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Pioneer/Antenna Question

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Old 12-23-2012, 02:24 PM   #1
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Pioneer/Antenna Question

Hey, all. I recently installed an AVH-X3500BHS head unit. The main reason I purchased this over the Kenwood equivalent (I typically like Kenwood better) is that this radio has an HD radio tuner built in.

So once the install was complete, I fired it up, and tuned in some stations I knew to broadcast HD radio (my wife's car has HD radio from the factory). Well to my disappointment, probably 1/3 of the stations broadcasting in HD were picked up in their digital form with my new radio.

I sent Pioneer a letter regarding the issue and got this response:
Thank you for contacting Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc.
Please check the installation of your unit.
Make sure the unit is grounded directly to the vehicles metal chassis.
Some vehicles have built in antenna boosters. When you replace the factory, you need to make sure the booster is still being activated. On our radio you would normally use the blue/white wire to trigger the antenna booster.

Sincerely,

Rocky
Customer Service Representative
Now, when I installed the radio, I did leave the aux turn on (blue wire from the radio) disconnected from the power antenna wire (on the wiring harness adapter) because I don't have a power antenna - think antenna that extends and retracts. But this letter has me wondering if there is an antenna booster that the aux turn on wire may trigger. Do any of you have any knowledge of an antenna booster in our trucks, 2012 specifically?
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:17 AM   #2
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:47 AM   #3
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No idea if there is a stock antenna booster or not, but it also might be the sensitivity of the radio itself. Not all radios have the same gain for picking up stations, whether they're HD or just analog. I recently changed the radio on my other car (a newer HD radio JVC deck for an older JVC deck) and the difference was very noticeable in that the new radio picked up a heck of a lot more analog stations than my older radio. I didn't change anything else in the installation.
I'd try connecting the blue/white wire just in case (couldn't hurt) and looking into getting an aftermarket antenna for your truck. If that doesn't work, might look into whether it's the head unit causing the problem.
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:05 AM   #4
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Pretty sure theres no antenna booster in the system. The problem you're stating is one of the reasons I haven't bought into HD radio. I've heard stories of the head units constantly going between digital and analog because of shotty reception, and no way to force them on one signal.

Digital signals require a more significant amount of power, just because you can hear the analog station doesn't mean you have enough reception for HD. You may be able to buy such an antenna booster though, but I know nothing of them. Seems like it would work the same as an RF amp like on cable systems.
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