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Rubbish radio reception Ford Focus

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Tony Read 206/03/2017 13:54:36
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Hi all,

My faithful Astra was put out to pasture at 200,000 miles and I went for a second hand Focus. Have worked through most of its problems now apart from its rubbish radio reception. Apart from a couple of stations I mostly hear static.

I have cleaned up the aerial base connections but its still the same. It might still be a bad earth so I was thinking of running a wire to a convenient earth and found what might be an earth connected to a thin plastic conductive strip. See the orange strip in the photo below.

It points towards the windscreen. Anyone know what this strip is for? My car has the heated front screen, but I believe the power connectors are at the bottom of the screen. The aerial wire is the blue one.

Anyone had this radio problem before with their Focus?

Rich too06/03/2017 15:44:21
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Can't help I'm afraid but if it's an fm radio I have a suggestion. Bin it and get a cheap dab radio with an aerial that sticks to the windscreen. I bought my wife a £100 Pioneer dab radio with Bluetooth (for telephone and streaming music) and it is fantastic, loads of stations with crystal clear sound. I'm a convert.

Phil Green06/03/2017 15:51:27
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You can check the radio by unplugging the aerial and simply poking the exposed end of a couple of feet of wire into the centre contact of the aerial socket. It should be very lively with plenty of stations.

Complete loss of signal is unlikely to be a bad earth connection, more likely it will be the centre conductor thats either broken somewhere between the aerial plug (prime suspect) and the whip, or grounded somewhere along its length, maybe by chaffing or untidy whiskers at either end. Some installations have an aerial adapter for mis-matched connectors - could be that.

If you've not checked the radio itself, it could simply be that the aerial connector has fallen out. Compared to the ones we use in R/C, auto-connectors are really poor quality, often just bent tinplate.

Posted by Rich2 on 06/03/2017 15:44:21:

Can't help I'm afraid but if it's an fm radio I have a suggestion. Bin it and get a cheap dab radio with an aerial that sticks to the windscreen. I bought my wife a £100 Pioneer dab radio with Bluetooth (for telephone and streaming music) and it is fantastic, loads of stations with crystal clear sound. I'm a convert.

Agreed, I'm a big DAB fan, specifically Planet Rock,  swmbo bought me a Pure Highway when DAB was launched, its great.   There are no rock stations on 88-108 FM (that I can find) but several on DAB. Brill.

Cheers
Phil

 

Edited By Phil Green on 06/03/2017 16:09:27

GONZO06/03/2017 16:14:40
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1393 forum posts
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Or if the aerial is mounted on the roof and is one of these short ones it could have an active RF amp in the aerial base. The power for the amp is feed via the co-ax. Could be a power separating filter problem or the amp has gone. Try the 'bay for a replacement and in the description it may even tell you if it's an active aerial. My Skoda Octavia estate has this sort of set up and it was built in 1999.

Dave Bran06/03/2017 17:28:43
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I had two Mk1 Focus, 2.0 Ghia bought new then a 1.8 TDCi new.

The TDCi had this radio fault from new (after maybe a month it deteriorated fast). It was replaced three times (by a garage Ford agent I trust) at no expense before one worked long term.

Former Member06/03/2017 21:01:02
8090 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

Tony Read 208/03/2017 12:52:28
965 forum posts
3 photos

Its a Mk2.

My brother had a DAB radio fitted to his car but is somewhat under whelmed by it. two of his favourite stations have migrated to a different format, the coverage is not as good as FM and he reckons that the band width is getting squeezed, reducing quality, although how much quality you expect from a car radio I don't know.

Rich too08/03/2017 19:35:30
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It probably depends on where you live, I live in Kent and the coverage is great - in fact coverage in the South East is great.

Brian Lambert08/03/2017 22:34:48
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My Ford (not a Focus) has a heated windscreen. The power is fed in to both sides at the lower edge but the earth return is at the top center.

onetenor09/03/2017 01:12:54
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1901 forum posts

Make sure the set is also earthed and all connected securely and clean

Tony Read 210/03/2017 13:31:32
965 forum posts
3 photos

Thanks Rich, just could not find anything on the WWW that said what that strip was for. thumbs up

I'll pull the set out and check the connections at the rear. It might just be a duff radio of course. My impression is that Ford radios in the mid to low range spec might not be up to much. The inbuilt clock is always running slow in mine, can't understand why Ford did not use RDS like my cheap as chips Astra radio had. Never had to adjust the time and the sound quality and reception was pretty good too.

Reckon a trip to Halfords for a new radio might be on the cards if reception does not improve.

Tony Read 210/03/2017 14:32:23
965 forum posts
3 photos

Sorry, meant to thank Brian and the rest of you guys as well.

Barrie Dav 212/03/2017 11:36:46
1012 forum posts
14 photos

My last car had long wave reception and as we live in France we were able receive BBC radio 4. However there is no long wave available on the new car's radio. This seems common to all new car radios. I know that the BBC have stated that very special valves are used for long wave transmission and that there are only a couple of these valves left. 'When they're gone, they're gone'. So will be BBC long wave. Pity......

In the house we have, of course, internet radio so no problem there but it will be a shame to have to listen to Radio 5 (This is Radio5 ..This is Radio5... You are listening to Radio5... every every few minutes) and on a bad medium wave reception to boot.

Ah! c'est la vie!

gangster12/03/2017 11:54:43
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1062 forum posts
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Interesting point there Barry. Never thought about the possibility. Now at the risk of taking the thread off topic. Just googled this and came up with a Guardian article. Now since most modellers are like me of a certain age they can clear something up in my mind. The article says radio 4 was on long wave since 1934. Surely not was not the light program (radio2) there until at least the 60s

Chris Bott - Moderator12/03/2017 13:06:32
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The Light Programme had a completely different transmission setup in that it relied on a single high power transmitter on 1500m (200kHz) Long Wave. From its location in the West Midlands the Droitwich transmitter covered a considerable amount of the British Isles but some lower power relay stations also operated on 247m (1214kHz.)

See lots more info here

Barrie Dav 213/03/2017 07:45:31
1012 forum posts
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Yes the Light Programme was on 1500 as Chris says. Radio 4 is currently on 198 long wave.

gangster13/03/2017 09:42:31
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I remember it dropping to 198k in the seventies. It had been used as a frequency standard at 200k. Cannot remember the reason for the shift. Must have interfered with something. Will google it later

Barrie Dav 213/03/2017 15:27:45
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Gangster, Radio Times give the frequency as 198 LW.

gangster13/03/2017 18:01:25
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Hi Barrie you would need a very old radio times to show 200khz. 1500 metres seems more appropriate though. Having said that I suppose it could be said that I fly on 8.5 metres

Barrie Dav 214/03/2017 08:34:53
1012 forum posts
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Some confusion here gangster. Radio 4 can be accessed on 198khz long wave. That was what I originally said.  I said nothing about 200khz.

Current BBC radio website and the current Radio Times and my own experience confirms 198khz as I stated.

Wires crossed somewhere.........

The whole thing is that today not many car radios have a long wave facility so it's impossible to listen to radio 4 in the car, which is a great pity.

Edited By Barrie Dav 2 on 14/03/2017 08:40:14

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