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Old 03-23-2010, 01:23 PM   #26
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 25837
Join Date: Oct 2002
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: Atlanta, GA
1996 SVX L AWD
Laguna Blue Pearl


Here's qoncept's picture from post #1 that I saved (for my 'Stock HU info' thread).

The antenna booster amplifier is the box with the "L" sticker. The red arrow points to where the antenna lead connects to the glass foil:

(click to see larger version)
The black wire coming in from above is the coax antenna wire from the radio. The red wire is the +12V coming from the radio. Ground for the amp is via the bolt to the chassis.

The first things to check are:
  • Whether the booster amp is still getting +12V (from the power antenna line coming from pin 14 on the radio harness) -- check the wire as close as possible to the booster.
  • Whether the antenna coax wire is good between the radio and the input to the booster -- unplug both ends and test with an ohm meter
If those are both good, you can try disconnecting the booster's output from the glass foil, and see if your reception improves like it did for qoncept. You could then try connecting a spare wire to the booster's output and hanging it out through the rear door.

Another common problem with Imprezas is that the glass foil can get cut. Usually the symptom is noise when you run the rear defroster. But I imagine if the foil got cut too close to where it's fed from the booster, you might get very poor reception all the time.

Search for other threads -- people have had problems with everything in the path -- ranging from the control output of the radio being blown, to breaks in the power and coax wiring, to a bad booster itself. And using metallic tint, of course.
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Old 03-24-2010, 08:44 AM   #27
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 187709
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Buffalo, NY
2013 WRX


Thanks a lot dude! Thats what I needed! I have a carputer with aftermarket HU installed and I did know to run +12v to the antenna amp. But I just hard wired it in so when the accessory is on so is my antenna booster, regardless of radio operation. I dont think this would cause a problem though.

I do have tint on all windows.. I had bad reception with another HU so Im betting its the tint. I'll find out real soon though!
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Old 05-10-2010, 02:45 PM   #28
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 187709
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Buffalo, NY
2013 WRX


Well its a while later but I finally tore my car apart and tested this stuff..

Booster IS getting +12 volts on key power. Tested with Ampmeter right at the plug in front of it.

With the radio on - my reception gets worse if I unplug the booster power, OR unplug the boosters hookup to the rear window. I tried sticking a indoor stereo antenna into the boosters input and this worked WORSE than leaving the booster unplugged from the window entirely! So I know the booster has power, and I know the rear window antenna is at least working some what, I do get some radio reception but its much worse than it should be. Heres some history:

Last radio was a Directed HD radio unit. Reception was bad.

Radio before that was a pioneer avic F700bt - this got a great reception.

Stock radio had a great reception also.

So now I'm not sure what the problem could be... maybe its some of the wiring in my dash? Currently I am using an extension cable provided by Directed that allows my current head unit to be mounted on the clock pod. Maybe this extension cable is causing the signal break down? How could I verify this cable is not the problem? (Keep in mind my headunit will not reach the stock antenna hook up in its current location..)
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