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Old 09-03-2007, 10:40 AM   #1
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Sony Radio Reception

I own a 2006 Safari LS 23 footer. The Sony radio plays CD's flawlessly and the sound is great. AM and FM reception in town is the BEST.

Drive out of an urban environment I have poor or no reception. Yes. I have played with the local on/off and stereo mono and maybe I should put some tin foil on the antenna? My car radio will receive a station and I will run the number onto the Airstream radio and it may or may not be a strong enough signal. I have been using a portable radio outside the trailer and come in and see if the Sony will be able to receive the signal. Most likely, not.

Has anyone tried add a taller antenna. If so, where can I get one? I camp in locations that are high and clear of obstacles, but expect a better option with AM reception at night and it would be nice to avoid going up and down the frequency hoping something turns up.
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Old 09-03-2007, 10:47 AM   #2
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I have that problem now, our antenna is bad. Have you checked to see if yours is plugged in?
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Old 09-03-2007, 10:57 AM   #3
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Not sure how your antenna mounts - ours is a ball mount on the side. Replaced it with an antenna from Advance Auto Parts with an AM boster coil on the shaft - kinda of a copper looking coil. It works great. I'm sitting in a low area but able to pick up AM at night from St. Louis, NY, Richmond, Atlanta, etc.
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Old 09-03-2007, 12:12 PM   #4
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Excellent point

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ganglin
Not sure how your antenna mounts ...
Gary raised an excellent point. I might have some information to share, but its usefulness depends on where the antenna is mounted.

Where does Airstream put antennas nowadays?

Tom
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Old 09-03-2007, 01:45 PM   #5
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New trailers have the antennas top and center forward of the first roof fan. They are a foot long whip type antenna.

Ray, my recpetion is poor with my Sony as well.
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Old 09-03-2007, 02:00 PM   #6
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RF is NOT my strong suit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Westfalia
... They are a foot long whip type antenna. ...
A ham radio operator can fill in the blanks, but the optimum length for an FM radio antenna is 29.92 inches. And, the antenna needs to be perpendicular to a reflector for best reception. The higher the 29.92 inches is, the better.

Airstream skin counts as a reflector.

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Old 09-03-2007, 02:50 PM   #7
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I have the same issues, Ray. In addition to weak reception, I often have a lot of interference which isn't present in my pickup radio. When camping in a relatively remote area, I often can not receive any stations at all on AM or FM. In the city it works just fine.

It would be great to discover an easy fix to this issue.
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Old 09-03-2007, 03:04 PM   #8
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It may just be your radio...We have 3 fairly new automotive/marine 12 volt radios, and of the 3 the sony has the worst long range reception..We have a Pyle marine/weather band am/fm in our Airstream and its the best of the 3. The pioneer is the next best....But the old original AM radio in our 78 datsun pickup is far superior for long range AM reception than any of the new digitally tuned recievers.
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Old 09-03-2007, 03:10 PM   #9
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The antenna is located, as earlier described correctly, up front behind the vent on top. It is about 12 inches tall, maybe a bit less. The antenna appears to screw on, like the one I found on the road last month... I don't think I need the 6 foot whip on top (my CB days), but maybe a car antenna will work.

My portable radio will not work inside as the Airstream does keep any signals from getting through the walls. Our cell phone does not have that problem, though. Sure is nice for local weather reports and news. Now I use a week old newspaper and make up next weeks' forecast.
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Old 09-03-2007, 05:00 PM   #10
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I installed a new antenna this afternoon. If yours unscrews from the base, you can get a mast from an auto parts store for about $5, and screw it onto the base. I put ours on the side of our coach, it is easier to extend and retract there. You can get one that you can partially lay down so it will be the 30" or so that Tom suggests without being 13' in the air.
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Old 09-03-2007, 06:28 PM   #11
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Our Sony's reception is dismal as well. Ergonomics on the Sony is also the worst I have ever seen on a consumer product.

However, since I installed a satelite radio the Sony's lousy reception is no longer an issue.
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Old 09-04-2007, 09:21 AM   #12
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And I thought my antenna was disconnected, I checked and it is not. Now I see I am not alone with this problem. Does anyone know of an antenna that I can just screw into the same connection as the existing one?

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Old 09-04-2007, 11:28 PM   #13
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Radio Reception / Check your Mast.

Hi, When I first bought my trailer, my antenna was loose. Before I got it home the antenna was laying on the roof. There is a half ball type joint near the base of the antenna. Half the ball is on the roof mount and half the ball is on the mast; And it is joined together with an allen head bolt. I wondered why and how it got loose until one day I tied to turn my television antenna without raising it all the way up. The television antenna pushed the radio antenna over causing the allen bolt to come loose. Now everytime I travel to a new location I have to re-read the operator's manual to set my radio for best local reception. My radio seems to work well after doing this, But for the rest of you with the same type antenna that I have, I would recommend going onto the roof with a set of allen wrenches and makeing sure the mast is tight. [loose mast = poor reception]
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Old 09-05-2007, 12:24 AM   #14
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ROBERTSUNRUS - Thanks. I will check that.

Just to confirm is your radio also a Sony?

Thanks

jd

Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS
Hi, When I first bought my trailer, my antenna was loose. Before I got it home the antenna was laying on the roof. There is a half ball type joint near the base of the antenna. Half the ball is on the roof mount and half the ball is on the mast; And it is joined together with an allen head bolt. I wondered why and how it got loose until one day I tied to turn my television antenna without raising it all the way up. The television antenna pushed the radio antenna over causing the allen bolt to come loose. Now everytime I travel to a new location I have to re-read the operator's manual to set my radio for best local reception. My radio seems to work well after doing this, But for the rest of you with the same type antenna that I have, I would recommend going onto the roof with a set of allen wrenches and makeing sure the mast is tight. [loose mast = poor reception]
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Old 09-05-2007, 10:51 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDL
ROBERTSUNRUS - Thanks. I will check that.

Just to confirm is your radio also a Sony?

Thanks

jd
Hi, yes my radio is a Sony.
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Old 09-10-2007, 03:18 AM   #16
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Well...

I checked all the antenna connections. I double checked that the allen set screw on top was tight. It is. Checked the connection on the back of the radio.

Still get lousy reception..

Looks like its the Sony...

Anybody replaced their Sony with something better? Pioneer? Kenwood? All suggestions welcome....

Thanks


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Old 09-10-2007, 06:25 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDL


Anybody replaced their Sony with something better? Pioneer? Kenwood? All suggestions welcome....

Thanks


I've had very good luck with JVC, but the current radio is a Clarion, with the aux inputs for the DVD player. Works very well.
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Old 09-14-2007, 06:51 PM   #18
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Replaced 12" Sony Antenna Mast with 31"

I looked through the variety of "antenna masts" at Checker Auto Parts today. I settled on CK-RM22B, Metra Replacement Antenna Mast (GM/Ford/Chrysler/Japanese Cars). Price $13.99. Length about 31".

Step 1: Take off the 12" black Sony antenna. Easy. The antenna is mounted with a fine threaded philips head screw, compression spring and the black Sony antenna screws down, compressing the spring. This can be done by hand, but if yours is resisting, use a pliers and unscrew. I call it a Sony antenna, but I have no clue who supplies it to attach to my Sony system...

Step 2: There are three combinations of connections that can be used with the Checker antenna package. Two are not even close. One will work. It threads perfectly into the 31" antenna, of course. The threaded side that would screw into the mount on the Airstream roof is a coarse thread, but the same diameter. The original antenna "philips screw" is a fine thread on the Sony antenna...

Step 3: You will need two "monkey wrenches". One to tighten the antenna and the second to hold the mount on the roof that remains when the Sony antenna is removed.

Step 4: The coarse thread will screw into the fine thread mount, but you are also damaging the threads as you tighten the antenna. It screws in nice and tight with minor effort.

Before I did step 4, I made sure I was getting AM and FM reception. I was getting great reception and the reception on my Sony radio was clear and sharp in the AS. No better or worse than the 12" antenna, since I was not swapping them back and forth to compare. The nice reception of AM and FM I expected, since we were in Denver and using local stations. The ultimate test will be when we are in some remote area trying to get AM radio reception, that my truck gets with no effort. Since the reception was fine with the new antenna, I torqued the mount and antenna connector. Enough to be stable, but not where I was pulling threads from the fine threaded mid section and lower threaded mount... in the event I have to back everything out and need to run a new thread to replace the Sony 12" antenna.

After snugging the mount on the AS roof and new 31" antenna, I globbed some Dicor Lap Sealant onto the connection. When it cures it would prevent something backing out... OK, I might be dreaming, but the Lap Sealant was handy.

I will report my distance AM reception when I am able to test this 31" antenna. Of course now the antenna extends 19"+ higher over the top of the AS. The antenna is very flexible, will not break if you "whack" some low hanging branch or low flying aircraft in your area. I am comfortable that the new antenna and expect this antenna to be a great improvement to AM radio reception when Rockdocking the Rockies...
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Old 10-11-2007, 10:14 PM   #19
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I have a quick question regarding the Sony radio. How does one change radio stations without using the "seek" function? I do not have a user manual with my unit.
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Old 10-12-2007, 12:20 AM   #20
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gaylejoe,

Push and hold the seek button. Either right or left. Once it beeps it will allow you move a step at a time in either direction. However, it will only stay in this mode for about 1 second. Once you stop moving stations it will go back to seek.

It is a very poor design. Anything Sony is off my list of things to buy...



Quote:
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I have a quick question regarding the Sony radio. How does one change radio stations without using the "seek" function? I do not have a user manual with my unit.
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