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Beat difficult radio reception with a car radio

(12 posts)
  • Started 2 years ago by semiretired
  • Latest reply from bubbatie1
  • Topic Viewed 1722 times

semiretired
semiretired
Posts: 1214

I work in an environment where a typical stereo/ boombox will not work very well.................maybe one local fm station.....and if your not country....well. A car radio could help here.

Here is what you need:
Find a car stereo that works and then find the wiring diagram on the internet.
Find speakers.
Find a working computer psu.
Have wire strippers.
Speaker wire or small wire.
Power wire or small wire
a multimeter
wire nuts....or black tape

In our case we had 4 decent sized Ford automotive speakers with big magnets on the back. The first thing to do is find out which terminal is negative and which one is positive. It is easily done by temporarily attaching wires to each speaker terminal and touching any 1.5v battery to each stripped end of the wires. We used a AA battery. While looking at the face of the speaker, touch the battery wires to each end of the battery. If the speaker felt moves from the outside edges of the speaker frame toward the center, the polarity is backwards. Natch, if it looks like it's spreading from the center outward, it's correct. Mark the negative and positive as near the speakers' terminals as possible. If a wire was touching the positive end of the battery when the speaker felt was moving outward, mark that terminal positive.

Now look at the radios wires. There is usually a molex plug with the wires snipped off. If not you will need to buy one or improvise. There will be mating colored wires and one will have a stripe.Eg. gray and gray with a stripe. In our case the wiring diagram said the striped wire was negative.Most radios will have 4 pairs of matching speaker wires. To stay consistent, if you use speaker wire, the striped wire will go from the negative speaker terminal to the striped (neg) radio wire and the non striped from the pos. speaker terminal to the solid wire.

Now the power. On the power supply, use a paper clip or some other jumper to jump the black and green wires on the motherboard molex connector. They are near each other in the middle of the molex connector. Now on the psu's power molex connectors ( the ones that we connect all the drives to) , test which yellow black wire combo( on the same molex) gives 12 volts. ( all of them, the mobo connector is less). Snip a yellow wire and a black wire, after confirming the voltage.This psu black wire connects to the radio's black wire. The yellow wire conects to the radios red and yellow wires. The trick here is that most of the radios yellow wires are not really yellow. It is a trial and error to see which of the available three wires is really the yellow wire. They are usually some form of dirty white or tan. The radio's red and yellow wires are battery and ignition.

Plug this in and the radio should work save for needing an antennae. There could be an on/off switch on the psu.

In our case we bought a regular antennae wire that plugs in and a cheap antennae. AM radio still does not work because our radio is in a steel building that is inside of a steel building that has all kinds of high voltage power lines in the area. AM radio needs to be outside to pick up well. We managed to get our antennae outside of the building and get very good results as compared to a boombox type.

If you have a very old radio, an ac/dc wallwart will work. Test the leads while plugged in. If the voltage reads negative,on your multimeter, your black test lead is on the positive. Newer radios cut out when all the speakers are hooked up or if you turn the radio up too loud, while using a wallwart.

Our speakers were attached to big steel beams using only the magnets built into the speakers.

Posted 2 years ago
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Xhi
Xhi
Posts: 6298

What's a radio???

Posted 2 years ago
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ElmerBeFuddled
ElmerBeFuddled
Posts: 127

What's a radio???

It's one of those music boxes. You turn a dial until it clicks, then you wait 20 minutes for those pretty bulbs (or is it valves?) to start glowing orange. Finally you get Tony Hancock's Comedy Half Hour.

Posted 2 years ago
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semiretired
semiretired
Posts: 1214

I also bought an Insignia speaker set that I can plug my phone into. Ya gotta cover the bases. I use a multi electrical plug and can plug in the speakers and my phone at the same time, while using the speakers green audio in the phones headphone port.

Several people that rotate through the job, do not have smartphones and some are just now getting some kind of computer. Some have everything and can plug their mp3 players and ipads into the speakers. It is an inspection job, so the audio is not a distraction. Between the car stereo and the speakers, all of us can enjoy sports, talk shows and music while we work.

Some of my favorites at varying times of the day are:
The Wall Street Journal This Morning
Coast to Coast AM
Pittsburgh Sports Channels........here is where the radio is better
Sirius/Xm Watercolors
iHeart's Smooth Jazz
WDVE........radio or phone
CNBC
and many more

I also use an fm transmitter to a radio in a clutch situation.

We are not allowed to wear any type of earpieces.

Posted 2 years ago
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bubbatie1
bubbatie1
Posts: 1322

Pittsburgh ? you near pa ?

Posted 2 years ago
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warlock
warlock
Posts: 4100

@bubbatie1, Sure sounds like it. I have WDVE on all day. Hope he answers back would be nice to know.

Posted 2 years ago
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semiretired
semiretired
Posts: 1214

Yeah, I work in Midland, Pa.

Posted 2 years ago
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warlock
warlock
Posts: 4100

@semiretired, You are only about 10 miles or so from me when you are in Midland.

Posted 2 years ago
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semiretired
semiretired
Posts: 1214

Neighbors!

Posted 2 years ago
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Lighthouse
Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

ElmerBeFuddled. MAYDAY :) (m'aider)

Posted 2 years ago
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vistamike
vistamike
Posts: 10945

... ---...

Posted 2 years ago
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bubbatie1
bubbatie1
Posts: 1322

email that i just recieved made me think of this topic

MOST INTERESTING INFORMATION! History Can Be Interesting and Fun!

CAR TUNES
Radios are so much a part of the driving
experience, it seems like cars have always had
them. But they didn’t. Here’s the story.

SUNDOWN
One evening in 1929 two young men named William Lear and Elmer Wavering drove their girlfriends to a lookout point high above the Mississippi River town of Quincy , Illinois , to watch the sunset. It was a romantic night to be sure, but one of the women observed that it would be even nicer if they could listen to music in the car.
Lear and Wavering liked the idea. Both men had tinkered with radios – Lear had served as a radio operator in the U. S. Navy during World War I – and it wasn’t long before they were taking apart a home radio and trying to get it to work in a car. But it wasn’t as easy as it sounds: automobiles have ignition switches, generators, spark plugs, and other electrical equipment that generate noisy static interference, making it nearly impossible to listen to the radio when the engine was running.

SIGNING ON
One by one, Lear and Wavering identified and eliminated each source of electrical interference. When they finally got their radio to work, they took it to a radio convention in Chicago . There they met Paul Galvin, owner of Galvin Manufacturing Corporation. He made a product called a “battery eliminator” a device that allowed battery-powered radios to run on household AC current. But as more homes were wired for electricity, more radio manufacturers made AC-powered radios. Galvin needed a new product to manufacture. When he met Lear and Wavering at the radio convention, he found it. He believed that mass-produced, affordable car radios had the potential to become a huge business.

Lear and Wavering set up shop in Galvin’s factory, and when they perfected their first radio, they installed it in his Studebaker. Then Galvin went to a local banker to apply for a loan. Thinking it might sweeten the deal, he had his men install a radio in the banker’s Packard. Good idea, but it didn’t work – half an hour after the installation, the banker’s Packard caught on fire. (They didn’t get the loan.)
Galvin didn’t give up. He drove his Studebaker nearly 800 miles to Atlantic City to show off the radio at the 1930 Radio Manufacturers Association convention. Too broke to afford a booth, he parked the car outside the convention hall and cranked up the radio so that passing conventioneers could hear it. That idea worked – he got enough orders to put the radio into production.

WHAT’S IN A NAME
That first production model was called the 5T71. Galvin decided he needed to come up with something a little catchier. In those days many companies in the phonograph and radio businesses used the suffix “ola” for their names – Radiola, Columbiola, and Victrola were three of the biggest. Galvin decided to do the same thing, and since his radio was intended for use in a motor vehicle, he decided to call it the Motorola.
But even with the name change, the radio still had problems:
When Motorola went on sale in 1930, it cost about $110 uninstalled, at a time when you could buy a brand-new car for $650, and the country was sliding into the Great Depression. (By that measure, a radio for a new car would cost about $3,000 today.)
In 1930 it took two men several days to put in a car radio – the dashboard had to be taken apart so that the receiver and a single speaker could be installed, and the ceiling had to be cut open to install the antenna. These early radios ran on their own batteries, not on the car battery, so holes had to be cut into the floorboard to accommodate them. The installation manual had eight complete diagrams and 28 pages of instructions.

HIT THE ROAD
Selling complicated car radios that cost 20 percent of the price of a brand-new car wouldn’t have been easy in the best of times, let alone during the Great Depression – Galvin lost money in 1930 and struggled for a couple of years after that. But things picked up in 1933 when Ford began offering Motorolas pre-installed at the factory. In 1934 they got another boost when Galvin struck a deal with B. F. Goodrich tire company to sell and install them in its chain of tire stores. By then the price of the radio, installation included, had dropped to $55. The Motorola car radio was off and running. (The name of the company would be officially changed from Galvin Manufacturing to “Motorola” in 1947.)

In the meantime, Galvin continued to develop new uses for car radios. In 1936, the same year that it introduced push-button tuning, it also introduced the Motorola Police Cruiser, a standard car radio that was factory preset to a single frequency to pick up police broadcasts. In 1940 he developed with the first handheld two-way radio – the Handie-Talkie – for the U. S. Army.

A lot of the communications technologies that we take for granted today were born in Motorola labs in the years that followed World War II. In 1947 they came out with the first television to sell under $200. In 1956 the company introduced the world’s first pager; in 1969 it supplied the radio and television equipment that was used to televise Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the Moon. In 1973 it invented the world’s first handheld cellular phone. Today Motorola is one of the second-largest cell phone manufacturer in the world. And it all started with the car radio.

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO….
The two men who installed the first radio in Paul Galvin’s car, Elmer Wavering and William Lear, ended up taking very different paths in life. Wavering stayed with Motorola. In the 1950’s he helped change the automobile experience again when he developed the first automotive alternator, replacing inefficient and unreliable generators. The invention lead to such luxuries as power windows, power seats, and, eventually, air-conditioning.

Lear also continued inventing. He holds more than 150 patents. Remember eight-track tape players? Lear invented that. But what he’s really famous for are his contributions to the field of aviation. He invented radio direction finders for planes, aided in the invention of the autopilot, designed the first fully automatic aircraft landing system, and in 1963 introduced his most famous invention of all, the Lear Jet, the world’s first mass-produced, affordable business jet. (Not bad for a guy who dropped out of school after the eighth grade.)

Posted 2 years ago
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