How to Install Glass Mounted Aerials

Written by chuck brown
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How to Install Glass Mounted Aerials
Satellite radio really does have superior sound. (radio antenna image by Aaron Kohr from Fotolia.com)

With the availability of satellite radio, after market reception aerials are practically a must. Mounting these aerials in the most advantageous location for the best reception quality is the first concern for optimal XM Satellite radio performance. Since mirrored and blackout window treatments have been outlawed in most states, the interference from these features is irrelevant for the most part. If your vehicle windows are "barely legal" tinted, you may have reception problems. Otherwise, if you are familiar with advanced wiring and vehicle electrical components, mounting the aerial on glass is certainly doable.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Aerial and mounting hardware packet
  • Installation template
  • Screwdriver
  • Cable ties
  • Adhesive mounting bases
  • Measuring tape
  • Level
  • Towelettes
  • Hair dryer

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Open and check the contents of the glass mounted aerial kit. Be sure you have the aerial, installation templates, interior through the glass coupler that is attached to coaxial cables, self-adhesive backing on the aerial and coupler or self-adhesive pads and towelettes.

  2. 2

    Select the aerial's location with a few considerations in mind. Do not mount it where it blocks the vehicle's rear brake light. Avoid standard antenna and windshield defroster lines.

    How to Install Glass Mounted Aerials
    Roof mounts are the other option. (Frozen Car antenna image by TekinT from Fotolia.com)
  3. 3

    Clean the rear windshield thoroughly, inside and out. Make sure the temperature is at least 15.6 degrees C and the weather is dry. Choose the centre of the windshield, if you want a balanced, original equipment look.

  4. 4

    Use the measuring tape to measure the entire width of the top of the rear windshield. Divide this number by two to find the midpoint. Use the enclosed towelette to reclean the mounting area well or use alcohol and a clean rag. Center the aerial/antenna base over this midpoint and trace its outline onto the windshield with an erasable marker.

    How to Install Glass Mounted Aerials
    Butt the end of the tape against the side of the rear door post and measure windshield only, not total width. (measuring tape image by Rich Johnson from Fotolia.com)
  5. 5

    Briefly heat the traced area with a hair dryer to bring the surface temperature up for quicker, better adhesion. Remove the protective tape at the four corners or at each adhesive point. Carefully and gently place the template into the area you traced earlier, making sure the template is not on a defroster or other antenna bar in the windshield.

  6. 6

    Press the mounting template firmly with fingertip pressure and hold for 60 seconds, giving the adhesion time to adhere to the surface. Insert the aerial/antenna unit, with protective backing, into the mounting base template. Sit down in the vehicle and visually verify that the unit is not blocked by the interior headliner.

    How to Install Glass Mounted Aerials
    A regular strength hair dryer is sufficient to warm the installed area. (1950s hair blow dryer image by Scott Williams from Fotolia.com)
  7. 7

    Go back to the antenna and remove the protective backing. Re-insert the unit into the template. Place a finger on the front and a thumb on the back and depress firmly, just like with the template, for 60 seconds. Make sure the antenna mast is exactly vertical to the ground, not the windshield.

  8. 8

    Mount the inside template and coupler in the same manner. Insert the coupling and route the wiring according to the diagram that came with the particular unit.

Tips and warnings

  • Use the highest possible area on the windshield for the mount, making sure the aerial mast is higher than the roof of the vehicle.
  • Mount aerial out of the line of driver vision.

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