Poor radio reception with a "working" antenna (1 Viewer)

Joined
Nov 16, 2006
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Aspen, CO
I've searched and been unable to find anything similar to my situation.

When I bought my 80, the radio (FM, it's all we have up here) reception sucked. However, the antenna operates better than my old 80 or any of my friends for that matter, but the reception is much worse than in any other 80 I've driven in the Aspen area. Goes up and down smoothly, regularly lubed. So I thought it was my radio (OEM). Recently, I swapped my Toyota OEM stereo for a Lexus OEM stereo with the disc changer. When I did this, I hoped that the reception would improve. It didn't, it continued to suck.

Could there be a possible bad connection somewhere? Any ideas would be helpful. I don't want to replace the physically working OEM antenna with an aftermarket one if it can be avoided.

I did make sure there was a good connection between the head unit and the antenna cable.

Thanks!
Nick
 
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
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Is it an OEM retractable antenna? If not that could effect the reception. I put an aftermarket rubber antenna in my 4Runner, and it killed my reception from OEM.
 
Joined
May 10, 2005
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Friendswood, TX
My reception started the suck when I replaced my OEM Lexus unit with an aftermarket Alpine unit.

2 years later and I'm still living with it.
 
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Aug 8, 2003
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I bought my 80 new and was never completely happy with reception. When I moved up to a rural area, it bothered me more - especially on AM. Well, I put a Scion head unit in last year and reception has improved so much it is one of the best features of all. In areas I could not even make out words on my favorite talk shows because of power lines I don't even have a hint of interference. So, FYI.

DougM
 
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Phoenix
Is it bad reception or noise? Turn the key to 'ACC' and check out the radio with the engine off. If it's better, you need new plugs/wires.

-Spike
 
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Aspen, CO
Thanks Doug! The problem is that I know that 80s get much better reception than than this. I can hardly get the station that has a tower on the mountain above my place!

I wonder if there might be a loose connection near the antenna itself. Does anyone know where all the connections are?
 
Joined
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Opelika, AL
Atoyot1031 you gotta have a bad connection somewhere.
I know I just helped a lot with this comment.:rolleyes: at self
My reception gets worse when I plug something into the cigarette lighter. I'm not saying this is your problem, I'm just saying.
 
Joined
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Aspen, CO
Atoyot1031 you gotta have a bad connection somewhere.
I know I just helped a lot with this comment.:rolleyes: at self
My reception gets worse when I plug something into the cigarette lighter. I'm not saying this is your problem, I'm just saying.

Thanks anyways. I checked to see if mine got better when I plug anything in the cigarette lighter, but no luck.;)

Does anyone know where the coax antenna cable from the back of the stereo ties in? It doesn't appear to go into the quarter panel where the power antenna motor is...:frown:
 

619TOY

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Do you have a DMM (digital multi meter)? I don't remember if you said. I can guide you through the steps.
 
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Somewhere in the foothills...
Thanks anyways. I checked to see if mine got better when I plug anything in the cigarette lighter, but no luck.;)

Does anyone know where the coax antenna cable from the back of the stereo ties in? It doesn't appear to go into the quarter panel where the power antenna motor is...:frown:

The coax coming out of the factory antenna does not have a connector at the antenna side. It goes through the firewall, behind the glove box, and over to the radio as a single cable, then plugs into the back of the radio with a standard antenna connection.

-B-
 
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Aspen, CO
The coax coming out of the factory antenna does not have a connector at the antenna side. It goes through the firewall, behind the glove box, and over to the radio as a single cable, then plugs into the back of the radio with a standard antenna connection.

-B-

Thanks B! There goes the theory of the bad connection. Any ideas on why reception would suck so badly.
 
Joined
Jul 3, 2006
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Fort Apache: Victoria
I'm keen to hear about this, too. I have an aftermarket stereo but my FM reception sucks, too. It's marginally better with the (OEM power) antenna up as opposed to down, but it still sucks both ways.
I didn't realise how bad it sucked until I drove a rental car this week.
 
Joined
Mar 27, 2003
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Somewhere in the foothills...
Thanks B! There goes the theory of the bad connection. Any ideas on why reception would suck so badly.

My stock antenna is stuck in the down position (common nylon gear broke and I haven't got a round tuit...) and the reception is fine around town. So basically, you don't need much of the mast to get decent FM from close transmitters.

That leads me to think you either don't have the good connection at the back of the radio that you said you have, or the coax has shorted out somewhere, or the cable has been seperated from the mast assembly somewhere in the right front fenderwell.

That's all I can offer for suggestions.

-B-
 
Joined
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Aspen, CO
Well, I've been busy with work (and going to Moab last weekend;)) so I hadn't been able to look into it, but to follow up:

Is it bad reception or noise? Turn the key to 'ACC' and check out the radio with the engine off. If it's better, you need new plugs/wires.

-Spike

Spike, no difference when just in the "ACC" position. Thanks for the help on eliminating one other factor.

Do you have a DMM (digital multi meter)? I don't remember if you said. I can guide you through the steps.

Steve are you coming to my rescue again? I DO have a multimeter. Let me know what to test, and please speak in caveman terms as I'm not an electrician (as stated in my previous stereo thread) and I didn't even stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night...;)

You could always try a Match-Maker if you are running a properly placed CB antenna:

https://forum.ih8mud.com/electronic...enna-splitter-firestik-ar-1a-match-maker.html

-Phil

Thanks Phil, I do believe I have a "properly placed CB antenna", so as a last resort I'll try something like this, but having the seemingly rare physically functioning power antenna, I'd like to get my OEM setup working properly.:)
 

619TOY

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Jun 27, 2006
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San Diego
In layman's terms:

  1. Turn meter on and set to ohms/resistance (highest scale if meter is not auto ranging)
  2. With antenna up and plug from back of radio removed, connect one lead of meter to the center pin of the antenna connector and the other lead to ground/outer conducter (this may be the entire body of the connector end or just a couple of spring loaded metal strips on the sides of the connector)
  3. Meter should not indicate any resisistance figure. Typically indicated by O.L. or 000 on meter screen.
  4. If you get any reading at all, the antenna or connector end must be replaced.
  5. If you passed step #4, leave the lead connected to the center conductor and connect the other to the antenna mast itself, outside the car.
  6. Now you should set your meter to its lowest ohm scale if not auto ranging.
  7. You should read next to 0 ohms (0-2 or so).
  8. If much higher than that, there is a problem which will probably also require antenna replacement
  9. If you passed step #8, reconnect one lead to the ground/outer conductor of the antenna connector and the other to the body/metal of the radio itself.
  10. Once again, you should read almost no resistance (0-5 ohms)
  11. If there is excessive resistance during this test, your antenna may need to be replaced but you should start by removing the antenna from the fender, cleaning the area where the antenna is grounded to bare metal and test again. There are almost always some sort of barbs on the back side of the fender part of the antenna itself. This is where the antenna gets it's ground.
  12. If you pass all of these tests, your antenna is good.
 

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