Any radio tape recorder has a jack for connecting an external antenna. How to connect this external device correctly?
The main types of car antennas
First of all, you should understand that not every car antenna will help solve the problem with a bad signal. There are two types of them.
- Passive. This is a common antenna that most often flaunts on the roof of a car. This type of auto antenna has a significant drawback. They are only effective where there is a strong radio signal. Even in a big city, it can be of little use.
- Active. Its peculiarity is that in addition to the antennae that receive the signal, it is equipped with an amplifier. This small device eliminates radio interference and extends the receiving range of your car radio.
In the case of a conventional antenna, installation is not difficult. But with active models, it's not so simple. Some motorists mistakenly believe that the presence of an amplifier is already sufficient to receive a signal in any area. In fact, this is not the case.
The sound quality of a radio station depends on the distance to the repeater and the characteristics of the landscape. In the steppe region, the signal propagates faster and without interference. In the mountainous and hilly - the opposite. Therefore, when choosing an active antenna for a car, you should pay attention to the power of the amplifier.
Features of connecting an active car antenna
Active antennas work in this way. The antennae pick up the radio signal. The amplifier cleans it from interference and transmits it to the receiver. But for this process, the device needs energy. This is the problem.
The driver buys an expensive model with an amplifier. Connects it to the radio. And nothing changes - the signal is still distorted. When buying a device, it is important to clarify how the amplifier will be powered - from an external source, or from a car radio.
- From the radio. The wire of these models consists of three wires. Central - antenna cable (it is shielded). The other two supply voltage from the receiver.
- External source. The amplifier is connected to the fuse box through an additional electrical fuse. In this case, you will need to turn off the device yourself. This will prevent unnecessary waste of battery power. Especially if the car is idle for a long time in the garage.
You can also connect an active antenna to the power supply of the car radio. In this case, it will be activated by turning the key in the ignition switch (if the receiver is not directly connected).
Tips on how to properly connect the device - in a short video:
Choosing a location for installation
Where is the best place to pin the main screen of the device? It depends on the model and the wishes of the motorist. Here are the common installation options.
- On the roof. These models are equipped with a magnet at the base or a mounting bracket. The disadvantage is that it is easy to steal and the wires run along the roof. In winter, this makes it difficult to clear the snow.
- To the rear bumper. The rod in such models is long. Therefore, the signal is caught qualitatively. The disadvantage is that the connection requires laying a long cable through the entire cabin.
- On the windshield. The most common type of installation. The standard length of the wire is enough to hide the highway under the car's trim. The disadvantage is the appearance of an additional element in the driver's field of vision. If you use low-quality tape, the antenna can fall off when the car is shaken and distract the motorist from the road. In addition, the receiving antenna is sensitive to metal objects. Therefore, it must be installed so that the roof of the machine does not interfere.
The third installation option is the most optimal. Therefore, most radio signal receiving devices are adapted for mounting on glass inside a car.
Review of popular active car antennas
Rating of the best (according to motorists) active antennas as of the end of 2019.
- Alan X-Turbo 80. Remote antenna with a 1,8 meter rod. The golden mean between efficiency and operational safety. Installed on the roof drain. Ideal for car radio.
- MegaJet ML-145 MAG-160. The model is popular among taxi drivers. The rod is 1,4 meters long. The magnet is 16 centimeters in diameter. Easily removable from the roof at night to the salon.
- Bosch Autofun PRO. The best model for a standard radio. Before installation, make sure that the roof will not interfere.
- Supra SAF-3. Equipped with two rods (instead of thin wires). The amplifier can be turned off. A very common model. Budgetary price.
Finally, some advice from users of active antennas. It is not worth buying the most powerful model, because the excessive amplification of the signal only creates interference. You need to select the appropriate option based on local conditions.
If a receiving screen is already installed in the car, then the amplifier itself can be additionally purchased. Here's a video on how to connect it: