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