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Technical Hidden radio antenaes??

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Texas57, Dec 27, 2016.

  1. What are you guys doing for hidden radio antenaes when the traditional fender mount doesn't fit your build style? I stopped at a local "Tunes and Tint" shop hoping to find a better electronic one that I currently have under my dash. The guy there told me it didn't matter how good/bad they were if they were under a metal dash...none would work. I'm aware of the Kustom sunken antenaes but my paint is finished, and the auto retracting ones on the Detroit cars which may be my best solution. I'm hoping someone here has figured something else out.
    This is for my avatar car. I just can't bring myself to installing the dual swept back '56 Ford antenaes I bough years ago before my build evolved.......... to whatever it is,lol.
  2. On my '55 Chevy, I filled in the stock antenna hole and replaced the antenna with one of these dipole antennas that you peel & stick under the dash (see below).
    It worked OK but if I were to do it again, I'd save the money and just mount the stock antenna under the car, maybe attached to a frame rail. By extending it to it's full length, I bet I'd get the same reception.

    Dino64 likes this.
  3. texasred
    Joined: Dec 3, 2008
    Posts: 1,069

    from Houston

    If the grille on your cowl vent is removable mount it in there..
    loudbang and Texas57 like this.
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  4. Thanks for the link, chopped51. Almost sounds too good to be use them? under a dash? I need something that will pick up AM or FM stations when I'm way out in the boonies and wondering about that storm I'm heading into. I miss not able to pick up baseball games also. Nothing better than cruising down I40 listening to a game!
    41 C28 likes this.
  5. Just Gary...that's the type I've currently got installed and not happy with.
    Texasred....good idea, but I've replaced my cable and pulley system with a custom made hard arm system and inside the cowl wiper motor that takes up most the room I did have in there.
    loudbang likes this.
  6. I used a regular fender mount antenna extended all the way out along the outside frame rail underneath the wagon.

    It works pretty good. HRP
    loudbang and Just Gary like this.
  7. That's what I wish I'd done.
  8. Dino 64
    Joined: Jul 13, 2012
    Posts: 1,853

    Dino 64
    from Virginia

    I put one of those above the headliner of my F-1, don't know why but it didn't work. Used a stock looking one, worked fine.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  9. There is the thread, from a few months ago.
    Texas57 likes this.
  10. robracer1
    Joined: Aug 3, 2015
    Posts: 488


    I'm going to add a Sirius turner to my radio and mount the antenna taped to the top of my fiberglass 32 Ford roadster cowl, I understand antenna satellite signal is great. I'm feed up with a weak signal and the sound fading in and out from the radio antenna!
  12. I use Sirius radio, no commercials, I can travel 3000 and listen to the same station. The small black magnetic antenna mounts on the panel between the trunk and the interior, up against the top - very hard to see.
  13. Thanks Bob...had a brain fart...didn't think to search, DUH!!!
    bobg1951chevy likes this.
  14. Most but not all vintage car radios have a capacitor trimmer which must be adjusted to receive AM stations. Often, you will find an aprox 3/4" long 1/4"dia knurled shaft for finger tightening/loosening the capacitors blades to maximize the signal. In other cases the trimmer has a small screwdriver adjustment. This trimmer is located for access OUTSIDE the radio case adjacent to the antenna input jack. If the trimmer is NOT adjusted you will receive near nothing. !!

    Note that installing the car antenna under the dashboard does about as much good as would placing your headlights under the dashboard. Realize the radio signals must come into the car through the windows and find their way to the antenna IN A STRAIGHT LINE give or take one bounce. Thus my headlight analogy. AM radio signals don't bounce much as headlight beams don't bounce much either.

    Now if the car is a convertible or has a soft top as did many prewar Fords, simply run a wire in the upholstery away from the spring coils. Also note placing a wire under the carpet does little good as the antenna must be spaced away from a metal plane perhaps an inch or more. YMMV gl.

    ps - I'd hardly call Sirius commercial free when it costs a non-insignificant monthly subscription. OTOH there is Pandora through an Android app which is free but granted Rush isn't available as per Sirius.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2016
    loudbang and Texas57 like this.
  15. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,714

    jimmy six

    I couldn't drill a hole in my 56 fender either. I used the factory rubber grommet on right inner edge of the cowl for the cable and mounted the antenna under the right side door on the frame body mount on an "el" bracket. I had to use a tyrap out near the end to steady it. The tyrap was one of those with a hole in it. Works perfect.
    Just Gary and loudbang like this.
  16. Brain farts are better than no farts at all.
    No farts = straight line -------------------------------------------------- not a good thing.
    Texas57 likes this.
  17. Lots of good info there, Paul. My radio is a modern one...bluetooth because my hearing sucks, and bluetooth makes it much easier to hear phone calls, plus the safety of hands free. It's also a marine radio because they have an automatic weather channel and also are available in lots of colors other than the black you normally see in car radios. They are weatherproof as well, not important for me, but maybe for the roadster runners!
    The info you posted on AM signals makes me leary of trying to mount an antenae under the car...seems no different than under the dash to me, at least for AM.
    Maybe before buying the unit that chopped51 posted a link to, I'll try harder to find a suitable location for the one I have....maybe on the back package shelf, and see if picks up signals significantly better than it has been.
  18. J D Coop
    Joined: Nov 16, 2015
    Posts: 70

    J D Coop

    I have the "Tune Trapper" that chopped51 linked to. I have it mounted under the package shelf on my coupe. It works swell on FM (supposedly it's tuned special for that). If I'm parked in the garage with the engine off, it picks up AM but only fair. Outside with the car running, it doesn't pick up a single AM station. According to the manufacturer, AM signals follow the metal shell of the body. I'll probably try a conventional antenna mounted under the running board.
    Texas57 likes this.
  19. Thanks JD......not what I was hoping to hear, but not unexpected.
  20. upspirate
    Joined: Apr 15, 2012
    Posts: 2,197


    They used to sell an antenna tape that stuck to the inside of the glass......windshield or rear window. Are they still available?
  21. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,434


    It's been years since I listened to radio. But if I wanted to do so, I would buy an NORS replacement antenna, and cut a big hole in the front fender, and install the antenna. Just like a normal car would have. It's not a big deal.
    LOST ANGEL likes this.
    Joined: Feb 22, 2006
    Posts: 702


    In calif. am stations come in good,with antenna under th car.
  23. Gearhead Graphics
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 3,532

    Gearhead Graphics
    from Denver Co

    I got a hidden antenna from my local H-D dealer (looks just like Dakota digital for half the price) mine is mounted on the very top of my windshield. Very few people notice it. Though its visible, its hidden in plain sight. Most visible at night when the red power light is on... painted it over, now its gone
  24. Unfortunately, all these 'hidden' antennas pretty much perform in direct proportion to how close they are to the station. If you're trying to get reception in fringe areas, there's no substitute for a 'real' one....

    I'd look at one of the 'flush when retracted' power models as used on higher-end cars. You can get aftermarket copies for under $100, and all you'll have showing is a chrome escutcheon about the size of a quarter. You generally need a flat spot to mount these (rear deck somewhere on your '57?) and some even have a connection for a drain hose for any water that gets in through the mast.
    Texas57 likes this.
  25. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,476


    I can't hear the radio in anything we own, so antenna or not makes no matter...;-)
  26. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 2,790

    The 39 guy

    On my 39 the antenna is typical old car antenna mounted horizontally under the the steel running board. Works fine but I seldom listen to radio stations. I used an inexpensive hidden antenna on my coupe mounted under the package tray. works well but again I usually listen to the recorded music I have on board or just listen to the Flathead.
    You can see a small black thing (antenna) mounted high above the speaker on the right. Very easy to install.
    Texas57 likes this.
  27. As mentioned earlier, I'm probably going to end up with what Crazy Steve talked about...I can live with a small power regular antennae, and I'm pretty sure I won't have to be figuring something else out after that.
    I appreciate all the input.....keep 'em coming!
  28. Roger O'Dell
    Joined: Jan 21, 2008
    Posts: 1,120

    Roger O'Dell

    I use a corvette (long wire) and mount in the grille. Think line of sight

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