External Antenna - Background Info

Al Powell powellae at home.com
Sat Mar 17 09:10:13 EST 2001

In the late 80's/early 90's 100/200, Audi went from the external 
power antenna used in the 5K series to a diversity antenna system. 
 The stock radio had two inputs - and used antenna material in both 
the front and back glass to gather the signals.

If I recall correctly, the FM portion of the radio searched for the 
best signal between front and back glass signals, and used whichever 
was best.  The AM section used only the defogger material in back as 
an antenna.

Experiences varied widely with this antenna setup.  I recall that 
Eric and some other listers found that it worked OK.  Lucky them!

My experience was that this antenna system STANK.  FM reception was 
very weak, and AM reception was so execrably bad that I could get 
BETTER reception on a handheld pocket radio sitting inside the car 
than I could with the car's radio!  How sad.  In testing with a cheap 
$15 Radio Shack fender mount antenna, I found that I could plug it 
into the radio, leave the cheapie antenna laying on the seat inside 
the car, and get better reception driving around town than I could 
with the stock radio system.  (And BTW - I used the Bentley and 
conducted tests of the entire stock antenna system - it WAS working 
correctly according to the book.)

Solution?  Get brave, pull back the trunk lining material, get a hole 
saw and drill a hole through that gorgeous pearl white paint on the 
LR fender.  I installed a power Hirschmann antenna in precisely the 
same spot that was used in the 5K series, and abandoned the factory 
antenna system entirely.  Result was RADICALLY improved radio 
reception on both AM and FM bands.  The only difficult part was 
summoning the courage to cut the hole.  Wiring, etc. was trivial. 
 Before doing this, I strongly - repeat, strongly - I tell you three 
times, strongly - recommend carefully studying and measuring the 
antenna mounting position on a 5K, but the same interior trunk and 
hinge design was used on the 100/200 and this will work just fine.

I frankly don't care whether the antenna looks supremely cool or not. 
 I want the d**n radio to work.  However, it was easy to use the 
antenna mounting straps provided with the Hirschmann to get the 
correct angle on the antenna so it mounts and extends at a graceful 

IMO, Audi blew it big-time with this antenna system.  It didn't work 
as well as the one in my 1977 Chevrolet Monza Spyder, and that car 
only cost $5200 brand new.  Audi should have done better in a $34,000 

Al Powell
Fort Collins, CO
powellae at home.com
cougfan1 at gocougs.wsu.edu

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