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Old 10-19-2020, 08:19 PM   #1
Mikendebbie
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Radio antenna

I finally got around to taking my radio out and looking at the antenna. The fm band has been marginal and am reception is 100% static. The antenna in the pic below was rolled up behind the radio. I found this antenna on amazon and the reviews are horrible. I held the antenna and moved it around to various positions around the TV and the fm reception improved to ďpatheticĒ if I held the end in the air close to the kitchen island...this thing is useless.

Just curious if anybody has tried to match up a cheap car antenna of some sort with the radio to see if it improves reception. Iím thinking I would mount the antenna behind the TV somewhere.
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Old 10-20-2020, 01:04 AM   #2
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Lol never even turned it on !! Lol
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Old 10-20-2020, 09:02 AM   #3
Creeker
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I haven't tried to change the antenna but I can tell you this for fact. Our Montana and Wildcat 5ers are stored side by side here at home during winter. The Montana with the hidden indoor antenna struggles to pick up a single station clearly. The Wildcat with a spring mounted roof car type antenna picks up dozens of crystal clear stations.

I would expect a huge improvement with the car antenna even mounted indoors.
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Old 10-20-2020, 09:15 AM   #4
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Took the whole unit out and trashed it as one of the first mods I did. Now I have a decent radio and a seperate blue ray DVD player.
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Old 10-20-2020, 08:55 PM   #5
Pathfinder75
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Yep no reception. Does fine with a outside mounted antenna. I used the short rubber whip type so it could be below the slide awning.
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Old 10-22-2020, 06:04 AM   #6
FloridaFlockers
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Mikendebbie,
Did you find a better antenna? We are in a 2017 3820FK and have the same exact experience. Found ours rolled up too. Even after unrolling it, and mounting it on top of the entertainment center our reception is still horrible. We do use our radio quite a bit and would prefer to have this one work vs swapping everything out. Thanks Joe
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Old 10-22-2020, 02:45 PM   #7
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I did a lot of googling (does that count as research?) at various amplified am-fm antennas, reading lots of reviews. I never found a "silver bullet" sure thing. Lots of reviews were "don't waste your money - no improvement in reception!!"

I posted the same question to another forum and got a response from a guy that had installed an amplified antenna years ago and he said it was working ok. His pic looks like he used a $17 Jensen antenna. He said had hooked it (the Jensen) into the blue antenna power wire on the back of the radio for power and he mounted it up in the top of the TV cubby cabinet behind the TV with velcro. My radio has the same blue wire not being used presently.

I decided to just go to Walmart and buy a car antenna and see how it worked. I bought a $9.76 basic (non-amplified) 17" tall antenna. I just plugged it in the back of the radio. They did not have many choices, and did not have an amplified antenna of any type I hooked it up, stuck the antenna base in a 1/2" hole I had drilled in the corner for the antenna wire to come out of the radio compartment box, and I can get some fm stations now, and the local 50,000 watt am station comes in with lots of static, which is an improvement because previously I got nothing but static...even when I unrolled the OEM antenna. I am located 33 miles from the am station's tower, so I am going to keep the walmart antenna. I think it would work even better if I installed it the way Pathfinder75 shows his on the outside wall in post #5 above. I would need to drill another 1/2" hole to get the antenna cable into the cabinet above the TV and then out thru the exterior wall. (edit - DW says NO to drilling the exterior for now...the dryer vent hole will be the one hole she can't say NO to!)

I may still look for an amplified antenna. If I find one I will just throw the walmart antenna away. I don't know enough about radios and static and good negative grounds, etc. - but I have a feeling the static comes from not having a good ground and from being a heap of soldered chinese junk.
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Old 10-23-2020, 06:13 AM   #8
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Mikendebbie thanks for the feedback. I'll keep looking, what we have now is pretty worthless unless the station is really close. Not crazy about adding another whole in the side, but it may come to that. Joe
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Old 10-23-2020, 04:27 PM   #9
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I found the same thing Antenna rolled up in a rubber band. When I unrolled it the radio worked a little bit better.
I made my own antenna using an old RCA patch cord I plugged the cord into the ANT receptacle on the back of the radio then strung it around the TV hole Radio works great now.
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Old 10-25-2020, 03:02 PM   #10
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The factory guys seldom ever install one - I found ours with the documentation package still rolled up. Just a simple dipole and with a rear entertainment setup all I had to do was put it across the back wall under the countertop. Works fine.
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Old 10-25-2020, 03:32 PM   #11
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Any antenna on the inside will be weak. An amplifier will amplify the static along with the weak signal. Get an automotive antenna and somehow get it outside. The shorter the lead wire the better. Mount it as high as possible and you should not need an amplifier. You can easily add one if you feel the need.
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Old 10-25-2020, 05:47 PM   #12
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The FM antenna on mine is connected to the key TV antenna system. The AM antenna is inside the radio, should be 33 feet of coiled wire if I remember correctly.
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Old 10-25-2020, 11:56 PM   #13
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Car Radio in Entertainment Centre

We couldn't get any stations on our radio and I finally installed a car radio with a CD player and USB input in the entertainment cabinet. The reception of ANY station was basically non-existent so I installed a 17"? metal car antenae on the outside on the unit. Still can barely get any stations. When we travel we like to listen to local news and weather reports. Instead we plug in the USB and listen to music we've put on the USB. Even a 4GB USB drive can hold thousands of songs.

I record a lot of our LP records from years ago onto the computer in MP3 format and then copy them to the USB. That was we have no commercials and listen to a variety of music styles that we like. It works really well.

We have a 2007 3400RL.
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Old 11-01-2020, 01:08 PM   #14
DebNJim B
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We get a few FM stations with the rubber antenna on the side of the camper just like the picture above. AM is just static, I assume wire is rolled up behind. Bottom line we don't use the radio. I'm not gonna spend any time or money trying to make old technology work better. I just connect my smart phone via blue tooth and listen to I Heart Radio or Pandora. Works great with the sound bar.
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Old 11-01-2020, 04:57 PM   #15
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That works.
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