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Old 05-17-2008, 05:06 PM
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wiring a power antenna

HI
anyone know how to wire a power antenna? Can it be made to work with a momentary on-off-on toggle switch?

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Old 05-17-2008, 05:58 PM
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It may or may not be able to be controlled with an on-off-on toggle switch.

It would help if you could post the brand name of the power antenna or describe the color of the wires coming off of the power antenna.

Most aftermarket replacement power antennas seem to have three wires, which are red, green and black. The red wire is hooked to a constant 12v source, the green wire is hooked to a conditional 12v source, usually a power source from the radio that is controlled with the radio on/off switch and the remaining black wire is connected to ground.

The green wire provides power to raise the antenna. When the power from the green wire is removed(i.e. radio turned off), the power from the red wire retracts the antenna. The green wire power source could be controlled by an on/off toggle switch, if you so desired.
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Old 05-17-2008, 07:13 PM
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I use 80s vintage GM power antennas. Pretty much any full size FWD GM from 85-95 has one in the trunk. It's very easy to get it out and it has a relay mounted on the antenna. The local wrecking yard gets $5 apiece for them.

There are three wires going into the antenna: black, yellow, and orange. The black is ground, the orange is +12 v at all times, and the yellow is switched. On makes it go up, off makes it go down. Usually this is controlled by the radio, but a toggle switch works fine also. The nice thing about these GM antennas is that you can still get a new mast at the dealer (though at $5 each from the wrecking yard, I just get another whole antenna).
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Old 05-17-2008, 07:46 PM
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Mine has the red,green and black. I thought I would like to control it with a switch instead of letting the radio control it .So if I connect the red to a constant hot and the green to a toggle,do I use a on-off-on momentary toggle or just a on-off toggle and would the toggle have to go to a hot source also?
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Old 05-17-2008, 08:10 PM
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You will need a 12v source to connect to the green wire via any type of on/off switch. You can not use a momentary toggle switch for the power to the green wire. You will need an on/off (toggle) switch so that power is sent to the green wire as long as the switch is in the on position, to hold the antenna extended.

Connect the green wire to one side of the toggle switch and a 12v source to the other side. For the toggle switch power, I would use a 12v source that is controlled by the ignition switch. That way, if you forget to turn the toggle switch off, when you turn the vehicle ignition switch off, the power will be cut to the toggle switch and the antenna will automatically retract and not be draining the battery when the vehicle is off.
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Old 05-17-2008, 08:32 PM
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I found the wire on the radio that goes to the green wire,so maybe I'll just let the radio control it. If I do where is the proper place to connect the red wire? should it be connected to one of the hots that go to the radio? And when I do connect it does it have to be fused? I hate inline fuses and my fuse panel doesn't have a place for antenna
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Old 05-18-2008, 08:10 AM
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The red wire can be connected to any constant 12v power source, such as headlights, dome light, any relay power terminals or a cigarette lighter. While your fuse panel does not have an antenna terminal, you could connect it to any fuse panel terminal that has constant 12v power.

As for fusing the power to the antenna, its always a good idea to fuse all power sources. Chances are that you will connect it to a power source that is already fused at the fuse panel, but the additional power draw to the antenna may overload the existing circuit. I agree that inline fuses are a PITA, but the installation of an inline fuse to the antenna would provide a level of protection to the antenna and protect the circuit you tie it to from additional overload.

I would guess that the antenna should be fused for around 10 amps. IMO, the cigarette lighter circuit would be best because this circuit is used the least and wouldn't tend to be overloaded by the addition of the antenna power requirement.

The only constant power source to a radio is usually the constant memory circuit, if so equipped, which requires very little power and is usually a small 16g or 18g wire. Connecting the antenna to this circuit would probably overload the wiring or the circuit itself.
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Old 05-18-2008, 09:31 AM
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While I don't know the details of your antenna, most of them have internal limit switches that automatically turn the motor off at the end of travel. That's why you don't want a momentary switch. They are pretty much all designed so that constant power on the "switched" wire (which sounds like the green one in your application) keeps the antenna up and turning off this switched power retracts it. The reason for the constant hot wire (red in your case) is to allow the antenna to retract even after you turn the key off.
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Old 05-18-2008, 10:15 AM
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THANKS,GUYS!!!
You have been very informitive and I really appreciate it
Thanks again
Gary
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