Sig­nalling suc­cess

Chris turns on, tunes in and rocks out – new aerial works!

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Living With Classics - CHRIS HOPE FEATURES EDITOR

1980 TRI­UMPH TR7 FHC

Up un­til a cou­ple of months ago, I was re­stricted to the odd few cas­settes stored un­der the armest if I wanted to lis­ten to mu­sic in my TR7. As good as the al­bum is, there are only so many times you can en­dure Michael

Jack­son’s Great­est Hits, and I’m pretty sure that lis­ten­ing to the mu­sic on my phone via an in-car mo­bile cas­sette adapter in­volves witchcraft.

The car’s elec­tric aerial was still in place, but the plas­tic coil that erects and re­tracts the aerial had snapped in two, leav­ing the mo­tor whirring in­sis­tently. I tried su­per­glu­ing the two halves of the plas­tic coil back to­gether, but it was too fid­dly and they re­fused to seal. What’s more, be­cause the mo­tor would run even with the key out of the ig­ni­tion, I had to gut the aerial of its elec­tric in­nards to avoid an in­evitable bat­tery drain.

The aerial still worked, but I needed to keep a pair of pli­ers handy to tease it out on the odd oc­ca­sions when I wanted to lis­ten to the ra­dio.

By no means a pri­or­ity, then, but with a free Sun­day on the hori­zon, I or­dered Au­toleads’ RMA-1000 Au­to­matic Elec­tric Aerial, after read­ing nu­mer­ous favourable re­views, for £26.98.

Hav­ing de­voured the in­struc­tions, cover to cover, I came to the con­clu­sion that us­ing the wiring that was al­ready in place would be far more straight­for­ward than re­plac­ing the lot. I used con­nec­tor in­su­lat­ing crimp ter­mi­nals to mate the ex­ist­ing elec­tri­cal wiring to the new aerial. As for the ca­ble for the ra­dio sig­nal, a pair of leftover coax­ial plugs (from a re­cent loft tele­vi­sion aerial in­stal­la­tion) al­lowed me to mate the ca­bles to­gether.

Is it el­e­gant? No. Does it work? Ab­so­lutely – as proven by the score of John Wil­liams’ Star Wars: Episode

IV – A New Hope crack­ling through the speak­ers as I tweaked the di­als, hav­ing spent about two hours fid­dling with var­i­ous con­nec­tions in the boot.

I won’t lie; there was a de­gree of trial and er­ror in­volved in mat­ing these electrics – you should’ve seen the look on my face when, upon turn­ing on the ra­dio, the aerial rose, only to re­main res­o­lutely in place when I switched it off again! Thank­fully, all is now well.

’I had to gut the aerial’s elec­tri­cal in­nards to avoid bat­tery drain’

Cel­e­bra­tory clean dou­bled as a means of check­ing the aerial’s grom­met is water-tight.

Not el­e­gant, but uses ex­ist­ing aerial’s wiring.

At last – an aerial that raises and low­ers it­self!

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