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Old 04-29-2017, 10:08 AM   #1
Rivet Master
 
2017 30' Classic
Anna Maria , Florida
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AM Radio doesn't work.

I am completely stumped by the AM radio not working in our 2017 30' Classic.
FM reception is perfect. On the AM channels what we get is mostly loud static very limited voice. This problem exist with the built in Polk radio and any other radio I plug into a receptacle on the trailer.
What I know about radio signals and reception wouldn't fill a thimble. So I need some help understanding and hopefully solving the problem.
It will be a couple of months before we make it to JC for some warranty work.
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Old 04-29-2017, 11:38 AM   #2
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Are you sure there are even any AM radio stations in your area to pick up?
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Old 04-29-2017, 12:21 PM   #3
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I can't get my 8 track to work either.

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Old 04-30-2017, 11:42 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by overlander63 View Post
Are you sure there are even any AM radio stations in your area to pick up?
What! You guys a couple of wise guys.
I am in the Tampa Bay area with at least 20 AM stations not on Mount Everest.
The new Classic is parked in my driveway the same place our 30' International was in which I had no problem getting a perfectly clear AM reception for the last 4 years.
I find not getting a clear AM signal in the new Airstream real puzzling.
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Old 04-30-2017, 11:45 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by NoResults View Post
I can't get my 8 track to work either.

Dave
Maybe you should continue using your hand cranked RC Gramophone .
The 8 track could be to technical for you :-),
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Old 04-30-2017, 12:05 PM   #6
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Jackson Center probable forgot to plug the antenna in. I would pull out the manuals and check all connections.
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Old 04-30-2017, 12:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AWCHIEF View Post
Jackson Center probable forgot to plug the antenna in. I would pull out the manuals and check all connections.
The antenna connection would be my first check. AM requires a much 'longer' antenna than FM & FM can sometimes work 'OK' without one.
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Old 04-30-2017, 08:06 PM   #8
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Interferance on AM Radio

You did not mention if you are plugged into shore power or not. If you are plugged into shore power try unplugging the trailer from shore power and then trying your AM Radio. If it is ok on battery only then your have something in the trailer causing interference, most likely the 120 volt AC to 12 Volt DC converter/charger but could be anything. If the problem goes away when not on shore power then plug back in and go to the breaker box in the trailer and turn off each circuit one at a time to locate which circuit is causing the trouble. If unplugging from shore power does not help then look at the antenna connection.

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Old 04-30-2017, 08:19 PM   #9
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Why the negativity to am radio.? I listen to am often for sports and news.
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Old 04-30-2017, 08:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vich View Post
You did not mention if you are plugged into shore power or not. If you are plugged into shore power try unplugging the trailer from shore power and then trying your AM Radio. If it is ok on battery only then your have something in the trailer causing interference, most likely the 120 volt AC to 12 Volt DC converter/charger but could be anything. If the problem goes away when not on shore power then plug back in and go to the breaker box in the trailer and turn off each circuit one at a time to locate which circuit is causing the trouble. If unplugging from shore power does not help then look at the antenna connection.

Vic H
W7RKU
Both FM work fine.
Thanks for the advice. I will go through all as suggested and see if I can locate the problem. If not I will be taking it to JC sooner or later and will have them fix it.
Believe it or not so far this is to only obvious issue we have come across on this new trailer. Of course we haven't subjected it to any heavy use yet.
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Old 05-01-2017, 08:05 AM   #11
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I am surprised that new trailers still come with AM/FM radios. I have looked at several new trucks that have digital/satellite content devices only.
Seems that when on the road if nothing else you can always get at least one country AM station.
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Old 05-01-2017, 08:19 AM   #12
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Most of my listening is done on the AM band. Everybody has a different ear for what they like.

Aren't some AM antenna's located within the radio unit itself? This may be true for table top radios only......?

- I would check the antenna connection at the radio.
- Check the mount of the antenna - must have a good ground for good reception
- research the tuner, call their technical support
- maybe the tuner is bad?
- the antenna wire itself may have bad a connector (not installed correctly)
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Old 05-01-2017, 08:39 AM   #13
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The LED lighting wipes out AM radio reception on our 2017 FC 23FB. Lights out, AM radio works fine. FM not affected by the LED lights.
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Old 05-02-2017, 08:06 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Motown View Post
The LED lighting wipes out AM radio reception on our 2017 FC 23FB. Lights out, AM radio works fine. FM not affected by the LED lights.
I had LED lights in our previous 2013 30' International and the AM reception was fine. What puzzles me at no end is that it isn't just the built in Polk radio that gets a serious static interference with the AM reception. I experimented with my stand alone portable radio. I had it plugged into a 110 receptacle on the trailer and I was getting very poor reception wit a whole lot of static. I than turned it on powered by its batteries only, unplugged from the 110 outlet. Same heavy static interference. I also suspected the LED lights and turned them off, no difference. Outside of the trailer no problem the reception is clear as a bell.
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Old 05-02-2017, 08:25 AM   #15
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Have you tried turning off your inverter? They've been known to cause interference. Mine doesn't, but the one in my SOB popup does.
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Old 05-02-2017, 08:52 AM   #16
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AM signals

Its probably that noisy converter in the AS under the couch that charges your batteries and converts 110ac into 12volts DC for the water pump and LED's and anything else that runs on DC. That converter throws out a lot of RF interference. It is not shielded very well either.
Like Vich says unplugging from AC/shore-power can help, but the converters still emits some noise, and those LED lights emit RF interference.

That's why the radio works good outside the AS. The aluminum skin is a big shield keeping all those RF noises inside. Vice-versa too, the aluminum skin keeps everything RF outside the AS.
The reason you don't hear it on FM, that is a much higher frequency. That is why FM is clearer and you don't generally hear power lines or lightning.

AM is a lower frequency, you hear lightning, but that's ok, its almost like a early warning system. AM RF waves travel further and are not line of sight to the transmitter like FM.

I notice you mention 'PolK' radio. In my 2014 model, the standard radio was a Sony, AM/FM. The antenna wire is just like an automobile, coax, with the antenna signal wire in the middle shielded by braided ground in a plastic coated wire that goes to the rubber ducky antenna on the front of the AS.
If FM works seems like should also, as AM uses the same antenna. Its not perfect for either, but it should pick up local AM stations.
Interesting that yours doesn't pick up local AM. Should be the same antenna and if FM works, AM should also.
I wonder if the newer four stage converters are shielded more? I wonder if you built a copper screen Faraday cage, around that converter, if it would stop the RF interference enough to have a Ham or CB radio in the AS ? Good lord that would drive wifee crazy !

Back 30 or more years ago, AM radio was really diverse and stations reflected the flavor of the region where they were located. It was cool to listen to AM late at night to stations all over the U.S. and Canada.

Not some much these days, syndicated programs are transmitted from many stations, so they all sound alike.
Every now and then you hit a good local station that is still blazing its own way. I do miss good radio.

Have them swap the antenna and test the radio @ Jackson Center and see if it makes a difference. Or if easier swap the radio and see if it receives better.
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Old 05-02-2017, 08:56 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franklyfrank View Post
I am completely stumped by the AM radio not working in our 2017 30' Classic.
FM reception is perfect. On the AM channels what we get is mostly loud static very limited voice. This problem exist with the built in Polk radio and any other radio I plug into a receptacle on the trailer.
What I know about radio signals and reception wouldn't fill a thimble. So I need some help understanding and hopefully solving the problem.
It will be a couple of months before we make it to JC for some warranty work.
MYSTERY SOLVED !
Per orders from above, today I decided to install some "Honey Do" items on the trailer. Not wanting to miss Rushe's rantings I decided to try my Sony Walkman while working. I had the ear pieces in and I was getting pretty much the same heavy static. However I noticed walking around that in some areas the static was less loud than others. With a bit of experimentation I found that the static interference grew louder in areas where the new Firefly Control panels where mounted . Instinctively I moved the radio closer to one of the panels and sure enough the closer I got the stronger and louder the static grew. Holding the Walkman right next to the panel I toggled back and forth from AM to FM, and FM was clear as a bell the AM was pure static.
So now I have have find out if there is a way to alleviate this problem. If not I will have to sit outside a ways away from the trailer to listen to AM, what a bummer. I will be firing of an email to JC.
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Old 05-03-2017, 09:10 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Motown View Post
Have you tried turning off your inverter? They've been known to cause interference. Mine doesn't, but the one in my SOB popup does.
I haven't tried any corrective measures yet hoping to shed some more light on this. However I did contact Airstream and was informed that not much can be done about it, it is the nature of the beast and it was suggested that I listen to AM on line. At least they responded.
Having an obsessive personality I will most likely not be able accept the status quo and will continue work on this until I solve it.
Thank's for the input everyone.
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Old 05-03-2017, 11:00 AM   #19
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What is the Firefly control panel?

Kelvin
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Old 05-03-2017, 12:24 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by KJRitchie View Post
What is the Firefly control panel?

Kelvin
touch screen light switches and control panels that are in the newer models

https://oursomedayisnow.com/theres-firefly-airstream/
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