Car antennas & Radios

Tue May 11 14:29:42 EDT 2010

Thanks to a low dial position and a site on an island (Pleasure Beach
Island) in Long Island Sound, WICC has a killer signal in a lot of New
York City. I grew up in an apartment in the northwest Bronx (the side
of the Bronx that's about seven miles from the Sound). I listened to
WICC all the time. Obviously, it didn't come in like 660 or 880, but
the reception was just fine. In Connecticut itself, I would say that
WICC has the second best AM signal in the state, after 50-kW WTIC.
I've picked up WICC clearly on a car radio in the parking lot at
Tanglewood, which must be about 100 miles from Bridgeport, in a region
of very poor soil conductivity.

Dan Strassberg (
eFax 1-707-215-6367

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Mark Casey" <>
To: "Sid Schweiger" <>;
Sent: Tuesday, May 11, 2010 2:10 PM
Subject: Re: Car antennas & Radios

> The further away from the metal body the antenna is located, the
> better it
> works. And, with most folks listen mostly to local FM and maybe a
> couple of
> the strongest AM stations, the short antennas on the roof seem to
> work
> fairly well.
> If you really want to get some improvement in AM reception, add an
> extension
> to a cowl mounted antenna. On my 2006 F250, I've added about 3 ft,
> and the
> AM has really improved with no discernable detriment to the FM side.
> The
> total antenna length is about 5-6'. Been doing this for years. I
> took the
> 24" rooftop antenna on my Ford Focus wagon and replaced it with a
> 40"
> whip--again, a big improvement on AM, and some improvement on FM.
> (Recently
> listenened to 1000 watt WICC, 600, Bridgeport from just outside of
> New York
> City right up to Hartford before the buzzing started) Technically,
> with the
> longer antenna, (unless it is increased to 90-95") the FM reception
> might be
> out of phase at some points, but in reality, with the haphazard way
> the
> 88-108 MHz waves are being recieved by the original antenna, they
> are rarely
> matched to the antenna anyway. And, the larger capture area greatly
> improves
> reception of the long AM waves, and, in some cases,  the increased
> capture
> area improves FM reception also.
> As far as radios go, you might be able to look at the receive specs
> and get
> an idea of a good aftermarket radio. But, I was dissapointed with a
> new
> Blaupunkt's reception a few years ago, though the sound quality was
> good on
> both AM & FM.
> The old radios were a mixed bag. A few AC-Delco's were pretty good,
> but most
> of the ones I had were lousy (61 Chevy, 64 Chevy, 66 Buick, 67
> Pontiac, 68
> C-10 pickup, etc.). The Ford radios, as a group, have generally been
> much
> better. The recent Ford radios have been pretty decent. Car radios
> as a
> group, on AM broadcast, however, have not really improved in a long
> time. My
> 1939 Ford Coupe in-dash tube radio was as good a receiver on AM as
> anything
> made today, and sounded better than just about any other AM car
> radio I've
> ever had.
> Like Sid described, In the 80's I made a car radio into a workshop
> radio,
> running off a car battery and charger. It was the only way to
> receive a
> clean daytime signal from WHN 1050, New York City, then the top
> country
> station  in the US, in Ludlow, Mass. I also used a very long metal
> car
> antenna with a metal extension.
> The problem with using a junkyard car radio now, is hooking it up,
> which
> probably can be done, but not as easily as it used to be.
> Mark Casey, K1MAP
> near Springfield, MA
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Sid Schweiger" <>
> To: ""
> <>
> Sent: Tuesday, May 11, 2010 7:22 AM
> Subject: RE: Car antennas
> "Does anyone know of a good after-market AM radio and/or antenna I
> should
> consider?"
> Anything AC/Delco made, about 30-40 years ago.
> In all seriousness.  Those were the last really good AM car radios
> made.  I
> know of at least one station that used one as an air monitor.  I
> know of an
> engineer who built one into an old lunchbox along with some 12v
> batteries
> and a whip antenna and had himself a really nice portable.
> The down-side is:  The AM noise floor is much higher than it used to
> be.  If
> the electronics in the car don't get you, the minimally-filtered
> switching
> power supplies in computers, LED traffic signals and elsewhere will,
> not to
> mention AM stations running HD which will fill that nice wide
> bandwidth with
> digital hash.
> If you're up for it, start looking in junkyards.  You can usually
> pick one
> up for a low price.
> Sid Schweiger
> IT Manager, Entercom New England
> 20 Guest St / 3d Floor
> Brighton MA  02135-2040

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