Weak FM radio reception in 2010 Prius?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Audio and Electronics' started by Milo'sPrius, Sep 30, 2009.

  1. peterjmc

    peterjmc Ping pong in Ding Dang...

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    I've noticed degraded FM reception in areas where there I'm at the outskirts of the broadcast signal. I've also pinpointed the cause for my issues. I haven't taken it to the dealer yet. I've also had my NAV radio replaced and the same problem has happened with both radios.

    Cause:
    I have a charger for my cell phone installed in the arm rest power receptacle. When I plug my phone in the charger, the FM playback quality noticeably changes and is degraded vs when I don't have my phone plugged into the charger.
     
  2. xpcman

    xpcman Senior Member

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    That "shark fin antenna" will also degrade the radio reception.
     
  3. johalareewi

    johalareewi Member

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    FM band pass filter has arrived (see pic). It has standard car aerial connectors and will pass 80MHz to 120MHz. Installation is very easy if your head unit has a standard car aerial connector.

    This does mean it is not suitable for Europe where Toyota use a special connector (unless you have an aftermarket unit that has a standard car aerial socket).

    Will see how it performs over the next few days.

    If you need a different bandwidth, the guy who made it can possibly make a special if you contact him via the website. SPECTRUM COMMUNICATIONS
     

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  4. Joe166

    Joe166 New Member

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    I didn't find one bit of difference in reception when I installed my Shark Fin. The weak stations went out at almost the exact same location as before I put it on.

    I thought a couple of weak stations that I lost at a certain location on I-95 going north from Miami and going south on US-1 would be a fair test and in both directions I lost the weak signals within a quarter mile of the same location. Some a little farther, some a little closer.

    The strong stations came in fine with either antenna.
     
  5. rrg

    rrg Active Member

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    Any results from the new filter?

    Crossing fingers and toes it works.
     
  6. johalareewi

    johalareewi Member

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    The filter kind of works. With a decent signal, it works a treat. However, it also introduces a 2dB insertion loss which kills the FM signal in weak reception areas so there is nothing left to filter. :(
     
  7. johalareewi

    johalareewi Member

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    Have just swapped the stock aerial with one of these 40cm aerials. Very noticable improvement in FM reception already.

    40cm long Car Aerial Masts
     
  8. dhanson865

    dhanson865 Expert and Devil's advocate

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    Ironic, as the Gen II US Prius had a 40cm (16") mast and I switched it for a 10cm (4") for looks and the ever so slight possible fuel saving.

    http://priuschat.com/forums/gen-ii-prius-modifications/90527-cheap-shorty-antenna-works.html

    I would have expected you would need something even longer to get a big boost in signal.
     
  9. johalareewi

    johalareewi Member

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    Any boost is welcome and the 40cm bee sting was fairly cheap. Radio is now holding stations where it was losing them with the stock aerial. There is still room for improvement!
     
  10. pakitt

    pakitt Senior Member

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    Sono after getting my Prius and discovering that the radio wasn't performing good at all on the FM band, I installed a longer antenna from a friend's car. Absolutely no change.... :(
     
  11. comptutor

    comptutor New Member

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    Just found an old post saying that disconnecting (?) the XM receiver helped. Is that tested, or just anti-XM?
     
  12. johalareewi

    johalareewi Member

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    Strange that. Definite signal strength improvement with a longer aerial for me. I guess that comes under YMMV. I still get some interference so will try the filter again now I have a stronger signal.
     
  13. pakitt

    pakitt Senior Member

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    I tried the longer antenna and the shorter one driving very close to the sender's antenna, i.e. max signal - no audible change.
    As much as it might seem and for all the posts here, I don't believe the issues we have have to do solely on reception, rather on the incapability, due to faulty design, of the radio to reproduce correctly FM signals in case of fading, or maybe, poor EM immunity.
    The point is that my radio does the same buzzing and clicking sounds regardless of where I drive and what I am doing with the car. I even get changes in volume...
    The only time it works fine is when you are standing still.
     
  14. johalareewi

    johalareewi Member

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    I agree.
     
  15. rrg

    rrg Active Member

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    I have one more theory on this. With my new radio and I have tried filters, the reception still stinks so I can't blame the radio. The only thing I am leaning towards is the shielding on the wire run from the radio to the antenna.

    If I was brave person I would open the head liner and replace the wire with a shielded type and solder it to the antenna connections.

    Now with that said it might still not work because the antenna has two leads and guess what the ground gets attached back to the car body.

    The car is somehow adding the interference so adding a new wire is a long shot at best.

    my2cents.
     
  16. rmi

    rmi Junior Member

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    First post and just got my 2011 Prius II this weekend. Test drove the crap out of it on Saturday and "kind of" noticed some bad reception. However, on my drive to work today, I noticed that the reception was significantly worse than it was in my 2001 VW.

    I am going to try a portable radio plugged into the AUX jack. I have not made it through the whole 62 pages of experiments/solutions. Any other easy/cheap fixes? I have a the radio that comes on the base model.

    Only wanting to listen to NPR clearly- Ryan
     
  17. dtuite

    dtuite Silverback

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    A long time ago on this thread, I said I had unscrewed the antenna entirely and noticed no effect. Never saw a reply and I stopped reading the thread. Thought I'd ask again if anybody has tried the same thing.
     
  18. PaJa

    PaJa Senior member

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    The antenna/FM/AM signal wire is already shielded. The other wire is just 12V power for amplifier placed close to the roof antenna. Shielding this would not have an effect.
    Nobody (including factory) found the solution. We will see when 2012 revision on the market with Toyota Touch multimedia system. If FM reception improves, the reason is a design of FM radio in older revisions.
     
  19. johalareewi

    johalareewi Member

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    Tried that. I can still get some radio reception with no aerial, similar to the stock aerial. I also switched off the inline amplifier and got no radio reception at all. My current setup is OK with a chinese HU and longer aerial. Still get interference but not as bad as the stock system. I read somewhere the 2012 prius might have a second aerial (window mounted?) to provide a better signal/diversity. We will have to see.
     
  20. rmi

    rmi Junior Member

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    What longer mast did you use? A Gen 2? I took off the longer mast from my Beetle and (while sitting in the driveway) the reception didn't seem to improve.

    Thanks- Ryan
     
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