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Old 24th August 2014, 21:37   #16
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Default Re: DIY - Installing the OEM Sharkfin Antenna on a VW Polo

Very nice and detailed post Gannu; this was the first Team-BHP post that came up when I started searching for the shark-fin mod for the Polo. Didn't have to look elsewhere!

Well, I haven't gotten my car yet but have been trying to buy a few things to mod my future ride. The shark-fin was one of the first things I wanted to do. However, I wanted to have the NAV antenna also built into that so as to avoid having to mount an additional one on the glass, dash, etc.

So, I was doing a bit of research into this and also the FAKRA connectors because I have never dealt with them before. At the risk of sounding moronish, let me jot down a few things I found so that it may help some folks looking for information here.

First, my understanding is that the actual electrical connector is the same across all different variants of the FAKRA. Actually two; one male and the other female. It is the outer plastic shell which makes them unique (‘coded’) as each of them are color coded and the industry generally assigns a particular function to each color. A male connector of one color would mate only with a female connector of the same color, except for the ‘Water Blue’ color which is the Z-type and is universal – meaning it will mate with any type of FAKRA connector. The following is a short list of the FAKRA connector types along with their color codes for those which are mostly applicable in the Indian context:
Type A: Black; AM/FM Radio without power supply for passive (unamplified) antenna.
Type B: White; AM/FM Radio with power supply (phantom supply for amplified antenna).
Type C: Blue; GPS and/or Telematics.
Type D: Bordeaux; GSM/Cellular.
Type G: Grey; Remote control / keyless entry.
Type I: Beige; Bluetooth.
Type Z: Water Blue; Neutral coding (universal).
The male connector shells have ‘ribs’ running along the sides; the shape/position of these are unique for each connector type. The female versions have grooves corresponding to these shape/positions. This is so only the same type mate thereby avoiding accidently connecting the wrong ones together. The Z type is the exception and the plugs (male) have no ‘ribs’ on them and the female shell have grooves to accommodate all male types and is made for the sole purpose of interconnecting to various different types if needed be.

Now coming back to this particular install; the antenna that Gannu installed originally had a Type D (Bordeaux) connector. I am not sure what color the connectors are on this cable installed on the Indian version of the Polos and the stock HU, but my guess is that it is most likely white, at least for the high end versions. We will revisit this sometime later. Gannu has replaced the original Type D connector on the new antenna with the universal Type Z (Water Blue) to be able to connect to the existing antenna cable.

Now, the fact that the Type D connector on the antenna Gannu used got me thinking this might be an antenna meant for the GSM phone; to be used in cars which have the AM/FM antenna built into the rear glass or the side pillars. Googling didn’t solve the mystery itself.

Anyway, I have plans to replace my HU with an aftermarket one meant for VAG; most likely the famous Blaupunkt Philadelphia 835. However, I am researching on compatible Kenwood HUs also. Not worried too much about the very high audio quality or thundering bass; just decent audio would be fine. However, I need integrated navigation and CAN-BUS integration for maximum interaction with the cluster (planning to upgrade to Maxidot if the TSI Facelift in India doesn't have this) , HAVC, reverse camera, parking sensors, etc. I would appreciate any feedbacks/suggestions/comments in this respect from the knowledgeable folks here.

As I was planning to do the shark fin antenna, I thought it would make sense to go for one which has built-in GPS antenna too. I searched and found that the cheapest OEM VAG antenna I could get was a 3-in-1 unit with AM/FM (amplified), GPS, and GSM. The part number is 6R0 035 501 C which is larger than the one Gannu used and is not exactly cheap at 77 USD. (This antenna is probably available in India for higher end VW/Skoda models; not sure though.) Also, it really is a combo-antenna with the shark-fin housing the GPS/GSM part and the AM/FM being a stick. This may not be to the liking of many and may beat the purpose of the actual swap itself, but I plan to use a shorter (stubby) whip and can live with it so that I don’t have to stick additional antenna inside the car.

This particular unit has an amplified AM/FM antenna with the Type B (white) connector. The problem with the Blaupunkt 835 is that it has a Type A (Black) connector which doesn’t supply power to the antenna. So, I plan to add a ‘Power Injector’ to insert antenna power into the cable. My guess is that the original VW antenna are also amplified and need phantom power (also, there may be more than one antenna with one hidden somewhere for diversity as I see a dual connector on some pictures of the HU. Appreciate it if any experienced members can confirm this.); that may be the reason why most people who switched the HU to the Blaupunkt 835 are complaining of poor radio reception. I can confirm this only after I get my hands on the ride and installing this setup, but it may worth a try with this power injector instead of sticking an external antenna for those who switched to the after-market HU. Anyway, I hope to complete this install without any cutting or splicing as all connectors appears to match. The only connection I have to ‘splice’ (if I may use the word) would be the +12VDC for the power injector. Am hoping to tap this off of the P.CONT (to amplifier) connector from the harness cable supposedly included with the 835; else, I would have to splice into the ACC+ wire on the Blaupunkt supplied harness adapter. Either method would leave the stock cables/wires untouched.
Here is a possible tip to those who are planning to take the route that Gannu took. There may not be a need to order the FAKRA Type Z shell that he bought to replace the Type D on the antenna so that it mates with the stock antenna cable to the HU. If you are deft with your hands, then you may be able to use a sharp knife or even a small file to ‘shave off’ the two ‘ridges’ on the round portion of the connector that came with your antenna. That would make it a Type Z connector. (but with Type D color; LOL). Would save a few bucks!
Also, for those like myself who are planning to buy FAKRA-to-FAKRA cables for the new GPS and/or GSM units, they may be able to get away with the cheaper of either two (preferable the GSM version) of these and ‘modify’ the male connectors as described above. No need to buy the matching type or the Type Z universal. However, this may lack ‘perfection’ as the color coding is not right. Don’t recommend interchanging the AM/FM cable though as they differ in the characteristic impedance - 75 ohms vs 50 ohms – though I suspect most manufacturers are just using the same cable.
Phew, that was a pretty long rant! Mods, please edit/delete if this is inappropriate.

Thanks!
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Old 8th April 2015, 14:33   #17
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Default Re: DIY - Installing the OEM Sharkfin Antenna on a VW Polo

Guys.
I ordered the same set from ECS tuning and fitted the same on to my GT. Installation was fine but i am facing issue with the radio reception.

The radio reception is very very bad, but the strange part is if i place my hand or touch the antenna then the reception becomes fine.

I have recorded the same.




Did anyone face the similar issues with radio reception.

I have emailed ECS tuning with this video. Lets see what they have to say.

Cheers.

Last edited by Schoudhury : 8th April 2015 at 14:44.
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Old 28th April 2015, 14:53   #18
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Default Re: DIY - Installing the OEM Sharkfin Antenna on a VW Polo

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schoudhury View Post
Guys.
I ordered the same set from ECS tuning and fitted the same on to my GT. Installation was fine but i am facing issue with the radio reception.

The radio reception is very very bad, but the strange part is if i place my hand or touch the antenna then the reception becomes fine.

I have recorded the same.

Did anyone face the similar issues with radio reception.

I have emailed ECS tuning with this video. Lets see what they have to say.

Cheers.
I am also considering buying the sharkfin antenna so it would be great if you could tell me whether you have fixed this problem or not. I don't want an aesthetic enhancement at the cost of a weaker radio reception.

Thanks.

Last edited by aurelino : 28th April 2015 at 14:57.
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Old 29th April 2015, 10:56   #19
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Default Re: DIY - Installing the OEM Sharkfin Antenna on a VW Polo

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Originally Posted by aurelino View Post
I am also considering buying the sharkfin antenna so it would be great if you could tell me whether you have fixed this problem or not. I don't want an aesthetic enhancement at the cost of a weaker radio reception.

Thanks.
No Sir, the issue still exists. But as a mater of fact, i didn't get time to get it checked. But i think this is due to the HU, i have read in some VW forums and looks like others also had faced similar issues. I plan to go to Vagtune this friday and have a word with them on this. I will keep you posted.

In the meantime, you can check this sharkfin, which fellow Bhpian " Ventoman" has procured from AliExpress.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-d...ml#post3694337 (My VW Vento Chronicles - From TDI to TSI!)

Cheers
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Old 29th April 2015, 14:13   #20
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Default Re: DIY - Installing the OEM Sharkfin Antenna on a VW Polo

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schoudhury View Post
No Sir, the issue still exists. But as a mater of fact, i didn't get time to get it checked. But i think this is due to the HU, i have read in some VW forums and looks like others also had faced similar issues. I plan to go to Vagtune this friday and have a word with them on this. I will keep you posted.

In the meantime, you can check this sharkfin, which fellow Bhpian " Ventoman" has procured from AliExpress.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-d...ml#post3694337 (My VW Vento Chronicles - From TDI to TSI!)

Cheers
Thanks. Not sure if the same one can be fitted on the GT. How is it possible to get it for $10 when ECS tuning has it for $84? Maybe it is a different one.
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Old 29th April 2015, 17:33   #21
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Default Re: DIY - Installing the OEM Sharkfin Antenna on a VW Polo

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schoudhury View Post
...
In the meantime, you can check this sharkfin, which fellow Bhpian " Ventoman" has procured from AliExpress.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-d...ml#post3694337 (My VW Vento Chronicles - From TDI to TSI!)

Cheers
Quote:
Originally Posted by aurelino View Post
Thanks. Not sure if the same one can be fitted on the GT. How is it possible to get it for $10 when ECS tuning has it for $84? Maybe it is a different one.
Mine is not the OEM one, but a cheap retrofit available at Aliexpress for $10. This is how it works, but surprisingly no loss of radio reception.

Name:  Sharkfin.jpg
Views: 3180
Size:  122.9 KB
Image courtesy: Google's image search

As I had mentioned in my post, it was meant for some other car but ended up in mine temporarily. I'll be replacing it with the OEM shark fin that has GPS bundled. However, it's few months away and will be along with HU upgrade.

Last edited by ventoman : 29th April 2015 at 17:34.
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Old 7th May 2015, 13:03   #22
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Default Re: DIY - Installing the OEM Sharkfin Antenna on a VW Polo

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Originally Posted by ventoman View Post
Mine is not the OEM one, but a cheap retrofit available at Aliexpress for $10. This is how it works, but surprisingly no loss of radio reception.

Attachment 1365684
Image courtesy: Google's image search

As I had mentioned in my post, it was meant for some other car but ended up in mine temporarily. I'll be replacing it with the OEM shark fin that has GPS bundled. However, it's few months away and will be along with HU upgrade.
BHPians,

I have also changed the Antenna to Shark fin antenna which was available off eBay for around ₹700. Thought this could be a nice good looking temporary solution and why not try it out. Surprisingly the product is of good plastic and not cheap looking and I have not noticed any significant loss of radio reception.

Only concern is that the antenna is stuck on the roof using double sided tape and it would be really embarrassing if it just comes off and would hang around
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Old 3rd June 2015, 23:24   #23
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Default Re: DIY - Installing the OEM Sharkfin Antenna on a VW Polo

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schoudhury View Post
No Sir, the issue still exists. But as a mater of fact, i didn't get time to get it checked. But i think this is due to the HU, i have read in some VW forums and looks like others also had faced similar issues. I plan to go to Vagtune this friday and have a word with them on this. I will keep you posted.

In the meantime, you can check this sharkfin, which fellow Bhpian " Ventoman" has procured from AliExpress.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-d...ml#post3694337 (My VW Vento Chronicles - From TDI to TSI!)

Cheers
I also tried to install the OEM antenna and I am having the exact same problem. I think this is probably a grounding issue since if we touch the antenna by hand, the reception is perfect. I have written to ECS tuning but they've not replied yet. We tried to run a wire from the antenna assembly to the vehicle body for earthing but it didn't seem to work.

Last edited by aurelino : 3rd June 2015 at 23:32.
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Old 3rd June 2015, 23:49   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aurelino View Post
I also tried to install the OEM antenna and I am having the exact same problem. I think this is probably a grounding issue since if we touch the antenna by hand, the reception is perfect. I have written to ECS tuning but they've not replied yet. We tried to run a wire from the antenna assembly to the vehicle body for earthing but it didn't seem to work.

I think it's the head unit, if it would have been the grounding issue then it would not have worked with 835 also.
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Old 4th June 2015, 10:45   #25
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Default Re: VW Polo DIY: Installing the OEM sharkfin antenna

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schoudhury View Post
I think it's the head unit, if it would have been the grounding issue then it would not have worked with 835 also.
Maybe it is the HU but how do you explain getting good reception if you touch the antenna?
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Old 17th June 2015, 12:22   #26
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Default Re: DIY - Installing the OEM Sharkfin Antenna on a VW Polo

Quote:
Originally Posted by aurelino View Post
I also tried to install the OEM antenna and I am having the exact same problem. I think this is probably a grounding issue since if we touch the antenna by hand, the reception is perfect. I have written to ECS tuning but they've not replied yet. We tried to run a wire from the antenna assembly to the vehicle body for earthing but it didn't seem to work.
I also installed the Shark Fin Antenna which I procured from ECS Tuning and am having the same problem. I did not have this problem when the original antenna was fitted. Any suggestions - my family is telling me to revert to the old whip antenna :(
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Old 15th July 2015, 14:56   #27
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Default Re: VW Polo DIY: Installing the OEM sharkfin antenna

As usual some one flicked my antenna on polo. Reading this thread, don't think we can buy and get shark fin installed in india. Any idea, if these are genuine- http://www.ebay.in/itm/271466334511?aff_source=Sok-Goog
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Old 21st September 2015, 17:11   #28
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Default Re: DIY - Installing the OEM Sharkfin Antenna on a VW Polo

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Originally Posted by Schoudhury View Post
No Sir, the issue still exists.
Quote:
Originally Posted by aurelino View Post
I also tried to install the OEM antenna and I am having the exact same problem.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rpunwani View Post
I also installed the Shark Fin Antenna which I procured from ECS Tuning and am having the same problem.
Add one more to the list . I also got the OEM antenna from ECS tuning. After installing it the radio would not receive a signal from any of the FM stations in Bangalore. Touching the antenna made no difference in my case. I have the RCD 510 head unit. For now I have reverted back to the whip antenna. Were any of you guys able to get the antenna working?
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Old 21st September 2015, 21:20   #29
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Default Re: VW Polo DIY: Installing the OEM sharkfin antenna

This is the reception I get with the sharkfin aerial on my car.



Recorded the clip sometime back while returning from work. At some locations, the reception is a bit feeble but then I don't listen to the radio much. Not sure what is the issue here. I hope there is no loose connection between the fakra connectors?
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Old 22nd September 2015, 17:55   #30
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Default Re: VW Polo DIY: Installing the OEM sharkfin antenna

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Originally Posted by Gannu_1 View Post
I hope there is no loose connection between the fakra connectors?
Nope, no loose connection as far as I could tell. The connectors snapped into place just fine. Will try again over the weekend. Strange that it works for some and not for others.
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