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Discussion Starter #1
Old school mod info needed. Wondering what shark fin antenna to use to convert the whip style antenna on my B5. My whip style is getting pretty baked from sun and it's starting to leak, so I thought as long as I'm in there...
 

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Have you ever had a shark fin antenna off? I just had mine off for a repaint. It just has a wire attached to the whip base with a screw. It’s double face taped to the roof.


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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Have you ever had a shark fin antenna off? I just had mine off for a repaint. It just has a wire attached to the whip base with a screw. It’s double face taped to the roof.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

As far as I know the antenna has a 14mm nut that secures it to the roof from the inside of the car.

EDIT
That's a 14mm thread, not the actual size of the hex on the nut.
 

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For your AM/FM reception? Maybe someone with radio electronics knowledge can weigh in, but I thought those 'shark fin' antennas were only for satellite radio frequencies. For instance, my B6 A4 has a roof fin antenna for satellite, but uses conductive paint "wires" on the rear window for broadcast radio.
 

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Discussion Starter #5

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If you are fussy about appearance, check out Visual Garage (https://shop.visualgarage.com/) You will pay about $100 but to me it was worth it. You will get an antenna with a paint that perfectly matches your VW and performance that is essentially the same. When I ordered mine in 2015 it was through Amazon. I don't see that Amazon has it listed any more so I don't the status. I recommend it if they are still in business.
 

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Note that you will experience a loss of signal strength over the standard whip. Simple physics. Some people feel the shark fin is still "good enough" and are willing to do it for the look.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Note that you will experience a loss of signal strength over the standard whip. Simple physics. Some people feel the shark fin is still "good enough" and are willing to do it for the look.
Looks? I'm doing it so I can hit the 155mph mark, with the whip I'm maxed out at 153. :lol:

Seriously, I was wanting to do it more for the look and not having to replace the whip every other year from the sun drying it out and making it look like splintered fiberglass.
Maybe I should stick with what I got. Put a new gasket on and call it a day.
 

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Discussion Starter #10

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I had tried the $19 variety of shark fin antennas and they provide basic AM/FM performance, not as good as a whip. All they have inside is a bit of pigtail wire. My experience with the VirtualGarage one is much better. It has a pc board inside with an etched 'meander line' providing more effective antenna length and loading. My road experience is good reception, even for a low wattage FM station in San Francisco.
 

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I don't have a good solution for you, because a whip antenna will outperform almost any of its better-looking competitors. I have had to replace mine exactly once because of the UV-induced plastic and rubber rot mentioned by others, but this was cheap and obviously painless.
 

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Discussion Starter #15

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I had tried the $19 variety of shark fin antennas and they provide basic AM/FM performance, not as good as a whip. All they have inside is a bit of pigtail wire. My experience with the VirtualGarage one is much better. It has a pc board inside with an etched 'meander line' providing more effective antenna length and loading. My road experience is good reception, even for a low wattage FM station in San Francisco.
See, the factory antenna has a built-in amplifier AND a more effective mast. Hard for aftermarket to match.
 

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Word to the wise, I found (on my B6 A4) that the antenna's coax cable shield was not grounded as I assumed, but had to be 5V DC. This is how the antenna's amplifier circuit board above the rear window is powered. Until I figured out this little detail, I had practically no radio reception after installing an aftermarket sound system.
 

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That's almost the same as the one I was thinking of buying from ECS Tuning. Curious to know how the reception is.
If it works, I'll grab you one from a Jetta or something while I am rummaging through the junk yard soon. They are the same.
 

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