw of aerial is the short length; while it is (probably) helical construction, a longer single whip would be more efficient. While
                Message 7 of 8 , Sep 4, 2012
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                  "David" dcastor@... d_castor1976 wrote:

                  > You could replace your current antenna with something like this
                  > <http://www.carid.com/metra/item-1185428.html?CAWELAID=1498516837&> .

                  The problem with this typw of aerial is the short length; while it
                  is (probably) helical construction, a longer single whip would be
                  more efficient. While less common, they are available (My Honda
                  has one).

                  > It also looks like this one requires a hole drilled in your car...not
                  > sure you want to do that. There are mounts that could be found that
                  > would allow you to mount on a gap...like between your trunk and rear
                  > quarterpanel.

                  If the OP doesn't want to drill his car (perhaps there's a
                  blanking plug somewhere that would be used for a standard aerial
                  on other models), alternatives are a gutter mount (if he has
                  gutters) or at a pinch a magmount. All these need trailing cables
                  though.

                  My reccommendation would be to ask the local car service shop to
                  install a body-mounted aerial.

                  rgds
                  LAurence
                  <><
                  ... It's easier to smash an atom than a prejudice - Einstein
                  ~~~ Tag-O-Matic V.13F
                • jim_waris
                  Craig, I forgive you, especially since you were so polite and knowledgeable! You make some good points, at the cost of some money up front. Streaming audio is
                  Message 8 of 8 , Sep 4, 2012
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                    Craig, I forgive you, especially since you were so polite and knowledgeable! You make some good points, at the cost of some money up front. Streaming audio is inevitable, but I guess I am going to hold out for now, preferring to divide my car time between books/educational material on CD, tape (still), Ipod and so on, and some listening to the radio for variety.

                    --- In loopantennas@yahoogroups.com, Craig Smith <craig@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > I hope you and others on this list won't find this post offensive, but here is an approach that - depending on your priorities - you may want to consider.
                    >
                    > Let me begin by saying that I too am a lover of good AM repletion while in the car, to the extent that I've let it influence what car I bought. But, like it or not, times are changing. Some factors that make it more difficult than in the past are: As you point out, car radio antennas are no longer performance oriented. Cosmetics are more important. The same can be said for the in-car receiver itself. As more and more AM transmitters are loading up their sidebands with extra services, the adjacent channel interference wipes out many stations. The addition of more and more in-car electronics, including several processors and computers creates a much noisier RF environment. Modification of the antenna, possibly the head unit and addition of filtering are often required to obtain only mediocre reception.
                    >
                    > OK, time for the blasphemy - Use streaming audio from the hundreds (probably including the ones you want) of AM stations offering it. I stopped fighting with conventional reception a year or so ago and am happy I did. On long distance trips I just connect the audio from my iPad into the car's audio in jack. Free applications such as IHeartRadio, TuneinRadio, RadioBox and NPR easily provide one-touch selection of dozens of your favorite stations from all over the country (and beyond). Streaming audio isn't data intensive. I have the $20 a month Verizon 1 GB data plan on my iPad and only use a very small fraction of it for streaming radio stations.
                    >
                    > Of course this all depends on your motivation for wanting better AM reception. You might be looking for the satisfaction of solving an interesting engineering challenge. I can totally understand that - I've been there for many decades myself. On the other hand, if your main objective is obtaining the content of the AM stations with high listenability while in the car, the streaming audio solution is the way to go. Essentially hassle free compared with the other alternatives.
                    >
                    > By the way, this advice applies equally well to AM reception in many of today's homes. With the EMC environment of all the computers, smart appliances and close neighbors with the same, its a similar problem as in a car unless you have the space to install an outside antenna that is 50 ft or more away from any houses.
                    >
                    >
                    > 73 Craig AC0DS
                    >
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