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How Car Antenna Boosters Work

YuanYuan Liu |

How Car Antenna Boosters Work


There are several potential reasons for poor car radio reception. If the cause is a weak signal, car antenna boosters can improve reception. Although you can't "enhance" the signal from the radio station, you can increase the gain after the antenna receives the signal according to the situation, which may achieve your goal.


If the problem you encounter is caused by obstacles, defective car hardware, or other more complex problems. Then the car antenna boosters is more likely to amplify the problem than to solve the problem.



Causes of Poor Car Radio Reception


Several of the most common causes of poor car radio reception:


  • Weak radio signal: The car antenna boosters may be able to solve this problem, especially if you live in a rural area and there are not many obstacles between you and a remote radio station.
  • Corroded or loose antenna hardware: Repair or replace the hardware, the reception will be better.
  • Obstacles to sight: Obstacles such as tall buildings and hills are difficult to overcome because you cannot control the cause of the problem.


If you have encountered picket fences caused by high-rise buildings in the area, or you are in a narrow area caused by buildings, hills or other obstacles, the antenna booster will not have much effect. You can't change these established things, so if there is a problem with the basic car audio hardware components, these devices will not help.


The car antenna boosters can solve the problem of too weak radio signal, and the tuner is reliably locked in the head unit.



How Does Antenna Signal Booster Work?


To understand how the signal booster works, you first need how the demodulation radio works. Simply put, each radio station sends an electromagnetic radio "carrier" wave at a specific frequency. The carrier is modulated to carry the audio signal, and the tuner of the head unit strips it, amplifies it, and pushes it to the speaker. In order to achieve this, the radio signal must be received by the car antenna and transmitted to the head unit via the antenna cable.


If a radio signal is so weak that the antenna cannot receive the signal, you will encounter reception problems because the head unit is always connected intermittently. In this case, you can install a booster between the antenna and the head to solve this problem.


The car antenna booster is a power unit that boosts the signal by a specific amount before the head unit receives the signal. For example, the FM booster can increase the received signal gain by 15 decibels, which may mean an intermittent difference between the head unit input and output reception.



The Trouble With Car Antenna Boosters


The main problem with antenna boosters is that they cannot distinguish which part needs to be enhanced and which part does not need to be changed. This means that if the signal going to the booster contains unwanted noise, the noise will be enhanced along with the signal.


This is why antenna boosters cannot solve most reception problems. If the station you want to listen to is subject to a lot of interference, inserting a booster will increase the interference and other things.


The car antenna boosters can't solve the interference problem caused by cars either. If the problem is due to interference from the engine, amplifier, or anything else, the booster will have no effect. In this case, buying a new antenna and installing it in a new location may solve the problem. You find a location that is not close to the engine, amplifier, or any other components that cause interference.