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Short vs. Long Antenna Reception on a PT Cruiser

 
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Old 23 Mar 2014, 07:52 pm
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Question Short vs. Long Antenna Reception on a PT Cruiser

When I bought my PT Cruiser, the antenna was ugly and bent. So I went to Autozone and bought a nice 13-inch Metra AW-RMF2 Raptor antenna. It seems to work great in the town where I live. Of course, I'm fairly close to most major FM transmitters in my area and the elevation is fairly high. But when I travel to work about an hours away, the radio station signals seemed to get very weak. I tried a vintage FM booster and that helped a little. But reception is still weaker than in any other vehicle I own. So it was time to run a test.

Being the dumpster diver that I am, I went to a nearby salvage yard and got a nice straight OEM antenna off of a 2003 PT Touring model. In the clip below you can hear the difference the OEM antenna make when just held up next to the short Metra Raptor antenna. Also notice that the OEM antenna needs to be up at full height to pull in the weak radio station.

To me it looks like a full length antenna is a must if I want to get as good a radio reception as the rest of my cars. But I really like the look of a shorter antenna. If anyone has personal experience with a good short antenna specifically on a PT with great reception of far-off stations, please let me know.




PS: And after installing the OEM antenna, reception is great. I showed this video to the guy at Autozone, and he gave me a refund. There's good folks at the local Autozone.

PSS: Can you hear that Mopar subwoofer even over my cell phone recording? It's over a weak radio station too. And that's with the sub attenuated down as far down as it goes. What a great item to add to any PT.
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Last edited by Handy_Cruiser; 23 Mar 2014 at 07:59 pm.
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Old 23 Mar 2014, 10:46 pm
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Default Re: Short vs. Long Antenna Reception on a PT Cruiser

For looks I install the aluminum shorty, but when we want good reception the stock gets twisted in. It only takes a second or so to swap them out.



Todd I can't get you video to play on any devise?
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Old 23 Mar 2014, 10:49 pm
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Default Re: Short vs. Long Antenna Reception on a PT Cruiser

Oh I forgot to mention I tried the old school universal flexible black antenna like you mentioned somewhere. It was about as good as the shorty and IMO looked second thought.
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Old 23 Mar 2014, 11:03 pm
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Default Re: Short vs. Long Antenna Reception on a PT Cruiser

Quote:
Originally Posted by NitroPT View Post
Todd I can't get you video to play on any devise?
It's a YouTube video. You likely need to update Flash in your browser.

This really should play on any updated device. You might try this search link and then chose my video from the results:

https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...20antenna&sm=3
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Old 23 Mar 2014, 11:17 pm
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Default Re: Short vs. Long Antenna Reception on a PT Cruiser

Thanks this one did play
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Old 23 Mar 2014, 11:28 pm
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Default Re: Short vs. Long Antenna Reception on a PT Cruiser

I believe the body of the PT gets in the way. I have three vehicles that came with very short antennas (one is a shark fin) and they have great reception. But all three have the antenna on the roof where the body of the car will not interfere. I wounder if the PT had the antenna on top, would a short antenna then be able to do it's job like on the other cars?

The only other explanation I can think of is if the base of the PT antenna is somehow tuned to the OEM mast. The PT antenna base is unusually long, it's about 12 inches long inside the fender. But since reception improves with the car turned in specific directions, I believe the shape of the PT body and the low mounting point for the antenna are the real problems.

Roof mounting is the likely solution. Does anyone make a "plug" to cover the hole in the fender where the OEM antenna goes?
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Old 24 Mar 2014, 01:03 am
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Default Re: Short vs. Long Antenna Reception on a PT Cruiser

Radios are archaic

My system doesn't even have a CD player

It's all about streaming music now
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Old 24 Mar 2014, 08:22 am
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Default Re: Short vs. Long Antenna Reception on a PT Cruiser

Quote:
Originally Posted by Busa_Powered View Post
Radios are archaic
My system doesn't even have a CD player
It's all about streaming music now
We know Busa. We can hear you kids coming down the street a half mile away. What you don't realize is that the loud streaming music is frying your brains and killing your ear drums. You'll be deaf as a doorknob and dumb as a rock in your later years.
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Last edited by CREWZIN; 24 Mar 2014 at 09:43 am.
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Old 24 Mar 2014, 09:23 am
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Default Re: Short vs. Long Antenna Reception on a PT Cruiser

When I had the antenna removed yesterday, I checked reception with no antenna.

FM - local stations still came in, although got a little static as I drove around.

AM - nothing.

I replaced the stubby antenna after applying blue Loctite. Reception is good enough.

Most of the music coming from the radio is crap.

That's why I keep some good CDs in the PT. Time Jumpers is great music to drive by.
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Old 24 Mar 2014, 09:30 am
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Default Re: Short vs. Long Antenna Reception on a PT Cruiser

This is a good example of "upgrading" for style sometimes being a "downgrade" in function.



You can keep your streaming.
I keep my archaic radio button #1 on the local station, in the little town where I live, just about all the time. It plays local artists and other music I like, tells me what merchants are having what bargains along with local news, weather, traffic and what the dumbass city counsil is up to, and my wife does the "seventh caller" thing to win free consert tickets at least once a month.
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Last edited by 2step; 24 Mar 2014 at 09:33 am.
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