Radio question

Not important, since I no longer have the car, but always wondered about it. My old car (2004 Mazda6) seemed to have an odd radio quirk. Driving over one particular bridge (The I-95 Susquehanna River bridge, for those in/near MD), radio reception would fade out to nothing. Not static, just silence…and radio reception would come back once off the bridge. This happened with all radio stations in that car… and I’ve never seen it happen in any other car I’ve driven or ridden across the bridge.

The bridge is “open” (no metal superstructure above/ around the travel lanes that could have blocked radio signals). Any ideas what might have caused it?

This could be related, as you’d have a direct shot over the water when you’re on the bridge:

Huh—interesting; thanks!

I suspect alien :alien::flying_saucer: activity.

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Most likely has to do with the location and orientation and size of the car’s antenna. Did it happen on AM and on FM?

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Since you stated that the radio was silent and had no static, that seems to indicate you were still receiving a signal, but it was over riding the carrier level of the station. The RF interference either had no modulation on it or perhaps was above the audible range of the demodulator stage of the radio, which detects the audio signal you listen to. This is the same as generating a on carrier signal into the radio without any modulation of the carrier signal. All you then hear is silence, if the input RF signal is strong enough. If there was no carrier signal coming into the radio then you hear normal atmospheric noise, static. The radio is still trying to receive some signal but it just detects noise. I suspect this trouble was on the FM band since AM picks up noise bursts easier due to the modulation method. You certainly had a peculiar issue.

FM. That year’s MAzda6 had a short, detachable (unscrew) antenna at the back of the roofline.

thanks! Yep, it was FM.

I’ve never encountered radio problems on the I-95 bridge near Havre de Grace. Note that the article was written in 2008. The issue may have been resolved since then, and it isn’t clear when the OP had the reception problem.