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Old 05-09-2012, 09:03 AM   #15
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Improved Radio Reception?

Originally Posted by Phoenix View Post
"Throughout the 60ís and 70ís, KOMA was the favorite of teens all across the western US. With the big 50,000-watt signal and the relatively few rock-n-roll radio stations across the plains, KOMA was the main station for the hits. KOMA (along with handful of other legendary stations including 890 WLS, Chicago; 1090 KAAY, Little Rock; 1060 WNOE, New Orleans; 770 WABC, New York; 800 CKLW, Windsor/Detroit; and 1100 WKYC, Cleveland) could be heard on car radios, in homes, and everywhere a kid could tune in. Often teens in New Mexico, Arizona, Wyoming, Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, and other western states would eagerly await sunset when the mighty 1520 would come booming through with the newest hits of the day. They would sit in their cars on hilltops, turn it up at parties, or fall asleep with the radio next to their beds as they listened to Chuck Berry, the Supremes, Paul Revere and the Raiders, and the Beatles. Soldiers in Viet Nam even reported tuning in KOMA to give them a little feeling of being back home.
I grew up listening to The Big 89 -- WLS in Kankakee, IL (about 60 miles South of Chicago). Much to my parents' chagrin, I had the middle button of every car radio setup to The Big 89. When we moved 300 miles South to the family farm near Carbondale, IL . . . life wasn't the same as The Big 89 could only be received after 10 PM in good weather. Trips to Chicago aren't as much fun since The Big 89 converted to an all-talk format.


Kevin D. Allen
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1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
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Old 05-10-2012, 12:07 AM   #16
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Wolfman Jack on XERA, he had a CA studio but the transmitter was in Mexico so it was, I think, about 100,000 watts or more. He had a great bit in American Graffiti, and I heard some rebroadcasts in the 60's. I was in Connecticut, listening to WABC: cousin Brucie, Dan Ingraham, and of course, Murray the K and the swingin' soiree, billing himself as the fifth Beatle. Jean Shepherd was also out of NYC on WOR, doing an hour of extemperaneous [sic] story-telling. (Jean created and narrated the "Christmas Story" movie.)

Cliff & Andrea,
2 cats, but they stay home
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Old 05-10-2012, 03:39 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by redwoodguy View Post
Odd as it is, I (still) like AM radio. Sometimes just to get the local "flavor" of a place. Sometimes to listen to news, etc. Anyway, in my trailer the reception is quite bad. I imagine there is a cool way to add a good AM antenna to an AS - somehow - isn't there?(Wishful thinking). Anyone have any recommendations? Found anything useful?

Have you looked at AM Antennas - C. Crane Company (800) 522-8863 AM Antennas ?

I have heard their antennas are good, but haven't sprung for one. I am a big am radio fan and have found the old 5 tube radio not only gives you a sence of nostalgia but also a better sound and ability to get those distant stations.

I just use the longest piece of wire I can hang (the extra in the coil just stays wrapped up at the end) and use an alligator clip to attach it to the current antenna.
Dave and Felicia
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Old 05-10-2012, 09:37 PM   #18
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Wow! Nice trip down memory lane guys! Loved reading that. I have done a couple things. I ordered a nice high quality loop antenna that i will try inside the trailer, and i have read up on using long wire diy antenna. I will report when iget them. I bought a new radio too--- the much touted Tecsun PL660. Big fun. And yes, there still is some life on AM (and on SW).
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Old 07-15-2012, 02:42 PM   #19
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I am also looking for improved AM and FM reception in our 04 Classic. Currently we have the supplied rubber aerial that is about 12 inches long. Reception with the stock Sony radio is OK but I believe one of the new short rubber aerials used on VW cars like the Beetle and also seen on Toyota Prius vehicles may help in the boonies. These angled whip aerials, at least the VW version, have RF (Radio Frequency) amplifiers in the squat base. They can amplify the RF signals by well over 10 dB (every 3 dB is a doubling of signal) to the radio.

You can see detailed drawings and mounting information by looking up a Hirschmann Hit Auta 16V Flex aerial part number 921 768-001 on Google. Usually Hirschmann and the part number will work for Google. I plan to swap my standard aerial once the weather cools off a bit. These are made in Germany and seen on many newer cars especially ones with the aerial mounted to the roof. The whip is 38 cm long or about 15 inches so a bit longer than the stock aerial but not enough to get caught on trees.

You'll note the added wire for providing +12V for powering the RF amplifier in the base of the aerial. That circuit draws less than 50 ma of current so could be left on all the time or, you could wire the amplifier power through the "+12 V amplifier turn-on" lead in the back of the radio.

Unfortunately all I have been able to locate places that sell these aerials are in Europe but have found a few places in the UK for about 60 pounds. I checked at the VW dealer and they want almost $200 for the whip and base. I'm sure examples of these could also be found in wrecking yards for considerably less money. Just make sure it has both the coax cable for the radio but also the wire lead used to power the amplifier as shown on the Hirschmann documentation. I can imagine some models may not be amplified and have no idea what Toyota is using on their cars or who made them.

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Old 07-16-2012, 04:35 PM   #20
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I've had some luck just making a 4- to 6-inch "flag" with foil wrapped around the straight antenna. Cheap -- easily replaced -- can be moved directionally -- and sometimes helps.
Dan & Liz H

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Old 09-22-2012, 08:22 PM   #21
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New AM-FM aerial

Just an update on installation of the Hirschmann 921 768-001 aerial on our 2004 Classic trailer.

Finally has been cooling off enough in the mornings to finish the replacement work for the rubber roof radio aerial. On our trailer you need to remove the Fantastic fan interior trim piece. I pulled off the vinyl trim that wraps around the roof. The trim fits into a track so easy to put back when the job is done. I had to drill out three rivets that hold the aluminum rail for the trim piece that is riveted to the roof support about six inches ahead of the Fantasic fan. That allows you enough access space between the interior foam roof material and the roof aluminum.

Removing the original aerial was easy, just unscrews and the base with the coax pulled out from the radio location. I attached strings on the old coax so I could pull the new coax down from the roof. I also installed a XM ariel while I had the space open. Wiring done, the worst part was to get my hands into the space between the roof and interior so I could secure the nut from the bottom. That done it was just a matter to connect the new cable and power wire for the aerial amplifier to the antenna power wire on the back of the existing radio.

So far, I have to say a huge improvement in station pulling ability on FM. I have not tried AM yet. Looking forward to remote camping and being able to receive distant stations.

I immediately picked up two stations from the bay area (San Francisco and Angwin) both over 75 miles away that I never received on this radio. KQED 88.5 the NPR station is 95 air miles away towards the SW. I also now get KDFC Classical at 89.9 which is a non-commercial station with 800 watts 75+ miles away towards the NE. Radio says the fringe reception stops at West Sacramento which is another 20+ miles away from my location. Our trailer is located on the NE side of our two-story house. So yes, I am impressed especially when KDFC is between two semi-local stations one located at 89.7 and the other at 90.1.

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Old 11-30-2013, 10:04 AM   #22
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Use an existing pass through near the refrigerator vent and mount a removable antenna there as well ...

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