Do you prefer the whip?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by ctbering, Sep 4, 2008.

  1. ctbering

    ctbering Rambling Man

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    Now that I have understand the placement of the whip antenna in relation to the satellite antenna I would like to know if the whip antenna provides the same, better or poorer reception for AM/FM radio. I prefer the look and utility of the shark antenna but my question is: how does the whip antenna perform versus the shark antenna in these different environments;
    Downtown big city, suburbs, and country roads?
     
  2. aaf709

    aaf709 Ravenpaw of ThunderClan

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    What it says on VG Shark Fin Antenna - How It Works?

    Though the stock antenna will usually still provide better reception, through testing, we found that the VG Shark Fin Antenna performed consistently better than any stubby antenna fitted on the same car.

    A big factor will depend on where you live vs. the stations (i.e. the frequency) you listen to. You may find it works great while your neighbor, who listens to other stations, has problems.
     
  3. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Usually the larger the antenna is, the better it will perform - more surface area to catch radio waves.
     
  4. 9G-man

    9G-man Senior Member

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    If you are nearing the limit of transmission range for the station you are trying to receive, the whip antenna is best. That little coil running up it is, in theory, equivelent to extending it's length 2-3 fold.
    That sharkfin is mostly for looks, but it does work fine in a strong signal environment.
    I spend most all my time on SAT radio anyway, but my sharkfin works.
    What the fin really does is give the Prius a lower, sleeker, less dorky profile, IMHO
     
  5. aaf709

    aaf709 Ravenpaw of ThunderClan

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    One test is to find a Prius owner near you that has the Shark Fin. Maybe they'll let you listen to your stations.
     
  6. mingoglia

    mingoglia Member

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    From what I've read, and so far this is consistent with what's been posted thus far is the shark fin antenna has a slight loss over the oem antenna. With the being said, I'm a bit disappointed at the OEM antenna so I sure as heck wouldn't move to the shark fin. I've owned a lot of vehicles. I currently own 4 vehicles this very moment. The Prius has the worst reception of any I've owned.

    Perhaps it's because Arizona is so spread out that it's more obvious than some of the east coast states.... I do not know.

    Mike
     
  7. subarutoo

    subarutoo New Member

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    My shark fin performs at least as well as the stock antenna on my other two cars. I have the same good and bad reception in the same areas in using both types of antenna. It works for me in LA. It looks better, and makes a car cover MUCH easier to live with, if you need to do that.
     
  8. krmcg

    krmcg Lowered Blizzard Pearl Beauty

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    Gotta have the whip! Where else would I put my San Francisco Giants antenna ball?
     
  9. KK6PD

    KK6PD _ . _ . / _ _ . _

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    Well there really is no relation to the 2 antennas, 1 does satellite, 1 does AM/FM. Thats it. I believe you live in Chicago. Well there you could have a paper clip and you would have enough signal to work! Depends on the location of the transmitter in question, its Effective Radiated Power, the miles between you and the xmit antenna, your specific surroundings at the time reception problems occur!

    Now here's a SMART LAD!! He gets it!! The more metal, the more signal!!!
    I always enjoy your posts Patrick!!

    Another post right on point!! If you live in a large metrpolitan city chances are the station you want will want will have more than enough power to blanket the city, thus "Sharkfin" Antennas work fine! If you live 75 miles or further from the Transmitter, you re going to have problems. Basic RF transmission characteristics!!


    Thats because you live in one of the most RF saturated cities in the world, THANK GOD!!!

    The only other option that you have, that has not been mentioned yet is putting a RF pre-amp n line with the antenna. You have to be careful however, because too much RF is just as bad as too little!!!

    I like the whip antenna. I split the feed between the FM radio and a Bearcat scanner. Both work very well!!

    Being a Amateur Radio Op, and understanding how signals work does have its perks!!

    Its also part of my job!! Its great to get paid for what doing what is your hobby!!

    73 de Pat KK6PD
     
  10. Celtic Blue

    Celtic Blue New Member

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    I'm sorry, I thought this was some sort of "alternative lifestyle" thread and was just passing through... Was expecting someone to proclaim, "No, I prefer the paddle!"
     
  11. KAR IDEA

    KAR IDEA Member

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    Whip it! Whip it good! Dee Do Dee Do Dee Do Dee Do...

    Dave
     
  12. hyo silver

    hyo silver Awaaaaay

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    Nooo, not the whip! Anything but the whip! :fear::whip:
     
  13. Celtic Blue

    Celtic Blue New Member

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    ...ah...Devo...it's not often that you can fit them into "normal" conversation. Where's my flowerpot hat?
     
  14. KAR IDEA

    KAR IDEA Member

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    Hmmm, I don't know where your flower pot hat is Shawn, however...

    When a Prius comes along, you must whip it!

    Dave
     
  15. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Note that the original equipment whip antenna already has an RF preamp located at the base of the antenna. This is probably because

    1) the whip is a relatively short antenna and
    2) there's a relatively long coax cable run from the rear of the roof to the radio.

    A recent thread regarding Prius lightning damage showed a photo of the smoked circuit board.

    73, AK6C
     
  16. ronhowell

    ronhowell Active Member

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    KK6PD, isn't the whip antenna on the Prius referred to as a "base loaded" antenna, with the actual length some fraction of the FM carrier wavelength?
     
  17. KK6PD

    KK6PD _ . _ . / _ _ . _

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    Now theres a good question! I just went out to the car to take a close look. Usually a base loaded antenna does consist of multiple turns of wire to make a RF electrical length near the wave length you want to receive.
    That being said My whip is so flimsy at the base that am thinking there is not much of a coil down there! Its way too flexible. usually the base is very solid to protect the coil of wire!


    I thought you were a Ham!!!

    Roger on the pre-amp internal in the base, I looked up the thread... Impressive want a little stroke of lightning can do!!

    The fact there is a preamp explains the lack of loading coil in the whip!! The loss factor in 12 ft of rg58 type cable while slight is still a factor!

    The biggest problems with putting pre-amps in RF receive systems is the chance of Inter Mod Distortion, and the fact that you can overload the front end of the receiver! Too much RF is just as bad as too little!!

    73 de Pat KK6PD
     
  18. aaf709

    aaf709 Ravenpaw of ThunderClan

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    Take a look at EV page for some nice photos of an installation of the sharkfin. It shows what the inside of the fin is like.

    I'm a fan of the 60s TV series Supercar, so I don't mind the whip antenna. :)

    [​IMG]
     
  19. kayak_hauler

    kayak_hauler New Member

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    I have the fin, and am in San Diego, which is probably similar to Chicago in terms of signal. I haven't noticed any drop off in reception. I love the look of the shark fin, but I was also afraid I was going to break off the whip with kayaks on the rack. When you install the fin, you keep the RF amplifier as well....
     
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