Tech Details on Alternatives to the Shark Fin Antenna?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Audio and Electronics' started by Rokeby, Sep 27, 2008.

  1. Rokeby

    Rokeby Member

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    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    Amapola is decked out with a Shark Fin antenna. I have no substantive
    complaints -- for the most part I drive in/around Ballamer and get an
    acceptable FM signal, and on trips I do books-on-disc via iPod. But the Shark
    Fin is anything but svelt. I understand that its volume is dictated by the need
    to cover the OEM conical antenna base.

    I have been unsuccessful in finding technical specifications on the many
    sleek, slim , and smaller fin-like antennas that I see on more and more new
    cars; Lexus, Chrysler, Volvo, Pontiac, BMW, etc. (Many match the car body
    color so they must be paintable.)

    I know that a different antenna needs to have a built in amplifier, but what
    degree of amplification does the Prius' OEM base provide? Although I'm
    nearly clueless about things electrical/eletronic, I suspect that there are
    other values that would need to be either matched or closely approached.

    Does anyone know of an internet site that lists the technical specs of OEM
    car antennas?
     
  2. rayxoxo

    rayxoxo New Member

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    Vehicle:
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    Here is a site that will give you a calculator to find the size/length of an antenna that would be needed, even on the roof of the Prius. (Usually in the range of 28.5" [1/4 wavelength])

    A little long for on the roof of the car, unless very removable.

    On long trips it wouldn't be a bad idea, but definitely not a good idea to take to the car wash.

    Otherwise, I think that a lot of modifications would be needed just to relocate it.

    Whip Antenna Length And Frequency Calculator
     
  3. Rokeby

    Rokeby Member

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    Vehicle:
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    rayxoxo,

    thanks for your post, but that takes me in the opposite direction I'm trying
    to go. I'm interested in identifying the smallest fin-type AM-FM antenna that
    will interface with minimum issues.

    In this pursuit the fundamental assumption is that the smaller antennae on
    BMWs, Pontiac G6s, etc, provide an adequate signal so as not generate
    massive purchaser complaints, and so might also work on a Prius.

    I'm been doing some basic visual research in parking lots. Sometimes a
    small fin-type antenna is coupled with an antenna imbedded in the rear
    window, so you have to look closely. But folks don't like you looking too
    closely at their cars. And I been questioned by more than one security
    guard.

    So, I'm trying to find a way to get OEM antenna technical specs from one or
    just a few internet sites.
     
  4. Ogo

    Ogo Prius Owner since 2008

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    2016 Prius
    Model:
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    With antennas there is only one simple rule: Longer they are, better they are. :)
    Shark fin antennas are usually a big compromise with built in preamplifier with a bit more dB of pre amplification. In areas where radio signals are very strong there is no problem and this compromise of design versus radio signal performance works well.
     
  5. Rokeby

    Rokeby Member

    Joined:
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    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    Ogo,

    I accept that there may be some loss of range/weak signals. I'm trying to
    find numbers for the relevant values so I can compare different shark fins.

    Here's some data on Sigma Automotive's MB1 amplified Am/FM antenna:

    http://priuschat.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=11620&stc=1&d=1222646061

    So, it's got some numbers. I don't know if they are particularly good or bad.
    Now, if I could find similar specs for OEM Toyota, Lexus, BMW, Chrysler,
    Volvo, etc, I could compare them.

    I can't get a handle on the sites to get the OEM figures. Any ideas anyone?

    FWIW, here's the full Sigma shark fin antenna page address:

    Car Antennas :: Sigma Automotive
     

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