Hiding a Satellite Radio Antenna

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Satellite radio has a lot to offer -- a practically unlimited selection of music, talk radio, and live sports, all commercial-free. It also offers that ugly little antenna that you have to put up on your roof. Have no fear, however. While the owner's manual will tell you the roof is the best option, there are some little hiding places around your car that still offer good reception.

Manual Notes

  • The owner's manual will tell you not to put the antenna inside the car, but this is a quality assurance issue, not a safety issue. SiriusXM is mainly concerned with avoiding customer complaints about poor reception. While the antenna is always going to perform better outside the car, if you can't find a good place outside you can always mount it somewhere inside. Interior antenna mounting does degrade reception somewhat but in most cases it's not an issue for the average listener.

Exterior Options

  • While the center of the roof is the ideal location for a satellite radio antenna, just about any mounting location on the outside of the car will work well -- as long as it's not underneath the car. Many cars have a removable plastic cowl behind the hood and in front of the windshield that covers the wiper motors and other hardware. This is easily removed with a few screws, and you can mount the antenna under it, then replace it. This leaves the antenna completely out of sight but still effective, since the plastic doesn't block the signal.

    Alternatively, if your car has a rear spoiler with a gap between it and the trunk, you can mount it under the spoiler where it will be out of sight to everyone but the person sitting behind you in traffic. The cable is then easily routed through the trunk.

    It's also possible to mount the antenna right behind the grill at the front of the car. Either use the antenna's built-in magnet mount to attach it to a convenient spot behind the grill, or use zip-ties to secure it directly to the grill itself. Carefully route the cable through the engine compartment and into the cabin.

Inside Ideas

  • The most popular in-cabin mounting location is the center of the dashboard, all the way forward where the windshield meets the dashboard. Use a small piece of heavy duty double-sided tape to secure it in place.

    The second option is to mount the antenna in the center of the rear package shelf, either on or directly behind the third brake light. Again, you can use double-sided tape, or use Velcro to attach to the carpet lining the shelf.

Experimentation Is Key

  • As every car, satellite receiver, and antenna is a little different you may find you need to try two or more of these mounting options until you find the one that works best for your particular situation. Don't get discouraged -- with a little trial and error, you are bound to find the perfect stealth solution.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images
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