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We all know the radio reception is terrible (my 8 year old Impreza has much better range). What is the problem? I seem to remember reading it was a lack of antenna, or is it just a poor head unit?

Does anyone know if anything can be done to sort, aftermarket or otherwise?

Also, does anyone else have a problem with screen randomly changing views between radio and navigation while on the move? Not a major problem, but can get v. annoying, and is one of those issues which disappears within 5 miles of a dealership!

Thanks

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Upgrade today to remove Google ads and support TLF.

yes on the latter - often seems related to whether I have recently had a destination in the satnav. i also think it's linked to whether u have the speed warning's activated - ie evry time u r near a speed camera the unit switches to the blue nav / phone screen without actually showing the map page.

On the former - can't be bothered to take it to a specialist ICE place, it's workable day to day and on a longer journey I plug in my iphone and listen to 'CD's'

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Oddly enough I was at a car audio specialist the other day (sat nav broken .......again blink.gif) and mentioned this very problem. They were of the opinion that the lack of a solid base plate + fibre glass body negated any decent 'tracking/radio' reception, also that the Alpine unit isn't necessarily the best at coping with tracking of stations.

Inserting a hidden aerial in the roof lining would not provide a workable solution, the only real resolution would be from a stonking aesthetically unappealing aerial bolted onto the external roof area. At this point I politely thanked them for their insight and said I'd live with the issue.

In a nut shell - this problem cannot be resolved. Lotus HQ have it as a 'known' issue from day one, but have no immediate fix in the pipeline - if ever dizzy.gif

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I concur with Bolly Girl on this one. I have been told by dealer that it is the lack of a steel frame acting as a large Aerial that is the main issue. This is certainly a true issue from a radio reception standpoint as large ships are great and GRP lifeboats are crap as annology. Dont expect a fix was the message in my list of issues.

Re- the flashing from Radio/I-pod pages etc. to in some cases blue "button" screen or sat nav briefly it IS a function of the speeding alert hence the relative randomness of it all. I have found out that if you leave the screen on the nav page and then press Function on screen button (middle - writing this offshore) you toggle back and forwards between nav and radio when speed alert comes up. If the nav page comes up it has the speed limit being broken displayed. However if you leave the blue page and toggle to radio then it just flashes up and not obvious why. Now I am not sure if switching speed alert off completely will stop it happening but for sure that is the reason as I have proven now numerous times.

Now I have my unit actually talking to me after last round of problems and being re-flashed by dealer I am finding out all sorts of things with the unit that I never knew before as I wasn't hearing any of the speech warnings in previous 6 months. I did 1000 miles in the car in 2 days last Friday/Saturday from Central Scotland to London, then Norwich and then home again and spent a lot of time a) speeding and b) in passengers seat button pressing while my son drove to distract myself. blink.gif (Nerve wracking at first but he thouroughly enjoyed it!) I have now managed to get the adjustable levels for the speed limits set somewhere sensible as that is in the options for a % of the speed limit at 30 and 70. I have different % set for each and it works on sliding scale for speeds in between. It now only talks to me at 40 in a 30 and 85 when unresticted. I have also had a good play with volume of the nav instructions as far too soft before and hardly heard. I'm finding that about level 12 is good for me.

- However & this should probably go in a different topic so I will but I now keep loosing navigation satellites or so it says.... more elsewhere on this so do not answer or expand here!

Edited by Al.

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The reception is really really rubbish in the Evora, I can only just pick up local radio stations. Things like Radio 1 and other national stations are a no go :(

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I've got another Alpine question - since the Blackbird has been fixed, I cannot stop the unit flicking between the selected source and the sat nav displays. It seems to do it a bit randomly and doesn't look like a fixed time period so I suspect is not deliberate. It's really distracting, especially at night, and also awkward when you come to want to change tracks on something just as it is displaying sat nav.

Anyone have any ideas? (Other than replace the thing with a Pioneer!)

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I've seen these units exhibiting this behaviour changed under warranty, I'd suggest you get it back to the dealer and complain. Complain loud enough and you may get an upgrade depending on how hard they fight your corner (although you may have to contribute to some of the costs for this).

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Ok, thanks Bibs - note sent to dealer, the upgrade mission starts here!

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All Antennas in cars and on boats use what is known as a half wave dipole. One half is the whip antenna we are all familiar with, or whatever the newer stuff has such as two element embeded in windshields, etc. The other half is the "ground plane" portion of the half wave, typically the metal shell of the car or the metal frame of the boat. Plastic cars and boats do not have this second half unless specifically installed during radio installation by someone, and ergo only have a 1/4 wave antenna - not suitable for anything as its gain is under -6 dB. You can improve reception by adding a metal 14-16 inch square plate somewhere to the shield side of the antenna lead from the radio to it. It acts as a reflector for the whip, creating the other half of the antenna that is lacking. My idea was to add a thin, solid piece of thin copper plate in the front trunk flooring and it works super - getting FM stations from 60 miles now, and AM at night from Chicago and New York. Without the ground plane portion, lucky to get 15 miles out...

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You can improve reception by adding a metal 14-16 inch square plate somewhere to the shield side of the antenna lead from the radio to it. It acts as a reflector for the whip, creating the other half of the antenna that is lacking. My idea was to add a thin, solid piece of thin copper plate in the front trunk flooring and it works super

Mickie, the stand-up aerial on the engine cover of an Elise of mine was positioned right above a sheet of heavy gauge metalised film on the underside of the engine cover. That was linked by a wire to somewhere. I was under the impression the film was helping to cut spark plug interference from below and that the wire went to "earth". From what you say - thanks for some technical expertise! - perhaps the wire went to the aerial outer sheath and the film served the function you describe. (And reception wasn't brilliant but far better than my Evora.)

So can you comment on where such a plate should best be positioned relative to the aerial? In the Evora I believe that runs up one side of the windscreen. There are possibilities for concealed metal film in the glove box, under carpets, where ever. (Under the front service flap?) I guess your "front trunk floor" is not very near your aerial (?).

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Just a thought - it isn't the speed warning coming up is it? If you have standard settings in or somebody has played, if you are in radio mode for example and you exceed speed warning limit it flicks to the sat nav screen (or the selection page if previously selected) and shows you the map but with the speed limit displayed in a small red and white speed limit sign. From memory doesn't then flick back to radio but stays map. Doesn't necessarily give audible warning. I had it in early days of my first one so trying to go back 2.5 years in a memory that can't remember what I did last week!

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My dealer replaced the aerial with an Aerial from the Mercedes SLK, which is mounted in the front under the bumper. Reception is much better since.

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I think if you have a route programmed in to the Sat Nav and have the screen on radio/ipod etc. it also flicks back to the Sat Nav screen when you come up to a junction. Might also do it whenever you come up to a speed camera (so it can display the speed limit), but that might only be if exceeding the speed limit as per Al's post above. IMO the Alpine system tries to be far too clever, and I spent a while when I first got the car working out how to turn most settings off!

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I spent a while when I first got the car working out how to turn most settings off!

hammer-1.jpg

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mdavies,

Ideal reception would be when the plate is directly under the whip half of the antenna. 360 degree reception is only possible when this is so. Your reception will have skewed lobes or a pattern differing from this the more off-center the reflector plate is from the whip. Plastic cars and boats are a problem when it comes to radio reception... There are antennas with the second half of the dipole built in but they are quite large, meaning longer in most circumstances and would be mostly impossible due to their length for use on cars, but they do work very well on boats.

Another solution is to run several (4-8) 16-24 inch long wires radially away from the whip (like spokes on a wheel) pattern all being connected to the shield on the radio antenna lead the more spokes the better the reception. Uniformity of the spokes lends itself to uniformity of reception patterns...

The final solution - lol - is to buy an FM antenna amplifier (really an RF preamplifier), but I find them lacking as they always amplify the atmospheric noise as well and if the FM signal is not strong enough to fully capture the FM detector, it will sound like poop.

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Mikie,

Thank you! You wouldn't have anything to do with radio comms, I don't suppose?! Food for though there, but not simple solutions it seems. Maybe the Merc aerial (as TBD) is the way.

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Murray Lotus in Edinburgh fitted me a new ariel. I know little or nothing about it as my 1st car was absolutely [email protected] reception couldn't even hold satellites for the sat nav to keep up. Radio was useless. About a year into its life I got a new type fitted in a new position along with the newer non Blackbird type Alpine. Like night and day. Radio was still on the edge of our fav station and was in but poor when other cars were in but good (not great) however the sat never dropped position after that.

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The odd thing to me is that the Evora radio reception is non functional, but my Elise and Exige had reasonable reception, something deffo changed in the design here.

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I think if you have a route programmed in to the Sat Nav and have the screen on radio/ipod etc. it also flicks back to the Sat Nav screen when you come up to a junction. Might also do it whenever you come up to a speed camera (so it can display the speed limit), but that might only be if exceeding the speed limit as per Al's post above. IMO the Alpine system tries to be far too clever, and I spent a while when I first got the car working out how to turn most settings off!

I think that you've got it. So I turned off the speed alert stuff, but I don't seem to be able to stop it from routing - so I still get the junctions thing popping up. I've currently resorted to putting it in the glove box when not in use, but is there an easy way to turn off routing? Mine just won't stop trying to navigate me to my last destination. Do I need to program it to a specific address and then drive there to get it to stop routing?

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Click on the menu button, then 'edit route' (or route info, one of the two) and 'delete route' comes up as an option :)

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Well that sounds easy! I'll try that, thanks.

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:thumbsup:

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mdavies,

Ideal reception would be when the plate is directly under the whip half of the antenna. 360 degree reception is only possible when this is so. Your reception will have skewed lobes or a pattern differing from this the more off-center the reflector plate is from the whip. Plastic cars and boats are a problem when it comes to radio reception... There are antennas with the second half of the dipole built in but they are quite large, meaning longer in most circumstances and would be mostly impossible due to their length for use on cars, but they do work very well on boats.

Another solution is to run several (4-8) 16-24 inch long wires radially away from the whip (like spokes on a wheel) pattern all being connected to the shield on the radio antenna lead the more spokes the better the reception. Uniformity of the spokes lends itself to uniformity of reception patterns...

The final solution - lol - is to buy an FM antenna amplifier (really an RF preamplifier), but I find them lacking as they always amplify the atmospheric noise as well and if the FM signal is not strong enough to fully capture the FM detector, it will sound like poop.

This may be a dumb question, but given the Evora has an aluminium tub chassis can't that be used in some way to act as a reflector plate?

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Hi,

Yes, it should be helpful, but the closer the the reflector the better the coupling to the director (the mast we usually have on most cars that have decent reception when mounted on a metal body panel), and hence, the more RF picked up by the radio's preamplifier. I am not familiar with the tub but it would seem that it is quite far away from the mast. I have my SAT Ant just laying in the front trunk's floor of my Esprit and it works fine as it does not need a Reflector but the FM mast needs a Reflector badly for it to function optimally. I have seen some actually mount a wire mesh directly underneath the mast in the well it is mounted in with good effect, but you must remember, the more out of axis they are to each other, the more skewed the reception pattern will be.... Google reception lobes, vertical antenna radiation patterns which are identical to reception patterns in reverse, antenna gain, vertical antenna base plates, etc. to get an idea of what I am talking about. Too lengthy to go into herein.

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