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Discussion Starter #1
I have finally bowed to the inevitable and have purchased a Sony XAV-AX1000 Double DIN head unit with Bluetooth phone capability.
While generally pleased with the unit, while installing it I have found that the system doesn't work very well with the Celica Supra power antenna.
Because the head unit is capable of Bluetooth and voice response, the unit stays powered up even if you are not using the Tuner function, or any other music function for that matter.

This means that as soon as I put the car ignition switch to either Accessory on Run positions, up comes the antenna even if I am not planning on using the radio. This isn't the end of the world, but there are times when I want the darned thing down!

Older stereos had two wiring harness functions that made this work.
Amp Remote: Blue/White Colour wire - Sends a 12V signal to turn on an external amplifier
Antenna Remote: Blue Colour wire - Sends a 12V signal to turn on a power antenna. This is is what used to control my antenna in my 1992 vintage Sony.

Now, Sony and other major vendors seem to have combined these functions into 1 signal that has various names. But because these have to power external amplifiers (like I have,) as soon as the ignition switch is turned on it has to be available to play voice commands. As a result, up pops your antenna as soon as you turn on.

I guess it's a sign of the times. Most new cars don't have power antennas so why have a feature for them?

I'm now messing around to add a manual switch to allow me to manually raise or lower the antenna. But damn it, I have to mount the stupid thing and probably modify my 36-year-old interior plastic!!!

Moral of the story is to check the Installation Instructions of any new head unit before you buy it to see if this is an issue for you.

Dale
 

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Yeah, its a common issue now a days. Most manufactures have dropped the antenna remote and just give you an amp turn on output....or they are stupid like Kenwood and leave the wire in the harness and it doesn't do anything. Being in the car audio industry for the past 14 years I've seen them dwindle down.

That and 90% of radios don't have TRUE preamp RCA outputs. Just a glorified line output converter built in.
 

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I just unplugged the power antenna. I haven't listened to fm radio in ages now.
 

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I just unplugged the power antenna. I haven't listened to fm radio in ages now.
Very true. Although occasionally I like to get the traffic radio for local updates. It can be a hassle to do it online when you're driving.

AND I like to pop the antenna up. Lots of young kids have never seen a power antenna and are amazed and amused by it. It's part of the charm of an '80s car!
 

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That and 90% of radios don't have TRUE preamp RCA outputs. Just a glorified line output converter built in.
Do tell more! What is a line output converter? What are the ramifications of this?
This is the sort of thing that you don't typically hear about.

In the "olden days" the preamp output was a low level signal (in the mV range iirc) from the signal source (cassette, CD, tuner, that was the same signal fed INTO the amplifier stage of the head unit.
Are you saying that nowadays the signal is amplified to high voltage/current by the integrated amplifier and then is REDUCED back down to a level suitable for input to an external amplifier?
From what I can see, the integrated amplifiers in most audio head units are not particularly high quality.

I'd like to hear more about this.

Dale
 

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Good lord, don't modify the interior plastics. Just get another fog light switch and put it in one of the blank spots in the center console (or toss your coin holder if that's whats filling your blank spot).

Is this for the black or white one?

I hate power antennas, they are so unreliable. At least the oem one was. My car had about 215,000 kms on it when I got it, and full history since new from the original owner (I'm 2nd). The guy replaced the mast 3 or 4 times and the entire unit 2x. He spent well over $1000 at toyota keeping that thing working from 1986 to 2001.
 

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I usually install a small rocker switch inside the 'cubby' that ends up being installed above/below the radio for most dash kits of cars that come with a double DIN stock radio (like ours). The rocker controls if the antenna is up or down, I find with my MR2 Spyder, I only need to extend it when I am out of the city. Or just go to the windshield antenna!
 

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Yup... for those headunits that have that antenna issue, I just place a two-position toggle/rocker switch intercepted into the antenna wire. Easiest solution.
 

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It's true that most modern units don't have true line level preamp outputs anymore. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. In the old days, line level was only really a "standard" in home stereo stuff at 1V peak to peak output which generally changed when CD players were introduced with 2V P-P outputs.
"Line level" in car stereo stuff generally followed the home standard, but some manufacturers used whatever they wanted. Older Kenwood stuff was about 200mV P-P and some high end brands were as low as 30mV P-P. This was all fine as long as your system was all one brand, but problematic when mixing brands. On the Kenwood's, I used to modify the line level by swapping some resistors in their preamp outputs to bring the level up to the normal 1V P-P. In more extreme cases, I would build a small adjustable gain stage into a plastic film can (remember those!) that could easily be powered from the amp turn on lead that had a level control on the cover.
In the really old days when booster / equalizers were the awful norm. Nearly all of them simply were a low gain / high noise stage that simply amplified the normal speaker output level and its noise. Yech!!!! But there were a few that more or less buffered the speaker outputs by using some sort of higher impedance input stage or an input transformer that greatly reduced the output current and noise in the head unit. These sounded much, much better than the others. (CarFi)
But it wasn't long before high end companies got involved and soon there was a true 25 W RMS amp without a switching power supply. (Audio Mobile) The only real problem was that the components all had to be precisely matched or noise and distortion rose considerably. Then switching power supplies came into the picture and real output grew to incredible levels.
However, the car has always been a noisy environment and higher preamp levels reduce the apparent system noise level. So it's not uncommon these days for line level preamp outputs to be 4, 6, even 8V P-P. This allows the input gain on the amps to be reduced accordingly which lowers noise. And many of these units have built in MOSFET amps which are incredibly clean so using a "glorified" line output converter with them isn't a problem.
And yeah, power antennas are almost nonexistent these days. One of the worst examples was our original OEM units. Some Toyota engineer thought that it made sense to stop the antenna briefly while in start mode to save wear and tear on the antenna. Virtually every other unit ever made would briefly reverse direction while in start mode then reverse again and continue up after the engine was running. Yeah it was cool that the antenna wasn't raised except for radio mode. But many other OEM and aftermarket units used to work like this as well.
Then there was a while that many OEM head units had some really cool features that were exceedingly rare in the aftermarket. One was FM front ends that adjusted the length of the antenna to the frequency being tuned instead of having to compensate for everything in the FM section. So the proper 1/4 wavelength at 88MHz was 31" and at 108MHz was 28" and these units adjusted the length to the tuned frequency instead of compensating for everything being optimized for 98MHz. There's still some OEM head units that use diversity tuning to pick the best signal from 2 different antennas. Almost always, the second antenna is the rear defroster grid. Sure the antenna is isolated from the defroster but having 2 antenna inputs to choose from (actually 2 separate FM front ends) that just happen to be about the right distance apart so that one nearly always has a good signal works extremely well. But even this isn't really necessary anymore with HD radio.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Good lord, don't modify the interior plastics. Just get another fog light switch and put it in one of the blank spots in the center console (or toss your coin holder if that's whats filling your blank spot).

Is this for the black or white one?
It's the black '83.
For now I'm going to put the switch on the dash...
I actually have an old filler panel for the lower right side dash panel that used to hide a remote radar detector. When I removed the detector, I purchased a replacement panel. I think that I will use the old panel for a switch.

COVER REMOTE CONTROL MIRROR HOLE 55547-14010-02.jpg
Filler panel

COVER REMOTE CONTROL MIRROR HOLE 55547-14010-02 2.jpg
Old filler panel. No existing plastic was hurt in the making of this picture!

I really like the idea of using a rocker switch on the console.
The coin holder on my '83 is molded into the console. I thought that I have seen some consoles with removable coin inserts.

1983 Console 1.jpg
1983 Manual Console - top

1983 Console Underside.jpg
1983 Manual Console - bottom

You can see there are some support structures that would have to be cut out to insert a rocker switch on this console.

1984 Console - Automatic.jpg
1984 Automatic Console
This stock console is different. The coin holder has been replaced with the Fog Light switch. Is the 1984 manual console fitted with a removable coin holder here?

Dale
 

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My European '83 has a rocker switch in the center console that manually runs the antenne up and down.
But I don't have the central locking or the rear wiper switch there, the wiper switch is on the right side of the instrument cluster..
 

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The later manual trans consoles are plug, coinholder, foglight switch. On auto cars I think the plug is for the power ECT switch. If you switch consoles you need both pieces since they are soft touch vs hard plastic. That and there is not TC after 83.
 

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The later manual trans consoles are plug, coinholder, foglight switch. On auto cars I think the plug is for the power ECT switch. If you switch consoles you need both pieces since they are soft touch vs hard plastic. That and there is not TC after 83.
What! No Terra Cotta? The Queen of colours? lol
I appreciate the heads up. I just put an ad in the Wanted section. I'd better modify it!

Funny how there are a lot more variations through the years than I realized. Until you start looking at something that is!

Dale
 

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Note it's really hard to find nice console from the later years they tend to wear off the top surface and expose the yellow foam underneath. Another suggestion would be to find the trip computer panel and repurpose a button off that.
 

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I just unplugged the power antenna. I haven't listened to fm radio in ages now.
Was December 1989 when KZEW "The Zoo", the last album rock station in the Dallas/Fort Worth market started playing Christmas music and never came back. That was "the day the music died" in Dallas. I pretty much stopped listening to radio at that point and installed CD changers. I was a product of the late Progressive and Neo-Progressive rock era and so there was no point anymore. All the remaining stations pretty much played just the singles on a loop and as talented as they are, one can only take Pink Floyd's top three or four songs so many times a day. I converted all my vinyl to cassette and started buying CD's online, pretty much anything on the Magna Carta label. Plus I loved concept albums so 20-25 minute arrangements or a whole story album played in sequence you'd never hear on the radio anyway. By the time I retired the Supra from the daily commute in the late 90s, I had burned out and didn't listen to music very much anymore. Fast forward ten years and I'd try Pandora occasionally at home tho with Pandora, you'd create your own channel, perhaps putting in Gentle Giant to start with hoping to get a bunch of deep tracks and within two or three songs it'd be back to Another Brick in the Wall and other top 200 songs.

But a few years ago I finally bought a Jaguar that was new enough to have I-phone connectivity. I subscribed to Apple music and have been enjoying a bunch of great neo-prog bands that I either hadn't listened to since the 80's or that have been formed in only the last few years. There are some great younger bands doing neo-progressive rock.

As for my classic cars, which includes the Supra, I only go to a car show occasionally or for a short joyride and then part of the experience is to roll the windows down and listen to the wonderful sounds made by the car itself. No more than I'd listen to the broadcast radio anymore, I'd put a hidden switch somewhere, maybe inside the glove box or center console just so it would be possible and then probably forget it was there.
 

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I didnt know about this. My Supra had a toggle switch in that area before the owner did a antenna delete. I guess that's what that switch was for. I need to take the bondo off and put an antenna back in because I like the ones that go up and down. Guess I'll have to make his toggle switch longer so that it's by the dashboard.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I didnt know about this. My Supra had a toggle switch in that area before the owner did a antenna delete. I guess that's what that switch was for. I need to take the bondo off and put an antenna back in because I like the ones that go up and down. Guess I'll have to make his toggle switch longer so that it's by the dashboard.
That's the spirit!

It's the STYLE.Cruise your car in to a parking lot by a group of people and pop the antenna. It makes a statement that says "I'm from the 80s. Be as jealous as you damn well want, I'm different!"
My wife's '84 has the stock stereo with cassette and she carries in the back seat a brief case with cassettes in it. When she's in the car she plays Paula Abdul:eek:n the cassette natch.

At the age of these cars, they are supposed to look the part. It's like the JDM crowd cruising around with their stretched tires and rubber tow hooks hanging from the back. They understand. If you wanted maximum performance you'd get a new muscle car. Your attitude and the car's attitude are an important part of loving Mk IIs.

Dale
 

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Another suggestion would be to find the trip computer panel and repurpose a button off that.
There is a rocker switch in there, for the lamps in the keyboard. G/L taking the wires out of it. It's a very tight pcb for the time.
 

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Yup, right on. Im actually 19 year old and grew up around way newer cars. Buying this car last year has been an entire change for me haha. I originally wanted to do something with new wheels slammed and typical modern stuff but i steered towards doing a period correct build. The more i drive the car in its current form the more i realize its better as an original preserved cruiser than a car meant to go fast. Its the reason why im going to rebuild the 6M. Just got done chrome polishing the original wheels a few weeks ago Id also like to buy a OEM 82 83 stereo in case.

Sent from my SM-G928V using Tapatalk
 
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