Kicker KMC 10 stereo reception

JPL

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I am not sure if it is my unit or this is typical, but the FM reception with my Kicker KMC 10 radio is horrible.  I have played with the antenna under the console, but it hasnt seemed to help.  Anyone else have issues?
 

Vikingstaff

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I was thinking of putting this same post out here.  Our KMC 10 FM radio reception is near useless.  Antenae seems connected, but you wouldn't know it based on reception results.  I think I bring in 2-3 stations tops...and they are NOT stations I want.  


I brought a very old radio out to check against the KMC 10, and radio pulls in stations just fine.  LOTS of stations.  Thus, I know the issue lies with the KMC 10 on the boat.


Big disappointment! Fortunately, I am simply BT my Pandora from my phone. In the end, that works fine, but for the cost, it seems rediculous to have a reception issue like this on the KMC 10.  Thank goodness my entire lake has good cellar coverage.  
 

JPL

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Yeah.. I only get two to three stations as well.  Seems very strange to have spend this extra money for this and to only get a few stations.  Maybe its the antenna or my  other thought is that the antenna is under the console surrounded by an aluminum body and it interferes with the radio reception.
 

Mike31406

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I get one FM station on my KMC 10 and find it difficult to change options to use the I pad to stream music.  Disappointing.  I am following this post with interest.
 

cwag911

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Do you guys have the antenna inside the helm that is bundled with a zip tie? Ours was like that 11 years ago so I unbundled and looped it around inside the helm. Works great. We have an 11 year old Alpine radio though.
 
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H2GO

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I've worked on vehicle antennas for over 30 years and unfortunately the boating industry has not kept up with automotive. In the US the FM signal is circularly polarized meaning the signal is via line of site and arrives at the receiving antenna generally at a 45 degree angle. The old mast antennas use in cars for years were a 1/4 wave antenna which means it needed a ground plane in equal diameter as the length of the mast to work well. Also the vertical orientation of the mast is complimentary to the signal polarization. When cars started to hide the antenna in the rear glass, the car makers added vertical elements in the glass to give it a circular polarization to give it any hope of working. The junk they are using in boats is not much better than a piece of wire stuck in the back of the antenna jack. To complicate things the pseudo antenna hidden under the helm is commonly tied back to the harness which significantly reduces it's ability to do anything. On all of my boats in the past I've added a collapsible mast antenna and also lined the helm with copper foil where it was grounded to the antenna base. Significant improvement! What Cwag911 did to his is an absolute requirement to improve reception. Also keep the hidden antenna away from other wires as things like the fish finder will couple noise to the antenna and kill your reception. AM reception forget about it unless you are near a very strong station. If you don't want to add a mast antenna at lease give what Cwag911 did a shot.
 
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lakeliving

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Our radio cuts out constantly. I need to crawl under the helm and see how our antenna wire is.


PS. I might have seen you yesterday H2GO. We were out on lake Fenton from 3 -7 yesterday. I waved at someone with a Bennington in the small cove to the west of the island. Not sure if that was you or not. There are few new swingbacks on that lake.
 

H2GO

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Our radio cuts out constantly. I need to crawl under the helm and see how our antenna wire is.


PS. I might have seen you yesterday H2GO. We were out on lake Fenton from 3 -7 yesterday. I waved at someone with a Bennington in the small cove to the west of the island. Not sure if that was you or not. There are few new swingbacks on that lake.
Yes! that was us out on Crane's Cove! Too nice out to stay home.  :)
 

jgates0

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I had the same problem with my boat.  I found this antennae on amazon and decided it was worth $9 to take a chance.  It works significantly better but still not great.  It is a very simple installation, but I am still searching for the best spot to mount it.  Right now I have it sitting loose in a cupholder in the helm and it works pretty well (will at least pick up most of the channels a car stereo would), but I think I need to wire it up to the mooring light to get the best reception.
 

Alicedream

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I have never had a boat stereo that could pick up any stations well. This is why I have had SiriusXM capability on all my boats for 13 years. I did accidentally source FM over the weekend and actually was getting some stations. I was wondering if the FM was going through the SiriusXM attennia I was getting such good reception.
 

Gabbiano

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you guys make me laugh. in this day and age why would anyone use an fm radio?????????????iphones, Bluetooth, amazon , my goodness....the best of everything and all at super sound why in the world would anyone want to hear an antique radio. Guys get with it, I am 78 and enjoying great music and sound on my Bennington . jump drives are the best for bringing my best personalized music on our cruises.
 

Wish2fish

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you guys make me laugh. in this day and age why would anyone use an fm radio?????????????iphones, Bluetooth, amazon , my goodness....the best of everything and all at super sound why in the world would anyone want to hear an antique radio. Guys get with it, I am 78 and enjoying great music and sound on my Bennington . jump drives are the best for bringing my best personalized music on our cruises.
The only way to listen to NFL games here is via the radio.  The local NFL team is blocked out on the internet broadcast. 
 

Mike31406

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For music you made a good point Gabbiano!
 
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Vikingstaff

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I hear you to a degree Giabbiano.  BT my Pandora is GREAT!  For me, its an issue for two reasons: (1) Sports...particularly football come fall; (2) For the cost of the upgrade to a KMC 10 AND Bennington's focus on being the best, I think it reasonable to expect FM/AM to work.  


I may check out the wiring and antenae under the helm to try out cwag's idea.  Perhaps down the road I'll upgrade the actual antenae...perhaps I wont.


In the end, I will typically BT Pandora, so this is more of hearing sports and quality of engineering principle for me.


On a practically level, this discussion removes the radio reception as an item for them to look at when I take my boat in for its 20 hour engine service. I guess it is as right as it is engineered to be.  
 

Willb

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Even the previous Sony models had same issue as noted above. I even tried a different internal antenna strung differently. If you truly want fm, you need a external antenna 
 

Mike31406

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I am having my 20 hour service tomorrow.  I am going to have the tech reroute the antenna under the helm.  I will keep you posted.
 

Mike31406

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Service completed.  The antenna was bundled up under the helm console so the tech stretched it out and ran it through various things down there.  The antenna worked better in some positions than others so after abit of trial and error I can now get several stations as opposed to one.  
 

lakeliving

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I looked at ours yesterday while floating. Need to bring some zip ties and a cutter to I can reroute mine. 
 

Michiman

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I think many of the reception problems noted are the result of the antenna being bundled up under the helm. Mine was, so I just pulled it out and extended it. While I have yet to lay eyes on it this year, if memory serves, I got a bunch of stations where we boat. 


Like many on this forum, we typically listen to Pandora or Spotify but after a while it seems that our cell phones run out of battery and they just don't seem to charge very well on our boat. As such, on occasion we've had to resort to "old school" radio. 
 

lakeliving

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I got in there, untangled it, taped it to the front of the helm and it seems to have helped. I used to get a lot of interference when the power assist would kick in but it's not as bad now. Wish I would have crawled under there sooner. Pulls more stations now too.
 
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