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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm sticking with the stock Head Unit and have not been happy with the radio reception in the RL. In my first RL I added an external shark fin antenna that worked great for GPS with my Kenwood HU, but only slightly improved radio reception. I tried the stick on window antenna's, signal boosters etc with no real success.

Today I planned on adding a Metra 44-UA46 electronic roof mount antenna, similar to the Fuba type with which many have had success. Since I have a sunroof I needed to mount the new antenna behind my XM antenna on the back of the roof. I removed the 3rd brake light and the plastic panel that goes the full width of the roof searching for easy access to bolt on my new antenna.

After disconnecting the stock antenna when removing the rear plastic panel I turned on the radio and there was no difference in reception from my local stations.
This is a pic of the stock antenna on the underside of the plastic panel..

RL FM Antenna 1.jpg

The white connector is the 3rd brake light and the brown is the stock antenna..

RL FM Antenna 2.jpg

Close-up of the Antenna connector. It accepts a single male push on.

RL FM Antenna 3.jpg

I opened the rear sliding window and tuned in a barely audible with lots of static radio station. Pushed in this new antenna and WOW perfect reception.

RL FM Antenna 4.jpg

OK So that will not be my permanent new antenna :)
I tried the coat hanger for fun, (to which my neighbor was shaking his head), and it was a huge improvement.

The plan now is to find an antenna that has a simple push type connection and no built in amplifier. This will save removing all the interior pieces to run the wiring for the Metra.

Suggestions on replacement antenna welcome. I'm thinking of one from a different Honda model that would have the same color as my RL and could sit next to the XM antenna. Is there an adapter to go from the Motorolla antenna to this single push type on the RL?
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
It's amazing how the FM and AM reception is much the same with no antenna attached.

I just taped a single wire to the center of the motorolla plug on my Metra antenna and stuck the other end in the stock antenna connector. A station (88.5) that was 1/100 before is now crystal clear.
So I guess I need an adapter to reduce the Motorolla plug down to a single push in. For those of you that understand the technical aspect of antennas would that be OK?

RL FM Antenna 5.jpg



Home made adapter... So if I pulled the black cable from the grey connector it would have two wires. If I connect one to the stock RL connector (in place of the red wire above) should I ground the other?

40-HD20 Adapter.jpg
 

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It's likely going to be a frustrating/unproductive search for a plug-n-play adaptor. Or not. Obviously, that would be the preferred solution.

In lieu of an adaptor, I have a suggestion:
If you were to remove the short cable/connector from the factory antenna shown in image #1, you *may* be able separate shield from center conductor sufficient to attach to one side of a 2 slot terminal strip (like this):

ideal-89-304.jpg

Using a sacrificial female antenna extension cable, you *may* be able to do the same thing on the other side of the strip. This way, a new antenna could plug directly in.

http://www.amazon.com/Length-Stereo-Radio-Antenna-Cable/dp/B00WW518UM/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1433002940&sr=8-5&keywords=fm+antenna+extension

OR, as you mentioned, you might be able to strip an extension cable and attach female spades to connect directly into the factory cable running to the head unit.

A word of advise: the center conductor on these cable is very small solid wire and can be tedious to work with, very fragile. What ever you do, solder the connections and keep stress on the center conductor to a minimum cuz they break very easily.

Good luck! Progress report expected!

EDIT: AH, I see the home made adaptor now. NO, don't ground the other wire. Ground to the shield is supplied by the radio. Good job Mate!
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thanks OhSix,

I am looking for an un-amplified antenna, and will solder it to the connector from the rear panel. I drove around town without the rear panel (which has the FM antenna under it) and most of my usual radio stations were almost like they are with the stock antenna attached. Strange indeed.

I've ordered one of these to see how it works, what is the connector type?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/ROOF-SHARK-FIN-ANTENNA-FOR-VW-JETTA-BORA-GOLF-POLO-GTI-/170689733784?hash=item27bde6a498&vxp=mtr
 

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Thanks OhSix,

I am looking for an un-amplified antenna, and will solder it to the connector from the rear panel. I drove around town without the rear panel (which has the FM antenna under it) and most of my usual radio stations were almost like they are with the stock antenna attached. Strange indeed.

I've ordered one of these to see how it works, what is the connector type?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/ROOF-SHARK-FIN-ANTENNA-FOR-VW-JETTA-BORA-GOLF-POLO-GTI-/170689733784?hash=item27bde6a498&vxp=mtr
It looks like a bayonet BNC. Whatever it is, it looks like a proper RF connector and it's likely a hybrid to VW. Freaking OEM's and their non-standard interconnects. You'll probably need something like this:
http://www.carid.com/metra/antenna-to-radio-adapter-mpn-40-vw16.html?gclid=CPm3ycCL68UCFVOTfgods4UAUA
 

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Knowing Honda, I'd suspect that's a very common connector. I'd try for a used Honda Element antenna.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
So I'm determined to see this project through to the end. That is to see if the stock wiring can be used with an aftermarket antenna.

RL Antenna Connector.jpg

I removed the antenna connector from the horizontal panel housing the 3rd brake light.

RL Shark Wiring.jpg

I wired in my new antenna. The antenna was $9 on ebay.

RL Shark base.jpg

Used the antenna base as a template.

RL Shark.jpg

Finished product.

The headliner can be pulled down at the back. It just clips out to allow access to under the roof. Drilled a hole with a 5/8 bit and used black silicone to seal the antenna base. I removed the antenna connector from its rubber surround, put some silicone in the surrounds hole and put it back in its original place to seal from rain etc. Wired the antenna connector to the Shark Fin antenna and made the connection under the headliner.

Initially reception was much improved, crystal clear and I pulled a few stations I couldn't get before. The on my commute to work it became apparent that the further I drove from the radio stations, reception deteriorated quickly.
This inside of the antenna looks like this, not sure it that might have something to do with it?

RL Shark insides.jpg

I got another antenna on order. If that don't work I will run the antenna wires direct to the head unit :-(
I read that the rear panel could fly off at highway speeds if the white clips were not replaced. I replaced the white clips that keep the rear panel on even though they all looked good. I really believe its not the white clips but the green female supports they clip into that may be the problem (see post #1 above for pics). One of my new white clips keep popping out with the green support attached to it, but is staying firmly attached to the rear panel. I plan to put some silicone around the green support when I try a new antenna next week.
 

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So I'm determined to see this project through to the end. That is to see is the stock wiring can be used with an aftermarket antenna.

View attachment 193322

I removed the antenna connector from the horizontal panel housing the 3rd brake light.

View attachment 193330

I wired in my new antenna. The antenna was $9 on ebay.

View attachment 193338

Used the antenna base as a template.

View attachment 193346

Finished product.

The headliner can be pulled down at the back. It just clips out to allow access to under the roof. Drilled a hole with a 5/8 bit and used black silicone to seal the antenna base. I removed the antenna connector from its rubber surround, put some silicone in the surrounds hole and put it back in its original place to seal from rain etc. Wired the antenna connector to the Shark Fin antenna and made the connection under the headliner.

Initially reception was much improved, crystal clear and I pulled a few stations I couldn't get before. The on my commute to work it became apparent that the further I drove from the radio stations, reception deteriorated quickly.
This inside of the antenna looks like this, not sure it that might have something to do with it?

View attachment 193354

I got another antenna on order. If that don't work I will run the antenna wires direct to the head unit :-(
I read that the rear panel could fly off at highway speeds if the clips were not replaced. I replaced the white clips that keep the rear panel on even though they all looked good. I really believe its not the white clips but the green female supports they clip into that may be the problem (see post #1 above for pics). One of my new white clips keep popping out with the green support attached to it, but is staying firmly attached to the rear panel. I plan to put some silicone around the green support when I try a new antenna next week.
Interesting project.

Regarding the panel flying off: Best to just get the new clips unless that is super inconvenient for you. The "flying panel" phenomenon is not a rare occurrence for those who have removed/replaced.
 

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Nicely done! Also just what I needed to help my own search for decent radio reception.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
So I finished up this project yesterday. Wired up the Metra 44-UA46 to the stock wiring after securing it on the roof. It was an improvement over the stock antenna but not enough to be worth the time and effort. So I ran the Metra 44-UA46 wires to the Head Unit (with the Metra 40-HD10 Antenna adapter) and the radio reception improved to where it should be.

Antenna roof.jpg

The rear of the headliner is held up with two white push clips at the midpoints and a plastic velcro fastener in the center.

Headliner.jpg
Headliner Velcro.jpg
The Antenna adapter just plugs into the back of the radio.

Antenna adapter.jpg

Ran the wires from back to front by pulling the rubber from around the rear right pax door and then under the door step panels and across behind the glove box. This was the easiest part and took about 30 minutes.

Antenna wire route.jpg

I think the lesson learned from this project was to buy the best quality antenna available. I have tried signal boosters, stick on window antenna's etc with no success. Complete replacement from HU to antenna seems to be the best way to go.

RL.jpg
 

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Heli, I need to do the same thing, the reception on my 2013 is absolute trash. That photo you show, "This is a pic of the stock antenna on the underside of the plastic panel.." where exactly is that? I'm having trouble figuring that out. It looks like all the work you did was inside the 3rd brake light, after it was removed, is that correct.

thanks,

bk
 

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Yes, under the panel with the 3rd brake light. Big thing is if you remove it be sure to replace all the clips, multiple posts with members having it fly off, on the freeway, in the car wash and so on. They are one time use. I know of one member who didn't know that and he pulled it and reinstalled it but once we warned him he ordered the clips and if I recall correctly when he went to replace them like 1/2 of them basically fell apart, he got really lucky it hadn't fallen/flown off.

Multiple posts on here about it, I can add links if necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yes, the first pic in this thread shows the stock antenna under the rear panel. It is white and starts in the shape of a square C on the left of the pic. Best to run an new antenna wire from the radio to the new antenna of your choice. I think I bumped my Metra antenna on a low garage door resulting in reception fallen off slightly. I need to get back there and take a look when the snow clears. If you find another type antenna with good reviews let us know, (in case I need to do a change). Good Luck and update this thread with you progress.
 

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Best to run an new antenna wire from the radio to the new antenna of your choice.
I agree, that seems like the simplest thing to do.

Also found this image, pretty helpful for the locations.



I'll keep this thread posted on what works for me. This seems to be a very common problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
I listen to a lot of radio and my aftermarket Metra antenna got damaged recently, so I decided to replace it with the best antenna money could buy. I picked up a 'Blaupunkt Shark Line A-R T 06-M Car Antenna' for about $100US on ebay from Morganeshop, who are Canada based. They have good feedback, were used by others on here in the past and provided all the cables and connectors in one kit.
I was very happy with the Metra 44-UA4 antenna but still had one or two dead spots where I would lose HD radio stations around the hills of the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania.

I dropped the headliner by myself following some you-tube videos. It not hard at all if you take your time. I put some DynaMat Extreme and DynaLiner on the underside of the roof for sound dampening. The overall result has been very rewarding. The 160 mile ride home from work this morning was great with no dead spots, and better reception than I've ever had with my Kenwood Head-Unit. The sound dampening on the roof is a huge improvement. I added Dynamat to the doors and rear wall during previous audio upgrades, so now I just need a reason to do the floor.

The base of the Blaupunkt antenna was too long to fit behind the stock Honda XM antenna without it hanging over the back of the roof, so I moved the XM back into the hole I had previously made for the Metra one and put the new antenna in the XM hole. I had to resize the rear hole with a jigsaw, I taped a bag underneath to catch any metal and sprayed the edge with a rust-eulom protective enamel paint.

It's funny how these little improvements help me get over the urge to want to upgrade to the G2. Hopefully this will keep me going till we have a Hybrid or Electric G3 that can tow 7500lbs :)
 

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