Antenna for different automobiles
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Connection to the world via the antenna
An antenna provides the driver a connection to the outside world. It allows him to listen to the radio, improve cell phone signal, talk to others using a CB radio or even connect to the Internet. In many new cars, the antenna is already integrated. Retrofitting solutions can be the ideal complement for various possible applications.
Vehicle antenna variations
Antennas are manufactured in many variations. These allow for very subtle installation, as well as installation as a distinctive design feature of the vehicle. The following types of car antennas are common:
- Antenna rod
- Telescopic antenna
- Rigid long antenna
- Shark antenna
- Boomerang antenna
- Interior space antenna
- Satellite antennas
The antenna rod is one of the most common types. It is mounted on one of the fenders or attached to the car's roof. The antenna rod consists of a rubber-coated coil spring. It is flexible and weather-resistant. Despite its flexibility, the antenna rod can easily be unscrewed to avoid the risk of breakage when visiting a car wash.
The telescopic antenna was the most common type of antenna for a long time. Its advantage is that it can be completely pushed into itself and disappear inside the vehicle. Special comfort is provided by motorized antennas. They automatically protrude when the radio is switched on and automatically disappear when it is switched off again. A disadvantage of telescopic antennas is that they can easily break off and take up lots of vertical space. Thus they are hardly suitable for use as roof antennas.
Rigid long antennas are especially used in the field of CB radios. They cannot be not be recessed or pushed into themselves. Long antennas consist of a long steel rod with a low profile. At its foot, the long antenna features a spiralled spring. This provides it with flexibility, so it won't break from wind pressure when driving.
Shark antennas are compact, small components, which are mounted on the roof or trunk lid. They have an aerodynamically favorable form and need not be dismantled for a car wash visit. This type of antenna is named after its distinctive shape that is reminiscent of a shark's dorsal fin.
The boomerang antenna has its origins in the advent of the "stretch limousine". It was often mounted on the trunk as a striking design feature. The boomerang antenna promises particularly good reception for all applications. Due to its size, it, too, can also be mounted only on the roof or the trunk lid of a notchback sedan.
The interior space antenna is a very discrete solution. It is the only variation of this component that doesn't require drilling the body for wiring or mounting. Thus, it is particularly interesting for leasing vehicles, which ought to be be returned as undamaged as possible. Their installation is somewhat laborious, but can be done performed on the rear window as to not restrict the field of vision when driving.
Satellite antennas are most commonly used in caravans. They allow for the reception of satellite TV. Automatically aligning TV aerials are very expensive. Thus, these antenna types are more suitable for high-end caravans.
Vehicle antenna defects
Vehicle antenna defects are commonly detected by a decrease in reception performance. The most common defect aside from breakage is the corrosion of the contacts. Yet, there's a chance it can be fixed relatively easily by cleaning and treating with contact grease. In older vehicles, the replacing the telescopic antennas with modern, flexible types of car antennas is usually a useful measure. If an antenna is to be reinstalled, the borehole in the roof or fender must be well sealed to prevent rust formation. This prevents expensive repairs, which in the worst case may require welding, priming and repainting of the vehicle.
Car antenna cost
Antennas are usually inexpensive and fairly easy-to-install components. Prices start at €10 and can vary up to several hundred to over a thousand euros, depending on their size and functionality. Satellite TV antennas for caravans are the most expensive and can cost up to 2700 euro. In turn, they offer a large range of functions, such as, for example, automatic alignment to the desired satellite. Shark antennas can also be very costly. However, they offer an excellent reception quality, maintenance free operation and an appealing, dynamic look of the vehicle.