Poor FM reception??

NYDolfan928

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 28, 2005
TDI
Jetta TDI
Does anyone else have poor FM reception?

I have two other cars, one with the antenna in the rear glass, the other with it in the front windshield and they both have dramatically better FM reception than my 06 TDI.
 

NYDolfan928

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 28, 2005
TDI
Jetta TDI
Nope, my other cars are a Toyota Avalon and a Porsche 928S4. The Nissan Pathfinder that I traded in for the 06 TDI had better FM reception as well.

The XM SAT expired on mine - can't see spending $14/month for it for the time I'm in the car.

Just wondered if anyone else had poor FM reception....
 

Strack

Veteran Member
Joined
May 10, 1999
Location
HAckensack, NJ USA
My FM reception could use some improvement, exp when I leave the metro area. It tends to fade in and out based upon environmenal conditions (mountains, ect...).
 

Leedogg

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2005
Location
Brewton, AL
TDI
Present: 05 Passat TDI Past: 06 Jetta TDI
mine seemed fine til I tinted the windows...now it seems much worse.
 

fish_on

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 21, 2005
Location
Columbia City, OR
TDI
2010 Jetta, White, DSG
The metal in the tint film kills the reception, you can get a non-metal film but it doesn't last as long. I was looking for an external antenna but couldn't find one.
 

Leedogg

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2005
Location
Brewton, AL
TDI
Present: 05 Passat TDI Past: 06 Jetta TDI
fish_on said:
The metal in the tint film kills the reception, you can get a non-metal film but it doesn't last as long. I was looking for an external antenna but couldn't find one.
wish I had known this.... oh well- I just listen to my MP3 discs for the most part anyway.


compu_85 said:
Oh, your cars have the antenna built into the glass? I thought the A5's had a wip antenna too? :confused:

-J
I wish they still did....I always thought the roof mount antenna's were cool. Hmm wonder if you could install one.....:cool:
 

DavidG

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2005
Location
Southern NH
TDI
None now
My FM reception is poor. But I subscribe to XM so I don't use it that often. I thought the FM antenna was integrated in the "fish fin" satellite antenna.
Is in the glass?
 

Dr_Duse

Active member
Joined
Jun 8, 2005
Location
Temple, TX
TDI
2005.5 Jetta TDI Platinum Gray Auto/Trans
Both FM & AM are very poor. I enjoy a weekend radio show in Dallas 90 miles away and can't get it, my wife has a Camry and gets great reception on stations I can barely get. I called the Jetta care line and they referred to me Delphi. Delphi said I cound not hook in an ext antenna and they had no plans or knew of any signal booster. I have look for options and called many venders but no luck. If anybody knows how to fix this please let us know.

Doc
 
Last edited:

RAST

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2006
Location
Chicago
TDI
2012 Audi A3 TDI
Dr_Duse said:
If anybody knows how to fix this please let us know.
Doc
While they're as rare as hen's teeth you can find a passive FM antenna that you stick on your car. Personally I'd recommend one that goes on the glass so you can move it instead of one that mounts on the trunk. Most of the passive antennas are in the cell phone range 800mhz - 1900mhz and I don't know if that would help with FM or not (I know FM's not in that band).

Also, since the FM receiver does have an antenna maybe you can hijack that and splice in your own. Take a look at the Crutchfield how-to link: http://www.crutchfieldadvisor.com/ISEO-rgbtcspd/learningcenter/car/antenna_installation.html?print=1&page=all
 
Joined
Mar 24, 2006
Location
Indiana
TDI
2006 Jetta, pkg 2
Antennas

There is no reason you can't add external antennas. Both antennas go straight into the back of the radio (it's a diversity system - uses two antennas).
Why did you call Delphi? The radio in my '06 TDI is a Panasonic.... maybe they use both Delphi and Panasonic.
At any rate, all you have to do is disconnect the antennas you currently use and put in new ones, or leave one antenna intact, keeping one of the old connectors plugged-in. Also, be gentle with the connectors. FAKRAs don't hold up too well under repeated disconnect/connect cycles. There is a difference between the two antenna ports. One of them is not used on AM, but it doesn't matter as much as on FM. If you aren't using a mast antenna on AM you won't notice that much difference between the glass antennas and a mast. They're both EXTREMELY short electrically at that frequency. More of a capacitive probe than an antenna, actually...but I digress.
Anyway, you will see an improvement in FM performance going to a full size mast antenna. If you want really good FM reception, install two mast antennas spaced as far apart as practical. That will give you the best possible diversity capability.
I could go on about how diversity antennas help eliminate multipath, but you get the point...:eek:
Good Luck.
 

NYDolfan928

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 28, 2005
TDI
Jetta TDI
So is there an FM booster we can attach at the back of the radio like we did in the old days?
 
Joined
Mar 24, 2006
Location
Indiana
TDI
2006 Jetta, pkg 2
External amplifiers won't solve the problem... assuming the system is working properly.

The problem with an external amp is twofold:

1. You can't amplify signals that don't exist coming from the antenna. The efficiency of reduced-size antennas is less than mast antennas. The signal to noise ratio is lower - you just don't have as much signal to work with.

2. You set yourself up for a boatload of problems with overload - inability of the receiver to handle strong signals. When you experience overload, you will definitely be unhappy with the system, especially when you get distortion and break-in from interfering stations (as opposed to desensitization)... it sounds really, really, bad.

Stay away from amplifiers. If you have a problem with sensitivity, find out why and fix it. Unless something is broken, weak signal complaints (ie: "stations are weaker than my trade-in") are almost always due to the poorer signal to noise ratio on a glass or micro-mast antenna vs a full size mast.

Yes, there are things that can focus your attention on the 'weak station' sound like not enough rolloff and blend (making it sound worse), but the OEMs spend a lot of time tuning these parameters, and a newer car will generally not have these issues.

Summary: Don't connect an amplifier to your antenna. You will not like it.
 

compu_85

Gadget Guy
Joined
Sep 29, 2003
Location
Springfield VA
TDI
... None :S
Actually, the antenna probably has an amp built into it allready. The previous cars do. It's built into the base of the antenna.
 
Joined
Mar 24, 2006
Location
Indiana
TDI
2006 Jetta, pkg 2
You are quite correct. Some reduced-size antennas have amplifiers on FM and some don't. I've seen it both ways. All of these have an amp on AM...at least all of the ones I've seen.

At any rate, adding an aftermarket amplifier is still definitely not a good idea.

I'm really picky, so I hate anything less than a full size mast antenna.... well, okay, I guess I have conceded to liking the glass antenna diversity system - simply due to the fact that it makes so much difference on FM multipath.

Anyway, I think most people don't really know or care about giving up a few dB in S/N, as long as 90% of the time it works.
 

spelchek

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2005
Location
QLD. Australia
TDI
A5 Golf 2.0l TDI
pfft.. what on earth would a guy with a handle 'electromagneticField' with an avatar featuring an insulated screwdriver and an 'electro' moti (and who uses phrases like "capacitive probe" and "diversity antennas help eliminate multipath") probably know about car aerials and amps anyway?

:D
 

Leedogg

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2005
Location
Brewton, AL
TDI
Present: 05 Passat TDI Past: 06 Jetta TDI
spelchek said:
pfft.. what on earth would a guy with a handle 'electromagneticField' with an avatar featuring an insulated screwdriver and an 'electro' moti (and who uses phrases like "capacitive probe" and "diversity antennas help eliminate multipath") probably know about car aerials and amps anyway?

:D
possibly one of the funniest posts I've read on these forums!:D



They shoulda put it in the windshield if they knew that tint would affect the reception.:mad: I don't even try to listen to the radio anymore unless I am in the city that the stations are in.
 

DRbillZ

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2003
Location
Jackson,Tn. Home of Carl Perkins :)
TDI
New Beetle, Jetta, one totaled Passat....RIP.
spelchek said:
pfft.. what on earth would a guy with a handle 'electromagneticField' with an avatar featuring an insulated screwdriver and an 'electro' moti (and who uses phrases like "capacitive probe" and "diversity antennas help eliminate multipath") probably know about car aerials and amps anyway?

:D
Got a chuckle myself. Thanks.
 
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