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The little ball on the tip of your car antenna Login/Join 
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posted
As I have found out it is called a corona ball. Fun facts aside, does it serve a purpose?

My truck antenna hits the garage door when backing in. I can buy a new antenna for $30 but I found online I can simply cut off a few inches of the factory antenna.

Im getting mixed results if I need to replace the corona ball after trimming the antenna. Some say its only there so you dont poke your eye out. Others say its there to release static build up caused air resistance on the antenna when the vehicle is moving.

So what does the SF brain trust say?


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Posts: 3759 | Location: Pittsburgh, PA, USA | Registered: February 27, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by gpbst3:
Others say its there to release static build up caused air resistance on the antenna when the vehicle is moving.


That sounds like grade-A pseudoscientific bullshit to me.
 
Posts: 4075 | Location: TX | Registered: January 24, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It's to keep the blinker fluid from spouting out the top of the antenna if you over fill it through the kaneuter valve.




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Posts: 4579 | Location: District 12 | Registered: June 16, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Lightning rods have a very sharp point for a reason. Anything to make your car antenna less like a lightning rod is a good thing.
 
Posts: 3200 | Location: Texas | Registered: October 04, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nullus Anxietas
Picture of ensigmatic
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quote:
Originally posted by maladat:
quote:
Originally posted by gpbst3:
Others say its there to release static build up caused air resistance on the antenna when the vehicle is moving.

That sounds like grade-A pseudoscientific bullshit to me.

It would--to somebody who doesn't understand how this stuff works Wink

See Controlling Static

Btw, OP: If you shorten the antenna your radio might not work as well. Then again it might make no difference at all. This is apart from the corona ball's function.




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Posts: 13555 | Location: S.E. Michigan | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
7.62mm Crusader
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quote:
Originally posted by ensigmatic:
quote:
Originally posted by maladat:
quote:
Originally posted by gpbst3:
Others say its there to release static build up caused air resistance on the antenna when the vehicle is moving.

That sounds like grade-A pseudoscientific bullshit to me.

It would--to somebody who doesn't understand how this stuff works Wink

See Controlling Static

Btw, OP: If you shorten the antenna your radio might not work as well. Then again it might make no difference at all. This is apart from the corona ball's function.
It looks like if the OP neuters his antenna, he can use that 1" aluminum ball to have better protection. If a bigger corona ball is better, maybe try a stainless steel ball around the same diameter as a common bowling ball.. Big Grin
 
Posts: 14365 | Registered: December 23, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My theory...

As kids my friends and I all had garage forts in the rafters. To get up/down we had to climb a rope.

One of my friends fell while he was climbing down and fell onto the antenna of their car. The antenna bent and grazed his skin versus impaling him probably because of the "ball" on the end of the antenna.

Hence is the ball a "Ralph Nader" safety feature?

Don't know but is sure helped my friend.
 
Posts: 1521 | Location: St. Louis, MO | Registered: November 24, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
thin skin can't win
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My theory is it keeps it from whipping side to side in a wind stream, but instead bends straight back.

Let us know after you cut off some what you find!

This article goes another way, but isn't supported by any cites.

quote:
If you said static discharge, you are correct! While you are driving down the road static discharge builds up and collects on your radio antenna. Without the ball on top of the antenna the static will continue to collect until eventually it forms a visible ball of static sparks known as a "corona discharge" in radio speak. This static discharge will travel through your radio antenna wire causing that annoying popping sound you hear through the speakers on a dry cold night.


Linky



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Posts: 8312 | Location: Madison, MS | Registered: December 10, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Thank you
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Its made of Tin Foil, compressed into a ball to keep aliens from infiltrating your radio and sending subliminal messages to the occupant of the car while driving.



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Posts: 11785 | Location: Mouseville, FL | Registered: November 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Cut it off. Shouldn't hurt the receive. If it does you were going to buy another one anyway, right? If it was an antenna used for transmitting then it would be another story, resonance and all that.


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Posts: 3202 | Location: Ohio | Registered: December 27, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Just add one of these to have the coolest antenna on the block Cool...



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Posts: 8163 | Location: Southeast Tennessee...not far above my homestate Georgia | Registered: March 10, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Tinker Sailor Soldier Pie
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Can't you buy a shorter aftermarket antenna?


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Posts: 19683 | Location: Out of Jersey, Into Utah | Registered: October 29, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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They make all variations of short antenna - here is one example

https://www.amazon.com/Antenna...EPTION/dp/B01M71Y6D4
 
Posts: 91 | Location: North Texas | Registered: July 21, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of P250UA5
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Lots of guys on the F150 forum cut down the OE antenna, remove the ball & reattach it to the cut down portion.
I went with a cravenspeed stubby & living in Houston, have very little FM signal degradation.




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Posts: 5756 | Location: Spring, TX | Registered: July 11, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13



14 !



14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14



Actually, it looks like the ball has a purpose aside from keeping you from getting poked. Something about static electricity
 
Posts: 14489 | Location: SE Michigan | Registered: February 10, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member!
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You're just going to have to buy a new house with a taller garage!
 
Posts: 3906 | Location: Boise, ID USA | Registered: February 14, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Balzé Halzé:
Can't you buy a shorter aftermarket antenna?


I sure can but I dont want one of those little 6 inch nubs. I hear too much about reduced radio coverage. I only need to nip off 3-4 inches so I figure why pay $30 for a shorter antenna when I could do it at home in 15 mins.

I just need to know if it's worth the time to put that little ball back on


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Posts: 3759 | Location: Pittsburgh, PA, USA | Registered: February 27, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by gpbst3:
quote:
Originally posted by Balzé Halzé:
Can't you buy a shorter aftermarket antenna?


I sure can but I dont want one of those little 6 inch nubs. I hear too much about reduced radio coverage. I only need to nip off 3-4 inches so I figure why pay $30 for a shorter antenna when I could do it at home in 15 mins.

I just need to know if it's worth the time to put that little ball back on


Unscrew it. Listen to the radio. If it sounds fine while driving, then it wasn't helping anyhow.
 
Posts: 14489 | Location: SE Michigan | Registered: February 10, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Cut it, then replace the ball with this:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/LOT-O...OUNTED-/261288478476
 
Posts: 1198 | Location: Washington (State) | Registered: August 30, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Oz_Shadow:
quote:
Originally posted by gpbst3:
quote:
Originally posted by Balzé Halzé:
Can't you buy a shorter aftermarket antenna?


I sure can but I dont want one of those little 6 inch nubs. I hear too much about reduced radio coverage. I only need to nip off 3-4 inches so I figure why pay $30 for a shorter antenna when I could do it at home in 15 mins.

I just need to know if it's worth the time to put that little ball back on


Unscrew it. Listen to the radio. If it sounds fine while driving, then it wasn't helping anyhow.


Damn your smart. I'm going to give it a try


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Posts: 3759 | Location: Pittsburgh, PA, USA | Registered: February 27, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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