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bucketmouth64

am reception

16 posts in this topic

My AM reception in my explorer is terrible. I had a JVC installed and all three AM stations that I listen to come in, but lots of static. The factory radio had great AM reception and range without much static. Any ideas how to improve it? Would putting in a new antennae be a solution?

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How long ago did you install the JVC? I have noticed my AM reception is terrible in early AM as the days are getting colder. I do not have a JVC, but I figure it is inside the deck and a new ant. will almost do nothing. I have heard of some in-line ant. amplifiers, but never heard how they worked out.

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I was thinking that also, but usually FM would effected by this also. Good point though! With the recent install of the deck it would worth checking out.

Short of tracing the ant. Cable back from the radio to the antenna base and looking for wear, breaks or poor junctions/loose connections I still suspect the deck if it happened right after the exchange.

I have not checked into it, but I heard AM offers digital signal channels also.

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I have a JVC deck I bought at WalMart, and I get in 810 WHB out of Kansas City, over 450 miles away. AM reception can depend on a poor ground, that's why when you speed up, you pick up static on the radio. I would check your ground

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Quote:
that's why when you speed up, you pick up static on the radio. I would check your ground

Good point, but most deck installs use the factory ground (via the adapter harness).

The big question still is did this start right after the deck was installed?

When I worked at a local Linc. deal a few years back, most of the Linc. type drivers listened to AM stations. Every month I would get a customer with concerns about AM reception (mind you these are factory units). I could only remember exchanging a couple units for AM reception quality. The factory had SSM's out on AM reception and they said it was subject to your surrounds and other frequencies in the air. I scripted this to the customer and that was about that.

My personal feeling is the amplifier that helps the AM frequencies are down graded because of less demand from the manufacture of the units. Maybe to give space or power to another aspect of the unit. But then again other customers who listened to AM with the same factory deck, had no issues. When the decks where swapped out to customers who put up enough fuss about poor AM reception, they gained their AM quality back. It lead to an internal issue with the deck.

Could be anything though!

Non-resistor plugs also cause interference with the AM quality also.

My personal bouts with AM reception on my after market deck are cold issues. For instance, this time of year I still park my car outside in the driveway. Yesterday (and the day before), I start up and drive away (it was very cold). I have this high pitched buzzing that occurs for the first 7-8 minutes on AM 1500. It happens when I am not using my blower or defroster also. It goes away when I get closer to the cities (9-10 miles or so) or when the car warms up. Now, this morning it was warm and no buzzing at all. This has gone on now for a couple years and I have gone threw the wiring and antenna to try to figure out what is causing it. During the winter months when the car is in the garage (warm) it does not occur. It never occurred with the factory tape deck. It has to be the deck.

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My jvc that I just bough a few months ago doesn't do to well on the AM side of things too. Doesn't bother me. Has a jump drive port, load up a couple 200-300 songs and hit da road.

Then again if the radio had the antenna hooked up to it and not just the wire that goes to it.... But Fm seems to be unaffected.

Did I mention its an Arsenal series?

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I've had the radio for a few years bought/installed at Best Buy. Problem has always existed. Gets staticky around some power lines, and it seems like when I'm not in the cities the reception weakens. Doesn't seem like it should weaken that much, but maybe it does. I had good strong AM reception around the Rush City/Hinckly area with factory radio, but with the aftermarket radio the signal strength is worse. Thanks for the sugestions.

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If it is not the antenna, there should be an adjustment on the radio for this. Its been a while since I've installed an aftermarket radio but if I recall, most car radios have a "peaking" capacitor somewhere accessible from the outside of the radio that is designed to tune the antenna and feedline to resonance. Some are accessible through the front panel and others are on the rear or bottom of the radio near the antenna connector. What you want to do is to tune in a distant station and make a minor adjustment to make it as strong as possible. Normally this is in the instructions that come with the radio.

Thats about the best you can do if the issue is with the radio itself!

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I remember that adjustment screw years ago with the old analog radios, but I didn't think an adjustment screw would be on a digital radio. I'll have to find my manual and see if there is one.

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You never said what year Explorer this was, the 95-01 era used a 2 piece antenna cable, the cable from the antenna to the inside plug has been known to get corroded. Also make sure they are fully connected together. If other peoples ideas dont work you may want to check these things out as well.

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Poor Am tuner. You factory decks have great tuners and not so good sound. You will need to spend good money to get a after market radio with a good AM tuner, now days every thing is made in China (do they even have AM there?) You can try grounding the ant to the car/fender not the ground on the radio, you can also try going from ground on the car to the case of the radio. I have worked as a installer for some years and have good luck doing this for older guys who like the twins games.

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my first thought was grounding. I'm a rep for HD Radio, and I've noticed on some of the interviews I've done with installers at various retailers around town, is that on aftermarket radios, occasionally attaching an additional ground to chassis has helped quite a bit.

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