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Old 09-22-2004, 02:08 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Ok so I chose not to install it myself and went another route when presented with a good deal from a professional installer...I just got a new system installed today. Alpine 9835 head unit (HU). MB Quart Reference 5.25" Components, JL Audio 4300 4 Channel Amp, and JL Audio 10" sub. It sounds unbelievable. The head unit is ridiculous! I love it (amber mode matches BBimmer spot on). One weird problem...the FM reception (haven't tried the AM recep yet). I live in Los Angeles, and have previously owned low-end Sony HU's and never had any problem tuning my favorite stations on two different cars (everything always came in clear, no intereference). This unit is different: when set to auto DX tuning, it only tunes 4 stations, the rest have to be done manually (and even when tuned manually I get continual hits of of intereference)...weird, huh. In local mode, it doesn't tune any stations automatically. Every station I listen to must be tuned manually (which I never I had to do before with my $100 Sony CD HU's). I had it professioanlly installed at my local Al & Ed's. I am going in tomorrow to let them know the problem, but I want to be armed with a little bit of knowledge. First, is it possible that the HU's antenna is faulty? or possibly something else in the HU that could be damaged that is causing poor reception? or is it an installation problem in that perhaps the antenna is rubbing against something that is causing interference? or that the antenna is not properly installed? Any other ideas that could be causing this problem? Last point: the HU has a setting that has "Stable, Normal, and Hi-Fi." The manual says that if you are not getting desired reception at Hi-Fi (best quality setting) try "normal" and "stable." I have tried all settings to no avail. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 09-22-2004, 11:18 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The HU has little bearing on FM reception. The problem is the car. I have been told e36 uses 3 antennas, from which the factory HU selects the strongest signal automatically. With an aftermarket HU, two cut out and the only one that functions is the one imbedded in the rear glass. There is a fix, and it invloves a blue wire going to something. I'll look later.
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Old 09-22-2004, 12:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I did some research on this- its that the factory antenna has a line amp in it, and with an aftermarket head there is no power supplied to that amp.

There is a fix where you can run your own power wire from the blue wire hookup on the factory speaker amp in the trunk to the antenna amp mounted on the C pillar (I think its C).

There is a how-to on some BMW site somewhere, but I am having a hard time finding it. I am going to attempt to do the procedure this weekend, if I get it without burning my car down I will post it up.
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Old 09-22-2004, 01:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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But here's the thing: This Alpine HU replaced another after market HU (Sony CDX-C5000X) and it had crystal clear reception on this very same E36????? I am going to take it into the installer and see what he thinks--I will propse the suggestion you guys had. Thank you.
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Old 09-22-2004, 02:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Its very possible the installer didnt hook up the blue wire right.
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Old 09-22-2004, 02:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Then again, I say forget it all together.

Beyond AM
Beyond FM

XM.

Serious sound improvement.
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Old 09-22-2004, 10:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
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...just checked the AM signal, and I am not getting any stations. Pres--what is the proper way to hook up the blue wire?
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Old 09-22-2004, 11:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Not sure without looking, but I dont have time. If I recall, connect it to the blue/white wire.
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