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Old 01-07-2004, 03:13 PM   #1
Chitown_COOP
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Default Why do Sirius antennas have rat tails???

I don't get it. Terk and Kenwood make most of the antennas for Sirius and XM. How come all of the XM antennas are little tiny things with little tiny wires, and Sirius antennas are significantly larger and have these bizarre rubber covered "tails" running for almost a foot off of the antennas? According to most people, the antennas are almost completely interchangable with little noticeable difference in transmission quality.

So why the rat tails???
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Old 01-07-2004, 03:30 PM   #2
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I'm going to use a quote from Manco for this question...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manco
The antenna should be positioned with 6" of metal radius around it for the best terrestrial performance
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Old 01-07-2004, 04:20 PM   #3
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Default Re: Why do Sirius antennas have rat tails???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chitown_COOP

So why the rat tails???
I thought it looks appropriate on my bug.. LOL
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Old 01-08-2004, 06:59 AM   #4
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Send a message via ICQ to Tristan Send a message via AIM to Tristan Send a message via MSN to Tristan Send a message via Yahoo to Tristan Why do Sirius antennas have rat tails???
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evil_Ernie
I'm going to use a quote from Manco for this question...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manco
The antenna should be positioned with 6" of metal radius around it for the best terrestrial performance
Basically it's just a guide to help you get the right distance for the antenna you can always take the tail off and you might lose some reception. It's like people who mount the antenna inside. It works but not the best option.
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Old 01-08-2004, 10:57 AM   #5
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That makes sense, but I'm feeling Libertarian today. What about my rights to not have a rat tail? And again, why don't ANY of the XM antennas have the tails?
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Old 01-08-2004, 03:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chitown_COOP
That makes sense, but I'm feeling Libertarian today. What about my rights to not have a rat tail? And again, why don't ANY of the XM antennas have the tails?
I guess the dog and rat are friends.. and this way you know right away if someone has Sirius or the 'other guy' on their car.. LOL
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Old 01-08-2004, 03:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chitown_COOP
That makes sense, but I'm feeling Libertarian today. What about my rights to not have a rat tail? And again, why don't ANY of the XM antennas have the tails?
Good question, I would be concerned about not having a tail since most antennas benefit from having a ground plane. If I were to mount an XM antenna in the location that Sirius suggests it should be mounted, I would have a floppy wire on my roof. I think the tail looks better and functions to secure the wire.

Even the new smaller antenna shown at CES has a tail. Take a look in the photo Albumn.
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Old 01-08-2004, 03:23 PM   #8
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maybe XM antenna's don't require the same 'ground plane' because of the SAT orbit?????
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Old 01-08-2004, 03:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SiriusBeetle
maybe XM antenna's don't require the same 'ground plane' because of the SAT orbit?????
The ground plane is for the terrestrial repeaters and not the satellites.
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Old 01-22-2004, 08:37 PM   #10
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I bought an XM Roady and it doesn't have this part attached, but one is included so you can put it on the cable. I think it's for stability when mounting away from the edge. Without it you just have a loose wire which won't be nice and straight.
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Old 01-23-2004, 08:56 AM   #11
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XM roof mount antennas, including ones by Terk, do have "rat tails." The ones that don't still recommend placement away from the edge of the roof, and the rat tail is just a nice way of keeping the wire in place and safe.

Quote:
The ground plane is for the terrestrial repeaters and not the satellites.
What makes you think that only the terrestrial benefits from a good ground plane? A good ground plane is required for the antenna to perform up to its specifications. Sure, it will work without one, but the radiation pattern will suffer and signal losses will be incurred. However since it is digital it is either all there or not there at all, so people tend to accept subpar installations. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? Well, I guess if it works for you and you're happy with it that's all that matters. For me, personally, I like having it perform the way it was designed to perform

Here is a quote from an article on SDARS antennas:
"Both SAT and TER elements of roof-mount antennas require a minimum of six inches from sheet metal edge to provide satisfactory antenna performance"

Source:
http://www.mwrf.com/Articles/Index.c...leID=5892&pg=1

This is an excellent 3 page article on SDARS antennas, with photos of the different types of mobile antennas taken apart, radiation patterns and good descriptions. There is also a pdf on delphi.com that is of some interest to those curious about SDARS antennas:
http://www.delphi.com/pdf/techpapers/2001-01-0004_2.pdf
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