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Old 02-02-2013, 06:21 PM   #1
brett05
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 130
My Ride: 325Ci
Poor radio reception

Well it only took me 10 months to finally find time to diagnose why I have no radio reception. Anyway, after removing the radio, I found the antenna lead was disconnected. Upon reconnecting it, I am getting only poor radio reception. I would rate it as a 3 out of 10.... 10 being crystal clear. I live in the inner suburbs of Brisbane, so reception is never an issue with my location.

What other possible issues could be occurring that I can check to get this working a bit better?

Here's a photo of the connection. I assume this all looks correct. It doesn't feel overly stable and secure once plugged in though. It only felt like it wanted to push in to maybe 90% of the depth of the plug on the end of the lead.

Thanks for your help guys.

Cheers, Brett


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Old 02-03-2013, 11:25 PM   #2
CortinaD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brett05 View Post
Well it only took me 10 months to finally find time to diagnose why I have no radio reception. Anyway, after removing the radio, I found the antenna lead was disconnected. Upon reconnecting it, I am getting only poor radio reception. I would rate it as a 3 out of 10.... 10 being crystal clear. I live in the inner suburbs of Brisbane, so reception is never an issue with my location.

What other possible issues could be occurring that I can check to get this working a bit better?

Here's a photo of the connection. I assume this all looks correct. It doesn't feel overly stable and secure once plugged in though. It only felt like it wanted to push in to maybe 90% of the depth of the plug on the end of the lead.

Thanks for your help guys.

Cheers, Brett


AM or FM Radio ? metallic tint is known to cause issues with reception.

The only other thing I can think of is the check all the connections on the amplifier that sits behind the passengers C pillar.
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:55 PM   #3
brett05
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Location: Brisbane
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CortinaD View Post
AM or FM Radio ? metallic tint is known to cause issues with reception.

The only other thing I can think of is the check all the connections on the amplifier that sits behind the passengers C pillar.
It's both AM and FM which is poor. I'll do that and check the connections on the amp tonight.

Not sure on whether the tint is metallic or not.... Declan, where are you???
It's a pretty dark tint... I think 5% from memory.

Cheers, Brett
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Old 02-04-2013, 06:11 AM   #4
ubersaloon
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My Ride: 2001 325i
Brett
That pic looks to me like you have an updated head unit with a single Fakra antenna connector and you're actually plugging in the 'power' or ZF signal lead that connects the antenna amplifier to the older head units, which have 2 connectors.

There should be another lead in the dash somewhere that is the actual antenna lead and you will need an adapter to connect this to the newer head unit.

Have a look at this thread for some excellent info:
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=396343
The first pic in the thread is the adapter I think you will need.

If you find this other lead, don't whatever you do try to connect this directly to the black Fakra connector on the back of the head unit or you will likely break off the centre pin (ask me how I know). Hopefully it's not already munted by plugging in the ZF signal lead.

If you just get the adapter, and don't replace the amplifier with a newer unit as per the above thread, you will likely get quite reasonable reception in and around a capital city. My reception in Adelaide has been acceptable for quite a few years now to the point I have only just replaced the amplifier with a newer one a few days ago but I haven't been out of the burbs yet to see if it's any better.

See post #67 for a description of how the older antenna amplifiers work compared with the new ones.

Also, if you want to know what frequency your car is without pulling off the C pillar trim, plug your VIN in here:
http://www.rubmw.ru/vincode/eng/
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:33 PM   #5
brett05
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Thanks Uber. Great post. I'll pull it apart again and take a look behind the head unit to see if I can find another lead back there somewhere.

I just spoke to the previous owner (DeclanM3 on the forum) and he mentioned that to his knowledge, the head unit is original and that it used to work prior to having a bluetooth install.

I've opened up the C Pillar and all the connections to the amp appear to be fine.

Cheers, Brett
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Old 02-04-2014, 11:50 AM   #6
Solo118
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brett05 View Post
Well it only took me 10 months to finally find time to diagnose why I have no radio reception. Anyway, after removing the radio, I found the antenna lead was disconnected. Upon reconnecting it, I am getting only poor radio reception. I would rate it as a 3 out of 10.... 10 being crystal clear. I live in the inner suburbs of Brisbane, so reception is never an issue with my location.

What other possible issues could be occurring that I can check to get this working a bit better?

Here's a photo of the connection. I assume this all looks correct. It doesn't feel overly stable and secure once plugged in though. It only felt like it wanted to push in to maybe 90% of the depth of the plug on the end of the lead.

Thanks for your help guys.

Cheers, Brett



Sorry to bump a year old thread.

Can anyone help me find out the part number for this plug in the photo? I have been having poor FM reception on my 2002 330ci, and I think I should just replace this as it will not stay in the connector.

Thanks!
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Old 02-05-2014, 11:29 PM   #7
ubersaloon
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Location: Adelaide, Australia
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My Ride: 2001 325i
Hi.
I think you need to provide more information.

This thread may not be applicable to you as it applies to pre 2001 cars that have old antenna amps with 2 cables but are running newer, single cable head units.

Run your VIN thru Realoem and if it comes back with either of these for the Antenna amplifier, then you have a newer type and it's unlikely you would have that same plug/socket combo as the photo.

433 MHZ 65256906074
315 MHZ 65256906075

As my previous post (#4) says, the socket on the newer head units is a FAKRA socket so the antenna cable on 2002 and up cars should also have a FAKRA plug.
If it's not staying together, then one of them is fecked but as long as the contacts in the plug and socket are connecting ok, just taping it together should work.

If the socket on the head unit is faulty, then you'll have to solder a new one onto the head unit circuit board (not for the faint hearted).
If it's the cable end, you may be able to splice a new connector on.
It seems unlikely there would be a part no for the entire cable between antenna amp and head unit as that's a fair distance.

If you do actually have an old antenna amp/new head unit, as per that photo, read that other thread carefully, as well as my earlier post because you shouldn't be plugging those 2 together at all.
You need to find the other ISO antenna cable and get an ISO to FAKRA adapter like this:
http://www.carparts.cba.pl/foto/ANTE...PTERS/mfd2.jpg
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Old 02-05-2014, 11:38 PM   #8
Solo118
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Thanks for the info. I do believe I have the newer radio, as I have seen photos of the older unit and the plug I have for FM does not match.
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Old 02-05-2014, 11:50 PM   #9
Bimmer4Lyfe
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