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Thread: Poor Radio Reception and Interference

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    jasonc's Avatar
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    Question Poor Radio Reception and Interference

    I know the subject of radio reception on retrofitted RNS-E has been covered a hundred times but I've followed all of the advice I can find and I'm still having problems so please bare with me!

    Bought my car (2008 58 plate facelift S3 sportback) about 2 years ago with the standard Concert Stereo. I immediately upgraded to an RNS-E and added Bluetooth. The radio was then virtually useless (could just about manage Radio 1 and local BBC Berkshire but not a lot else) - I couldn't bring myself to shell out the best part of 200 quid for the aerial amplifiers so I just put up with it and mostly listened to MP3's.

    A couple of months ago I finally decided to sort out the radio - I bought all the bits (new, from Audi) and followed the guide here:

    Converting symphony II antenna system use with RNSe

    Radio performance is a lot better than it was but it still seems to be struggling and it's nowhere near as good as I would expect. I now get a long list of stations but they are constantly coming and going and are often greyed out. I spend a lot of my time in the Reading / Slough / M4 area and in other cars I can receive most of the London stations (Absolute, Capital, XFM, Heart, etc.) everywhere I go but in the Audi these stations are either greyed out or have a lot of static (I've never even seen XFM in the station list). Is the reception with the RNS-E and the diversity antenna normally poor or do others get better results?

    Another strange observation which may well be relevant is that if I plug my phone into the 12v socket in the centre console to charge the radio reception gets noticeably worse. My only idea on this was that it could be related to the Aux In socket which is very close to the 12v socket. I remember reading that the Aux In wiring needs to be modified to work with the RNS-E - I have never modified it since I don't use the socket, could this be causing Radio problems?

    TBH I was expecting a lot better performance after coughing up the money for the new diversity amplifiers - I've had better results in the past with ten quid aerials from Halfords!
    2014 Audi S3 Sportback S-Tronic

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  3. #2
    NHN
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    Auxin wires should either be disconnected or moved to new connector so as to not cause any adverse issues, as for antenna modification, well could be various reasons, bad soldering, wiring wrong way round, amp fault, personally I don't have issues & what I receive is on par with areas I go into.

    How's classic fm reception?

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    Quote Originally Posted by NHN View Post
    Auxin wires should either be disconnected or moved to new connector so as to not cause any adverse issues, as for antenna modification, well could be various reasons, bad soldering, wiring wrong way round, amp fault, personally I don't have issues & what I receive is on par with areas I go into.

    How's classic fm reception?
    Thanks for the reply.

    I hadn't tried Classic FM but gave it a go on the way home last night - seems that reception is pretty good, it didn't lose the signal at all and just had a very minor bit of static a couple of times.

    I've also discovered that if I change the sensitivity setting to "Local" it seems to improve a little - there seems to be fewer stations greyed out for less of the time.

    I think when I get some time I'm going to disconnect the Aux In and see if that improves it further. If it's still bad I'll rip out the antenna amplifier cabling from the boot and redo it although I'm pretty sure it's sound.

    I had one other thought - the bluetooth kit is installed behind the climate control unit (I know it's supposed to be under the seat...), could this be causing issues with reception? I would not have expected this to cause a problem - the Bluetooth is up at 2400MHz and I'm trying to receive FM at 100MHz but RFI is a funny old game so maybe I'll disconnect it when I do the Aux connector and see what happens.
    2014 Audi S3 Sportback S-Tronic

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    NHN
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    I don't see the BT or aux causing an issue tbh, but BT shouldn't be fitted behind climate/radio, fit it sensibly or you may break the BT antenna & cause interference as you know, hence why I never fit gps antenna in center console.

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    I find the aerial problem with the rns-e very weird. I retrofitted one to my my2011 black edition recently and I now get more radio stations than before with absolutely no issues with reception?

    Now if the Bose would stop sending my volume up and down I would be very happy!!

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    NHN
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    If you research the forum, you will find there is an audi TPI for the Bose issue.

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    I read about dealers changing the mic in the bose amp and if that failed basically wiring the mic out but couldn't find anyone who'd actually had it done and confirmed it had fixed it. Have you done any Nigel?

    My car is actually at audi now as the problem with my full beams has turned out to be the supplying dealers retrofit of cruise control being done with the wrong part number

    Doubt they would do my bose being that the rns-e was not factory fit?

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    NHN
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    I've done both yes.

    They probably fitted the wrong stalk then.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NHN View Post
    I've done both yes.

    They probably fitted the wrong stalk then.
    Yea that's what they said. Problem is its no longer the warranty job it went it for so they're fighting the other dealer to pay as they fitted the wrong part. Fingers crossed they make it easy and just sort it out.

    So after the mod it works perfectly then?

    Cheers for your input Nigel

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    NHN
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    TBH the stalk type can be coded into the car, so its kind of irrelevant, it will still work if coded to do so.

    The mic change has worked for some yes.

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    Cheers Nige, just found your post with the info ref the bose. Great post cheers

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    I finally got some time to look at my reception issues again and tried the following:

    1. Uninstalled the Bluetooth module - no improvement
    2. Disconnected the 3 Aux wires from the connector - no improvement
    3. Removed the antenna amp cabling from the boot, re-made the wiring loom and cabled back up - no improvement

    Running out of ideas I then swapped my 12V USB adapter (a Griffin Powerjolt Dual) with an old one (a no-brand Chinese thing) and hey presto - interference was gone. I swapped backwards and forwards a few times to confirm it and sure enough every time that I plug my phone in to charge with the Griffin adapter half of the radio stations are immediately greyed out and I hear interference; using the old adapter there doesn't seem to be any loss of signal.

    Anybody else using a Griffin Powerjolt adapter? I can't use my old adapter for too long (it's white, ugly and sticks up out of the centre console!) so I'll need to get another one and it would be good to know if my Griffin adapter is faulty or if they all cause this problem.

    I'm still not convinced that my radio reception is as good as it should be but now that the interference is gone I can live with this.

    I just have one more query before I put this issue to bed...

    The antenna diagram that I followed to make the change to the diversity system shows two antenna amps at the top of the rear screen:



    At the top left of my screen I have the antenna amp that I have just replaced:



    At the top right of my screen I have another set of connection points but no amp and it appears that there was once a wire connected that has been cut:



    Is this normal? Where is the other amp?
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    2014 Audi S3 Sportback S-Tronic

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    Quote Originally Posted by jasonc View Post
    I finally got some time to look at my reception issues again and tried the following:

    1. Uninstalled the Bluetooth module - no improvement
    2. Disconnected the 3 Aux wires from the connector - no improvement
    3. Removed the antenna amp cabling from the boot, re-made the wiring loom and cabled back up - no improvement

    Running out of ideas I then swapped my 12V USB adapter (a Griffin Powerjolt Dual) with an old one (a no-brand Chinese thing) and hey presto - interference was gone. I swapped backwards and forwards a few times to confirm it and sure enough every time that I plug my phone in to charge with the Griffin adapter half of the radio stations are immediately greyed out and I hear interference; using the old adapter there doesn't seem to be any loss of signal.

    Anybody else using a Griffin Powerjolt adapter? I can't use my old adapter for too long (it's white, ugly and sticks up out of the centre console!) so I'll need to get another one and it would be good to know if my Griffin adapter is faulty or if they all cause this problem.

    I'm still not convinced that my radio reception is as good as it should be but now that the interference is gone I can live with this.

    I just have one more query before I put this issue to bed...

    The antenna diagram that I followed to make the change to the diversity system shows two antenna amps at the top of the rear screen:



    At the top left of my screen I have the antenna amp that I have just replaced:



    At the top right of my screen I have another set of connection points but no amp and it appears that there was once a wire connected that has been cut:



    Is this normal? Where is the other amp?
    Hi
    I discovered exactly the same thing when I retrofitted my rnse and carried out the amplifier change. I found it strange and booked it in to Audi under warranty. I have been assured that there never was an amplifier connected on the top right of the windscreen (even though it looks like someone has pulled the amp off and left two broken bits of wire attached to some solder connections).
    To cut a very long story short they ended up replacing the rear screen as they found a fault in the screen with the antenna connections.
    Reception has improved but it's still not 100% in my view. Might be worth taking this up with the dealer if your car is still under a warranty.
    jasonc likes this.

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    NHN
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    Those 2 wire stubs is perfectly normal on all A3's I've worked in that area.

    Damn that griffin unit must be putting out some shxt, I would contact griffin about this & see what they say, as that cant be normal.
    jasonc likes this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pz1982 View Post
    Hi
    I discovered exactly the same thing when I retrofitted my rnse and carried out the amplifier change. I found it strange and booked it in to Audi under warranty. I have been assured that there never was an amplifier connected on the top right of the windscreen (even though it looks like someone has pulled the amp off and left two broken bits of wire attached to some solder connections).
    To cut a very long story short they ended up replacing the rear screen as they found a fault in the screen with the antenna connections.
    Reception has improved but it's still not 100% in my view. Might be worth taking this up with the dealer if your car is still under a warranty.
    Quote Originally Posted by NHN View Post
    Those 2 wire stubs is perfectly normal on all A3's I've worked in that area.

    Damn that griffin unit must be putting out some shxt, I would contact griffin about this & see what they say, as that cant be normal.
    Thanks guys, good to know that the rear screen setup is normal.

    I've done some googling and found a few similar complaints about the Griffin adapters so it looks like I'm going to be shopping for an alternative which is a shame because the Griffin ones are by far the neatest I've found. I've sent a message to Griffin support so I'll also see if they have any explanation.
    2014 Audi S3 Sportback S-Tronic

 

 

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