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  • Radioshark Mod

    One of my goals is to have no head unit since my screen will take over the hole where my factory radio is. That said....I still wanted my radio.

    So...... I decided to buy a Griffin Technolgy Radioshark. After reciving my shark I started playing with it. What did I find?
    (1 to 5 Five being the best)

    Software (4) Acts like a radio. Time Shifting works well.
    Hardware (4) The shark fin is cool. Too bad I had to mod it.
    Reception (3) AM Stinks. FM okay.

    But..... where would I put this nice looking but awkward fin. Well the fin had to go. I also wanted to improve reception.

    After I took it apart I found that the AM was using a coil. Well since I don't listen to AM and since I could only pick up one AM station stock and out of the box I decided I wouldn't mess with AM. So I cut the leads High up and covered them with electrical tape. The FM, on the other hand, was of the single wire variety so I got a project box installed a BNC connector and soldered the FM to the BNC connector tucked in those little LEDS, put a notch for the USB cable a added some strain relief. I then added a BNC to motorola adaptor. (For my car antenna)

    Now I have a car ready radio for my Macintosh project that works great for FM reception.

    Since I only listen to FM I don't feel bad about the AM. I may revisit the AM and see if I can get an external antenna mod for that...but I don't care that much.

    7" Lilliput
    1.42 Mac mini (512MB,80GB,Combo,Bluetooth,Airport)
    Carnetix P1900 with CNX-P5V
    Radioshark
    GPS (BU-303)
    Polk MMC 650
    Infinity Kappa 62.7i
    Alpine MRP-F240

  • #2
    Honestly how would you rate the FM reception in relation to your head unit since the modification? How would you modify the AM portion?
    -Jesus- King of Kings Lord of Lords

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    • #3
      How is the FM recption working while driving?? And I dont understand why the fin had to go. They say it has an external antenna port.

      Comment


      • #4
        As far as reception I would say 90% as good as the head unit. I did not drive around too much. (Just a mile or so.) Because my car computer is not up and running yet, I used a laptop and plugged into the trucks antenna. I could still listen to all the stations I had presetted on the head unit.

        I live in Southeast North Carolina. It is flat here. When my wife wanted to listen to her iPod in her car, that didn't have an aux in, i tried several transmitters. Every one of them had problems because there were really no clear frequencies. I ended up using a modulator. Why did I tell you this story....only to qualify my 90% rating. The signals around here seem to be plentiful and strong.

        As far as the AM mod. (I may not know what I am talking about.) I have been looking at articles on the net where folks have put an external antenna hookup on plain AM radios that have the coil type antenna that I have. I may look into that.

        As far as the fin. Well it was too long and bulky to fit anywhere in my truck well. Because of its shape I would have to sacrifice quite a bit of space somewhere. I guess I could have sealed it up with some epoxy and poked a hole in my roof and put on top.... :-) What would you think of a little white fin on top of a black truck? Truly though if I could have found a good place for it I don't think I would have removed it to put in another enclosure.

        As far as the external antenna port.... It utilizes the headphone jack for that. I did two things. 1. I put on a pair of headphones like Griffin suggests. I did not see a noticeable improvement in reception for both FM or AM. I then made an adapter for an external antenna using a 1/8 mini jack and connected to both the R & L channels then both I think it may have been better than just the headphones but if it was, it was still not that noticeable . I'm not saying that Griffin is wrong about it being a port for an external antenna, it just didn't work as well as hard wiring a port in for the FM.

        Because I like the features, I may buy another one for my desktop. If I master the external antenna thing via the headphone jack, I may look at still finding some room in the truck for it as right now I have no AM as opposed to two or three stations before.
        7" Lilliput
        1.42 Mac mini (512MB,80GB,Combo,Bluetooth,Airport)
        Carnetix P1900 with CNX-P5V
        Radioshark
        GPS (BU-303)
        Polk MMC 650
        Infinity Kappa 62.7i
        Alpine MRP-F240

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by anthropod
          As far as the fin. Well it was too long and bulky to fit anywhere in my truck well. Because of its shape I would have to sacrifice quite a bit of space somewhere. I guess I could have sealed it up with some epoxy and poked a hole in my roof and put on top.... :-) What would you think of a little white fin on top of a black truck?
          I think if you submerged it in water up to the roof, you could scare swimmers with it.
          Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
          How about the Wiki?



          Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

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          • #6



            I might have to pick one of these up to play with
            sounds like a good idea
            肚子笑痛了
            S60 Install

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            • #7
              Heh, I did a similar... ok, almost identical thing with my RadioSHARK. Couldn't find a car ariel plug, but it turns out a normal RF cable plug for TVs works. Probably common knowledge, but it wasn't to me!

              I've found reception to be very good - I live in the bottom of a valley next to an electric railway - the only way we can get radio reception in the house is from the roof ariel, and then it isn't great. The RadioSHARK does just as well as any other stereo (including a 200 Sony amp/tuner) in the house!

              I'll try it out with driving soon.

              AstraMac

              Power a Mac mini from 12v: Here
              Front end status: Here

              Comment


              • #8
                Radio shark hack

                I bought the radio shark as well. I liked the way it looked but I still hacked it apart. In the manual it says that the head phone jack can also be used as an arial, I need make an areial now with the little 2.5" Stereo jack to see if this is going to work.

                The software is nice but if your running 800x600 the buttons are way to small for a touch screen. Has anyone been able to skin this? I tried using Resouce hacker and was able to move around and get rid of some of the buttons I don't use.


                You can use send keys to control the radio, so mabey I can create my own buttons in the software.

                Resource Hack site used to move the buttons
                http://www.users.on.net/johnson/resourcehacker/
                Spent all my money on carputers now I have to work a real job.
                http://www.858graphics.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Just to make a *completely* useless comment... the Mac version of the RadioShark software has it's interface freely editable with the Mac's standard developer tools. I'm gonna change it to match my AstraMac front end .

                  Um... as for Windows - no idea, sorry.
                  AstraMac

                  Power a Mac mini from 12v: Here
                  Front end status: Here

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi,

                    So when you guys modified the radioShark by hooking the FM antenna right to the PCB or something and did away with the original antenna it worked fine?

                    I connected the car antenna to the external port on the radioShark... just like you guys did, core of the antenna coax to the R/L pins.... but when I contacted tech support they said to connect it to the ground pin instead of the headphone jack. There was noticabilty better reception.

                    I'm living in a highly built up area, and reception is TERRIBLE with this fin!

                    Cheers!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I actually used the fm antenna from the PCB just cut it down a little and soldered it to my BNC connector. I then used a BNC to motorola. It works great for FM.

                      Good to know on the 1/8" plug. Ground....

                      Did that work with AM?
                      7" Lilliput
                      1.42 Mac mini (512MB,80GB,Combo,Bluetooth,Airport)
                      Carnetix P1900 with CNX-P5V
                      Radioshark
                      GPS (BU-303)
                      Polk MMC 650
                      Infinity Kappa 62.7i
                      Alpine MRP-F240

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        reception is bad even with the 1/8" jack... i desoldered the original fm antenna and soldered my own in ... its a lot better, but if I'm not line of sight with the FM broadcast antennas ... the signal sucks... i'm waiting for my signal amplifer to reach me... i'll test it and let you guys know how well things turn out...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I only got my Radioshark this weekend, and so far I am pretty happy with it. I've already thrown out the case, and with the internal FM antenna straightened out, I can get all of Melbourne's major radio stations and most of the smaller ones - AM and FM. And that's with the Radioshark sitting in my study right next to the wireless router and my Xenarc (which seems to obey no FCC guidelines ). Some stations have a bit of static, but extending the FM out another metre gets them perfect.

                          Haven't taken it for a run in the car yet though.

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                          • #14
                            well, i live in the city... so its heavily built up... when i take it out for a spin ... i get too much interference and signal fade offs... so i'm waiting for the signal amplifier...

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                            • #15
                              so has anyone test drove it yet, any results

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