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Old 7th September 2011, 00:08   #1
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Default The Poor Man's Stubby (Roof Antenna)

What are you doing?
Uhhh.. Do you know where I put my shears?
What shears?
Ummm.. nothing..
What are you doing? Do you need the laptop?
No.. take it.
The charger?
I need it.
What do you mean? Give me the charger.
I told you I need it. This is not the one you need. Go check the bedroom.
What's this for then?
Nothing..
Tell me!
I'm making a stubby!
What's a stubby?
Google it!
No! Tell me!
Close the door after you, will you?

My wife tries her best to hit me with the laptop in one hand. Fails miserably. Grumbles something and lets me be.

Which brings us here. Last week I was sitting outside looking at the car and wondering. What should I change? I have sent the alloys for powder coating, the rear was debadged and soon the calipers will be powder coated too. Tints were there. The roof may get a CF sticker job. But what else.

The antenna was sticking out like a sore thumb. I've always been a fan of stubbies and shark fins but never could find one that worked. Then one day I decided to remove the antenna and try it out for a couple of days. Surprisingly the FM reception was the same. It worked fine even in underground parking lots. Well not fine, but it was the same as before. Or close. Dunno.

So a search began for the second time. I had decided on a spend and none of the products that fell within that budget were impressive. The good ones were prohibitively expensive, at least for me. I even decided on letting it be but the exposed copper and the nipple like look were a major turn off!

I was almost ready to put the original antenna back on when something struck me. DIY! After all, I had so much crap lying around and this would be a good example for my family to stop throwing them out when I wasn't looking!

So without further ado, I present to you.. Uhh.. that's too corny.

Ok here goes. all you need is a discarded laptop AC Adapter. Or Any AC Adapter you can live without. And of course a good pair of shears.
  • I know I don't have to say this, but please remember to disconnect the cable from the mains before you go crazy with the shears!
  • Your aim is to disconnect the rubber protective cover from the base of the cable at the adapter.
  • I didn't have to open up the adapter. I just pried it out and then used the shears to cut the cable.
  • Once done, you can trim it to fit if needed or just directly screw it onto the antenna stub on the car.
  • Its a good idea to use some tape to cover off the exposed end of the antenna before attaching the stubby so that it does not corrode.
Do feel free to ask any questions or shoot me down for this absolutely ghastly DIY
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Last edited by Tassem : 7th September 2011 at 00:18.
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Old 7th September 2011, 00:30   #2
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Default Re: The Poor Man's Stubby

Looks great buddy. BTW how did you screw with the base? got some detailed snaps?
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Old 7th September 2011, 12:32   #3
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Default Re: The Poor Man's Stubby

Now that's a lovely and neat piece of work. Congrats for your 'new' stubby.
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Old 7th September 2011, 12:41   #4
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Default Re: The Poor Man's Stubby

It is not at all ghastly. In fact it is quite nice. Also, if you will, just put a small copper loop inside the stubby to connect to the antenna wiring. Helps in reception(you will get stereo signals more often).
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Old 7th September 2011, 15:42   #5
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Default Re: The Poor Man's Stubby

This is the cutest money saving DIY that i have seen in a long long time. Many questions, how does the reception work, When you took out the antenna were there wiring inside and what did you do with them? Is the hole exactly the same size as the rubber piece, if not what did you do to make it airtight so as no humidity/water gets inside.
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Old 7th September 2011, 15:49   #6
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Default Re: The Poor Man's Stubby

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Boss View Post
Looks great buddy. BTW how did you screw with the base? got some detailed snaps?
When we remove the original antenna, the screw is actually the part attached to the car and not on the antenna. Does that make sense? What I mean is that the antenna has threads. The rubber bit from the AC Adapter is hollow and can be tightly and securely screwed in. I will click another snap to explain what I mean.

Quote:
Originally Posted by adg_andy View Post
It is not at all ghastly. In fact it is quite nice. Also, if you will, just put a small copper loop inside the stubby to connect to the antenna wiring. Helps in reception(you will get stereo signals more often).
That's the surprising part. There seems to be no effect on the radio reception. Don't know if Bangalore FM broadcast is really strong or if the receiver is powerful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankjha1806 View Post
This is the cutest money saving DIY that i have seen in a long long time. Many questions, how does the reception work, When you took out the antenna were there wiring inside and what did you do with them? Is the hole exactly the same size as the rubber piece, if not what did you do to make it airtight so as no humidity/water gets inside.
- The reception is great. No discernible difference.
- No wiring. The original antenna has a threaded base which is attached to a copper screw on the car.
- The hole on the rubber bit is slightly small. But being rubber, it was easy to screw it in. Secure air tight fit.
- Just to be on the safe side, I did cover the copper screw with some tape, but its not necessary.

I'll put up a pic of the base just so that its clear.

Last edited by Tassem : 7th September 2011 at 15:53.
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Old 7th September 2011, 20:29   #7
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Default Re: The Poor Man's Stubby (Roof Antenna)

Great DIY mod Taseem. Car looks great. Which car is it?
AFA reception is concerned the OE antenna is made of metal which acts as an antenna and the rubber would not, so on the fringes of FM signal you might lose reception. My .02$
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Old 7th September 2011, 22:08   #8
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Default Re: The Poor Man's Stubby (Roof Antenna)

You can order a decent stubby in rubber or PVC from dealextreme.com. $ 3-8 delivered to your place. One of them looks like the BMW shark fin antenna
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Old 7th September 2011, 22:22   #9
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Default Re: The Poor Man's Stubby (Roof Antenna)

Quote:
Originally Posted by goandude View Post
Great DIY mod Taseem. Car looks great. Which car is it?
AFA reception is concerned the OE antenna is made of metal which acts as an antenna and the rubber would not, so on the fringes of FM signal you might lose reception. My .02$
Thanks! Its a Fluidic Verna. You make perfect sense. But to be honest I rarely listen to the radio to be worried about 24/7 reception. I feel they are more into ads than actual music. I'm sure you'd agree. Come to think of it, CDs are rare too. It's the USB that works all the time

Quote:
Originally Posted by zipperone View Post
You can order a decent stubby in rubber or PVC from dealextreme.com. $ 3-8 delivered to your place. One of them looks like the BMW shark fin antenna
Agreed. But to install the Sharkfin antenna, I'll have to remove the existing base which is not something I want to even consider. As for the stubby none of my searches showed an antenna with a threaded base. All of them were the screw type where the thread is on the car.

Plus free is anyday better than 3
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Old 9th September 2011, 00:54   #10
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Default Re: The Poor Man's Stubby (Roof Antenna)

Excellent D.I.Y. stuff.
this looks as one cute Antenna, Car manufacturers should adopt your idea and give you credit.

However there may be reception limitation once you are too far from the transmitting station, so you should keep the original one in boot should your desire to listen to a FM Station arises during some long highway trip.

Great Car Now has the coolest Antenna.
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Old 15th September 2011, 12:36   #11
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Default Re: The Poor Man's Stubby (Roof Antenna)

This is freakishly awesome! Great work! Like everyone's said, we could really use some more detailed pics of the process. How'd you get the base of the stuff off the adapter? With shears or did you cut it off?

Now, if only I could find a shark-fin shaped laptop charger!
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Old 15th September 2011, 14:07   #12
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Exclamation Re: The Poor Man's Stubby (Roof Antenna)

Cool DIY. How many hours did it take to complete it?

Quote:
But to be honest I rarely listen to the radio to be worried about 24/7 reception. CDs are rare too. It's the USB that works all the time
This is very true nowadays. USB is the only thing that works all the time.

Btw, O.T question: whose Dell Laptop got sacrificed for this DIY? Yours or wife's?
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Old 16th September 2011, 15:15   #13
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Default Re: The Poor Man's Stubby (Roof Antenna)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghpk View Post
Excellent D.I.Y. stuff.
this looks as one cute Antenna, Car manufacturers should adopt your idea and give you credit.

However there may be reception limitation once you are too far from the transmitting station, so you should keep the original one in boot should your desire to listen to a FM Station arises during some long highway trip.

Great Car Now has the coolest Antenna.
Thanks ghpk! To be honest, I forgot where I kept the antenna. lol..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Musicmaker23 View Post
This is freakishly awesome! Great work! Like everyone's said, we could really use some more detailed pics of the process. How'd you get the base of the stuff off the adapter? With shears or did you cut it off?

Now, if only I could find a shark-fin shaped laptop charger!
Thanks Musicmaker. You'd be surprised how simple it was. The rubber thingamajig can be just pulled off the adapter if need be. But I used shears so that it can be cut neatly. I really don't know what pics to add. Cause it was just a 5 min job. What should I click?

Quote:
Originally Posted by W.A.G.7 View Post
Cool DIY. How many hours did it take to complete it?
Lol. My dear friend, it just took me 5 min to get it done. The thinking part took a while though when I was wondering what could do the job.

Quote:
Btw, O.T question: whose Dell Laptop got sacrificed for this DIY? Yours or wife's?
If it was hers, I wouldn't be here writing this now. I work with Dell and this was an old leftover adapter when my system was refreshed. I got a new adapter with the new system.
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Old 17th September 2011, 11:51   #14
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Default Re: The Poor Man's Stubby (Roof Antenna)



On closeup shots, it shows an open hole at the top. Looks like an opening to connect a water hose! A kid hanging around me said that it's a tiny laser anti-aircraft gun(?!) to shoot low flying objects!!
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Old 17th September 2011, 18:07   #15
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Default Re: The Poor Man's Stubby (Roof Antenna)

Good and Handy tip Tassem.
I always doubt if the antenna can be flicked by anyone when the car is parked in lonely areas. One or two times, I removed and kept inside the car.

Do I need to use only the rubber stubby from a laptop adapter or anything similar available. Sorry I dont work in Dell or IBM .
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