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radio reception

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by grousemont, Apr 17, 2013.

  1. grousemont

    grousemont New Member

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    Seattle
    Is my car the only one that has terrible AM/FM reception? AM is atrocious, FM is manageable but frustrating at times.
     
  2. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    Yes, the antenna strength is much weaker in the Model S compared to other cars. I filed a service case for it in the early days and they attempted to replace the antenna amplifiers, but they concluded the reception is just poor. If you're in a city, great - but I live 50 miles from St. Louis and most stations, HD fades in and out on the MS where it doesn't on every other radio I own.

    (The reception reminds me of the mid-1980's "antennaless" cars where a dipole antenna ran up the center of the windshield and stretched across the top. Similarly, Tesla has the antenna built into the rear glass on the Model S.)
     
  3. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    You just made me realize that with all of the other options, I haven't listened to terrestrial radio since getting the car!
     
  4. bbmertz

    bbmertz Model S: P4909

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    You're not alone. Many (but not all) Tesla owners have reported the problem in other forums (including me). That being said, I routinely listen to satellite radio, Internet radio or iTunes via Bluetooth, so I rarely have to deal with this reception issue.
     
  5. Odenator

    Odenator P2607

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    Olympia, WA
    I receive Seattle radio stations fairly well in the south Puget sound area but the reception gets horrible the closer I get to Seattle. Go figure.
     
  6. aaronw

    aaronw Member

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    The funny thing is that I am getting better reception than I was in my Prius. It seems less sensitive to interference. As I understand it, the antennas are in the side mirrors. I haven't tried AM, just FM. I'm also using the HD mode.
     
  7. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    The model S antennae are integrated in the rear glass (amps are under the trim panels aside the glass in the liftgate).

    Are you talking about the Prius antennae?
     
  8. Trnsl8r

    Trnsl8r Blue 85kwh since 12/8/12

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    +1 on mediocre radio reception.
     
  9. Electric1

    Electric1 Member

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    Mods, feel free to move this "If iknew then..."

    I consider myself fortunate that at the last minute I decided to spring for the radio upgrade ( I was considering resale) because I rarely use the two sat-radsthat I hve for other cars, but I did and found it necessary to sign up for XM at $200/yr because I get HORRIBLE FM reception, even worse than when my antena was snapped off of my Jag.


    Definately a low point for esla engineering.

    - - - Updated - - -


    Back then you could get a cheap "booster" that did some good, but I havn't seen one in years. Anyone have any thoughts?

    (I think that someone is doing something similar on a roadster)
     
  10. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    My '02 GMC Envoy had the radio antenna in the rearmost side windows, and my '09 Cadillac CTS had the antenna in the top section of the rear glass. Both had excellent radio reception, better than previous cars with mast antennas in fact.
     
  11. geharmon

    geharmon Member

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    Location:
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    I'm also getting poor radio reception - fm,hd, internet (slacker) and xm radio. I'm 45 mile south of Boston. We get excellent fm & xm reception in our honda crv and mercedes. I do intend to mention it to Tesla service. We just got the car 2 weeks ago (600 miles) and are going through out "shakedown" perod.
     
  12. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    Mine is only FM that seems to have an issue (I don't listen to AM all that much and when I do it's KMOX, a clear channel (not the company) station that I live 50 miles from). XM is not a problem for me.
     
  13. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    What are "AM" and "FM"? Are they like these shiny discs that non-Tesla drivers keep telling me about? Are they for when you're out of 3G range and your USB sticks die?
     
  14. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    I guess. I do recall something like AM/FM back in the 1960s.
     
  15. brooklynrab

    brooklynrab Member

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    I'd like to get this thread going again -- it has been over a year since these AM/FM reception complaints came up, and nothing from Tesla. My service center acknowledged the obvious last week, that this is an issue and tesla was aware of it, but that is it -- no answers but a shoulder shrug. I would gladly take a sharkfin antenna on my tesla MS if that would solve the problem. Some of my favorite stations are on AM and Fm and are not available in Tune-In, and my desire to get rid of XM are currently being dashed by this crappy AM/FM reception (BTW, my XM reception is also worse than my old Infiniti's, when close to buildings and other obstructions). It is inexcusable that Tesla is not dealing with this problem, on a 100K car, and it is something I feel forced to mention to all interested parties when they ask me about the pros and cons of my tesla.
    There are some very smart people on this forum -- does anyone have a retrofit or workaround to get decent reception?
    BTW, I'm in the NY area, and my service center says that this is a problem that is "more east coast than west coast", and that might be impacting Tesla's responsiveness on the issue (can anyone say, "heated steering wheel"?).
     
  16. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    Unfortunately, I don't think it will help all that much if you're talking the small shark-fins found on some cars. Shark fins would work well for XM because of the frequency, but FM/AM reception is unlikely to get much better reception without longer antennas, and of course it depends on where you live in relation to the stations you wish to listen to. For those in urban areas, some chewing gum foil works just fine - but not where I live.

    I live about 45 miles from most St. Louis FM transmitter towers, and while I can get any station fairly clearly on the old analog carrier, the HD digital carriers tend to fade in and out.

    I suspect that to make an appreciable difference versus the in-glass antenna, you'd need an antenna at least 7 1/2" long or so.
     
  17. Panacea

    Panacea TSLA Shareholder/Believer

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    I'm with you brooklynrab....the radio reception is rather dismal. Was not aware that this was "an east coast" only issue. TM lack of responsiveness is disappointing.
     
  18. highfalutintodd

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    Location:
    Hendersonville, Tennessee, United States
    Agreed that the FM reception is terrible. There's a station in a town about 50 miles away that I've listened to my entire life on every radio in every car I've ever had that my Model S can't pick up unless I'm actually IN the town. (Listening to 107.9 / Q108 out of Clarksville, TN here in Nashville for the Tennesseans out there).

    As others have noted, however, I've found myself primarily listening to Slacker since owning my Tesla so I forget how bad the reception is. ;-)
     
  19. Vitdoc

    Vitdoc Member

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    Location:
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    I live south of Los Angeles and AM stations that previously were easy to listen to now are skipped by the radio since the signal is so poor. The local service center is aware of the problem and told me that in the software update there might be a fix for this.
    I was doubtful that a software change would help. There was no update for the reception so perhaps it is in the works but I would not hold my breath.
    Every company has its priorities. I think that Tesla (Elon Musk) wants to show that the car can be used for long distance travel and so has prioritized getting the cross county charger network up and running. Other issues like the battery problem that got much media attention was resolved in months. But he radio issues don't seem to get much attention from Tesla. I think if there was a newspaper article pointing out that this advanced 21st century car has worse reception than a 1935 Buick on AM there might be a quick fix.
    The charging station north of San Diego in San Juan Capistrano was scheduled to be open the summer of 2013. It still is unavailable. So going to San Diego is very iffy. If the station was needed to go across country it would have been ready in the summer of 2013.
    I bet that at least ten times the number of Tesla owners would like to go to San Diego than go cross country since the most Tesla owners are in California. But it is not as important to the company to access San Diego then showing the car can make it across the US.
    Ultimately all large companies act like large companies.
     
  20. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

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    I'm not sure how a software update can address a lack of proper RF shielding, which appears to be the case with the Model S AM antenna.
     

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