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1,231 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
What:
How to strengthen signal reception with the R170 Antenna

Who:
For those of us that can't stand the look of the R171 long whip antenna but do not wish to sacrifice a ton of reception using just the R170 short antenna.

Why:
Why not? I for sure hate being limited to a few feet when I want to lock/unlock my doors. Plus, I spent good money on a Roof Module. From 50+ feet away, I want to walk to my car all the while it's roof is being lowered. By the time I get there, it's ready.

When:
How about now? It only takes about 20 minutes.

Disclaimer:
I am not an electrician and realize there's probably a better way to do this mod. Then again, this worked for me and that's what counts. Right? I was introduced to this mod from another member, (thanks Ikarus), and decided to put a quick tutorial together. I can say that I've already noticed a vast improvement in signal strength. Please note, I have only tested the lock/unlock range. I really don't listen to radio but I'm sure that signal has improved as well. What was the difference? Well, prior to the mod, I was able to lock/unlock at a maximum of 25 feet. That has grown to 120ft! So, in my experience that's 5 times better!

Tools required:
-Soldier gun and solder (RadioShack Model: 64-2802 $7.99)
-22 gauge wire (RadioShack Model: 278-1224 $5.99)
-R170 Antenna (MB part#A170 820 06 75 approx $70)
-Allen Wrench
-Pen
-Ruler
-Razor Blade



Steps
1) Assuming you already have the R170 antenna installed, remove the antenna's upper section. This upper section is hollow plastic and is simply pulled off the base. I found that it's easier to leave the lower section screwed onto the vehicle. Pry the upper section off while slightly bending it. It should come off fairly easy.


2) Remove the lower section using the supplied Antenna 'Gear'


3) Take two strands of wire and begin wrapping them in a spiral around a small pen or allen wrench. The top section can be folded over. As you proceed, switch to a thicker pen. I used my child's paintbrush. The idea is to have a wire spiral that fits into the antenna cavity. I was able to utilize about 15" of length.


4) Next, strip the ends of the wire. Also, strip a small section of the antenna. Solder one piece to the inner section of the antenna and the other to the lower section.


5) Carefully fit the spiral wire onto the base of the antenna. Next, snap the Antenna's upper section back into place.

6) Reattach the antenna to your vehicle. Again, use the 'gear' to get a tight fit.

That's it! Test it out and see the results for yourself. So far, I am happy with the improvement. I will conduct so more tests if I get the urge. For now, I am done. My biggest gripe with the small R170 antenna is now gone.
 

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Registered
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97 Posts
Im doing TONS of changes to my car and I think this is an awesome one, have you done more test to this? Or have you figured out another solution?
 

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Premium Member 2006 SLK 280-sold
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3,552 Posts
If you search the site you will find another thread that is quite long with tons of research on wire sizes, lengths, etc. http://www.slkworld.com/diy-section/4404-how-strengthen-signal-r170-antenna.html

I did the mod and while it looked a lot better on my R171, the loss in radio reception was too serious for me to keep, as I drive 35 miles a day to work and I lost one of my favorite radio stations half way there. That said, the reception for my Key fob was a lot better.

It's a lot of fun to do - learning how to solder well , etc.

Best Wishes,
 

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Administrator 2009 SLK 55 AMG/Founding Member 2006
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95,082 Posts
mar84, you probably figured this out already, but the original post was over 5 years ago!
 

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Premium Member 2013 SLK250
Joined
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2,350 Posts
Five years old but still good info on how to mod the antenna. SLKSTORE use to sell them with the mod done. Last time I checked they no longer do the mod and you have to DIY now.
 

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Premium Member 2004 SLK200K
Joined
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10,745 Posts
If you search the site you will find another thread that is quite long with tons of research on wire sizes, lengths, etc. http://www.slkworld.com/diy-section/4404-how-strengthen-signal-r170-antenna.html

I did the mod and while it looked a lot better on my R171, the loss in radio reception was too serious for me to keep, as I drive 35 miles a day to work and I lost one of my favorite radio stations half way there. That said, the reception for my Key fob was a lot better.

It's a lot of fun to do - learning how to solder well , etc.

Best Wishes,
I noticed in your garage photos you have the whip aerial ! If you're still using it you might want to consider one of these , looks great with no loss of signal !!

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/261144012160?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2648
 
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