shark fin antenna, horrible reception, is there a good hidden antenna?

Discussion in 'Prius c Audio and Electronics' started by horstuff, Jan 23, 2021.

  1. horstuff

    horstuff New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2021
    11
    0
    0
    Location:
    Northern Oregon Coast
    Vehicle:
    2013 Prius c
    Model:
    N/A
    I bought one from PriusChat shop, it is made by Visual Garage. Install went fine, I followed the instructions exactly. Turned on the radio... I now get just 2 stations. The reception is absolutely horrible.

    Has anybody here ever used a hidden antenna that works well? Im thinking that this stupid fin antenna isn't worth hassling with (it looks good) so if I just keep it on the car and then add a hidden antenna under the dash, Ill have the shark fin just for looks and a hidden antenna under the dash for functionality.

    By the way, the only reason I got this shark fin antenna was because the stock antenna base started leaking into the car, and this seemed like the best way to solve it without having to undo the headliner etc. So, the shark fin is now just an expensive, good looking leak stopper.
     
  2. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2018
    5,922
    2,353
    0
    Location:
    USA
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius c
    Model:
    Four
    Pretty sure that the shark fin or other stick antenna in that location is ONLY for SiriusXM and the AM/FM antenna is in the rear glass.
     
    TGrracie likes this.
  3. horstuff

    horstuff New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2021
    11
    0
    0
    Location:
    Northern Oregon Coast
    Vehicle:
    2013 Prius c
    Model:
    N/A
    Say wha? Really? I see wires in the glass but I always thought that was just the rear defrost.

    To add to the confusion... this is my girlfriends car, and I never really listened to the radio in it before. But, she says her am/fm reception was definitely better before the shark fin, but...

    I guess my bottom line is:

    Is there some sort of hidden antenna or antenna boost that can be done under / behind the dash?
     
  4. horstuff

    horstuff New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2021
    11
    0
    0
    Location:
    Northern Oregon Coast
    Vehicle:
    2013 Prius c
    Model:
    N/A
    more info... this is a 2013 Prius C. I looked in the manual, there is no mention of satellite radio or Sirius XM or any of that. The only info about the antenna, which was in the audio section, is to not put a car cover over it or let it hit the ceiling of a garage. So, it sounds like the roof antenna is indeed for am/fm on this car.
     
  5. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2018
    5,922
    2,353
    0
    Location:
    USA
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius c
    Model:
    Four
    Have a good look at those "wires".
    On my C, some of them are located near the edge of the glass where defrosting would NOT be needed.
     
  6. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2018
    2,064
    1,473
    0
    Location:
    Taylors, SC
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Two
    I've had the same Visual Garage shark fim antenna on my Prius v since 2012. Reception has been good and about the same as on the OEM "rubber duckie."
     
  7. TGrracie

    TGrracie Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2018
    39
    40
    0
    Location:
    Duxbury
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Premium
    I do believe that the AM/FM "antenna" is on the rear window. The reception of certain stations change depending on if I back into a spot or pulling nose first.
     
  8. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2018
    4,453
    4,395
    1
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius c
    Model:
    Two
    As far as I know the sharkfin already contains a broadband RF preamplifier. Maybe verify that it is receiving power and functioning?

    Better to say includes an amp- not sure if it is packaged in the sharkfin assembly or located along the cable path going up to the head unit.

    I have seen preamps used like this in a number of Asian-built cars in recent decades- the amp is usually near the antenna connection or built into the mount.
     
  9. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2018
    2,064
    1,473
    0
    Location:
    Taylors, SC
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Two
    There is no amplifier inside any shark fin antenna. The amplifier is under the roof and inside the car. It is installed by the manufacturer.

    The "rubber duckie" has a 27.5 inch wire spiral wound around an insulator core.

    The shark fin has a 27.5 inch total length zig-zag trace on a printed circuit board.

    They are both 1/4 wave omni directional ground plane antennas.

    The ground plane is the car's roof.

    Ideally a 27.5 inch vertical element mounted 90 degrees from the ground plane makes the best omni directional antenna for the FM band.
     
    #9 Georgina Rudkus, Jan 24, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2021
    RobAustin likes this.
  10. horstuff

    horstuff New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2021
    11
    0
    0
    Location:
    Northern Oregon Coast
    Vehicle:
    2013 Prius c
    Model:
    N/A
    There was definitely no amp inside the shark fin, just an eye bolt to screw onto the base where the whip was, and that eye bolt is attached to a wire that goes to the side of the fin where there is a gold zig zag wire.

    We are in a rural area... from more reviews Ive read in the last few hours, it seems like everybody who has one of these shark fins and they are happy with the reception live in more urban areas... anybody in a more rural area says the performance isnt nearly as good as the stock antenna was. Of course, I can't tell if thats a hard rule or not but it does seem like a pattern Ive seen.

    Anyhoo, Im still wondering if I can just add some sort of under-dash antenna and disconnect the shark fin antenna lead and call it a day. Like I said, the shark fin looks good anyway :)
     
  11. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2018
    5,922
    2,353
    0
    Location:
    USA
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius c
    Model:
    Four
    Time to answer that part of your question:

    NO. You can't put an antenna inside the car, especially under the dash, and expect it to work at all.
    The metal body of the car will screen out all of the radio signals.
    Unless maybe you are right next to a transmitter.

    It sounds to me like it is time to put the original antenna back on just to test if it still works better.
     
  12. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2018
    2,064
    1,473
    0
    Location:
    Taylors, SC
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Two
    If you want really good reception for nearly all 360 degrees, you can get a 27.5 inch straight antenna whip with a M5 thread that screws into the recess after unscrewing the "rubber duckie."
     
  13. horstuff

    horstuff New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2021
    11
    0
    0
    Location:
    Northern Oregon Coast
    Vehicle:
    2013 Prius c
    Model:
    N/A
    Thanks to all for the input and help.
     
  14. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2018
    5,922
    2,353
    0
    Location:
    USA
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius c
    Model:
    Four
    AND.....the outcome was ?????
     
  15. horstuff

    horstuff New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2021
    11
    0
    0
    Location:
    Northern Oregon Coast
    Vehicle:
    2013 Prius c
    Model:
    N/A
    haha, yes, I should have said... no outcome yet. She doesnt use the radio that much anyway, so we'll just live with it for now. You answered my question about a hidden antenna, and since that's not going to be an option, we'll just see if the lack of radio becomes an issue or not.
     
Loading...