am radio Santa Fe

I have a 2002 Santa Fe, The AM radio only seems to pick very local signals poorly while the FM side is great. I have been to the dealer with the reply
"They all do that since there is not an external antenna." Any suggestion. I enjoy AM radio on the drive into work.
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Get an external, full antenna, the thing in the window only can cacht real powerfull local stations. FM is a lot more forgiven due to the shortest wavelenght.

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Victor A. Garcia wrote:

Nonetheless, your FM reception should improve nicely with a "real" antenna too, since less of the signal will be blocked/interacted with by the car body. It's best if that antenna is straight vertical because FM signals are typically polarized in both the vertical and the horizontal planes, never any angle in between. The receiving antenna works best if it's at the same angle as the transmission. Angled car antennas look nice and racy, but it's not the best way to get a good signal into the car stereo.
Antennas are typically a simple fraction of the actual wavelength. But they can simply be too short. A window antenna is not very good at matching typical AM-band wavelengths, as Mr. Garcia implied.
The old car radios (both tube and transistor) came with an adjustment screw that matched the radio to the antenna for AM reception (FM never needed it). I think that the digital sets don't use this any more.
AM car radio circuits in recent years have seemed to me to be far inferior to typical car radios of the past. This is similar to the poor performance of the AM section of home stereo equipment.
The typical FM station broadcasts a certain percentage polarized vertically and the rest horizontally. As I recall, a common ratio is something like 80% horizontal and 20% vertical. It may have changed since I worked in radio. Horizontal antennas are great for homes since homes don't drive around curves. There's a reason why most car antennas are vertical whips (in England, TV is vertically-polarized). If you're using a horizontal antenna in a car windshield, you can go around a corner and now, your windshield and its antenna are at a right angle to the radio station, resulting in almost no reception. That's where the vertical whip gives quite an advantage.
Whips are nice and cheap -- and you've got to drill a big hole someplace to mount one.
Clear?
Richard
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