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Old 11-05-2007, 10:07 PM   #1
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Default Better radio reception

I've never been happy with the radio reception on my stock radio. I'm not interested in a massive upgrade to my stereo I'm fine with the stock receiver exception for the lack of reception. I've always written it off on the windshield antenna but my wife'* 04 GTP gets a lot better reception and even my 78 Camaro gets noticeably better reception than my 01 does. Both the GTP and the 78 both have windshield antennas (the 78 is running a 10 yr old Kenwood, shafted, cassette deck). I've reseated the stock radio in my Bonne but the radio still sucks.

My questions are, does it make sense to get another used stock radio from E-Bay and hope it makes a difference, or should I consider an aftermarket deck? What'* the most direct replacement? How likely is it the issue is with the antenna?
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Old 11-05-2007, 10:23 PM   #2
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you might wanna look into an antenna signal booster, a signal repeater might help too. honestly aftermarket will always give you a better sound, more power, and more room to grow but in order to get that you will need to spend MORE money. that is what I would ask myself first. how much am I willing to spend? I can imagine that upgrading your speakers would not be far down the line if you go with an aftermarket radio
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Old 11-05-2007, 10:44 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by briancole23
you might wanna look into an antenna signal booster, a signal repeater might help too. honestly aftermarket will always give you a better sound
This isn't ALWAYS true. And this myth leads to knee jerk reactions that don't always help and can actually hurt. I don't want to get into a pissing contest here but I get tired of people assuming that the OEM system is automatically junk when it may not be. The limitation is usually in output POWER. The front end of OEM units are usually as good or better than aftermarket in terms of quality engineering and design (I have experienced this). If your tuner is not getting good reception, an aftermarket tuner will not likely be any better. The reception problem is probably not the tuner.

OEM systems are not always the archaic designs you think. Putting an antenna booster on a 2000+ bonnie is ludicrous (as it may be in most cases anyway). The antenna system is very sophisticated and already does the same thing as a booster - so it would be money poorly spent.

Karl, it is very possible that your problem is quite simple. I removed the head unit in my car and when I re-installed it, the antenna lead didn't slide into its receptacle. It turned out that a plastic clip was broken.


You can also see it in this photo of the radio bay.


I got a stick and was able to feed it up from below the dash on the passenger side and wedge it behind the antenna lead to hold it while I put the radio back in. It definitely feels different when it goes in right.

Another possibility is the afore mentioned antenna module.

Also, be aware that if you buy a head unit on eBay, you will have to take it to a dealer (or someone with a Tech II) to program your VIN so the TheftLock will work. This can cost as much as $100.
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Old 11-05-2007, 11:07 PM   #4
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Thanks guys. I did check my connection, Chris. I also cleaned the contacts with a little alcohol. I thought about an antenna booster but I was warned that using a booster with a windshield antenna isn't really going to help, because amplifying a weak signal is just amplifying static.

I also thought about the whole radio is keyed to the car thing. I bought a used PCM to send to Intense so I'll need a dealer to do the CASE learn with a scanner. I can swap out the radio then and all will be fine.

If I go the aftermarket route I'm not up swapping speakers. It'* a nice idea but I'm fine with what I have.
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Old 11-05-2007, 11:12 PM   #5
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Is the rear glass tinted? and if it is is it a metallic tint? if it is thats the problem.
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Old 11-05-2007, 11:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 95seand78z28
I thought about an antenna booster but I was warned that using a booster with a windshield antenna isn't really going to help, because amplifying a weak signal is just amplifying static.
It is more that this. There are antennas in both the windshield and rear window (for FM anyway). To make the most of this, there is an electronic module the looks at both antennas and does some fancy foot work and is able to get a better signal than either antenna by itself. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts in essence. You basically have a wonderful antenna booster already - one that was designed and tuned to the specific antennas. (Darcy 'ddalder' has a much better explanation)

EDIT:
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddalder
Actually, the 2K+ Bonnevilles have a diversity antenna system. The one on the front glass is an FM only antenna. The one on the rear glass is AM/FM. The antenna module selects the correct antenna based on the band selected. When FM is selected, it phase matches the signal from the front and rear to provide the strongest possible signal. This is the basis of the diversity antenna.
End EDIT

Before going with another head unit, you may want to check the operation of the module. It may not be getting power, or its connections may be bad.
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Old 11-06-2007, 06:43 AM   #7
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No tint.... yet anyway...

Chris, that'* interesting. I always thought the AM is in the rear window and the FM was in the front. Do you know where the module is? I can also PM Darcy....
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Old 11-06-2007, 09:11 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 95seand78z28
Do you know where the module is?
I think it is above the headliner, but I don't remember for sure. Since I found the problem with the antenna wire, I didn't have to go any further in my troubleshooting.
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