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Ford F-150 Raptor General Discussions [GEN 2]

Perfect Antenna Length?


This is a discussion on Perfect Antenna Length? within the Ford F-150 Raptor General Discussions [GEN 2] forums, part of the GEN 2 (2017+) Ford F-150 Raptor Forums category!
I parked in a public garage yesterday that had a clearance of 6'10", so I knew I would fit, but ...


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Old 03-18-2017, 06:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Perfect Antenna Length?
I parked in a public garage yesterday that had a clearance of 6'10", so I knew I would fit, but my antenna hit on everything and took quite a beating. I decided to cut it down like others have suggested and tried to eyeball the perfect height so that it won't needlessly hit, but it would be a good warning indicator if the public garage had something hanging too low. My antenna is now exactlly 26" long and appears to be the right length to accomplish my goal, but I do not own a laser level, so I have no way to know for sure. Does anybody know the perfect antenna length that would be about an inch or two taller than the truck?




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Old 03-18-2017, 06:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Here's a better idea. Go to an auto parts store and buy a universal fit 17 inch antenna. I got mine at O'Reilly's. It is half the height and has twice the windings as a factory antenna, so it's effective length is identical and there is no loss of reception. Mine works great.


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Old 03-18-2017, 06:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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I ordered a stubby one on Amazon... About $20


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Old 03-18-2017, 06:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Probably not perfect but was easy and fairly priced. Great reception and no parking garage scraping.



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Old 03-18-2017, 07:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Old 03-18-2017, 07:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The day I brought mine home I cut it down to 25". Looks to be just a hair under 81" total height as it sits now and clears my garage door.
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Old 03-18-2017, 10:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Is there really a perfect length? It has to do with signal strength in your area too....



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Old 03-19-2017, 12:40 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by Robtor310 View Post
Is there really a perfect length? It has to do with signal strength in your area too....

Antennas work best when they are a multiple of 5/8ths of the wavelength of the signal to be received - even better than a full-wavelength antenna. Modern auto antenna masts are wound round and round with the antenna wire itself, so the effective length of the antenna is the length of the wire winding not the length of the antenna mast. So simply cutting the antenna mast - and therefore the antenna wire - to a length that suits your eye or so it won't bang on your garage door will adversely affect signal strength.


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Old 03-19-2017, 01:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The perfect length is 22 3/4" from base to tip when installed.

Here's how I know:

I am OCD. I do a lot of work in downtown Houston, and often need to park in parking garages. The OEM antenna was getting the ever-loving-crap beaten out of it in these garages, and I even entered one parking garage where I honestly thought I would hit and crack my sunroof.

So I went to Home Depot and purchased the workings to build the perfect "height-kit" in my own garage. It consisted of: a 5' length of galvanized pipe, foam insulation to fit around the pipe, a long length of para-cord and two screw-in eyelets.

With this I created a pulley system on my garage ceiling with the padded pipe suspended from the ceiling (eyelets) and the cord allowing me to adjust it's height in perfectly minuet increments.

I then pulled the Raptor into the garage noting exactly where the "high point" of the truck was (it's the back of the rear sunroof panel BTW) hitting the padded pipe, and set the pulleys to hold the pipe at that level.

I then backed the truck out and noted where the OEM antenna just touched the height-marker padded pipe, and marked the antenna for cutting - providing a 1.5" - 2" buffer in case of speed bumps or other parking garage irregularities.

I then removed the antenna, and mounted it in my vise (with wooden blocks so not to damage it). Using the claw end of a standard hammer, the ball pops right off the top. I then hacksawed the antenna to the proper length, filed down the top 1/4" to allow for the ball to fit back on, and then JB Welded the ball to the new top. After curing, I then simply gloss spray painted it back black to look original.

After reinstalling this new and improved 22 3/4" antenna on the Raptor, I can confirm that it now touches the suspended padded pipe with about an 1 1/4" overage.

This should be perfect for me now, as it no longer bangs on every garage I enter, and if it does hit on anything, I know to swiftly but carefully back out of that garage as the tolerance is too tight for my comfort level and could lead to a cracked sunroof.

I hope this helps!!

EDIT: Oh and the AM, FM and FM HD reception is still exactly as I noticed prior to cutting the antenna down to this length.
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Old 03-19-2017, 01:43 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by Ruger View Post
Antennas work best when they are a multiple of 5/8ths of the wavelength of the signal to be received - even better than a full-wavelength antenna. Modern auto antenna masts are wound round and round with the antenna wire itself, so the effective length of the antenna is the length of the wire winding not the length of the antenna mast. So simply cutting the antenna mast - and therefore the antenna wire - to a length that suits your eye or so it won't bang on your garage door will adversely affect signal strength.
Agreed. Height= Might. and a Beam is a Dream.
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