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Antenna question

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  • Antenna question

    This one crosses several forum sections at once, so rather than ask individually, I thought I would post it in the general section.

    As I'm planning my build and my car, one thing I desire is low profile (both in size and how noticed it is) items. Right now I am thinking about the antennae I will need for everything. As it sits, I will have my cb antenna sticking a couple feet off the trunk, but I dont want anything else to detract.

    What is available for external wifi, gps, fm, hd radio (I've not much experience with HD, so perhaps I'm wrong and it runs from fm), and are there any solutions for a combo antennae setup, i.e. multiple bits in one casing.

    If not, are there any problems to be had from making a single attractive roof mount option?a
    "To start press any key" Where's the "any" key?

  • #2
    HD Radio uses your existing FM radio antenna. No extra antenna required.

    The GPS hockey puck can sit inside on the dash, under the glass. No need to put it outside.

    For Wi-Fi, it's best to have it outside. Here's what I use:

    It's really smaller than it looks in the picture. It's less than a foot in total height.

    -- Kevin


    • #3
      as already mentioned, GPS antennas can stay inside the car as long as it has a clear "view" above it (the signal can pass through glass, but not metal). I have my GPS mouse (globalsat BU-353) hidden under the carpet on my car's rear deck. I have an XM sat radio antenna in the same place.

      for the FM/HD antenna, you can use whatever your car already has on it. keep in mind that while low profile (shark fins or stubby antennas) look better than whips, their reception is also noticably less. that may not be an issue with regular FM radio, but HD is broadcast at a lower power output so unless you're close to the transmitter you'll likely have poor HD reception.

      I don't use wifi in my car so I have no experience with those antennas. you can get wireless internet through many cellphones (regular phones generally use airtime, for smartphones you are generally charged by the kilobyte). just something to consider.

      I would say your biggest problem as far as asthetics are concerned is that 2FT CB radio antenna on your trunk. that thing will look so ugly that it would be hard to notice anything else. you could consider getting a "through-the-glass" cellphone look-alike CB antenna, it would look nicer than a trunk mount.

      whatever you choose, good luck
      F150 Truckputer [1.0] (coming soon!)
      Fusion Carputer [2.0]
      Fusion Carputer [1.0]


      • #4
        through the glass antennas look like ****, perform like ****, and i have no use for them. I'm thinking what i will do is get a single bundle of temp rated cable, take the circuit boards from wifi, gps, and xm, and wire them from the bundle, and just add usb ends to the other end. will make for a nicer little plastic log up top rather than multiple. i've been looking through different threads, and saw mention of a fella that plastic welded, and i think i can make a custom little case easy enough. i'm sure a "large" sharkfin will provide the room for the boards and such. if the wifi antenna needs to be longer....i can hide it in the wing on the back.
        "To start press any key" Where's the "any" key?


        • #5
          Have you ever actually seen the performance of a GPS receiver sitting on a dashboard behind the windshield?
          Until you do, I suggest you hold back your "it sucks" comments.
          Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
          How about the Wiki?

          Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.


          • #6
            geez, and i've been told that i need to read better lol. previous poster mentioned teh through the glass cb antennas, i was responding to that.

            and i truthfully dont care how the performance is behind glass. sitting on the dash means its in sight in the car. i'd rather just make one low profile log to sit on the roof that will cover everything. more stock looking.

            edit: i should also mention i'm happy with the cb antenna i'm using. its a K30, 3ft wire whip, attractive magnet base. looks decent, doesn't detract like the fibreglass whips i've used on my trucks would. its also short, so its not so attention grabbing.

            edit 2: the carputer build i'm planning will be similar to the setups shown by blk02si (in fact i had planned on something like that before i even saw his most awesome setup. i will undoubtedly buy one of his cages as a start for mine), so it will have an ultra integrated look, and with the rest of the work i am putting into my car, i really dont want loose bits like a gps antenna sitting around. not very professional looking when i do all my own work (except body, i suck at body work) and then leave something like that laying around rather than go the extra step and make something like an all in one up top
            "To start press any key" Where's the "any" key?


            • #7
              Originally posted by BlueOvalMacMech View Post
              I'm thinking what i will do is get a single bundle of temp rated cable, take the circuit boards from wifi, and wire them from the bundle, and just add usb ends to the other end. will make for a nicer little plastic log up top rather than multiple
              This part has me confused. Why would you want the circuit board for the wifi outside? Why not just the antenna?


              • #8
                i should have been a little clearer there. that part actually depends on what wifi i go with. i had (exgf lost it lol) a usb wireless-g adapter the size of a thumbdrive that got pretty good reception, something like the distance of a city block, i might use something like that rather than a pci card, as i am not sure yet what type of mobo i will go with, i might choose a pico, and from what i've seen of those, they dont have a pci slot, so usb would be the required. of course if i get a usb card with external antenna, then yes it will just be the antenna up in the roof housing and not the circuit board. but the other boards would be up there, like that inside of the xm and gps antennas
                "To start press any key" Where's the "any" key?


                • #9
                  Okay, I understand.

                  How about the combination GPS and Wifi antenna sold here?


                  You'll need a GPS receiver that can use an external antenna to use this, though.


                  • #10
                    interesting, doesnt include xm though.

                    what i'm looking at doing, is including the xm, gps, and wifi modules in one. will look as one unit when done but have 3 plugs at the end (xm antenna plug, gps usb, and wifi usb/antenna plug)
                    "To start press any key" Where's the "any" key?


                    • #11
                      I have my GPS ant. 'in' the dash sitting on top of the heating/AC ducts and get 8-9 locks all the time.

                      My Rides:
                      '03 Vibe GT!

                      My AED GA!


                      • #12
                        What GPS antenna do you guys recommend with good in-car performance? I have a GPS Mouse (Ebay 2004) that has never worked very good on my dash. It was working quite well in my rear window, but stopped being able to lock to more than 2 birds after I tinted my windows. I currently have it up front again, but I periodically will lose full service.


                        • #13
                          I bought the BU 353 from the store here and have been happy with it. Like others, i have it sitting on my dash by the heat vent. The cables are tucked away clean and you hardly notice it. Never had a problem with reception, even on cloudy days.

                          The downfall with the combination GPS/CELL/WIFI antenna sold here is the fact that it provides 0 db gain for wifi. Add to the fact that you lose signal strength with every inch of cable, you could in fact get worse reception than before.