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Technical Radio Antenna

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Hdonlybob, May 29, 2020.

  1. Hdonlybob
    Joined: Feb 1, 2005
    Posts: 3,907


    If this is OT, please feel free to remove..
    I am installing a radio in my '63 Biscayne, using a roof mounted box.
    Don't want an outside antenna, so considering an inside windshield antenna.....probably the tape on type.
    Any experience here on these ??
    Not expecting superb long range reception...
  2. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 4,907


    The ones that came from the Chevy Factory were duds. Any big tree or overpass just cut out the AM definitely and the FM had a little more range, but it was not clear. You may be getting a factory tape scenario, but the reception will not be good. If you really want to listen to any radio, the shark finned roof mount antennas are so good that nothing blocks any FM from static or reception. (Who listens to a radio anyway?) On the other hand, the shark finned roof top antennas are not traditional on a 63 Biscayne.

    Maybe the more modern window tape installations have better reception. Our El Camino had AM/FM and a glass front tape system. That was awful, so we listened to our old cassette tapes through the radio input.

    Good luck in finding a more powerful one. An electric fender mount antenna moves the wire inside of the fender opening and cannot be seen from the outside, only a little chrome top shows. Of course, the long antenna rises up to get the best possible reception from your radio. That manual set up was stock on 63 Biscaynes, but the electric ones replaced those manual antennas. YRMV
  3. Ever consider a satellite antenna?

    I mounted a antenna under the car in the wagon, works pretty good. HRP
    Flathead Dave and OLSKOOL57 like this.
  4. We used 'em on customs in the '90s. They worked OK.

    I knew a guy who had an antenna in the trunk. it was made to be mounted that way. it worked real good.
    OLSKOOL57 likes this.

  5. CME1
    Joined: Aug 10, 2010
    Posts: 150


    I too had an antenna in the trunk of my 1940 Ford Coupe. (A long time ago)! It worked great. I don't remember where I got it, but I'm sure I ordered it from the internet.
  6. If you're in a outlying area, they don't work so well. I've tried a few styles, wasn't impressed with any of 'em.

    Satellite radio sucks.... and they want you to pay for it on top of that.
  7. nochop
    Joined: Nov 13, 2005
    Posts: 1,735

    from norcal

    Exterior antennas are traditional. My dad had a power one on my avatar installed in the late ‘50s.
  8. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,907


    you can do an experiment...tape a piece of wire to the windshield, where you expect to put the real tape on antenna. Connect it to the radio. See how it works.

    It would work better on FM than AM, just because of the frequency band being higher, working better with a shorter antenna.

    I've had some GM cars with windshield antennas, they work OK for FM within a reasonable distance of the station (less than 30 miles).
    olscrounger, Hdonlybob and OLSKOOL57 like this.
  9. Hdonlybob
    Joined: Feb 1, 2005
    Posts: 3,907


    Thanks for all the quick replies..
    Actually I have it ready to mount, with two small surface mounted speakers right next to it.
    This way I don't have to mess with any wiring or antenna wire on the top of the windshield.
    My intent was to only listen to CD's as in old period correct music..
    But got to thinking last night about one of the windshield antennas just in case I want to on occasion listen to the radio..
  10. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 6,887

    Bandit Billy

    My OT Silverado had an antenna on the front fender. I took it off one day to run it though the car wash and forgot to put it back on. That was 3 years ago. Works great!
  11. 5window
    Joined: Jan 29, 2005
    Posts: 7,614


    57 HEAP likes this.
  12. Flathead Dave
    Joined: Mar 21, 2014
    Posts: 2,988

    Flathead Dave
    from So. Cal.

    Who cares if it's not traditional. Use it if it works.
    MO54Frank likes this.
  13. I have one of these on my '35 pick-up, mounted on the rear window.......The truck came from SOCAL where there are lots of radio stations, but here in the Valley not so much......I have to use an external telescoping antenna to get any reception.
  14. statesblue
    Joined: Mar 5, 2008
    Posts: 262

    from Luzerne Pa

    I have one of those black boxes shown up above in my 63BelAir. Its mounted up high on the windshield.
    Not impressed.
    Reason I used it was my car never had a radio so no antenna. I didn't want to drill a hole but Im thinking I will break down and put an external antenna on the quarter panel.
  15. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,907


    I don't know how a little box is supposed to pick up a decent need a reasonably long wire, perhaps 1/4 the wavelength of the signal you are trying to receive. 1/4 wave for FM broadcast is about two feet.
  16. They supposedly have a signal amplifier in them (notice the two extra wires; power and ground), but the one I bought was useless. I'm glad I didn't hassle with running permanent wiring to find that out...
  17. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 6,256


    Hdonlybob, you posted your intent is to listen to CD's if thats the case why do you need an antenna? Why not use an Iphone and a blue tooth speaker? No wiring required.
  18. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 7,194

    jimmy six

    Mines been under the right side door on a 90* angle bracket for 8 years because I didn’t want to drill a hole. Did the same thing on a 49 Chevrolet Truck I had in high school when I installed a radio.... standard deal in the 50’s
  19. image.jpeg.jpg
    Mimilan likes this.
  20. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,907


    Why is it looped? you just need one straight wire...
  21. fastcar1953
    Joined: Oct 23, 2009
    Posts: 2,234


    i once put a stock antenna in the headliner gutter before putting in the liner. worked great .
    ClayMart likes this.
  22. 500caddy
    Joined: Feb 8, 2019
    Posts: 89


    That’s what I have in my 53 gasser works ok usually have iPhone hooked to the stereo

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  23. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 4,452

    from Berry, AL

    It all depends on the number of stations and how powerful they are as to what kind of reception you end up with. I've seen guys put a regular telescope antenna up under the dash and get get reception in and close to town, but mostly static out in the country away from strong signals. I had a 38 Chrysler that had a huge aluminum loop antenna, looked like part of an old style TV antenna, mounted under the running board. Don't know how well that worked.

    Most of the hidden antennas are a compromise, so so reception with not seeing the antenna. Even the so called amplified ones aren't as good as a mast antenna. I agree on the GM in the glass antennas being sucky, had one on a Chevy pickup, as long as you were going toward the station it worked pretty good, going away from it though it faded in and out. Our OT Expedition has the antenna in a rear side glass, it seems to do pretty good, so I don't know what the difference is.

    You might get by with the tape on style for FM if you are in a good signal area, but you can forget about AM. Modern radios just don't pick up AM signals like they did even back in the 70's, there is just so much electrostatic interference you usually can't hear but the strongest stations.

    Oh, and about satellite radio.....I've had XM in my semi trucks for over 10 years now, I love it. For less than $20 a month I can listen to any type of music I want to, most commercial free, as well as news and talk, as well as my favorite, Radio Classics, which is the programs from the 1930's up until Sept 1962 that people listened to before they had TV's. Comedy, drama, variety and music, all recorded long ago when our cars were new. Nothing like hearing Red Skeleton or Bob Hope talking about the smog in 1949!
    egads and Hnstray like this.
  24. Mimilan
    Joined: Jun 13, 2019
    Posts: 650


    Last edited: May 30, 2020
  25. Canuck
    Joined: Jan 4, 2002
    Posts: 1,049


    47 Chevy, back seat back a little higher than the rear shelf. Had a cheap stick antenna laying on the shelf out of sight, ran a ground wire from the mounting base of the antenna to ground.

    Worked quite good, almost as good as a stick mounted on a fender.
  26. An antenna is simply a "signal collector"- the more surface area, the more signal you collect. Like a shortwave radio "longwire" antenna, except compacted.
  27. My wires run behind the garnish molding and the unit is high on the windshield behind the mirror. Visible on the inside but the windshield shading hides it on the outside.
  28. I used one of the stick-on antennas in my coupe. It was hidden under the headliner, but I spaced it off of the roof skin. It worked okay, not long range, but did get signal.
    I switched to a hidden/through the fender regular type antenna later, when I was doing some re-paint work on the car. It works better. But, the stick-on did work for me, to answer your question.
  29. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 4,452

    from Berry, AL

    Somebody, might have been an import, insulated the trunk lid electrically and used it as an antenna. Might be fun to try....

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