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Thread: USB or Serial RADIO RECEIVER

  1. #1
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    USB or Serial RADIO RECEIVER

    I am ISO a good radio receiver. I don't care if its USB or serial, but I need something that gets good reception. I have a SILABS USB receiver right now, but it barely gets a local station. In other words, its horrible. My Volvo has a factory power source for the antenna and didn't have a standard antenna cable that ran to the back of the receiver. Instead, it received the data over a wire (or set of wires) from the antenna power booster and was included with all the other wires in the back of the HU. I am not sure if I can just take the one signal wire and tie it into the antenna wire from the SILABS USB receiver, but I doubt it.

    I listen to my music from the HD a lot, but it would be nice to have a radio available.

  2. #2
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    bump.

    I really want to get this radio working so I have all the stations I normally get, not just the one that is 5 miles from me, lol

  3. #3
    Variable Bitrate csfile's Avatar
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    Have you looked into an HD radio receiver with mitchjs serial cable? I first used HQCT and got some reception, but it was not consistent and there was a lot of static. I recently bought a Directed HD radio. It's amazing when I get digital signal, but I don't get digital signal often. But the analog signal was much better and I received more stations. Directed unit was ~$55 and serial cable was ~$25.

  4. #4
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    I guess I want to keep using the SILABS USB receiver, but I need a way to improve reception, significantly. It is terrible.

  5. #5
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    It sounds like you have an amplified antenna, that isn't getting power. Do you have a wiring diagram for the radio wiring harness for your car?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by kross View Post
    It sounds like you have an amplified antenna, that isn't getting power. Do you have a wiring diagram for the radio wiring harness for your car?
    Nope...My car actually has two antennas (a diversity antenna system). The antenna in the bumper gets its power over the coax line and the signal is retained over DC. The window antenna is powered and I have yet to try that one. However, I am not sure about the impedance difference between the USB receiver and the antenna.

  7. #7
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    I wasn't familiar with the Silabs USB unit, so I did some Googling. I see it doesn't have an antenna connection, but it has a long wire that acts as the antenna. Did you splice your car antenna into that wire? If so, that would explain the poor reception. I don't think that will work. I think you need to solder a car antenna connector directly to the PCB, like here: USB FM RDS Solution with sofware

  8. #8
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    I'll give it a shot.

  9. #9
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    And you can try Metra part #40-VL10. This will give you a standard antenna connector from the Volvo radio wiring harness.

  10. #10
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    Well, I’m clueless.
    I hooked up the receiver to my desktop in my upstairs office, and it got all the radio stations that I would expect it to.
    Put it back in the car…and it only gets that one station.
    I tried powering the antenna amp and connecting it to the coax, nothing.
    I tried connecting it to each of the antenna plug INPUTS to the amp, nothing.
    I tried using the 6” antenna from the USB board and moving it all around, nothing.

    For whatever reason, it only gets the station that is local.

    Now for the REALLY WEIRD part…when I tune to the other stations that I did in the upstairs office, it had the same signal strength, however all I got was static.
    In fact, the display on the CarPC actually said “STEREO” once I tuned to that station, which meant that the signal seemed to be OK.
    I tried all combinations for antenna, but it seems the signal is fine, so something else must be going on.

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