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Tesla AM radio reception

billm

Member
Aug 22, 2015
11
0
Canberra, ACT, Australia
I have noticed that the sensitivity of the AM tuner in my Tesla is pretty low. Parked in the garage, the signal is very scratchy and when driving the electric motors can be clearly heard over the incoming signal particularly in regen.

Has anyone else noticed this?
 

Mark E

Member
Jun 27, 2012
860
176
Sydney NSW
I have noticed that the sensitivity of the AM tuner in my Tesla is pretty low. Parked in the garage, the signal is very scratchy and when driving the electric motors can be clearly heard over the incoming signal particularly in regen.

Has anyone else noticed this?

I never use am or fm any more - I just use tune in. The am & fm reception is pretty bad but even with great reception internet radio sounds a lot better.
 

Mark E

Member
Jun 27, 2012
860
176
Sydney NSW
Trouble is - tune-in of late has been pathetic (keeps dropping out).

Something I noticed when I had a loan car while mine was being serviced was that tune in would pause and start again regularly. My car doesn't do that, & tune in works better than am or fm - particularly am if you drive into a car park. Lots of electrical noise in underground car parks overpower the weaker signal. Amazingly, phone reception is much better.

To test out if it's the car or tunein, maybe try streaming tunein from your phone.
 

ICUDoc

Active Member
May 19, 2015
1,680
1,061
Sydney NSW
Weird, Mark E, that the loan car has different reception for TuneIn to yours. Mine works well most of the time, but often not, and some "stations" eg Nova drop out all the time. Really frustrating and, let's face it, not good enough....
 

CHG-ON

Still in love after all these miles
Jun 24, 2014
3,079
636
Santa Cruz Mountains, USA
My radio reception sucks on both bands. Lots of static. Unfortunately, I live in a very mountainous region, where 3G drops a lot. Not their fault at all. So I do find it annoying because Slacker and TuneIn can drop a lot and radio is pretty much terrible. But it was much better in my Acura. I had it checked and they said it was within spec, down at their center, in a populated area with no trees or mountains.

Oh well. The price of living in paradise...
 

WhiteStar

Member
Sep 28, 2014
534
117
Sydney, AU
The thing I really have a problem with is the quality of AM radio content. I need calming, relaxing content while driving.


Example on my long drive back to Sydney, around Newcastle, my range was borderline, so I turned off everything, AC, music (I know not much to be saved with that) & got stuck behind a huge wide load lorry taking up 2 lanes at 50 km/h, causing me to miss the freeway entry, a huge detour & total loss of bearings on the NAV system directing me into an endless loop skirting the freeway I needed to be on. Range anxiety caused me to lose my cool, swearing loudly & repeatedly at the NAV system & any large truck I could see. I cooled down after a minute or so of raised blood pressure. But then I realised no, AC, no calming music & a bit of range anxiety are not a good mix. I switched the AC & music back on & all was OK again. I easily made it back to the Supercharger, anxiety was completely unnecessary.


So best to just switch over to jazz or classic music on FM or TuneIn & relax :)
 

billm

Member
Aug 22, 2015
11
0
Canberra, ACT, Australia
My radio reception sucks on both bands. Lots of static. Unfortunately, I live in a very mountainous region, where 3G drops a lot. Not their fault at all. So I do find it annoying because Slacker and TuneIn can drop a lot and radio is pretty much terrible. But it was much better in my Acura. I had it checked and they said it was within spec, down at their center, in a populated area with no trees or mountains.

Oh well. The price of living in paradise...
What I can't understand is why the radio in the Tesla is so poor compared to all the other cars I own. There has to be a logical explanation for the lack of sensitivity.
 

WhiteStar

Member
Sep 28, 2014
534
117
Sydney, AU
Could it possibly be the positioning of the aerial I wonder? Not sure exactly where it is/they are...presumably in the mirrors or sandwiched somewhere in the glassware?

In terms of the differing audio quality from various sources, I found some old DVD-Audio discs which I ripped to flac...192kHz 24-bit. Awesome sound quality compared to anything else I've tried so far.
 

WhiteStar

Member
Sep 28, 2014
534
117
Sydney, AU
How do you rip a cd to flac? Using Windows 10 I basically had a choice of wav or wmf. Was trying to copy to a USB .

I like free & open source so for Windows and OSX, you could try fre:ac. You'll have to go into General Settings | Encoders and change the Encoder to FLAC. Just tried it & seems to be buggy on my Mac though could be fine on Windows.

fre:ac - free audio converter

This might be a better choice for Macs:

XLD download | SourceForge.net

And an alternative for Windows:

CUERipper - CUETools wiki

Only for Macs, try TeslaTunes. It'll copy your iTunes playlists and/or other music library, automatically converting Apple Lossless to Flac.

Tesla Tunes by tattwamasi

I ripped the DVD-Audio using DVD-Audio Extractor.

DVD Audio Extractor -- Full featured DVD audio ripper for your easy use

Note that DVD-Audio has been considered extinct since about 2007 but was a great way to purchase audiophile quality music. Now there’s HDtracks, PonoMusic, eClassical and many other websites but the selection is limited.
 
Last edited:

Highsmith

New Member
May 17, 2016
2
1
North Carolina
Does anyone make an aftermarket fix for the poor radio reception? Thinking FM here. Also the Sirius drops out when part of the sky is blocked by trees. Don't remember that happening in my other car. I'd put a shark fin on it if it would help. Don't think Elon would see it here in Appalachia...
;-)
 

doctorwho

Active Member
Jan 3, 2014
1,134
485
Eurobin, Victoria. Australia
I like free & open source so for Windows and OSX, you could try fre:ac. You'll have to go into General Settings | Encoders and change the Encoder to FLAC. Just tried it & seems to be buggy on my Mac though could be fine on Windows.

fre:ac - free audio converter

This might be a better choice for Macs:

XLD download | SourceForge.net

And an alternative for Windows:

CUERipper - CUETools wiki

Only for Macs, try TeslaTunes. It'll copy your iTunes playlists and/or other music library, automatically converting Apple Lossless to Flac.

Tesla Tunes by tattwamasi

I ripped the DVD-Audio using DVD-Audio Extractor.

DVD Audio Extractor -- Full featured DVD audio ripper for your easy use

Note that DVD-Audio has been considered extinct since about 2007 but was a great way to purchase audiophile quality music. Now there’s HDtracks, PonoMusic, eClassical and many other websites but the selection is limited.

Another flac encoder for Mac is an app called Phile. Rips straight from CD. Very simple to use, rips to many formats. The only minor disadvantage is that you can't configure the flac compression level (I'd prefer 0)
 

wdolson

Supporting Member
Jul 24, 2015
7,549
10,086
Clark Co, WA
Could it possibly be the positioning of the aerial I wonder? Not sure exactly where it is/they are...presumably in the mirrors or sandwiched somewhere in the glassware?

In terms of the differing audio quality from various sources, I found some old DVD-Audio discs which I ripped to flac...192kHz 24-bit. Awesome sound quality compared to anything else I've tried so far.

The radio antennas are in the rear hatch glass up near the top

Undocumented | TeslaTap

At least the Model S is shielded well enough that you can get AM reception. The BMW i3 generates so much electrical noise they disabled the AM radio. Radio interference from the electric motors is an issue with electric cars in general, pulse width modulation motors generate tremendous amounts of electrical noise and a lot of it is in the AM radio band.
 

mark80908

Member
Jan 10, 2016
34
19
Colorado Springs, CO
This week I'm getting noise through the AM radio in my Model S that I haven't gotten before. On 740AM, a local station, the noise came and went as I turned climate control (AC) on and off. On 630AM, a distant station, the acceleration and regen made an interesting variety of whining noises between 5mph and 25mph. Coasting stopped the noise, and outside that speed range, I didn't hear anything (I have bad ears). Today was better, no noise at all on 740AM, and the motor noise on 630AM seemed less. This could well be atmosphere affecting 630AM signal strength and local control problems with 740AM's transmit power, or my MS has a new characteristic to the unreliable center console computer which crashes about once a month.
 

mark80908

Member
Jan 10, 2016
34
19
Colorado Springs, CO
What I can't understand is why the radio in the Tesla is so poor compared to all the other cars I own. There has to be a logical explanation for the lack of sensitivity.
Based on my recent experience, a radio with better reception may only receive more interference from the car. A better radio is wasted if the car's electrical noise is louder than the stations you want to receive.
 

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