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No FM on aftermarket stereo


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I just replaced my original stereo with a pioneer 4100nex. I installed with a most box but when I plugged in the antenna with the pigtail that came with the installation kit I get next to zero stations. Is there a wire needed to power the antenna booster that is in the car?

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Sometimes the radio comes from the box set in a different frequency code than what is used in your area. It is almost as if it searches "in between" the known and available frequencies. If you look in the manual, or online, you will find the correct sequence to change that to the other frequency setting...sometimes by pressing the FM button with another one for 5 seconds or so. Have a look, it might do the trick. Neels


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I don't think that a booster will help a zero station problem. You probably have a faulty antenna connection somewhere. You can test this easily with an FM modulator connected to an MP3 player or any other source. Here are some steps: 

1. Obtain an FM modulator- any cheap model from the "phone accessory rack" will work. Since you are receiving very few stations, you can tune it to any frequency.

2. Launch some content on the player and verify that you are transmitting by testing on a "good" radio install

3. Take the setup to the problem car and move the transmitter close to your windshield antenna, then close to the head unit.

4.  You should hear a substantial volume gain when you move the test setup up to the windshield, like when you move it close to the head unit.

If you hear no difference, then you have a bad connection somewhere. You can use the test setup as a signal tracer to help locate the problem.

 

Modern day head units are far less sensitive than old school radios were so they will never perform like an old Pioneer SuperTuner or other hi-perf old radio. . Current radios use PLL (phase lock loop) RF chips that can be tuned from low frequencies all the way up to microwave. The SmartPhone explosion provided this inexpensive PLL technology. However, these chips don't compare in performance to an RF section that uses discrete components combined with a design that is tailored to a specific band such as FM's 88-108 mhz spectrum.

A quick note on Boosters: they range dramatically in terms of cost and functionality. Some have a single transistor that will amplify noise and multipath along with the valid signal. Others are multi-stage and incorporate filters.

I would double-check everything first prior to trying a booster.

Hope this helps.Jerry Prado

 

Edited by Jerry Prado
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Thanks for the input. I had great signal with the factory stereo but now nothing. I tried 2 separate powered boosters. Both did better when holding in my hand than when it was plugged into the black antenna cord. I just had my front cowl? Not sure if that is the name of it, but It is the piece under the wiper arms. I think that is where the antenna connects to the windshield maybe they knocked it off. I was thinking about just running a "hidden" antenna under that same piece to have an antenna but there are mixed reviews on the product

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