Tuesday, February 23, 2010

GoMiata Stubby Antenna

One of my Xmas gifts was this, a universal short chrome antenna from GoMiata. It's VERY short. I'm talking less than 6 inches. It's pretty classy looking, I suppose, but I have a few beefs with it.

Number one is radio reception. It's garbage. Complete garbage. It loses radio stations that are 15 miles away.  Compare this to the almost 40-mile range of the bent wire hanger I had in its place for the better part of a year. That's right, it's worse than a wire hanger.

I'm lucky that there's a machine shop where I work, and the guy who runs it is friendly and helpful. He drilled and tapped a hole in the center of the antenna, and screwed in a nut with a thin chrome-plated rod sticking out of it. It's about 3 times as long now, and reception is back to wire hanger levels. I'm happy now, but someone who doesn't have these resources will be very disappointed at the reception unless they live in the middle of a big city.

Another issue is how it looks when it mounts. Click the photo above and you'll see what I mean. There's all that black plastic and metal all hanging out and exposed, it's part of the original antenna mount. It doesn't cover any of this up, it doesn't exactly sit flush, and as a result it looks half-assed. Or, more aptly, it looks universal. Which it is.

And finally, for a poorly fitting universal antenna that gets shitty reception, it's expensive. It's just a small hunk of chrome and some threaded adapters for different antenna posts. I'm keeping it because it's better than a wire hanger, and it passes the 30-foot test. But as a good looking and functional detail piece, it fails miserably.

Update: This thing just keeps getting worse.

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