FYI FORD - MustangSteve's Ford Mustang Forum
The Internet's Most Knowledgeable Classic Mustang Information
IF YOU HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT CLASSIC FORD MUSTANGS, YOU HAVE COME TO THE RIGHT PLACE!
MustangSteve has over 30 years of Mustang experience, having owned 30 of them and restored several others. With the help of other Mustangers, this site is dedicated to helping anyone wanting to restore or modify their Mustang.... THERE ARE NO DUMB QUESTIONS!!!!!
Visit MustangSteve's web site to view some of my work and find details for:
FYIFORD Contributors' PICTURES - Power Brake Retrofit Kits for 65-66 Stangs - Classic Mustang FAQ's by MustangSteve - How to wire in a Duraspark Ignition - Mustang Ride Height Pictures and Descriptions - Steel Bushings to fit Granada Spindles to Mustang Tie Rods - Visit my EBAY store MustangSteve Performance - How to Install Granada Disc Brakes MustangSteve's Disc Brake Swap Page - FYIFORD Acronyms for guide to all the acronyms used on this page - FYIFORD Important information and upcoming events

You are not logged in. Would you like to login or register?

7/28/2020 8:41 PM  #1


AM/FM Radio Reception Fix With Hidden Antenna

Not that I cared much that my 3 year old AM/FM CD deck picked up a clear radio reception or not with a hidden antenna, but my boy got a hot tip from his buddy at the stereo shop. I had tried 3 different hidden antennas without luck.  As funky as the fix sounds, it works outstandingly well.

For the antenna we used a 12 inch length of shielded strand auto electrical wire. Strip off 4 inches of insulation. Use a 4 inch fine thread sheetrock screw and wrap the bare wire around the screw shaft near the head. Using you fingers, insert the screw into the antenna port on the deck. Once it starts to get tight give it an additional quarter turn. You can thank me later.

https://i.ibb.co/R0pz7zf/20200728-193849.jpg


https://i.ibb.co/T22GVr5/20200728-191749.jpg


https://i.ibb.co/HHCjw98/20200728-193248.jpg

dice application


Bob. 69 Mach 1, 393W, SMOD Toploader, Armstrong  steering.
 

7/28/2020 8:51 PM  #2


Re: AM/FM Radio Reception Fix With Hidden Antenna

Glad it worked.

Try this for comparison.

Take an old antenna cable that fits your radio and cut it 12” and see if you get same result.

If not, then score around exterior of old cable near the the radio to cut just the shield (separates shield to chassis ground).

Did you try it with dash trim in place?
Just wondering.

Next try your old rabbit ears. 😂

Last edited by Nos681 (7/29/2020 5:01 AM)


65 coupe, 5.0L, T5, 3.25 Currie traction lock, strong arming for now
 

7/30/2020 8:23 AM  #3


Re: AM/FM Radio Reception Fix With Hidden Antenna

From a recent forum post on antennas, I purchased the "Bingfu" hidden car antenna from Amazon ($7.99) and found it worked quite well.  Just saying.


65 Fastback, 351W, 5-speed, 4 wheel discs, 9" rear,  R&C Front End.
 

7/30/2020 8:18 PM  #4


Re: AM/FM Radio Reception Fix With Hidden Antenna

BobE wrote:

From a recent forum post on antennas, I purchased the "Bingfu" hidden car antenna from Amazon ($7.99) and found it worked quite well.  Just saying.

Ya, that was the last one I bought with which I tried to get reception.


Bob. 69 Mach 1, 393W, SMOD Toploader, Armstrong  steering.
     Thread Starter
 

8/01/2020 9:54 AM  #5


Re: AM/FM Radio Reception Fix With Hidden Antenna

Bearing Bob wrote:

BobE wrote:

From a recent forum post on antennas, I purchased the "Bingfu" hidden car antenna from Amazon ($7.99) and found it worked quite well.  Just saying.

Ya, that was the last one I bought with which I tried to get reception.

... and it didn't work?


65 Fastback, 351W, 5-speed, 4 wheel discs, 9" rear,  R&C Front End.
 

8/01/2020 5:11 PM  #6


Re: AM/FM Radio Reception Fix With Hidden Antenna

Nothing but static with it hidden under the dash.

Last edited by Bearing Bob (8/01/2020 5:12 PM)


Bob. 69 Mach 1, 393W, SMOD Toploader, Armstrong  steering.
     Thread Starter
 

8/01/2020 6:47 PM  #7


Re: AM/FM Radio Reception Fix With Hidden Antenna

BobE wrote:

Bearing Bob wrote:

BobE wrote:

From a recent forum post on antennas, I purchased the "Bingfu" hidden car antenna from Amazon ($7.99) and found it worked quite well.  Just saying.

Ya, that was the last one I bought with which I tried to get reception.

... and it didn't work?

 
How does it work for you and where did you put it?

 

9/19/2020 4:27 PM  #8


Re: AM/FM Radio Reception Fix With Hidden Antenna

I sealed up the fender hole and was faced with this decision on alternative antenna options just recently.
To my surprise,  I took the original mast antenna and and hid it under the console. I ran the antenna cable along the top of the transmission tunnel, underneath the carpet. Everything is hidden. It worksworks surprisingly well and gets most local stations with good reception. When I had the mast antenna on the fender, I used to get a community station in the next County over and that was lost with the change. I am currently playing with another option to improve reception by installing a dual antenna connection to allow me connect two antennas to the one radio. Yesterday I tried using a wire set up under the dash (similar to Bearing Bob's suggestion) for the second antenna. I got reception back for the community station in the next County over, but will need to see how I go with driving around.

Last edited by Stevo (9/19/2020 4:30 PM)


1964-1/2 D Code Coupe - 289 V8 - 4 Speed - Autolite 4100 Carb, 15" tires, Pertronix ignition
 

9/19/2020 6:24 PM  #9


Re: AM/FM Radio Reception Fix With Hidden Antenna

That's odd, I too have the Bingfu antenna in my trunk under the metal that is  below the package tray. I get all the channels, including AM. But the bottom line is if it works go with it.

Last edited by Cab4word67 (9/19/2020 6:25 PM)


Just when I thought I wasn't spending $$$ The gremlins came back
 

9/20/2020 2:35 AM  #10


Re: AM/FM Radio Reception Fix With Hidden Antenna

I took the car for a drive this weekend and found that I need to come up with another idea for the second antenna.

Antenna 1 - Mounted under the console along the top of the transmission tunnel does pretty well, but if the station is far away or a community station (with poorer signal), reception is hit and miss. Having the old mast under the console does a pretty good job all in all, but it could be better.

Antenna 2 - I am not sure. I did try an amplified hidden antenna, but that turned out to be a waste of money. I tried multiple locations and it was just no good. I think I need to sit antenna 2 in a location where it is not under the dash (surrounded by metal). I found a hidden antenna for sale and all it consisted of was the plug, 1ft of antenna cable and then bare wire coming out the end of the antenna cable. They claimed it had good reception, but I am not sure?

Is there a way to run an antenna cable to metal and have the whole car as an antenna? Or maybe using that antenna cable with the bare wire on the end and connecting it to the metal dash speaker grille below the windshield would work? Sorry if this is an ignorant question. I have no idea really.

Can Bearing Bob and Cab share a little more instruction and photos of what they did to get really good radio reception? Can anyone else share what worked for them?

Last edited by Stevo (9/20/2020 2:37 AM)


1964-1/2 D Code Coupe - 289 V8 - 4 Speed - Autolite 4100 Carb, 15" tires, Pertronix ignition
 

9/20/2020 7:46 AM  #11


Re: AM/FM Radio Reception Fix With Hidden Antenna

Body shell is grounded, can’t act as an antenna.
I use a retractable antenna in the o/e location. In the past 20k miles so so I don’t remember the last time the radio was turned on.
https://i.imgur.com/0fjnbtvl.jpg

Last edited by Rudi (9/20/2020 10:12 AM)


Good work ain't cheap, Cheap work ain't good!   “Never trust a fart”
 

9/20/2020 1:41 PM  #12


Re: AM/FM Radio Reception Fix With Hidden Antenna

I have no other pics. It's a pretty easy and straight forth install. Wrap the stripped portion of the wire around the screw, install the screw into the antenna port, position the wire straight up.

I'm with Rudi on not even using the radio feature on my deck. A year ago I drove 3,000 miles to Waco and back for the mini Bash and not once did I turn on the stereo. And it's a really nice stereo system. Just saying.


Bob. 69 Mach 1, 393W, SMOD Toploader, Armstrong  steering.
     Thread Starter
 

9/21/2020 1:59 AM  #13


Re: AM/FM Radio Reception Fix With Hidden Antenna

Bearing Bob wrote:

I have no other pics. It's a pretty easy and straight forth install. Wrap the stripped portion of the wire around the screw, install the screw into the antenna port, position the wire straight up.

I'm with Rudi on not even using the radio feature on my deck. A year ago I drove 3,000 miles to Waco and back for the mini Bash and not once did I turn on the stereo. And it's a really nice stereo system. Just saying.

I guess I just like my radio stations, so this is something I need to get sorted out.
I will have another try at your idea Bearing Bob. In your picture though, you show the dash removed. I wonder how good reception will be with the dash all in place? Playing with my set up, I wonder if getting the wire up above the dash would be better?
Instead of plugging into the back of the radio on my car, I will place the screw into the dual antenna cable plug and try running the wire up from there. I want to have two antennas and keep the mast antenna hidden under the console. I think the two antennas has to be a good idea?
 


1964-1/2 D Code Coupe - 289 V8 - 4 Speed - Autolite 4100 Carb, 15" tires, Pertronix ignition
 

9/21/2020 4:35 AM  #14


Re: AM/FM Radio Reception Fix With Hidden Antenna

Try what I suggested at the top to an old antenna cable.
With shield removed, you have the center portion as antenna like BB2 did.

I’m not a HAM radio guy at all, I believe you can “tune “ it by varying the length of the removed shield.

As Rudi said, the shield is grounded to body/chassis of radio and car.


65 coupe, 5.0L, T5, 3.25 Currie traction lock, strong arming for now
 

9/21/2020 5:00 AM  #15


Re: AM/FM Radio Reception Fix With Hidden Antenna

Nos681 wrote:

Try what I suggested at the top to an old antenna cable.
With shield removed, you have the center portion as antenna like BB2 did.

I’m not a HAM radio guy at all, I believe you can “tune “ it by varying the length of the removed shield.

As Rudi said, the shield is grounded to body/chassis of radio and car.

Do you mean cut the antenna cable and expose it by peeling back the outer shield?


1964-1/2 D Code Coupe - 289 V8 - 4 Speed - Autolite 4100 Carb, 15" tires, Pertronix ignition
 

9/21/2020 5:08 AM  #16


Re: AM/FM Radio Reception Fix With Hidden Antenna

After looking at Bearing Bob's pictures again, I discovered that I did it differently with each end of my wire being stripped. The screw end and the loose end. It is most likely in contact with metal under the dash somewhere and I wonder if that causes interference? I will re try my set up again.

Last edited by Stevo (9/21/2020 7:03 AM)


1964-1/2 D Code Coupe - 289 V8 - 4 Speed - Autolite 4100 Carb, 15" tires, Pertronix ignition
 

9/21/2020 9:01 AM  #17


Re: AM/FM Radio Reception Fix With Hidden Antenna

Stevo wrote:

Nos681 wrote:

Try what I suggested at the top to an old antenna cable.
With shield removed, you have the center portion as antenna like BB2 did.

I’m not a HAM radio guy at all, I believe you can “tune “ it by varying the length of the removed shield.

As Rudi said, the shield is grounded to body/chassis of radio and car.

Do you mean cut the antenna cable and expose it by peeling back the outer shield?

Yes, just the outer jacket and shield braiding only.
Then place small wire nut, heat shrink, or tape over wire to prevent potential issues in future.

That would be a mechanical problem causing an electrical problem. 😁

Electrically, same thing BB2 said, but without the potential of it vibrating loose and causing problems or have to do it again.

If you leave it long, you could place antenna anywhere on/in car.  Under dash pad/above steel frame, around windows, or what works for your radio.

Just strip a small amount at a time to find the length that works best with your radio.
Radio guys know that stuff better.

Last edited by Nos681 (9/21/2020 9:04 AM)


65 coupe, 5.0L, T5, 3.25 Currie traction lock, strong arming for now
 

9/21/2020 9:11 AM  #18


Re: AM/FM Radio Reception Fix With Hidden Antenna

Where is your ignition located with respect to radio and antenna?

Ignition items like the coil, plug wires, and the feed wires to ignition box might cause problems too.

Use some aluminum foil and shield parts of ignition system to see if it improves.


65 coupe, 5.0L, T5, 3.25 Currie traction lock, strong arming for now
 

9/21/2020 10:28 AM  #19


Re: AM/FM Radio Reception Fix With Hidden Antenna

Nos681 wrote:

Where is your ignition located with respect to radio and antenna?

Ignition items like the coil, plug wires, and the feed wires to ignition box might cause problems too.

Use some aluminum foil and shield parts of ignition system to see if it improves.

Maybe directing the antenna wire over to the passenger side would help? I might try routing it up to above the dash, just below the windshield.


1964-1/2 D Code Coupe - 289 V8 - 4 Speed - Autolite 4100 Carb, 15" tires, Pertronix ignition
 

9/21/2020 5:51 PM  #20


Re: AM/FM Radio Reception Fix With Hidden Antenna

I spent the best part of an hour trying out a single (insulated) copper wire. It seems to work, but I cannot mount it like Bearing Bob did. For me, anything under the dash just creates too much static. I even tried laying it on top of the dash and there was too much static (must be interference from all the metal).

I selected the radio station in our area that has the worst signal and used this as a guide. I placed a screw into the antenna socket and wound some wire onto the screw. I then moved the other end of the wire around inside the car, whilst the radio was on. The best reception was achieved when the end of the wire was up around head height. Great reception there and that is with me sitting inside the garage with the garage door down.

I thought I nailed it with shoving the wire in beside the door pinch weld and running the wire down along the pinch weld and then back up under the dash, but the moment a section of the wire comes close to a section of the dash, it creates static. If I have the wire in with the pinch weld, and avoid that section of the dash I get great reception. There must be something about the dash in my car that just creates interference.

Another idea was that I run the copper wire all the way up to the rear parcel tray, but I think it picks up static at various points along the way.

I am now wondering if this is all coming down to the type of wire I am using? Is there another type of wire that I can use to try this? Something with better insulation? Speaker wire?

When some of you guys refer to Bingfu antennas, are you referring to this type? This is what I am wondering about sitting on top of the rear parcel tray, just below the window.
https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/518Y7JBSM4L._AC_SL1000_.jpg

 

Last edited by Stevo (9/21/2020 7:54 PM)


1964-1/2 D Code Coupe - 289 V8 - 4 Speed - Autolite 4100 Carb, 15" tires, Pertronix ignition
 

9/21/2020 7:47 PM  #21


Re: AM/FM Radio Reception Fix With Hidden Antenna

Nos681 wrote:

Try what I suggested at the top to an old antenna cable.
With shield removed, you have the center portion as antenna like BB2 did.

I’m not a HAM radio guy at all, I believe you can “tune “ it by varying the length of the removed shield.

As Rudi said, the shield is grounded to body/chassis of radio and car.

I tried an this with a car antenna cable and the static was the worst. I couldn't get a good signal anywhere.
 


1964-1/2 D Code Coupe - 289 V8 - 4 Speed - Autolite 4100 Carb, 15" tires, Pertronix ignition
 

9/21/2020 7:49 PM  #22


Re: AM/FM Radio Reception Fix With Hidden Antenna

Out of curiosity, what alternator are you using?

If 1G alternator (original type from 65-mid 80’s),do you have a condenser (capacitor) at voltage regulator to ground?

Is voltage regulator mechanical or electronic?
Is it well grounded?

As for plug wires...are they radio frequency interference (RFI) type to prevent/minimize radio interference?

Some high performance spiral wound wires and such can create noise on radio.

On A.M. do you hear a lot of alternator whine?
May want to check/cleanup connections on battery feed to fuse block(s).


The reason for the use of a coaxial cable is the shield bleeds the interference to body ground.
Think how regular radio coaxial cable runs in the interior.
When it gets to the antenna base, the shield is grounded and the antenna is connected to the center wire.

You could do that with radio antenna cable.  Just leave shielding on until you get to the location to mount.  This way the shield is blocking the interference from getting to center wire.

Hope some of this information can help.


65 coupe, 5.0L, T5, 3.25 Currie traction lock, strong arming for now
 

9/21/2020 8:00 PM  #23


Re: AM/FM Radio Reception Fix With Hidden Antenna

Nos681 wrote:

Out of curiosity, what alternator are you using?

If 1G alternator (original type from 65-mid 80’s),do you have a condenser (capacitor) at voltage regulator to ground?

Is voltage regulator mechanical or electronic?
Is it well grounded?

As for plug wires...are they radio frequency interference (RFI) type to prevent/minimize radio interference?

Some high performance spiral wound wires and such can create noise on radio.

On A.M. do you hear a lot of alternator whine?
May want to check/cleanup connections on battery feed to fuse block(s).


The reason for the use of a coaxial cable is the shield bleeds the interference to body ground.
Think how regular radio coaxial cable runs in the interior.
When it gets to the antenna base, the shield is grounded and the antenna is connected to the center wire.

You could do that with radio antenna cable. Just leave shielding on until you get to the location to mount. This way the shield is blocking the interference from getting to center wire.

Hope some of this information can help.

I am using an alternator out of a mid 80's Ford. My car originally had a generator and I swapped it. I never listen to AM, but I think getting reception where I loved was impossible, even with the old mast antenna. With the old mast antenna FM reception was great. I am going with dual antennas and the old mast is sitting under the console inside the car. With the old mast under the console, that gets pretty decent reception. I just cannot pick up a couple of stations with poor signal that I used to and I sometimes get some drop out while driving along. This is what I am trying to overcome.
I chopped the end off the spare antenna cable that I had and it just didn't work out well at all. I had about 9ft of antenna cable and tried locating it in a suitable spot and I just couldn't do it. The single strand of automotive copper wire was far better, but I think the insulation on that type of wire is not thick enough and it picks up interference.

Last edited by Stevo (9/21/2020 8:03 PM)


1964-1/2 D Code Coupe - 289 V8 - 4 Speed - Autolite 4100 Carb, 15" tires, Pertronix ignition
 

9/22/2020 7:52 AM  #24


Re: AM/FM Radio Reception Fix With Hidden Antenna

Use the A.M. to help pinpoint where noise might be coming from.

There’s very few A.M. stations I ever listen to...if ever.
I tend to listen to my CD’s.
Radio stations have too many commercials and stuff I really don’t care about.

Unless of course it’s Click and Clack, the tappet brothers.😁

Even on factory EFI, the wires between distributor and ECM have an aluminum shield and the shield is grounded.

Do you have condensers at alternator and/or regulator?
Do you have a volt meter that can read milliamps AC?
If so, see how much AC voltage is going to your radio.
The greater amount of AC voltage the radio sees, the more noise.
The condenser/capacitor is there to help filter the AC noise on the DC system.

That’s part of reason stereo amplifiers have large capacitors on cars.
Large systems may have an external capacitor for the amplifier to minimize draw from Battery and alternator during deep bass and loud volumes.

An alternator actually makes AC voltage and is then rectified to DC with diodes and regulator maintains at a certain voltage.

Hope this helps in troubleshooting.

Last edited by Nos681 (9/22/2020 10:14 AM)


65 coupe, 5.0L, T5, 3.25 Currie traction lock, strong arming for now
 

9/22/2020 8:03 AM  #25


Re: AM/FM Radio Reception Fix With Hidden Antenna

The "Bingfu" antenna I purchased from Amazon works better the the Dakota Digital antenna I had installed.  I mounted both above the passenger side windshield visor, running the antenna wire down the A pillar and under the dash.  While there is more than enough antenna cable for this installation, I doubt that there is enough cable to run to the rear deck.


65 Fastback, 351W, 5-speed, 4 wheel discs, 9" rear,  R&C Front End.
 

Board footera


REMEMBER!!! When posting a question about your Mustang or other Ford on this forum, BE SURE to tell us what it is, what year, engine, etc so we have enough information to go on.