The difference between AM and FM antennas - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 20th, 06, 09:23 PM Thread Starter
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The difference between AM and FM antennas

I'm gonna be removing my AM radio and putting in an AM/FM radio and I was wondering why they sell the different antennas. What is the difference between the AM antennas and the AM/FM antennas? Do I really have to replace the original antenna?

Also, I once heard that you cannot put a motorized antenna in the front fender of the camaro because it will not have enough room to be able to fully retract. Has anyone done this? I read that the motorized ones are usually only installed in the back of the car.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 21st, 06, 04:56 AM
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Re: The difference between AM and FM antennas

Any antenna will work for FM. You need to adjust (trim) the AM tuner for best reception, at least on older models from the 70's & some 80's. Probably not a concern now with newer electronics. Used to adjust the height of the antenna to 22 inches for best FM reception.

Just make sure the base is grounded well and tighten the nut.

No, a motorized antenna will not fit due to lack of room for the gear box. You might get an 88-96 truck antenna. Small, thin and black in color.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 21st, 06, 07:24 AM
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Re: The difference between AM and FM antennas

31" mast is standard for modern am/fm antennas.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 21st, 06, 09:18 AM
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Re: The difference between AM and FM antennas

If you are installing a "modern" headunit unit it will have a standard antenna receptacle on the back of the unit. If you are in a decent city area, a simple 12 to 18 inch wire inserted into the antenna receptable will get you solid reception.

Hint: You can buy a "standard" antenna wire from local Radio Shack it will have the proper end plug. Cut it down to length to the 12 to 18" length and insert it into the antenna receptable (it will fit nice and tight since its the intended cable).

Cutting fenders or installing motorization antennas is something I wouldn't consider...

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 21st, 06, 02:10 PM
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Re: The difference between AM and FM antennas

How many of you have the antenna in the windshield? I've seen a few out there. If you do not want the antenna to show, that's the best way to go.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 21st, 06, 02:34 PM
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Re: The difference between AM and FM antennas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eighttrakz
Do I really have to replace the original antenna?

Also, I once heard that you cannot put a motorized antenna in the front fender of the Camaro because it will not have enough room to be able to fully retract. Has anyone done this? I read that the motorized ones are usually only installed in the back of the car.
No you do not have to replace the antenna unless it's defective. Marketing an AM car antenna and an AM/FM car antenna is sorta a play on words. It would be like saying you cannot hook up your original analog speaker to a new CD player because it is digital and you have to use digital ready speakers with it.

There are obstructions under the front fender and while a person could put a motorized one up there, it will take some work to do it. It will not be as simple as drilling a hole and mounting it up like a mast style antenna. I think a while back, Jay Leno had a power antenna installed in the front fender of his Riviera and it took a fair amount of fabrication to get it there. They also used to sell remotely motorized power antenna's to where the bottom portion of the assembly under the fender had the motor attached with a flex cable to allow the motor to be mounted off to one side or the other and gave some flexibility for clearance issues.
With a power antenna mounted in the rear it does make it easier to service but you also have a slight loss of signal due to the extension cables length.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 21st, 06, 10:00 PM Thread Starter
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Re: The difference between AM and FM antennas

The antenna I have now is the original AM antenna. I will just keep it since I really don't want to drill a hole in the back of the car and plug a hole in the front just to have the motorized antenna.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 21st, 06, 11:04 PM
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Re: The difference between AM and FM antennas

Don't know if this should be posted as a new thread...but some very knowlegable replies...so why the original am radio only for rear antennas (I have one)?
Never have seen question answered definitively?
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 22nd, 06, 05:06 AM
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Re: The difference between AM and FM antennas

Quote:
Originally Posted by 67 RSS
so why the original am radio only for rear antennas (I have one)? Never have seen question answered definitively?
Every car with radio had a front antenna, regardless if AM or AM/FM option.

Rear antenna was an option on its own, I believe.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old May 16th, 12, 01:55 PM
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Red face Re: The difference between AM and FM antennas

Related antenna question: The guy I bought the camaro from put in a am radio, says there is a fm antenna, is this a problem?
now there is no sound coming out of the radio, not even static. Do I need to change antennas?

He had put in a 20a fuse in the radio spot which was blown, I replaced it with a 10a fuse like the fusebox says. He wired another speaker in the second ground spot, so I wired all the speaker into the skr spot and put in a ground wire on the gnd spot to the frame.
Does this radio have a internal fuse?
How can I save this radio?


Please help,
Newbie theTank69
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old May 17th, 12, 08:40 AM
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Re: The difference between AM and FM antennas

Antenna lengths are "tuned" to the RF band they are meant to receive. AM ranges from 500khz to 1600khz (longer wavelength) where FM ranges from 88Mhz to 108Mhz (shorter wavelength). But really when it comes to receivers, the antenna length isn't that critical. My advice - just hook up what you have and see how it works. If you're in a fringe area where reception is weak, you might benefit from an "FM" antenna. Also, the coaxial cable for an FM antenna may be a bit higher quality since the losses at high frequencies is greater. Again, unless you're in the fringe, you probably won't notice a difference.

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old May 17th, 12, 04:46 PM
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Re: The difference between AM and FM antennas

Have any of you used the "hidden antenna's" that a few of the street rod guys around here use? If so, where did you mount it?

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old Nov 16th, 14, 06:43 PM
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Re: The difference between AM and FM antennas

Quote:
Originally Posted by theTank69 View Post
Related antenna question: The guy I bought the camaro from put in a am radio, says there is a fm antenna, is this a problem?
now there is no sound coming out of the radio, not even static. Do I need to change antennas.

He had put in a 20a fuse in the radio spot which was blown, I replaced it with a 10a fuse like the fusebox says. He wired another speaker in the second ground spot, so I wired all the speaker into the skr spot and put in a ground wire on the gnd spot to the frame.
Does this radio have a internal fuse?
How can I save this radio?


Please help,
Newbie theTank69
I also have an AM radio in my camaro.I thought it was dead,
I pulled it out, cleaned it up, I then hooked it to a charger, and used a coat hanger as an antenna and it works.when I put it back in the car,with the car antenna it can't catch any stations. why?
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old Nov 17th, 14, 04:13 AM
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Re: The difference between AM and FM antennas

Take an ohmmeter and:
1. Measure between the center conductor to the outer shell - should be an open, or very high resistance, 1 Megaohm or more,
2, measure outer conductor to ground, should have under 10 ohms, less than 1 ohm is ideal,
3. From antenna mast to center conductor, less than 1 ohm resistance.

Once continuity is achieved and radio stations received,
tune radio to a 1400 Khz station, turn down volume softly, pull off tuning knob,
and with a plastic screwdriver, tune the cap through the front panel for best volume.
Install knob back on.

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