Where Did That Long Antenna Go?

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In this article, we will read about “Where Did That Long Antenna Go?” It is a common saying that back in the old days, cars have long whip antennas. There were usually mounted on the roof. More specifically, on the driver’s side. In case, if the car is Sedan on the trunk cover.


In recent years, they are disappearing day by day. Today we can realize that there is no antenna in the car. Now either they are becoming smaller or more discreet. Since technology is advancing, it is replacing old patterns.

In fact, we can realize there are different varieties of an antenna of different sizes. These are for various onboard electronic systems.

Long Antenna

The use of a classic long antenna is to capture radio signals, mostly long and medium waves. They were used for translating longer waves to lower frequencies. Their length has to correspond to the length of the waves they were used for. In common parlance, they came in quarter-wave whip form measuring the only 1/4th of the wave’s length.

Earlier long antennas were made of metal and came in two main variants. These are non-retractable and retractable. The most prevalent is non-retractable on cheaper cars. It is stationary once it fixes on the car. We are unable to move it.

The retractable types are made up of series of telescopic metal tubes. They can easily hide within the car’s body. Retractable antennas are generally on affordable models. They are manually adjustable. The exclusive models come with antennas that are retractable from within the cabin pressing a button.

What happened to the long antenna?

Due to advancement in technology, people shift their preferences from whip antennas. Now, AM broadcasting is replaceable with high and very high-frequency broadcasting. It is thus making the old whip antennas obsolete. Apart from changes in wavelength, cars also using satellite radio, Wi-Fi, and a host of other communication technologies.

Aside from the change in technology, there are various things making them fade away. The first one is they are fragile. They are usually thin, long, and create from several telescopic tubes, so they are breakable and bendable. They are relatively easy to rip out and steal.

Today’s Antennas

Apart from the radio antenna, cars have around 20 antennas in addition. They are useful for Wi-Fi or satellite radio. Some other is useful for GPS Navigation and communication with infrastructure and other vehicles.

Some of the most important places to place antenna are as follows:

  1. Roof: the roof is still to be an important place to fix the antenna. Small fixed antennas have replaced the classic whip variety.
  2. Mirrors: Vehicles such as trucks and SUVs generally have big side mirrors and thus have high-frequency antennas.
  3. Trunk Cover: it is still the most popular place to fix antennas.
  4. Windows: Now every car has an antenna together with the rear window.
  5. Spoiler: Antennas can be installed within the spoilers.in racing cars, there are useful for communicating with the team.

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