|Savor the limelight|
Pull in forwards.
The explanations given are interesting but all wrong. The ball is there so when a couple 10 year olds break off car antennas and use them in a play sword/fencing fight, nobody gets skewered. (If you wondered why so many cars have broken antennas, now you know.)
The knob also plays an important role in keeping the knot that holds the squirrel tail on your antenna from slipping off the end and therefore losing your squirrel tail.
Sometimes the best answers are just obvious.
CMSGT USAF (Retired)
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SIG and Glock Armorer
It does reduce static build up at the end of the antenna.
After I got out of electronics school at community college one of my first jobs was in a shop that did business radio service. My boss and I were atop one of the higher buildings in town doing yearly maintenance on an antenna for their business band radios. We were up on ladders cleaning and tightening connections on the antenna mast and there were some clouds coming in for a summer storm. I started hearing a buzzing/sizzling sound and mentioned it to the boss. He said it's time to get down from the ladders, Right Now! As the sky darkened we could see balls of luminescence at the tips of the antenna elements. My first experience with Saint Elmo's Fire. Don't know if would actually hurt you but a good indication that things could get dicey in a hurry.
Their job Is To Save Your Ass,
Not Kiss It
The link you posted is mostly talking about static noise from other sources in the environment.
It attributes static buildup on vehicles and vehicle antennas to the buildup of charged dust particles.
It talks about putting balls on the ends of antennas primarily to reduce corona discharge resulting from static buildup due to high power transmission.
It does mention the balls helping with a certain type of static buildup on receive, but in another article, the source of your link, K0BG, says they don't really do anything on receive:
Finally, the corona balls (much larger than the little button on the tip of a car antenna) are stated as being effective in transmission antennas by making the antenna tip WORSE at emitting static, not better (the opposite of what is said in the original post.
In summary, a somewhat similar-looking (but much larger) device on an antenna used for a different purpose helps with a different type of static problem for the opposite of the stated reason.
|Little ray |
If you install a turbo encabulator, it solves this problem, among others.
The fish is mute, expressionless. The fish doesn't think because the fish knows everything.
Little known fact- the original name for the corona ball was balloon ball.
from the abyss
First thing I thought of. Haven't seen one of them in a looooong time.
"How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy." Winston Churchill
Back in the day, a bent coat hanger worked just fine. A wire hanger, not these sorry plastic things they have now.
God's mercy: NOT getting what we deserve!
God's grace: Getting what we DON'T deserve!
"If the enemy is in range, so are you." - Infantry Journal
P239 40 S&W
Viet Nam '69-'70
Mmm... you know your antenna is a certain length for a reason right?
Sliced bread, the greatest thing since the 1911.
This is what it did on my '55 Chevy when I was in High School:
1. It kept the small sections from going further down into the larger sections when you pushed it closed (down to the base). If you had a sectioned antenna, you pushed it all the way down, every time and anywhere you left your car, to keep passing students from slapping at it or some asshole from intentionally breaking it.
2. You gripped the ball to pull the antenna up when you returned to you car. If the ball was lost, you kept a pair of pliers in your car and made sure you did not push it too far down.
As far as the little ball helping the radio - damn, it was a friggen straight AM only radio - a straightened coat hanger worked if a top section was broken off. In fact I have used that technique on my SW, FM/FM radio for the past four years.
“Leave the Artillerymen alone, they are an obstinate lot. . .”
– Napoleon Bonaparte
|Savor the limelight|
I use mine as a vertical curb feeler. If it hits something when pulling into a parking garage, I probably shouldn't keep going forward.
|Plowing straight ahead come what may|
It was always a hard decision for my mom (with my input) between the Union 76 antenna balls, Gulf orange plastic magnetic horseshoes and the tiger tail for your gas tank filler ...I always begged for the tiger tail...
"we've gotta roll with the punches, learn to play all of our hunches
Making the best of what ever comes our way
Forget that blind ambition and learn to trust your intuition
Plowing straight ahead come what may
And theres a cowboy in the jungle"
|Just Hanging Around|
I did this to my F150. Trimmed off about an inch. Doesn't hit the door anymore, and I can't tell any difference the reception.
The little aftermarket shorties did not work.
Yo Macklin, great party, but no whiskey. We go home now.
Your standing wave ratio will change on when you shorten your antenna. What? You don't have the all-in-one AM/FM/CB option? How do you get bear reports?
NRA Life Member
Boo-boo's been know to drop a dime.
Get you a new ball
And no, junior not being able to hold still for 5 seconds is not a disability.
Did you put the ball back on
? Did your radio explode?
There is no cure for stupidity, you either die from it or with it.
|Not really from Vienna|
Congrats on your 12,000th post
This is why I joined SF. For the depth of knowledge on most any topic.
Now, if someone should ask me about the little ball on a car antenna, I can answer with confidence.
End of Earth: 2 Miles
Upper Peninsula: 4 Miles
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