Best radio aerial type? Electronic any good?

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Owlsman
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Best radio aerial type? Electronic any good?

Postby Owlsman » Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:33 pm

I know there are a couple of historic threads on this topic but they are so old that any links posted have long since gone and besides, technology might have moved on i.e. improved a bit, in the last few years.

Basically, I'm thinking of fitting a period(ish) radio cassette player to my saloon but am loathe to drill any holes in the bodywork to fit a standard wing or roof mounted aerial. This is a possible solution https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/VINTAGE-CAR- ... 1438.l2649 but I can see myself or my passenger tripping over the trailing coax cable every time when getting out of the car. :oops:

Has anyone any recent experience of using one of the electronic type aerials that stick to the front or rear screens or even the ones that are just a box of tricks which can seemingly be placed anywhere in the car?

Thanks,
Alan

palacebear
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Re: Best radio aerial type? Electronic any good?

Postby palacebear » Thu Oct 31, 2019 2:23 pm

Don't know how accurate my comment will be, but...
Wanted to upgrade the AM/FM radio/CD in my modern-ish Suzuki last year. Looked at a FM/DAB radio/CD unit. Both Halfords and an audio specialist told me they could fit a DAB antenna on the inside of the windscreen, but I'd still need to keep the existing external antenna for reliable FM reception.

As it happens I sold the car soon after so never got around to the audio upgrade.

Related to this... about 25 years ago, some Fords came with an AM/FM antenna built into the heated rear screen elements but they fairly soon reverted to external antennae again.
1956 4-door called Max

mowogg
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Re: Best radio aerial type? Electronic any good?

Postby mowogg » Tue Nov 12, 2019 7:44 pm

I have an electronic one on the windscreen. It's OK but not as good as a proper aerial.

Owlsman
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Re: Best radio aerial type? Electronic any good?

Postby Owlsman » Tue Nov 12, 2019 9:39 pm

Thanks Mowogg - may I ask what type/make it was, 'cos there seems to be ones that need a separate live feed, others not. Some have to be earthed, others not.

Prices seem to vary quite a bit too - typically, 3 or 4 squid up to 11 or 12 squid on Fleabay and then there's this https://www.raysmith.co.uk/retrosound-c ... 77404.html at £34.99 :roll:

Where did you stick it, by the way?...……..in the nicest possible way, of course :D. I was thinking of the rear window and running wires/cables under the carpet.

Funnily enough, just today I have bought a radio/cassette player off eBay (a Pye jobbie, supposedly bought years ago but never fitted). Radio reception-wise, to be fair, I'm not expecting too much with an internal electronic aerial but if I can tune in to Houewives' Choice on the BBC Light Programme, I'll be more than happy :D.

mowogg
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Re: Best radio aerial type? Electronic any good?

Postby mowogg » Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:00 pm

I have had 2. One came from Halfords and the second eleshwhere. Both had 12 volt feeds-I used the electric aerial output from the radio so it is not live unless the radio is on. Both were earthed to the car

As for location it's on the front screen behind the mirror.

As per earlier note they are not as effective as an external aerial but you can avoid damaging the bodywork.

mowogg
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Re: Best radio aerial type? Electronic any good?

Postby mowogg » Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:00 pm

I have had 2. One came from Halfords and the second eleshwhere. Both had 12 volt feeds-I used the electric aerial output from the radio so it is not live unless the radio is on. Both were earthed to the car

As for location it's on the front screen behind the mirror.

As per earlier note they are not as effective as an external aerial but you can avoid damaging the bodywork.

Owlsman
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Re: Best radio aerial type? Electronic any good?

Postby Owlsman » Sun Nov 24, 2019 7:44 pm

With a bit drier weather today I've finally been able to road test my newly installed radio/cassette player - complete with electronic aerial. I didn't venture too far from home - perhaps 5 miles or so - but the results i.e. radio reception, are very encouraging. A little fade here and there but no extraneous noises that would require suppressors. My car is fitted with an electronic fuel pump and the full Accuspark electronic ignition kit with carbon plug leads so this may be a positive contributory factor on that score.

Despite my rather derogatory reference to the 'Ray Smith' aerial earlier in this thread, I ended up buying one! Before doing so, I did message 2 separate eBay vendors of one each of the cheaper types (£4.95 and £3.99) to ask if they required a separate 12v feeds and what recommendations they had for location i.e. windscreen, rear window, parcel shelf etc. One vendor replied by copying and pasting exactly what was on the eBay listing and the other helpfully assured me in very pigeon English that ''can fit in truck booat (sic) and radio''. Ooooo Kaaaay! :roll: I think it's safe to assume that such vendors are just importers and/or wholesalers and as such, have no detailed knowledge whatsoever of what they are selling.

I had an on-line 'chat' with Ray Smith, whose website is exclusively related to ICE and whilst he is of course aware of the much cheaper 'competition' he maintained that the quality of the materials used in his coaxial was far superior. Yes, I know he would say that wouldn't he? Yet I figured that any businessman wouldn't knowingly market a product 7 times more expensive that his competitors unless he thought it was so much better. Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking the 'cheapies' as I'm sure they work for a lot of people, in lots of cars, in lots of areas - I am just reporting my experience for members to consider if they too want to go down the electronic aerial route.

For the record (and against Ray Smith's recommendation) I mounted the aerial at the base of the rear screen and earthed it securely to the metal rear parcel shelf. I even manged to feed everything behind the narrow trim strip at the base of the window. There was a perfect amount of coax to feed down the side of the rear seat and along and under the carpet and up behind the parcel shelf. R S's suggestion was to mount it behind the mirror on the windscreen but as the earth strap is only about 8'' long, where are you supposed to secure it to? My radio/cassette was fitted in a plastic mounting pod under the n/side glovebox with pod-type speakers at each end of the parcel shelf.

I know there's currently a thread running about the possibility of an 'AUX' ignition setting but I don't feel confident enough to do that anyway so I simply took a permanent live feed from the fuse box and using one of those 'wrap over' cable-splitters (incidentally, 1 of 3 supplied with the aerial), I took a feed, via an on/off switch, to the aerial. I can now listen to my new toy without burning the coil out! I did it with a separate aerial switch because so long as I remember to switch the radio and the aerial off when tucking her up for the night, there is nothing that can be drawing off the battery. It does make a massive difference, by the way, to the reception when the aerial is actually switched on. I don't seriously think though that a permanently live electronic aerial would be enough to flatten the battery...….but I didn't think that, last week, when accidentally overnight leaving the map-reading light on in my Jazz, would do that! Don't ask me how I know :(

Sorry to bang on at such length about a relatively trivial subject but if it helps someone in the future, which way to go, then it'll have been worthwhile. :D


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