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Old 10-17-2009, 08:25 PM   #1
SkylineR35GTRx
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Default Radio reception is worse after installing aftermarket head unit. Help please!

Hey everyone,

So I installed an Alpine CDA-9886 in my 2005 STi recently. I noticed some radio stations get more static, and I get worse reception. I know for sure my antenna has less range now.

I know this because two radio stations from my home town is clear when listening to it from my college town about 80 miles away with the stock unit. Now with the new head unit, one station is very static-y, and the other I can't even get a clear signal.

Does putting in a new head unit suppose to change how well it can receive some stations?

I double checked the antenna connection and the wiring for the antenna and it looks ok. The thing is, the antenna connection does not sit flush with the receiver on the Alpine. I can still see like 1/4th of an inch of silver metal sticking out. I tried pushing the two connections together as tight as I could, and it does not go in any further. I will try to get a picture of this soon. Any help is greatly appreciated!
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Old 10-17-2009, 08:35 PM   #2
rabbit_ears
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did you hook up the power antenna lead? Subarus have a signal amplifier for the antenna that requires power. If you didn't hook up the power antenna lead it's not getting power and you're not getting radio reception
Found this out by trial and error when i did the same thing. good news it's an easy fix, if in fact this is your problem.
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Old 10-18-2009, 01:21 AM   #3
weshole
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbit_ears View Post
did you hook up the power antenna lead? Subarus have a signal amplifier for the antenna that requires power. If you didn't hook up the power antenna lead it's not getting power and you're not getting radio reception
Found this out by trial and error when i did the same thing. good news it's an easy fix, if in fact this is your problem.

That's the exact thing I found out by installing an aftermarket dvd in my friends Sti. Wish I had known when I first installed it though.
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Old 10-25-2009, 02:21 AM   #4
SkylineR35GTRx
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Hey guys,

Thanks for the suggestion. At first read I actually thought this was the problem. When I read Power Antenna, for some reason I thought htey were talking about the antenna's that automatically goes up and down when the car is started/turned off. Anyways, I thought this was the problem but when I was unscrewing the cover, I realized I actually had crimped this wire together as a test crimp because this was my first time doing it. I thought maybe my crimping was bad so I recrimped this wire, and checked all connections again. Well, the problem still persists. For some reason it is not getting as good of a signal, and it's actually pretty bad..the signal. Some stations I usually get are a has a bit of static.

I am thinking maybe...the crimp connections aren't good enough to supply the power to the antenna, and maybe even the 12 volt wire aren't wired as well as it could. Should I try soldering the wires together and maybe this will give the wires a better connection and solve the problem?

Here is the picture of the antenna connection. There is a bare metal part that doesn't sit flush with the sleeve. I'm not sure if this is the problem because when I plugged it in as tight as I could, this is what it looks like. Anyone with an Alpine 9886, can you tell me if this is what yours look like? Thank you.

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Old 10-25-2009, 08:59 AM   #5
C89ZX7R
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Did you hook 12 volts to the antenna wire? Your suppose to take the remote wire from the deck and hook it to the blue wire on the factory harness plug which will power the antenna amp located in the "C"-Pillar.
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Old 10-25-2009, 11:23 AM   #6
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12v is generally 12v... the antenna amp isn't a high current draw item so unless the wires are corroded a crimp will be as good as a solder joint for the most part. Seat the antenna connector as well as you can into the connector, it probably won't go in all the way, generally no worries.

Did you tint the back window?

I have seen in the past where the aftermarket radio didn't get as good of reception as the factory deck... and I've seen vice versa... 80 miles is a long way to reach out for a radio station, particularily FM.
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Old 10-25-2009, 01:07 PM   #7
hookedontronics
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pretty common problem, get sirius or xm
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Old 10-26-2009, 12:55 AM   #8
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Same problem with my Alpine unit. All wires hooked up, just bad reception. Havnt listened to the radio in a year and a half which sucks, but oh well.
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Old 11-21-2009, 05:10 AM   #9
Chainsaw_Willie
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Resurrecting this thread to get a little more info.

My '06 came with an Alpine CDA 9856 in it. Radio reception totally blows, I can hardly get anything in, even the strongest local stations have static in them most of the time.

Pretty sure the power antenna lead isn't hooked up to anything as I don't remember seeing it connected when I pulled the head unit out to connect the RCA cables for the amps. There's a power antenna lead and an amplifier turn-on lead that are both blue. The amp lead is, of course, connected to my amps to turn them on. What should the power antenna lead be connected to on the factory wiring harness? What color is the wire I'm looking for and where is it located? A picture would be even better.

Thanks!
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Old 11-21-2009, 11:24 AM   #10
Aaron'z 2.5RS
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Power antenna is usually blue with a white stripe..out of the HU, i'm not 100% what the car is, but I bet it's up in the sticky at the top of the section..
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Old 11-21-2009, 06:50 PM   #11
Chainsaw_Willie
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Just to update with a success story. Pulled out the HU and sure enough, the power antenna lead was not connected. Got that hooked up and radio reception is dramatically better. Seek works on the HU now, before it would just scan continuously, never picking up a station. Now it stops on all the normal stations and the stations I listen to regularly are much cleaner and have far less static.

Thanks for the tip on the 10 minute fix! I had no idea there was an antenna amplifier in these cars. Even went to Car Toys and told them I was having problems and they wanted to charge me a bunch of $$ to install an aftermarket antenna in the headliner.
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Old 11-22-2009, 10:36 AM   #12
Badmunky
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Every head unite has a listing for how well it will pick up radio signal. Im guessing that your radio like mine dose not have a strong receiver in it.

Later.
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Old 11-22-2009, 11:02 AM   #13
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No, he didn't hook up the power antenna lead as has been discussed throughout this and countless other threads.
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Old 11-23-2009, 11:10 AM   #14
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Wow, i've been frustrated since I installed my nav unit about a month ago, I like to listen to the local morning talk show on my way to work and the reception sucks, and cuts in and out a lot. I know for a fact I did not connect the power antenna wire, I too thought it was for one of those antennas that go up and down when the car is on/off.

I will rip it apart tomorrow and connect the power antenna wire to the 12v lead and see if that helps.
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Old 11-23-2009, 11:41 AM   #15
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You need power, +12v, to amplify the signal. If you used
a Metra plug this would be obvious.
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Old 11-23-2009, 03:42 PM   #16
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i installed a cda 9883 this weekend and am having the same trouble... i appreciate the thread, thanks!
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Old 03-24-2013, 06:50 PM   #17
rallytim888
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Sorry to resurrect this oldie, but this just saved my day!! Plus 926,393,263 for connecting the power ant to the good old yellow 12v!
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Old 03-24-2013, 07:10 PM   #18
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Do not connect it to the yellow. The yellow in the harness is constant 12volts. You are now powering the antenna at all time and it WILL drain your battery. You need to connect it to the power antenna or remote output from the radio (blue/white or blue). If you do not have either of those then connect it to the red switched 12v wire.
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Old 03-24-2013, 07:32 PM   #19
rallytim888
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Wow, thanks for the heads up. Makes sense now that I think about it but I was just so happy it worked, I didn't think about the fact that its constant. Thanks again!
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Old 03-24-2013, 09:00 PM   #20
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No need to resurrect this ancient thread when the info is in the stickies.
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