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Old 04-08-2012, 04:22 PM   #1
PhysicsDude55
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Default Hidden Amplified Antenna Install

I searched and couldn't find any thread about someone doing this on a C5.

Anyways, I've only owned my c5 convertible a few months, and the power antenna has always bothered me. It is really an eyesore on such a beautiful car, especially with the top down, and it irritates me that the antenna stays up even if the CD player is on instead of the radio.

I know using the stubby Z06 antenna is popular, but I decided to try to use a hidden amplified antenna. I found one on Amazon for like 20 bucks. It is designed to be mounted on a windshield or rear window, but I mounted it in the rear fender, and I think it should work well there, especially since the fender is plastic or fiberglass instead of metal.

Once I ordered it, I realized that the amplifier had a male end on it, and the factory antenna wire in the back has a male end on it, so I had to buy a female-female adapter. I found one on amazon for about $8 which worked.

Click the image to open in full size.

If you go in the corner of your trunk on the passenger side behind the power antenna, there is only velcro holding two "flaps" of carpet which you can take apart and you'll be able to see where the power antenna wires and antenna cable are. There is a wire harness taped up which goes to lights - don't touch it. The power antenna power wires is a 3-wire harness with black, red, and orange. There is a thick black cable which is the antenna plug which you can unplug there.

Click the image to open in full size.

I decided to cut the harness off the stock power antenna, and use T-splices to splice in the + and - wire which feed the amplified antenna. The stock black wire is ground, the red wire receives +12v when the radio is on, and the orange wire receives +12v when the radio is off, which is the signal to lower the antenna. Obviously, you splice the the amplified antenna '+' wire to the red wire, so that it gets power when the radio is on, but isn't powered otherwise so it won't drain your battery.

Click the image to open in full size.

Then I just mounted the amplified antenna behind the opening in the back, plugged in the wire harness and antenna wire, and closed everything back up.

Click the image to open in full size.

(sorry for bad cell phone pictures)

It works pretty well for me, but I live in the middle of the Dallas metroplex, and never have reception problems. There are mixed reviews online, but I expect reception to be about as good, or maybe 80% as good as the factory power antenna, without having anything sticking up out of the back of the vette .

I went ahead and just left the power antenna back there. I suppose one could take out the whole assembly and patch/paint the hole, but thats too much work for me.

Hope this helps someone.

Last edited by PhysicsDude55; 04-08-2012 at 04:26 PM.
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Old 04-08-2012, 06:08 PM   #2
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Old 04-08-2012, 08:08 PM   #3
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When I did the L5 rear quarters I left the antenna off. I also took out the side lights. I have a Kenwood 9140 HU and never listen to AM/FM. When I was doing research to add an internal AM.FM antenna it seemed like a good option. Thanks for the write-up. I may add one eventually for traffic reports, etc.
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Old 04-08-2012, 08:10 PM   #4
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I may try that. I hate the antenna on my vert. I changed the head unit but still have the "no highs no lows it must be Bose" speakers and amp. The remote antenna trigger also triggers the amp so I have a hidden toggle to bypass the antenna when listening to the iPod while still activating the amp. But I do like the hidden antenna idea. My XM works fine hidden on the frame rear of the car so this should.
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Old 04-08-2012, 11:39 PM   #5
GettReal
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Curious... Can you not just pull the fuse for the power antenna? that way its still hooked up but it doesn't go up? Therefore acting as an internal antenna?
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Old 04-09-2012, 02:00 AM   #6
PhysicsDude55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GettReal View Post
Curious... Can you not just pull the fuse for the power antenna? that way its still hooked up but it doesn't go up? Therefore acting as an internal antenna?
You can pull the fuse or simply unplug the rear harness. I'm not sure, but I would suspect that it shares a fuse with some other electronics.

I drove the car like that for a week, with the power antenna uplugged, but the antenna cable still plugged in.

You do get radio reception, but its not very good. Worked well enough for me that I could clearly pick up the major stations in a big city.
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Old 04-17-2012, 07:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhysicsDude55 View Post
I searched and couldn't find any thread about someone doing this on a C5.

Anyways, I've only owned my c5 convertible a few months, and the power antenna has always bothered me. It is really an eyesore on such a beautiful car, especially with the top down, and it irritates me that the antenna stays up even if the CD player is on instead of the radio.

I know using the stubby Z06 antenna is popular, but I decided to try to use a hidden amplified antenna. I found one on Amazon for like 20 bucks. It is designed to be mounted on a windshield or rear window, but I mounted it in the rear fender, and I think it should work well there, especially since the fender is plastic or fiberglass instead of metal.

Once I ordered it, I realized that the amplifier had a male end on it, and the factory antenna wire in the back has a male end on it, so I had to buy a female-female adapter. I found one on amazon for about $8 which worked.

Click the image to open in full size.

If you go in the corner of your trunk on the passenger side behind the power antenna, there is only velcro holding two "flaps" of carpet which you can take apart and you'll be able to see where the power antenna wires and antenna cable are. There is a wire harness taped up which goes to lights - don't touch it. The power antenna power wires is a 3-wire harness with black, red, and orange. There is a thick black cable which is the antenna plug which you can unplug there.

Click the image to open in full size.

I decided to cut the harness off the stock power antenna, and use T-splices to splice in the + and - wire which feed the amplified antenna. The stock black wire is ground, the red wire receives +12v when the radio is on, and the orange wire receives +12v when the radio is off, which is the signal to lower the antenna. Obviously, you splice the the amplified antenna '+' wire to the red wire, so that it gets power when the radio is on, but isn't powered otherwise so it won't drain your battery.

Click the image to open in full size.

Then I just mounted the amplified antenna behind the opening in the back, plugged in the wire harness and antenna wire, and closed everything back up.

Click the image to open in full size.

(sorry for bad cell phone pictures)

It works pretty well for me, but I live in the middle of the Dallas metroplex, and never have reception problems. There are mixed reviews online, but I expect reception to be about as good, or maybe 80% as good as the factory power antenna, without having anything sticking up out of the back of the vette .

I went ahead and just left the power antenna back there. I suppose one could take out the whole assembly and patch/paint the hole, but thats too much work for me.

Hope this helps someone.
ok Dr. that was genius !!!!!! and it works. let me give you the simplified Tennessee version. Order the stubby from ebay for 11.95 and take the round meter fiber and grind it down just enough that it will fit inside the brass grommet that is the base for the old antenna. the stubby will screw into that round meter fiber and fits like a glove. put a little jb weld and wala!!!! you have a stubby that gets stations 70 miles away.
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Old 04-19-2012, 12:33 AM   #8
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On my car, which is a Z06, I eliminated the antenna more easily. I was replacing my fender because it was backed into. I had the body shop fill the hole before installing. I then just turned the antenna base 90 degrees so that it is laying down between the bumper and the trunk compartment. Reception is exactly the same as when vertical without having it stick up like the eyesore it is. The stock full length antenna fits in there perfectly.
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Old 04-19-2012, 08:42 AM   #9
2525ken
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Quote:
Originally Posted by striper View Post
On my car, which is a Z06, I eliminated the antenna more easily. I was replacing my fender because it was backed into. I had the body shop fill the hole before installing. I then just turned the antenna base 90 degrees so that it is laying down between the bumper and the trunk compartment. Reception is exactly the same as when vertical without having it stick up like the eyesore it is. The stock full length antenna fits in there perfectly.
great idea glad it worked. It is a pretty day to drive in Tn. thanks ken
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Old 04-19-2012, 09:31 AM   #10
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Nice idea you came up with. Thanks for posting up the info.
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Old 04-19-2012, 09:54 AM   #11
2525ken
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Quote:
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Nice idea you came up with. Thanks for posting up the info.
Jack, glad to give back a little. you gi's give so much. thanks to you. ken
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Old 04-19-2012, 09:54 AM
 
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