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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have seen DIYs to convert the stock pole antenna to a shark fin, but if you're like me and have 3 wires going into your antenna (the quick disconnect plus a white and a black wire), it means you have an XM antenna and you're in for a really fun time (no, not really). :wallbash:

It means that if you have the same XM circuit board as me (even though my radio does NOT support XM...), the board isn't going to fit inside the shark fin without some serious modifications to the inside of the shark fin.

PREFACE:

I decided to write this up to show that it's possible to install the XM board in the shark fin housing and give hope to people who see 3 wires running into their antenna.

I wasn't planning on making a tutorial so I didn't take too many pictures, especially early on. When I first started I thought it would be very straight forward, until I realized the board wouldn't fit. I hope I can clarify things enough for someone else to make use of this. Please ask if you don't understand something! :)

NOTE: Follow these instructions at your own risk! I am not liable if you or your car implodes! :)

Difficulty level: Advanced/Expert
Time required: A couple days

Required tools:

#2 Philips screw driver
Small flat head screw driver
Soldering Iron
Rotary Tool
Sanding drum for rotary tool
Cutting disc for rotary tool
3x Elastic Bands
Sewing needle or similar
Box cutter/X-acto knife
Wire stripper
Crimper
Heat gun
Small Vise
Safety glasses
Sanding mask
Tweezers
Needle-nose pliers

Required supplies:

31" 20 AWG copper stranded wire
6" 18 AWG copper stranded wire
3" 23 AWG copper solid wire
2x .250" male quick disconnect terminals
Various sizes of single-wall heat shrink
Electrical tape
Solder
6x 5mm M2 standoffs
Automotive/Industrial Epoxy
3" flexible PVC tube

Instructions:

PART ONE: DISSASSEMBLY

1.1. The first thing to do after removing the pole antenna would be to open it up and remove the 6 Philips screws holding the board down. Be sure to save the screws for later.

1.2. Next you'll have to desolder the ground wire that came from the black shielded wire that's connected to the top of the board. The wire is very thin and fragile, so you need to be very careful.

1.3. Once the board is loose, the brass power connector will be keeping it in place. Carefully wiggle it back and forth until the brass breaks from metal fatigue (like a pop can tab) at the first right angle bend after the circuit board. Alternatively you could try desoldering it, but it's soldered on both sides of the board so it would not be easy.

1.4. The black and white wires will probably be covered with a thin wrap of foam glued on to deaden vibration noises. You'll need to remove it from both the wires and the connector. Just heat it up a bit with the heat gun and then peel it off.

1.5. The *********** wire is soldered to the underside of the board. I would recommend leaving it as both the wire and shield are soldered to the board and there are many small sensitive parts surrounding it. Instead, cut the black and white wires about half way between the connector and the base of the antenna. They will be rejoined later. Put the connector and wires somewhere safe.

1.6. You can then remove the circuit board and put it somewhere safe. The shield from the black wire will be riveted to the metal base of the antenna. Wiggle it back and forth until it breaks off, like before. Remove the black wire and put it somewhere safe.

PART TWO: NEW ANTENNA

2.1. Now, open up the shark fin antenna. Take the top half (plastic part) and wrap the outer surface in something soft so it doesn't get scratched. In order for the circuit board to fit inside, the two middle screw posts will have to be removed. Use the rotary tool with the drum sander attachment to grind down the screw posts all the way (See the red circles in Figure 1). Be sure to wear safety glasses and a sanding mask.

2.2. Now to make the new antenna. Take the flexible PVC tube and use the sewing needle to poke a hole in one end. Pull out the needle and poke many more holes very close to the first hole. Now take the box cutter/x-acto knife and rotate it to dig out the hole until it's just large enough for the 20 AWG wire to fit through. Alternatively you could use a drill if you have one with small enough bits. Do the same thing at the other end of the tube. Now take 31" of 20 AWG and thread one end through one of the holes in the PVC. Coil the wire tightly and evenly around the outside of the tube. Once at the end of the tube, stick the wire through the other hole to keep it coiled tightly. Make sure about 2" of the wire is available at the end. Strip the end and crimp a .250" male quick disconnect on the end. Now, use the epoxy to glue the antenna to the inside of the shark fin. Refer to Figure 1.

FIGURE 1:
Bumper Auto part Automotive exterior Automotive lighting Tire

PART THREE: THE NEW BASE

3.1. Now, on to the shark fin base. In order for the circuit board to fit correctly, the existing circuit board mounts will have to be machined out. Unscrew the two little screws holding the metal clip to remove it, and remove the rubber bottom and place the metal base in a vise. Use the rotary tool with a cutting disc to slowly cut it away, use a drill with a metal bit to grind it away, or try for hours as I did only to give up and bring it to a machine shop and have them grind it down perfectly in a matter of seconds. If you are going to do it yourself, make sure to wear safety glasses and the sanding mask. Figure 2 shows the area that needs to be removed. Figure 3 shows an unobstructed view of the end result.

FIGURE 2:
Rear-view mirror Auto part Technology Automotive mirror Electronic device

FIGURE 3:
Rear-view mirror Auto part Technology Automotive mirror Electronic device

3.2. Now to make a new ground for the black shielded wire's shield. Take 3" of 23 AWG solid copper wire and strip a fair bit off each end. Twist one end around the little screw for the metal clip, then screw the clip down tightly (see the little black wire in figure 3).

3.3. Run the black shielded wire through the rear hole on the new base. Wrap the other end of the solid copper ground wire around the part where the shield was grounded before, then solder it in place and cover it with a bit of heat shrink.

PART FOUR: PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER

4.1. Create a new power cable by taking 6" AWG 18 copper stranded wire and stripping both ends. Take about .5" of insulation off one end and twist the wire to keep it together. Crimp a .250" male quick disconnect on the other end.

4.2. Screw the 6 screws from the original housing through the original holes on the circuit board into 6 5mm M2 brass standoffs.

4.3. Run the black, white, and new power cable wires through the base and keep them off to the side a bit.

4.4. Put the rubber jacket back on the metal base.

4.5. Using the epoxy, liberally glue the standoffs holding the board onto the base. Use a lot of epoxy, building it up around the standoffs. Also use the epoxy to seal the two middle screw holes in the base. Make sure the board is positioned as far back as it can go then wrap it around in 3 places with 3 elastic bands to keep the board tightly on the base and let it sit for at least 12 hours. See figure 4.

FIGURE 4:
Electronics Technology Electronic device Gadget Data storage device

4.6. Solder the power connector onto the top of the brass piece, and solder the black shielded wire back onto its original terminal. See figure 5.

FIGURE 5:
Technology Electronic device Electronic component

4.7. Use the needle nose pliers to squeeze the antenna clip on the circuit board so it will grab onto the quick disconnect from the new antenna. Plug the antenna into the board then screw the base and plastic cover together with 3 screws.

4.8. Now to rejoin the black and white shielded wires. Strip a fair amount off each end to reveal the shield, and then pull it back to reveal the inner wire. Strip the inner wires about .25". Twist the inner wires together, and wrap with electrical tape. Using tweezers to twist them will probably be necessary, especially on the black wire. It must be around AWG 30. Then pull the shields back over and join them as well. Remove the wires from the yellow connector by prying the red cover off with the flat screw driver. Slip heat shrink over each wire to cover the exposed shields and heat with the heat gun. Then slip a larger heat shrink over both wires and shrink it. Put the connector back on and lock it with the red cover. You're done! Figure 6 shows the completed antenna.

FIGURE 6:
Technology Electronic device Wire

RESULTS

FM; I park 2 levels underground. Without the antenna I got nothing but static. With the antenna FM reception is significantly improved. Compared to the stock antenna, reception is a little bit worse. Above ground, reception is about on par with the stock antenna.

AM on the other hand, not so good. Only static with no antenna above ground, and now mostly static.

XM, well I can't test that.

Looks significantly approved, IMHO. :)

I don't really use my radio so it doesn't bother me much either way. Would have been nice to get AM for traffic reports, but can't have everything.

And here it is installed:
Land vehicle Vehicle Car Motor vehicle Mid-size car
 

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did this affect your radio reception. would ask about xm reception too but since you dont have the xm u cant help me there. i want a shark fin antennae but not at the expense of bad reception since im in my car all day
 

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I hate the pole antenna, but this is way over my head in terms of technical skill and patience lol great job!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
sorry just read the rest of your post, got my answers
I tried the AM again last night and it worked, though a fair bit worse than with the pole antenna. It had strong alternator noise in the signal, I think because I ran the antenna power wire too close to the unshielded part of the ground wire. I'm going to open it next week and see if I can fix it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I hate the pole antenna, but this is way over my head in terms of technical skill and patience lol great job!
Lol, thanks! It is certainly a lot of work, but most of it isn't too hard to do. I wish I could have had more pictures to make it easier to follow.
 

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I hope you sealed that hole with the right weather-proof, heat resistant seal to prevent water seeping into the interior of your car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I hope you sealed that hole with the right weather-proof, heat resistant seal to prevent water seeping into the interior of your car.
You mean the hole cut in the roof of the car where the antenna mounts? I didn't put any sealant there. I don't know if it needs it. The bottom of the rubber base has ridges that run around the perimeter and then another set around the mount, and I tightened the nut quite a bit. I know the antenna is designed for the Elantra, but I think it fits pretty well.

It was raining most of today and is supposed to over the weekend, so when I open it up next week I'll see if there's any evidence of moisture getting through.

Here are some close up pics of the fit:



 

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Nice writeup. When working with circuit boards, always ground yourself with a wrist strap to avoid ESD (static) degrading any components.
 

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I actually don't like the shark fins - I'm hoping if/when I upgrade to an Elantra (years down the road) they don't use them anymore. I wondered if I could save my pole antennae and replace the shark fin on an Elantra with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So, the other day I finally had some time to remove the antenna again and see how things are holding up.

A couple observations:

1. Moisture was getting under the antenna, but didn't get past the inner barrier and into the cabin. The moisture caused the 3 screws on the bottom to oxidize, and left a cloudy stain on my roof wrap under the antenna. To prevent this, I would recommend covering the screw holes with electrical tape, or if you plan to never open the antenna again, epoxy.

2. I moved the power wire away from the ground in an attempt to fix the AM reception, but it didn't help.

After using the shark fin antenna for a month, I can say that the FM reception isn't as good as the stock pole antenna, especially when over 100km from the transmitter. If reception is paramount to you, stick with the pole. :)
 

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I have seen DIYs to convert the stock pole antenna to a shark fin, but if you're like me and have 3 wires going into your antenna (the quick disconnect plus a white and a black wire), it means you have an XM antenna and you're in for a really fun time (no, not really). :wallbash:

It means that if you have the same XM circuit board as me (even though my radio does NOT support XM...), the board isn't going to fit inside the shark fin without some serious modifications to the inside of the shark fin.

PREFACE:

I decided to write this up to show that it's possible to install the XM board in the shark fin housing and give hope to people who see 3 wires running into their antenna.

I wasn't planning on making a tutorial so I didn't take too many pictures, especially early on. When I first started I thought it would be very straight forward, until I realized the board wouldn't fit. I hope I can clarify things enough for someone else to make use of this. Please ask if you don't understand something! :)

NOTE: Follow these instructions at your own risk! I am not liable if you or your car implodes! :)

Difficulty level: Advanced/Expert
Time required: A couple days

Required tools:

#2 Philips screw driver
Small flat head screw driver
Soldering Iron
Rotary Tool
Sanding drum for rotary tool
Cutting disc for rotary tool
3x Elastic Bands
Sewing needle or similar
Box cutter/X-acto knife
Wire stripper
Crimper
Heat gun
Small Vise
Safety glasses
Sanding mask
Tweezers
Needle-nose pliers

Required supplies:

31" 20 AWG copper stranded wire
6" 18 AWG copper stranded wire
3" 23 AWG copper solid wire
2x .250" male quick disconnect terminals
Various sizes of single-wall heat shrink
Electrical tape
Solder
6x 5mm M2 standoffs
Automotive/Industrial Epoxy
3" flexible PVC tube

Instructions:

PART ONE: DISSASSEMBLY


1.1. The first thing to do after removing the pole antenna would be to open it up and remove the 6 Philips screws holding the board down. Be sure to save the screws for later.

1.2. Next you'll have to desolder the ground wire that came from the black shielded wire that's connected to the top of the board. The wire is very thin and fragile, so you need to be very careful.

1.3. Once the board is loose, the brass power connector will be keeping it in place. Carefully wiggle it back and forth until the brass breaks from metal fatigue (like a pop can tab) at the first right angle bend after the circuit board. Alternatively you could try desoldering it, but it's soldered on both sides of the board so it would not be easy.

1.4. The black and white wires will probably be covered with a thin wrap of foam glued on to deaden vibration noises. You'll need to remove it from both the wires and the connector. Just heat it up a bit with the heat gun and then peel it off.

1.5. The *** wire is soldered to the underside of the board. I would recommend leaving it as both the wire and shield are soldered to the board and there are many small sensitive parts surrounding it. Instead, cut the black and white wires about half way between the connector and the base of the antenna. They will be rejoined later. Put the connector and wires somewhere safe.

1.6. You can then remove the circuit board and put it somewhere safe. The shield from the black wire will be riveted to the metal base of the antenna. Wiggle it back and forth until it breaks off, like before. Remove the black wire and put it somewhere safe.

PART TWO: NEW ANTENNA

2.1. Now, open up the shark fin antenna. Take the top half (plastic part) and wrap the outer surface in something soft so it doesn't get scratched. In order for the circuit board to fit inside, the two middle screw posts will have to be removed. Use the rotary tool with the drum sander attachment to grind down the screw posts all the way (See the red circles in Figure 1). Be sure to wear safety glasses and a sanding mask.

2.2. Now to make the new antenna. Take the flexible PVC tube and use the sewing needle to poke a hole in one end. Pull out the needle and poke many more holes very close to the first hole. Now take the box cutter/x-acto knife and rotate it to dig out the hole until it's just large enough for the 20 AWG wire to fit through. Alternatively you could use a drill if you have one with small enough bits. Do the same thing at the other end of the tube. Now take 31" of 20 AWG and thread one end through one of the holes in the PVC. Coil the wire tightly and evenly around the outside of the tube. Once at the end of the tube, stick the wire through the other hole to keep it coiled tightly. Make sure about 2" of the wire is available at the end. Strip the end and crimp a .250" male quick disconnect on the end. Now, use the epoxy to glue the antenna to the inside of the shark fin. Refer to Figure 1.

FIGURE 1:
View attachment 80449

PART THREE: THE NEW BASE

3.1. Now, on to the shark fin base. In order for the circuit board to fit correctly, the existing circuit board mounts will have to be machined out. Unscrew the two little screws holding the metal clip to remove it, and remove the rubber bottom and place the metal base in a vise. Use the rotary tool with a cutting disc to slowly cut it away, use a drill with a metal bit to grind it away, or try for hours as I did only to give up and bring it to a machine shop and have them grind it down perfectly in a matter of seconds. If you are going to do it yourself, make sure to wear safety glasses and the sanding mask. Figure 2 shows the area that needs to be removed. Figure 3 shows an unobstructed view of the end result.

FIGURE 2:
View attachment 80457

FIGURE 3:
View attachment 80465

3.2. Now to make a new ground for the black shielded wire's shield. Take 3" of 23 AWG solid copper wire and strip a fair bit off each end. Twist one end around the little screw for the metal clip, then screw the clip down tightly (see the little black wire in figure 3).

3.3. Run the black shielded wire through the rear hole on the new base. Wrap the other end of the solid copper ground wire around the part where the shield was grounded before, then solder it in place and cover it with a bit of heat shrink.

PART FOUR: PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER

4.1. Create a new power cable by taking 6" AWG 18 copper stranded wire and stripping both ends. Take about .5" of insulation off one end and twist the wire to keep it together. Crimp a .250" male quick disconnect on the other end.

4.2. Screw the 6 screws from the original housing through the original holes on the circuit board into 6 5mm M2 brass standoffs.

4.3. Run the black, white, and new power cable wires through the base and keep them off to the side a bit.

4.4. Put the rubber jacket back on the metal base.

4.5. Using the epoxy, liberally glue the standoffs holding the board onto the base. Use a lot of epoxy, building it up around the standoffs. Also use the epoxy to seal the two middle screw holes in the base. Make sure the board is positioned as far back as it can go then wrap it around in 3 places with 3 elastic bands to keep the board tightly on the base and let it sit for at least 12 hours. See figure 4.

FIGURE 4:
View attachment 80473

4.6. Solder the power connector onto the top of the brass piece, and solder the black shielded wire back onto its original terminal. See figure 5.

FIGURE 5:
View attachment 80481

4.7. Use the needle nose pliers to squeeze the antenna clip on the circuit board so it will grab onto the quick disconnect from the new antenna. Plug the antenna into the board then screw the base and plastic cover together with 3 screws.

4.8. Now to rejoin the black and white shielded wires. Strip a fair amount off each end to reveal the shield, and then pull it back to reveal the inner wire. Strip the inner wires about .25". Twist the inner wires together, and wrap with electrical tape. Using tweezers to twist them will probably be necessary, especially on the black wire. It must be around AWG 30. Then pull the shields back over and join them as well. Remove the wires from the yellow connector by prying the red cover off with the flat screw driver. Slip heat shrink over each wire to cover the exposed shields and heat with the heat gun. Then slip a larger heat shrink over both wires and shrink it. Put the connector back on and lock it with the red cover. You're done! Figure 6 shows the completed antenna.

FIGURE 6:
View attachment 80489

RESULTS

FM; I park 2 levels underground. Without the antenna I got nothing but static. With the antenna FM reception is significantly improved. Compared to the stock antenna, reception is a little bit worse. Above ground, reception is about on par with the stock antenna.

AM on the other hand, not so good. Only static with no antenna above ground, and now mostly static.

XM, well I can't test that.

Looks significantly approved, IMHO. :)

I don't really use my radio so it doesn't bother me much either way. Would have been nice to get AM for traffic reports, but can't have everything.

And here it is installed:
View attachment 80497
I bought a shark fin antenna for a 2017 Hyundai Elantra at a salvage yard. I am replacing mine due to the top of it coming off in the car wash. I go to the auto repair shop and they tell me I am missing clips to install it. I do an internet search and notice some other shark fin antennas have cords and wires that come with them and mine does not have those. Do I need them? Should I return my antenna back to the salvage yard?
 

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I bought a shark fin antenna for a 2017 Hyundai Elantra at a salvage yard. I am replacing mine due to the top of it coming off in the car wash. I go to the auto repair shop and they tell me I am missing clips to install it. I do an internet search and notice some other shark fin antennas have cords and wires that come with them and mine does not have those. Do I need them? Should I return my antenna back to the salvage yard?
Are you able to post a picture of the one that you have?
 
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