Jump to content

A little electronic help (radio)


TexasMule

Recommended Posts

I installed a Jensen JHD910BT radio over the holidays, and have an issue that hopefully someone can assist with.

 

smugshot_2355959-XL.jpg

 

I've got a 19" antenna mounted to my Jesse pizza top box, and with the engine off and bike on, the radio has totally acceptable reception. Stations that I should be able to pull in, it does. I start the bike, and almost all reception disappears.

 

I'm no electrical engineer (I'm a CPA) so maybe someone can explain what's happening. I ran the antenna wire from the front of the bike to the rear box, and the antenna extension is very close to the alternator (if that makes a difference).

 

Somehow, with the engine running, the bike is emitting some serious electrical waves.

 

Do I need to shield the antenna wire? I'd like to pull in more than just the absolute closest radio station.

 

Thanks for any help.

 

Bill (TxMule)

Link to comment

Morning Bill

 

 

The alternator will definitely emit RFI so that could be part of the issue. Alternator

interference usually causes reception noise not poor reception though.

 

Are you sure that the antenna cable is fully plugged together & outer shielding

properly grounded? Also, never run an antenna cable along, or tight to, an engine

wire harness or near a RFI emitting component. (try to run the antenna cable in it's

own area)

 

If your rear antenna is mounted to a non metallic (non chassis grounded) area then you

might have to run a ground wire from the chassis to the antenna base. (BMW does this on

their front mounted antennas)

 

Long antenna cable runs are not the best & are prone to reception loss & picking up

radiated RFI interference.

 

You might buy a cheap antenna from a discount auto parts store, then plug that into the radio,

then move it around the running bike to see if some places on the bike are better or worse

than others for reception or RFI interference.

 

You might try calling the radio tec help line & asking for their help & ideas on what you

should do to correct your problem. (you are probably not the only one that run into this problem)

 

 

Link to comment
Morning Bill

 

 

The alternator will definitely emit RFI so that could be part of the issue. Alternator

interference usually causes reception noise not poor reception though.

 

Are you sure that the antenna cable is fully plugged together & outer shielding

properly grounded? Also, never run an antenna cable along, or tight to, an engine

wire harness or near a RFI emitting component. (try to run the antenna cable in it's

own area)

 

If your rear antenna is mounted to a non metallic (non chassis grounded) area then you

might have to run a ground wire from the chassis to the antenna base. (BMW does this on

their front mounted antennas)

You might try calling the radio tec help line & asking for their help & ideas on what you

should do to correct your problem. (you are probably not the only one that run into this problem)

 

Thanks DR, as always you're a fountain of knowledge. From this point forward I will now call you Obi-Wan..... :)

 

I'll try the grounding wire, but I'm not sure how that would make a difference between, engine running, and engine off.

 

Thanks again for the suggestions.

 

 

Link to comment

 

I'll try the grounding wire, but I'm not sure how that would make a difference between, engine running, and engine off.

 

Morning Bill

 

The antenna cable itself has a RFI shield running around the outside of the inner signal wire. That outer shield needs to be able to carry any unwanted RFI interference to a place that can dissipate it. It usually does that at the radio end through the radio grounding but on long antenna cable runs it needs to also do it at the antenna end.

 

You also need to make sure that ALL antenna cable connections are FULLY pushed together & making good solid contact.

Link to comment

I ran a temp ground wire off the antenna to a reliable ground source (battery).

 

No difference whatsoever. Still goes from good reception to crap as soon as I start the bike.

 

This is starting to be frustrating.

 

I do appreciate the help though.

 

p.s. sent an inquiry to Jensen to see if they can help.

Link to comment

Just to be sure re: grounding.

 

Another shot of the installation on the top box. I'm grounding off

the bracket that holds the antenna. I'm assuming that's where antennas normally ground on automobiles.

 

smugshot_3811170-XL.jpg

 

The box is aluminum so no grounding opportunity, as well as it's not connected to a "grounded" source anyway.

 

BTW, double checked the connections and everything is plugged in, tightly and fully.

 

The investigation continues.... :S

 

 

smugshot_9495894-XL.jpg

Edited by TexasMule
Link to comment

 

p.s. sent an inquiry to Jensen to see if they can help.

 

Afternoon Bill

 

Hopefully you will get some useful feedback from Jensen that will help.

 

If not then you will have to do some evaluation testing--

 

To eliminate both the antenna aspect (try running the antenna cable remote from around the engine area)

 

Or try powering (& ground) the radio direct from the battery as a test.

 

If either of those makes a difference then you will know what part of the system needs to be worked on or changed.

Link to comment

I think I'm going to buy a cheapie antenna and hook it up "remotely" i.e. not connected to the bike and see if that makes a difference.

 

Thanks for all you inputs/suggestions. I agree, like all electrical problems, you start eliminating possibilities until you reach the one true problem.

 

Thanks again.

 

I'll let you know how this turns out.

Link to comment

I just check with an ohm meter, and it appears the antenna is grounded.

 

This might be as a result of the radio ground, and not the antenna ground. I may still ground the antenna.

Link to comment

Grab a car/bike battery and park it next to the bike.

Run your radio power directly from that external battery and see if the problem still exists.

Keep the power cable fairly short during this test.

Let us know of your result. This will help narrowing down the source of your de-sense problem.

Link to comment

OK, I ran a ground wire off the antenna mount to my Centech Fuse Panel (ground side). I just wanted to eliminate any possibility that

it was the ground.

 

smugshot_5775451-XL.jpg

 

I'll wait and see what Jensen suggests.

Link to comment
Grab a car/bike battery and park it next to the bike.

Run your radio power directly from that external battery and see if the problem still exists.

Keep the power cable fairly short during this test.

Let us know of your result. This will help narrowing down the source of your de-sense problem.

 

The radio is fine when the bike is turned on, and engine off.

 

It's only when the bike is running that it loses reception.

 

Would your exercise isolate a specific issue? If so, I'll try it.

Link to comment

Seems somebody else has an issue with reception.

 

From "S" (1/09): "I've had the Jensen radio installed on my BMW '07 K1200GT for about six months now and as far as the quality is concerned, it's a very robust unit.

 

However, reception seems to vary dramatically depending on what kind of antenna that's used, and how much counterpoise by either the bike frame or mounting surface provides.

 

The radio is solid, and you can connect an ipod/MP3/CD player/Sat. radio into the Aux. port and enjoy all through the same speakers.

 

But in my opinion, the radio is solid for a mobile installation....but greatly dependant on antenna choice in terms of one's ability to pull-in stations."

Link to comment

Hi,

Is your antenna a bike 'specific' antenna ie one that doesn't require a ground plane? If so does it need to be grounded to Earth at all?

I'm not an expert but have recently fitted a none ground plane antenna to my rt and get some good reception - no earth to antenna and mounted to plastic.

 

Just a thought.

 

Mike

Link to comment

Evening Bill

 

Trying a cheap test antenna might shed some light on that area.

 

The other thing to try is to just unplug your present antenna & see if your (engine off) reception changes. If it doesn't then a possibility that your present antenna has an issue (possibly an open in the cable or poor connection between the mast & the mount)

 

I'm not much for radios on my motorcycles but I have a high-end super wazoo radio in one of my Harleys (installed before I finally figured out that I don't really like radios on motorcycles)

 

On that bike I just tie strapped one of those short flex antennas laying flat under the front cowling (didn't want an antenna showing) & it works just great on FM. Poor reception on AM though.

 

Link to comment
Evening Bill

 

Trying a cheap test antenna might shed some light on that area.

 

The other thing to try is to just unplug your present antenna & see if your (engine off) reception changes. If it doesn't then a possibility that your present antenna has an issue (possibly an open in the cable or poor connection between the mast & the mount)

 

I'm not much for radios on my motorcycles but I have a high-end super wazoo radio in one of my Harleys (installed before I finally figured out that I don't really like radios on motorcycles)

 

On that bike I just tie strapped one of those short flex antennas laying flat under the front cowling (didn't want an antenna showing) & it works just great on FM. Poor reception on AM though.

 

Obi-wan,

 

My son rides a Street Glide with a radio and I put his 31" antenna on my bike with the same results. I'm using a 19" Harley antenna with the coil wrap. It pulls as good if not better than the 31".

 

Both lose reception as soon as the bike starts.

 

I've never had a radio on a bike before installing this one, and now I see why. The IPod shuffle works perfectly in AUX mode, so when I'm in BFE at least I can have some tunes.

Link to comment
Hi,

Is your antenna a bike 'specific' antenna ie one that doesn't require a ground plane? If so does it need to be grounded to Earth at all?

I'm not an expert but have recently fitted a none ground plane antenna to my rt and get some good reception - no earth to antenna and mounted to plastic.

 

Just a thought.

 

Mike

 

Antenna is from Harley Davidson. I'm pretty sure HD grounds their antennas, as does my wife's Can Am Spyder. I don't think I'm doing any harm by putting on a ground wire.

 

Unless you tell me otherwise....

 

Speaking of HD, they put their antennas in the back on their tour packs, so the antenna run is as long as mine if not longer. Why don't they have a problem with RFI, unless their radios are much better than mine (highly probable).

Link to comment
Evening Bill

 

Trying a cheap test antenna might shed some light on that area.

 

The other thing to try is to just unplug your present antenna & see if your (engine off) reception changes. If it doesn't then a possibility that your present antenna has an issue (possibly an open in the cable or poor connection between the mast & the mount)

 

OK, another data point: removed the antenna while the bike was on and absolutely no degradation in the reception.

 

Took off the mount and hit every point with a wire wheel and cleaned off all the black paint where any connection would be made.

 

Re-assembled, absolutely no difference. Reception the same with or without the antenna, and lose reception as soon as the bike starts.

 

I'll now try my son's 31" and see if it makes a difference. The odds that two antenna masts are faulty would seem unlikely, and I know his is fine as he pulls in radio stations easily.

 

I'll be back....

Edited by TexasMule
Link to comment

It's not the masts. 31" does exact same thing as the 19".

 

Not difference in reception, off or on, and both lose reception as soon as the bike starts.

 

At least I'm a little more knowledgeable now than I was 8 hours ago.

 

Day wasn't a total waste.

 

Last comment - would the above tests indicate the antenna cable is bad? Not sure how the cable can be bad, but if it's that simple I'll buy another antenna cable.

Edited by TexasMule
Link to comment

Hi,

You don't have any other devices coming on with the bike - particularly thinking blue tooth ? I've seen a good deal of interfearance caused by blue tooth devices 'swamping' other signals when they are very close .

Just another angle to consider.

 

Mike

Link to comment

 

OK, another data point: removed the antenna while the bike was on and absolutely no degradation in the reception.

 

 

Morning Bill

 

This is getting complex--- If unplugging the antenna from the radio doesn't change the reception then there is a chance that the antenna you installed isn't working (or there is something wrong inside the radio that prevents the antenna from making contact)

 

If the antenna isn't performing then the radio might be picking up the signal back through the wiring connected to it & those wires can change effective performance when the engine is running and/or pick up engine related signals rather than the radio station with engine running.

 

Try that cheap "test" antenna--if that helps then you will have an idea on where to start looking. If it makes no difference then either your radio is not using the antenna input correctly or something on the bike is effecting (normal) reception with the engine running.

 

You might also try another test-- try placing a standard FM radio on or near the bike then see if the reception suffers when the engine is started.

 

Have you taken the bike out of the garage to test the "engine running" reception yet? If not then you might try that as maybe something in your garage or house is effecting reception.

 

 

 

Link to comment

Morning Bill

 

Try that cheap "test" antenna--if that helps then you will have an idea on where to start looking. If it makes no difference then either your radio is not using the antenna input correctly or something on the bike is effecting (normal) reception with the engine running.

 

You might also try another test-- try placing a standard FM radio on or near the bike then see if the reception suffers when the engine is started.

 

Have you taken the bike out of the garage to test the "engine running" reception yet? If not then you might try that as maybe something in your garage or house is effecting reception.

 

I had a small AM/FM portable radio attached to the right side of

the BMR co-pilot shelf (you can see the mount in the picture) and it worked perfectly, engine running or not.

 

I'm going to get another antenna and do some experiments. I don't think the house/garage is affecting the reception.

 

Thanks for all you help. I'll let you know how it turns out.

 

I'll also let you know what Jensen suggests.

Link to comment
Hi,

You don't have any other devices coming on with the bike - particularly thinking blue tooth ? I've seen a good deal of interfearance caused by blue tooth devices 'swamping' other signals when they are very close .

Just another angle to consider.

 

Mike

 

Mike,

 

The Jensen is bluetoothed to my Sena SMH10. The only other device bluetoothed is my phone, and I removed that from the equation by leaving it in the house.

 

I bluetoothed my little portable radio via a Sena dongle and it worked perfectly along with my phone.

 

I should have left well enough alone, but I wanted a little better reception. :rofl:

Link to comment

Just got off the phone with a Jensen rep.

 

He basically said the same thing as everyone here. Try to isolate the problem. He did bring up something that I need to try. My power lead is running from the front of the bike to my Centech fuse block under the seat, and it runs along the engine. He said that the spark plug wires may be causing a lot of this problem.

 

I'm going to try the new antenna remotely, and if that doesn't work, power the radio from a different source.

 

Stay tuned, more to follow.....

Link to comment
He said that the spark plug wires may be causing a lot of this problem.

 

 

Morning Bill

 

That would make sense if your 1200RT had spark plug wires. Your bike has a COP (coil on plug) system so no spark plug wires as each spark plug has it's own coil right on the spark plug.

Link to comment

Slight hijak.

 

I can run Pandora thru my Autocom on the phone battery w/no problems.

If I plug phone into power cord that is plugged into aux outlet

I get horrible interference.

The interference is only if engine is running and varies with engine speed.

I don't run Pandora w/phone plugged in.

Too many places interference could be coming from to chase my tail and probably never solve.

Some setups just don't work.

YMMV

Hope you solve yours.

Link to comment

I just had a conversation with a gentlemen who installed a JHD910BT on his 2007GT and he said this solved his problem.

 

$_1.JPG

 

Without the filter he got terrible reception, with it he was fine.

 

This may be my next step.

Edited by TexasMule
Link to comment
Just got off the phone with a Jensen rep.

 

He basically said the same thing as everyone here. Try to isolate the problem. He did bring up something that I need to try. My power lead is running from the front of the bike to my Centech fuse block under the seat, and it runs along the engine. He said that the spark plug wires may be causing a lot of this problem.

 

I'm going to try the new antenna remotely, and if that doesn't work, power the radio from a different source.

 

Stay tuned, more to follow.....

That was my point.

By using an independent Power supply like a 2nd battery,you would prove if you are picking up noise via your Radio Power lead or the antenna cable.(Or the antenna itself).

Link to comment
That was my point.

 

By using an independent Power supply like a 2nd battery,you would prove if you are picking up noise via your Radio Power lead or the antenna cable.(Or the antenna itself).

 

Alfred, I'm a little slow when it comes to electronics, but now I see the light.

 

I'm going to remove the battery from my Tiger, and see if that eliminates the reception problem.

 

If it does, I assume I've got a power supply problem.

 

Will try it tonight after work.

Link to comment

Afternoon Bill

 

When you are testing your radio with a separate battery (IF) that helps then try powering your radio directly from your bike's battery to see if that also helps.

 

If it does then you can probably skip the filter & just use a battery direct relay to power your radio from the bike's battery & trigger that relay from your present radio power & ground wires. (your battery makes a good power filter)

 

In some cases all it takes is to move the radio ground wire to go battery direct to the battery's (-) post.

 

Link to comment

I would also suggest using noise suppression ferrite cores on the antenna coax as well as the power lines. Amazon has them cheap. Look for Ferrite Core noise suppression. They're user friendly toroids.

Link to comment

Well, this is frustrating.

 

Pulled the battery out of the Tiger and placed it on the gas tank of the RT. Fired up the radio and reception was excellent. Started the bike, reception fades to nothing.

 

Pulled the antenna cable and put my "test" antenna on and did the same experiment. Reception was marginally better than using the mounted antenna. Marginaly being the operative word.

 

I'm almost ready to give up. I haven't found the secret to this mystery and nothing seems to be working.

 

The only thing I haven't done is power the radio straight from the RT battery. I'll try that next, but don't hold out much hope.

 

Edited by TexasMule
Link to comment

Radio hooked straight to the RT battery....no joy.

 

It's unbelievable how well the radio sounds, with the key off, gets a tiny bit worse with the key on, and turns to sh*t when the engine starts.

 

Something is throwing off some serious RFI that I can't seem to isolate.

 

May have to just live with mediocre reception.

Link to comment

As an additional point.

It is up to the radio manufacturer to design their radio/antenna system and to engineer sufficient isolation/filtering into their equipment.

No point blaming the bike maker (any of them).

 

As a Comms Tech, I have dealt over the years with expensive professional RF equipment like: 2way UHF radio systems, Scada, digital radios and Microwave, where some of them had very poor shielding and noise suppression.

Admittedly, some where 10+ years ago, but still....They caused endless problems at certain Repeater Sites. These could take months to fully resolve (due to the distance from base these Repeaters are located). Yes...we ended up resolving the majority, or at least minimizing the problem to the point that it was negligible.

Problem is that working for a very large corporation, once a decision has been made to use a particular manufacturer's equipment, we the Technicians are stuck with it. These decisions are often made by higher levels, i.e managers and accountants that have very little technical knowledge (or none at all) and the decisions were made either for cost or the equipment offered a package of features, that others didn't offer in a single package.

10 years later (our end of service life cycle. We replace any equipment at a 10 year cycle) and the equipment gets replaced with another manufacturer's gear, that does the exact same job at the same frequencies....and viola.....all problems mysteriously vanish.

 

My point of this little rant is that it is up to the equipment manufacturer, to ensure that their equipment is suitable to work in the environment that it is suppose to be used.

As our bike's radios work with or without the engine running, it's not a bike issue.

 

 

Link to comment

I'll stress again as it seems maybe my post wasn't noticed, snap on ferrite cores. You don't see them on most good cables for nothing... And my 40+ years of Amateur Radio has taught me a thing or two.

Link to comment

I understand your frustration and it's quite frustrating that I can't be there to help you resolve the problem.

I am starting to doubt that your antenna is properly grounded. The radio itself might have a crap ground if it uses an internal switchmode P.Supply.

The antenna end might have bad grounding....there are quite a few possibilities. With proper test equipment, your problem source can be fairly quickly located. Without it...we are all just guessing and trying to work through the process of elimination.

But I wouldn't give up...you paid for the gear..spend some time installing it......so make sure it's not just another ornament.

Absolute last result, get your local Comms company to have a look at it...make sure that they do actual RF work.

Link to comment

I'll stress again as it seems maybe my post wasn't noticed, snap on ferrite cores. You don't see them on most good cables for nothing... And my 40+ years of Amateur Radio has taught me a thing or two.

It's been noticed..I am sure.

It's certainly a solid step towards identifying the source of the problem.

 

Link to comment

Morning Bill

 

My (personal) next move would be to move the bike out of the garage to test reception away from florescent lights & household wiring.

 

It might make no difference but should be eliminated.

 

If the remote battery connection doesn't help, a different antenna doesn't help, & your OTHER mounted radio works OK with the engine running -- that doesn't leave much except a bad radio or reception area.

 

Eliminate the reception area then you are left with one.

 

 

Link to comment
I'll stress again as it seems maybe my post wasn't noticed, snap on ferrite cores. You don't see them on most good cables for nothing... And my 40+ years of Amateur Radio has taught me a thing or two.

 

How many would I need for a 6' antenna run?

 

Link to comment

Well, ferrite cores are the kinda thing that you can't "overdo". More the merrier. In fact coiling the cable through a large ferrite (toroid) works even better. But for arguments sake, look at a good say DVI video cable and ferrite cores (you see them as these bumps at the cable ends) will be at both ends, so two. I would do the same on the POWER CABLE AND also on the wires to any speakers if you use them, or to a Bluetooth dongle, etc. RFI can be picked up along any stretch of wire.

 

It may just come down to the Jensen unit is designed poorly for a noisy RFI environment and this is a "fix". The idea to find the source of the noise is correct, but you may never find it... and you will just need to add noise suppression everywhere you can. Certainly a ground plane for the antenna is critical.

 

As ALFRED02 was lamenting about.. Radio manufacturers can put out so-so stuff...

Link to comment

OK, so I ordered a multi-size set of Ferrite Noise Supressors.

 

Prime says I should receive them by Thursday. I'll spend the New Year weekend slapping them all over the bike. :grin:

 

What's another $16 trying to get this radio to work correctly....

Link to comment

Been silent on this to see what develops. I had the same radio on my 2005 R1150RT a few years ago with no issues or special filters...I would call Jensen and have them send me a new radio first before I did anything else...

Link to comment
Been silent on this to see what develops. I had the same radio on my 2005 R1150RT a few years ago with no issues or special filters...I would call Jensen and have them send me a new radio first before I did anything else...

 

That's my next step after this weekend. The radio wasn't cheap and there may be something wrong with it.

 

Out of curiosity, where did you mount your antenna, and where did you tap for power?

Link to comment

Evening Bill

 

Just a passing thought--

 

I presume you have your radio set to the USA mode & not the European mode using the set-up menu?

 

Also, if you have "turn-on-volume" enabled is it set high enough that the radio doesn't turn the volume off if the radio shuts off during engine cranking?

 

Link to comment

I ran my Zumo and this radio from the positive lead off the battery and grounded somewhere on the frame...I don't remember the ground. Nothing fancy. The antenna was tie wrapped behind the faring sort of just behind the headlight. The radio was mounted on a shelf sitting just above the instrument panel.

 

Both had in-line fuses.

Edited by Skywagon
Link to comment

I added 4 ferrite suppressors on each, the antenna, and the power wire, and also grounded the antenna straight to the frame.

 

Absolutely no difference in reception.

 

I've requested a replacement radio from Jensen. There must be something wrong with this one.

Link to comment

So I ride my Tiger 1050 to work today since the RT is on the lift.

 

I've got my little Sangean transistor radio hooked up to my Sena BT running through my Sena headset and the it's working perfectly. :dopeslap: Excellent reception, and the sound is perfectly acceptable.

 

Meanwhile, the Jensen is on its way back to Jensen, who said that they will test the radio and if found not to be defective, they'll send it right back. It should arrive at their place today. Should know something next week.

 

The saga continues...

 

Edited by TexasMule
Link to comment

So I finally heard back from Jensen. They said since I cut off the AUX input wires I shorted the radio, and f**ked up the controls.

 

First, I didn't cut the AUX wires while the radio had power you idiots.

 

Second, I don't see how cutting off the AUX inputs would affect the radio, only that I wouldn't be able to plug anything in. (don't care to)

 

I told them it was a convenient excuse to deny the warranty claim.

 

I cut off these plugs.

 

Jensen%20JHD910BT-L.jpg

 

The plugs were too big, and were getting in the way of cleanly installing the radio. They're sending the radio back.

 

Maybe someone who's an electronic expert can tell me how cutting off input wires would affect the reception issue.

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...