Onstar fin

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DJ11DLN

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Apologies if this has already been addressed. I did do a search and didn't come up with anything.

Has anyone used one of those stealth PS antennas that look like an Onstar fin with a scanner? I've looked at a couple of vendors who handle them and since they're pretty pricey, I wanted to gather some real-use data before taking that plunge. I recently picked up a used SUV that has the Onstar system, which I do not want or need. I'd prefer to use the existing location but if they aren't all that hot I will just NMO it with a Larsen tri-band. Headliner has to drop either way, which from the procedure in the service manual I think is going to cause me to use some blue language when I do it. So for the sake of my BP and general sanity I'd prefer to only do it once. Primarily interested in VHF-Hi and 700/800. There may be some TX'ing on this with my FD radios too.
 

mmckenna

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The OnStar fin antennas have a cellular antenna in them, so it should work well as a 700/800MHz antenna. VHF is going to suck.

We've got a Ford Explorer PD package at work that has a Panorama antenna on it in place of the stock "fin". It's got the VHF whip and seems to do OK.

The antennas are expensive, but they are worth it if you are trying not to look like a police car. Other than that, the permanent NMO is going to outperform it.
 

DJ11DLN

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Thanks for the prompt reply. That's pretty much what I had figured, but I wanted to hear from someone with direct experience with these fin replacements. I'll stick with the Larsen, which I know from experience works very well for my purposes. I'd just hoped to avoid making an additional hole in the roof. Not real concerned with having an 8-year-old Trailblazer mistaken for an LE vehicle either, LOL.

I did try rigging up an adapter to connect the coax from the stock fin to my scanner when I removed the Onstar module. I think the fin may be defective, or possibly the coax is bad; it did not perform well at all on the local 700/800 TSYS. By all rights one of these ought to at least outperform a duck inside of the vehicle, but the duck won hands-down, so I think there has to be some problem somewhere. Which is completely irrelevant, as it would have been dismal on VHF and I couldn't have TX'd on it on either band...just wanting it known that I did exercise my few remaining brain cells before posting a question here.:cool:
 

mmckenna

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You might try removing the fin antenna to see what's underneath.
I had a coworker did this on a Mini-Cooper a while back. He took the fin off and installed a Yaesu Screwdriver antenna in it's place. He had to fabricate the parts, but he was able to reuse the hole.

You'll likely find a hole with a "key slot" to keep the antenna from turning. Not sure what size the hole is, but you might be able to make it work for an NMO mount.
 

DJ11DLN

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You might try removing the fin antenna to see what's underneath.
I had a coworker did this on a Mini-Cooper a while back. He took the fin off and installed a Yaesu Screwdriver antenna in it's place. He had to fabricate the parts, but he was able to reuse the hole.

You'll likely find a hole with a "key slot" to keep the antenna from turning. Not sure what size the hole is, but you might be able to make it work for an NMO mount.
I'll probably just center the antenna on the roof and do it right. I don't have garage door clearance issues or need to frequent low-clear parking structures etc. I never understood the reasoning behind the offset-to-the-left location of the fin on those models. If I did anything with that hole, it would be a block-off plate of some kind but probably best to just leave it alone. The tri-bander will perform better centered and also be slightly obscured by the luggage rack; and it's a black model so while it won't disappear it might (hopefully) not stick out like a sore thumb either.
 
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