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20s because size matters
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You guys must either live a poor area for radio signals or you did something wrong during your HU installs.
I have a Pioneer HU and while the reception isn't top notch it's not horrible, either.
There is no difference in radio reception with my aftermarket HIDs on or off.
I grounded my radio to the metal bar at the rear of the radio compartment.

I do not have a line filter on the power lead going into the radio or my amp.
My g/f SpecV's radio works fine. I have a stock H/U and never took the dash apart for anything. Only thing I have done that seems to affect it is my HIDs.

05/6 has the bar too. I also have poor reception and I'm grounded there.... FM reception is great , AM blows donk.
So you say you have poor reception but yet FM is great. What do you mean? Is the radio signals weak in your area, but radio works fine?

I just wanna see if there is a solution. I asked the dealer once and they just said the typical. "nothing wrong". It sucks because I use my Ipod through the radio and that has static also.
 

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Got Gas? Me Neither!
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car is 100% stock minus AT ground wires but they have been on for almost 2 years before reception decided to shit on me with defrost on
 

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car is 100% stock minus AT ground wires but they have been on for almost 2 years before reception decided to shit on me with defrost on
Sounds like you've developed a ground problem somewhere in either your radio or the defrost circuit.
My guess would be a bad ground in the radio circuit somewhere.
 

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how many of you have aftermarket tint on your back window??

this could be the problem for a few of you. It is mainly known to affect AM radio but sometimes can also affect the FM stations. When I tint a car with an In glass antenna we have to make sure and use special film w/ little metal in it to not interfere with the radio.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
yea i was thinkin that could possible be the prob too especially since i have 5% all around. but my dad has 15% and on his altima n doesnt have a reception prob.
 

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Supra Fan/Altima Driver
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My stock HU was great on all reception....I got radio stations on FM from other islands, I live on Oahu in Hawaii....After I got my Alpine HU I can't seem to just auto search for radio stations. I miss those that have strong reception a lot of the time.

Another thing is that when I adjust my mirrors when the radio is on I get horrible static. It only has static then and only then.

Some background info: I have 28% tint and had it when I had the stock HU, my stereo was installed professionally.
 

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I'm so old school
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Curious. Do you have HIDs? Are you unaffected if you do? I will have to try the ground thing, but not gonna pull the dash till I get a aftermarket H/U.
I have HID's, and the reception does not change when I have them on.
I don't get any static when using any other accessories. My windows are also tinted and have been since week 2 of owning the car.

And pretty much every aftermarket radio I've had has had worse AM reception than the factory unit it replaced. I only listen to one AM station (sports radio) from time to time, and as long as IT comes in decent, I don't worry about all the rest.
 

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'The Ref'
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This is a good thread. I installed my 2 DIN Pioneer HU in on Friday and the reception was AWFUL could not even pull in my fave radio station. (My work commute is all of 7 min so no ipod necessary)
All I did was plug in the harness pigtail that i used for my old Xterra (fits right in uses the same plugs) without changing a thing.

So I hooked up the 'Blue' antenna lead and Voila! worked like a charm. (The Xterra does not have a power ant, or a singal booster since it uses a real Mast antenna)

Thank you!
 

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OK so you plugged in the antenna... but just want to make sure you also plugged in the blue wire, which is for antenna power? We have a small signal booster but it has to be plugged in, blue to blue on the deck.
This may be an old thread, but I just came across it and I feel like an idiot. Not having a power antenna, I didn't bother hooking up the "power antenna" lead. I actually bought a window mount antenna w/booster because reception was so bad. Yesterday I hooked up my blue wire, inserted the factory antenna, and instantly had great reception. D'oH!!
Oh well, live and learn.
 

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Hey guys, I don't THINK I have the exact same issue, but I'm not sure.

I just got a handmedown altima from my wife (2003, 2.5 sedan) and she had an aftermarket pioneer head unit professionally installed from Best Buy.

I just junked my old 87 Maxima (thanks cashforclunkers) and pulled my DUAL head unit from it. The reception was working fine in the Maxima.

I used the same harness adapter that best buy used for the pioneer and just snipped all the wires off. I then used new connectors to attach to my head unit.

Now FM signal is just "ok" but AM reception is absolutely HORRID.

I get a SLIGHT ground loop whine (on AM only, not FM) and AM reception seems to have an electronics induced whine/static really bad. Note that this static can be heard on top of the ground loop whine. Two separate distinct sounds. If I put the ignition to ACCESSORIES only, most of the static goes away, as does the slight ground loop.

I noted other threads that said to make sure this adapter: Nissan Antenna Adapter OEM antenna to Motorola male Works in select 2007-up Infiniti and Nissan at Crutchfield.com has the blue wire hooked up.

It looks like my radio setup has an adapter SOMETHING like that, but not exactly. It has the motorola connector coming from a wire to the upper right of the dash, and a single thin wire going down to a huge wire bundle (that has a nice black tube wrapping on it). But the white connector detaches and only has the 1 wires going down. The motorola antenna plug is attached to the other side of the cable (I have to take a picture tonight).

I have no ground loop on any other inputs (FM radio, 3.5 AUX front input, or USB port input in the front).

What could be causing the interference in the AM antenna? I was able to whack the whole bundle early on and get the static to go away for maybe 2 seconds.

Again, the old pioneer HU had no issue with this setup.

Any ideas?
 

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Where is your radio grounded? I know that most Nissan's did not have an actual ground wire and would therefore either ground through the radio brackets (which are gone if you use a kit) or find ground through the antenna.
There should be a nice, big, metal brace behind your radio. Grab a self tapping screw and a ring terminal and try grounding your radio there instead of through the harness.
Almost any type of engine noise or whine is due to bad grounding. AM is not completely dependent on the antenna, but also on the chassis of the car, so grounds affect reception.
 

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Where is your radio grounded? I know that most Nissan's did not have an actual ground wire and would therefore either ground through the radio brackets (which are gone if you use a kit) or find ground through the antenna.
There should be a nice, big, metal brace behind your radio. Grab a self tapping screw and a ring terminal and try grounding your radio there instead of through the harness.
Almost any type of engine noise or whine is due to bad grounding. AM is not completely dependent on the antenna, but also on the chassis of the car, so grounds affect reception.
Thanks for the response. Its grounded only via the included wire harness / adapter that bestbuy used to wire up the original Pioneer HU.

I know the big metal brace you are talking about and can redo the ground into that with a self-tapper.

But would a bad ground effect AM reception so dramatically?
 

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But would a bad ground effect AM reception so dramatically?
In my experience, yes. AM's physics make it fall like rain, which is why you get bad reception under bridges, etc. FM is different and performs better on an antenna of 1/4 wavelength (33 1/3 inches).

So, an antenna helps FM reception more, whereas the body of the car helps AM reception more. A poor ground, whether at the antenna or at the radio, detriments the connection between the body of the car and AM tuning.

One way to tell for sure - reground that radio and let's find out. It can only help to ground it better anyway.
 

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Well I'll hopefully be able to try tonight (assuming I dont run out of daylight by the time I get home from work).

I'll report back my results.

EDIT: One last question for the moment: That metal bar that I'm going to use for the new ground. Is it safe to tap into it anywhere its exposed? Or should I be going to the left or right side, etc?
 

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Firday Misspeller
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Next trip to the junk yard get an antenna that's mounted on a fender. Temporarily connect it to your head unit and see if reception improves. If it does, either the RF amp that's mounted in the right rear window pillar is bad, or not getting power. OR if you got your rear window tinted, maybe the guy sliced the wire with his razor trimmer.
That happened to the rear defroster in my Camry. Part of the window would not defrost. They sell a copper paint for repairing the grid glued to the glass.
 

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Next trip to the junk yard get an antenna that's mounted on a fender. Temporarily connect it to your head unit and see if reception improves. If it does, either the RF amp that's mounted in the right rear window pillar is bad, or not getting power. OR if you got your rear window tinted, maybe the guy sliced the wire with his razor trimmer.
That happened to the rear defroster in my Camry. Part of the window would not defrost. They sell a copper paint for repairing the grid glued to the glass.
Also thanks for this option. I actually have a 7 dollar autozone standard whip antenna in my house so I can test it out with that when I get home.

The back window was not tinted so thats out.

I'm guessing its either going to be one of two things based on what I've read so far:

1) grounding
2) power isnt getting to the in-window antenna
 

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The antenna booster is located behind the right rear sail panel.
Remove the plastic panel to the right of the back window and you'll see the antenna amp mounted in there.
 

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that was dumb.
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mine doesn't exist. if I press scan, it goes through all the stations. stock bose headunit.

I do have a rear seat dvd player.. I think that it's related to that. I've unplugged, plugged.. everything, still no radio.

been like that since I got the car over a year ago.
 

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mine doesn't exist. if I press scan, it goes through all the stations. stock bose headunit.

I do have a rear seat dvd player.. I think that it's related to that. I've unplugged, plugged.. everything, still no radio.

been like that since I got the car over a year ago.
Sounds like when they installed the rear DVD player they cut the power feed to your antenna booster.
Open up the panel I mentioned in my previous post and see if you're getting power to the booster.
If not, just make sure the blue wire on the radio harness has switched power and you'll be good to go.
 
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