Ever since I was a kid, I would tinker with things to try and make them better – “good enough” drives me nuts (just ask Mica or Crystal). So when I installed an HD Radio in my Ford, I wasn’t happy with the results – the in glass rear antenna is a horrible design, nowhere near as good as the fender mounted whip on most cars with reception being less than stellar. And the particular radio I installed is very sensitive to bad antennas. I’d complain, but it was free – and you never look a gift horse in the mouth. So I set out to find a way to boost the signal from the antenna, remembering an amplifier I bought from RadioShack years ago to solve the same issue. But with RatShack out of business, I had to search Amazon & eBay to find what I wanted. And wouldn’t you know it, eBay has the amp I was looking for!
The finest Radio Shack had to offer in 1978 – it was even made in the USA! Back in the early days of FM, these boosters came in handy when car radios didn’t have the sensitivity they do now. The eBay seller must have had a stockpile of new old stock – and $12 later, it was on the way to me. I’ll spare you the pics of the spaghetti living behind my dashboard – between the factory harness, the wiring for the external HD radio, the aftermarket radio, and now this booster, it is very crowded in there. Here is the after shot with everything powered up:
Full signal strength on WRNS! Even with us on low power at the moment with people working on our tower. Here is a close up of the amp, looking very 1970 something:
I do have to fix one screw up – I hooked the power up to the 12v constant rather than the switched. Oh well…I can just use the power switch until then.
Next project – filtering out the alternator whine!