Stubby AM/FM Antenna

Discussion in 'Build Journals & Projects' started by Robert Elmore, Jan 21, 2020.

  1. Robert Elmore

    Robert Elmore Member

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    I've never liked that long AM/FM antenna so I bought a little Stubby one from Amazon. It works for my purposes. I don't listen to much AM or FM so reception isn't a big deal to me. Even so, the one AM station and the one FM station I might listen to receive just fine. I think it looks loads better too.

    Stubby.jpg
     
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  2. SGG

    SGG Active Member

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    Is the reception really that bad?
     
  3. OP
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    Robert Elmore

    Robert Elmore Member

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    The reception is fine, but I would think it wouldn't be as good as with the long. My local stations come in just fine...
     
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  4. CoastieN70

    CoastieN70 Well-Known Member

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    I have the slightly longer version and it works really well... :)
     
  5. MTB-BRUH

    MTB-BRUH Well-Known Member

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    I thought the factory one was short and stubby lol
     
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    Robert Elmore

    Robert Elmore Member

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    Size matters...in the case of this antenna I think the shorter the better. I would think the shorter one limits the reception of weaker stations, but as I said, I don't listen to AM/FM that much anyway. The Stubby picks up my stronger local channels just fine. It's all personal preference. My 2017 Edge has the low profile antenna and I think it looks much better. If you are a shortwave DXer you may want to stick with the longer antenna or if you don't see an aesthetic problem with the stock antenna then you are good to go.
     
  7. P. A. Schilke

    P. A. Schilke Well-Known Member

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    Hi Bob,

    Yep! do not see any aesthetic problem... Much better that the fender aerials of the past.

    Brief Back story,

    Had an engineer working for me that aspired to the design and release (release being to put in to production) of the little ball on the top of the aerial. In other words...he did not have to work. Not on my watch but later on in conjunction with Human Resoruces and my involvement and other past managers, he was shown the door...and as they say...AMF!

    Best,
    Phil Schilke
    Ranger Vehicle Engineering
    Ford Motor Co. Retired
     
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    Robert Elmore

    Robert Elmore Member

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    I prefer as little protrusion as possible, the antenna on my 2017 Edge is functional and attractive...almost looks like the Ranger antenna without the big rubber ducky...they want you to remove it if you go through most car washes and some low slung parking garages....how did the make the Edge antenna work and feel the need to add the extra height on the Ranger?

    shark antenna.jpg
     
  9. FULLSCALE

    FULLSCALE Well-Known Member

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    I’d prefer a paint matched one like the one posted above, but currently using a 4” Stubby.
     
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    Robert Elmore

    Robert Elmore Member

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    I think the ball on the older antennas kept birds from being impaled by a ball less metal rod.
     
  11. P. A. Schilke

    P. A. Schilke Well-Known Member

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    Hi Bob,

    Little known secret of these aerials is that if you cut off the top 6" of the aerials and grind a point on them, they make great metal scribes. I have several in my tool box... they work well and so far have never had to be sharpened...

    Best,
    Phil Schilke
    Ranger Vehicle Engineering
    Ford Motor Co. Retired
     
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    Robert Elmore

    Robert Elmore Member

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    I graduated electronics school almost 50 years ago and remembered studying about the purpose of the ball on a car antenna. I couldn't remember the technical explanation but found it on the RadioReference.com website from a post by RevGary...his explanation is as follows:


    "The ball on the top of the antenna serves an electrical purpose. Under conditions of vehicle speed verses ambient air humidity, the antenna will develop a static charge - the same as helicopter rotor blades slicing through the air, but to a much lower potential voltage. The ball on the end of an antenna is there to dissipate the static buildup. The air traveling across the ball is at a slightly different speed than the rest of the antenna and that difference of static potential causes the static charge to flow toward the ball where it is dissipated into the airflow. While this dosen't make too much difference at speeds less than 40 MPH, it CAN make a difference at highway speed in allowing tthe incoming RF signal to be clean rather than being influenced by a random static "NOISE" charge on the antenna whip. This information was first brought to my attention in 1961 by way of the ARRL Antenna Handbook. If you can locate some SMALL lead fishing sinkers of the appropriate size, crimp one onto the antenna tip if you feel that your highway speed incoming signals are less than they used to be."
     
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