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Listening to am radio on the bike question

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by ajc_082, May 11, 2009.

  1. Just wondered if there is anyway to listen to am radio on your motorcycle. I have tried with two different walkmans/portable radio and keep getting feedback engine noise (no sound suppressor/filter thing like in your car). Any suggestions???

    (no I don't want an iPod)
  2. see if you can install a supressor, other than that, I doubt you can.
  3. AM radio I think you will have trouble with, from what I understand, the aerial is horizontally dependent, ie you move the aerial in an horizontal plane to tune.
    You would lose signal everytime you turned a corner, plus I reckon the EMF/interference from the engine etc would make it almost unlistenable. I can't see any way of installing a noise suppressor, they are normally in the +ve line to the radio itself.

    You could podcast your favourite AM shows to an MP3 player... ?
  4. i suppose you could probably install an am tuner on the bike, wwith a supressor...

    lol ebay is funny --->linky
  5. Yeah mv that's the problem I found as a portable radio uses the headphone wire as the aerial, so you have to constantly adjust it or you just get engine noise. I don't use the bike everyday, but like to listen to the drive programs........ (old fart radio, I know) so not really interested in podcasting, as everything is old news.

    LOL that ebay device is classic, anything you want is availble from china. Somehow I think that would suffer the same engine interference.

    The engine noise is caused by the alternator isn't??
  6. yeah but you could put a supressor on that one. On the +ve lead to the radio.
  7. Don't Harley, Honda, & BMW provide AM/FM radios on their big tourers?

    Might be an avenue for research, see how they do it?
  8. Apparently Digital Radio is going to start broadcasting in July 2009. ABC have been testing in Sydney and Melbourne already.

    I remember the ABC radio in Adelaide saying they had switched all their equipment to digital earlier this year, so I assume they're going to start broadcasting the AM programs on digital later this year.

    Not sure if digital gets interference from a bike though, or if you can even get digital radio receives yet :shock:
  9. digital radio is old technology, as usual australia is a decade behind.
  10. Yeah and its been my experience overseas that while its fantastic when you have good reception its pretty sh!tty on the roads in rural areas and that wasn't even in mountain country.

    Still I reckon I'll be upgrading at home at least.... :)
  11. It can be done but it's fiddly and is unlikely to be as good as a car.

    It depends upon what sort of noise the bike is generating and if the interference is being broadcast or is being carried along the power leads. If it's broadcasting the interference as radio signals then it's more complicated.

    You would need a proper car radio antenna with an earth lead to an earthed point on your motorbike (like the bike frame) for a start (that boosts the recieved signal).

    Second you may need to replace the existing spark plug leads if they are old or worn or fit resistor plug leads (which isn't simple on most modern bikes although it's doable on most classic bikes). That reduces some types of broadcast radio interference.

    Third you can put a capacitor across the alternator output (again much harder on bikes than on cars due to space constraints). That reduces alternator 'whine' interference.

    Fourth you can put an inline filter (as close to the battery as possible) and run the power leads for the radio direct to the radio. It can help to use a shielded lead to the radio to avoid picking up interference as well (coax cable works ok).

    Fifth you need to use a radio that's designed for vehicle use and not a portable as they will almost certainly have no noise reduction circuit in the radio.
  12. AM Radio: Your streaming source of impotent outrage / ill-informed natter.
  13. Er... no. Some shows like BBC world service and one or two ABC programs are actually pretty good.

    Not too keen on the idea of digital radio. Hearing Ray Hadley scratching his balls in high def won't add anything to the show.
  14. Thanks guys, Yeah honda and bmw do but they have aerials also so would most likely be a proper car like system. I will have a play around with a few different radio's. Haven't heard much about digital radio, I know a few fm stations have it already but didn't know about am.

    Thanks zrx, yeah zrx its just engine noise, like you get in a car when someone hasn't wired up their amp's properly. I will try the inline filter and see if it works. I have only been using small portable radio's so might need to get something that's designed for automotive use.