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Power antenna question

Posted by Dave_G 
April 25, 2009 11:14AM
In the years that I've had my E30, the power antenna has never worked. I replaced it with a simple fixed rubber antenna, but the reception was lousy, so now I've gone back to an original power antenna. It works fine, and the radio reception is 10 times better.

But I'm thinking that the wiring to my radio is messed up. The antenna raises as soon as I turn on the car, regardless of whether the radio is on, and doesn't go down until I turn off the car. I'm assuming it's supposed to go up only when the radio is on. Those of you with correctly working antennas, is this right? Does yours only go up when the radio is on? If so, I'll need to do some wiring troubleshooting.

__________
Dave
'91 325iX
April 25, 2009 11:23AM
The antenna is only supposed to go up if the unit is turned on. There is a white wire that is for the antenna and it should be hooked to the aux wire of your unit so it only goes up when on. It sounds to me that you have it hooked to the ignition wire. To be really ingenious it would be even better if the antenna only went up if listening to the radio and not a cd or ipod, but that would have to be done from the manufacturer of the unit, I think! I guess you could install a manual switch that would interrupt the power to the antenna and just flip it on if needed, but that might be too much of a pain.
April 25, 2009 07:31PM
Hi,

Yes like wodcutr says if it is wired to the stereo it'll only raise when the radio is turned on. And some head units are smart enough to lower the antenna when in CD/iPod mode, if you're ever looking to replace your stereo.

But don't buy a Sony! They need a custom tool to install/remove and their customer service is terrible IMHO (sorry, just had to get that off my chest)
April 25, 2009 08:28PM
yes, mine only goes up when it receives a signal from the head unit. my stereo is always in "AUX" or ipod mode, so the antenna never goes up.


April 26, 2009 02:31AM
Quote
nomis3613
Hi,

Yes like wodcutr says if it is wired to the stereo it'll only raise when the radio is turned on. And some head units are smart enough to lower the antenna when in CD/iPod mode, if you're ever looking to replace your stereo.

But don't buy a Sony! They need a custom tool to install/remove and their customer service is terrible IMHO (sorry, just had to get that off my chest)

Not that I am a big proponent of Sony Stereos, but they do make relatively cheap ones that are pretty good if you aren't too crazy about sound or to stick into a car you are selling. I replaced my Alpine with one when I sold my car (I wanted to keep the Alpine for future use) and I was pretty happy with it in the interim; especially at the price point. Nearly all stereos require a special removal tool; they are included in the box. If yours didn't come with them my guess would be that someone had opened the box at the store and removed them. I would imagine that a Best Buy or similar would probably have some spares that they would just give to you.
April 26, 2009 02:51AM
Quote
daniel
yes, mine only goes up when it receives a signal from the head unit. my stereo is always in "AUX" or ipod mode, so the antenna never goes up.

Lucky you! My antenna will go up as long as the head unit is turned on. It doesn't distinguish between AUX, CD, or Radio.
I wonder if this is a wiring problem, or purely a function of the head unit? Sounds like it's the head units problem...
April 26, 2009 03:44AM
It is in the head unit. Most head units have had this function for several years now. Generally there are two remote wires. Both are blue and one is always on (this one is for an amp) and the other is only powered with the radio function selected (this one is for the antenna). It might be worth checking your installation manual to see if there are two remote wires. If so, you may have connected the wrong one.
April 26, 2009 09:15AM
I'd like to have traffic reports when listening to a CD, so I'd want the antenna up as long as the unit is on.
Anyway, I don't need it, the previous owner of my car replaced the fixed chromed antenna with a fixed and shorter black one, which I really like, reception hasn't really changed.
April 26, 2009 10:44AM
Thanks for the help, everyone. I got it sorted out. It was in fact wired correctly, i.e. the blue.white wire from the head unit was connected to the white power antenna wire. But after shutting off power to the head unit completely and then reconnecting it, I discovered that it began working correctly, i.e. powering the antenna only when the stereo is on. It turns out that if I have the head unit set to always display the clock even when powered off, it still sends power through that blue wire. IOW, if the clock is on, the head unit thinks it is "on."

Obviously since it's sending the antenna up if the clock is even on, it also does the same thing with CD or iPod. This is a JVC, which I don't think I'll be recommending to anyone in the future. I don't like the user interface either.

At any rate, I'm keeping the clock display off now, and my antenna woes are over.

__________
Dave
'91 325iX
April 26, 2009 01:47PM
Quote
Dave_G
At any rate, I'm keeping the clock display off now, and my antenna woes are over.

good to hear!


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