Car antennas

A. Joseph Ross
Mon May 10 00:04:24 EDT 2010

Having recently been car shopping, I've noticed that radio antennas 
have changed again.   My old car had a retractible whip antenna that 
went up when the radio was turned on and down when it was turned off. 
 I had to replace that once in the life of the car, and it was 
already not going down all the way again.

I notice that a lot of newer cars have a small antenna, about six to 
twelve inches, above the rear window.  I wondered whether that would 
be sufficient for decent reception of AM and FM stations, but when I 
tested this on cars that I test-drove, it seemed to work.  Why is 
this antenna adequate?  Will it also work for satellite radio?

Other cars have an antenna embedded in the rear window.  I had a 1977 
Oldsmobile that had the antenna embedded in the front windshield.  I 
suppose embedding it in the rear window is about the same thing.  The 
antenna looks like a typical FM dipole.  Why does this work for AM as 
well, as it does seem to?

A. Joseph Ross, J.D.                           617.367.0468
 92 State Street, Suite 700                   Fax 617.507.7856
Boston, MA 02109-2004           

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