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“On-Glass” Antenna Installation


Q: Does the black paint around the edge of the window reduce antenna performance?
A: No. The black mask paint used around the perimeter of the rear window glass on domestic vehicles has not been shown to be detrimental to the glass mount installation. The only difficulty in this preferred installation is the inside to outside alignment of the coupling box to base foot.
Q: Can an antenna be cut to any length or does it have to be kept at its original length?
A: The antenna cannot be cut and is specifically designed to resonate at the design frequencies with proper phasing between the elements. The coupling box is also designed to match the antenna to the Cellular / PCS frequencies, which is critical to maintaining the antenna system performance.
Q: Does slightly bending the whip reduce antenna performance? How much does the pitch of the antenna mast have on the performance?
A: Slight bends should not effect the antenna significantly. It is usually most optimal to install the antenna within a couple of degrees of the vertical position. This maximizes the polarization match with the base station.
Q: Does the coupler box have to face in one direction or the other? Can it be mounted vertically? Does the direction mean any loss in performance?
A: The coupler box can be oriented with the input connector exiting left or right. If the desired orientation is to mount the coupling box vertical with the input connector exiting upward, VSWR will degrade to about 2:1 or higher.
Q: How far out does the center pin of an antenna cable have to be from the collar to have a proper connection.
A: TNC: Outer Shield to Pin Shoulder (0.212" to 0.219") per MIL-C-39012C. Center Pin tip slightly below the outer shield collar. Slide the connector body onto the pin until the dielectric engages the pin (Snap fit).

Mini-UHF: No industry standard. Bottom the pin against the inner dielectric. Verify that the tip of the pin is between the first thread and the end of the outer shell. The pin is not to exceed the end of the outer shell.

Q: Can older A/S coupling boxes be used with newer A/S bases and whips?
A: Yes. The design enhancements have incorporated backward compatibility along with improving the original designs. If installing new whips and bases to older coupling boxes, AP-852 series couplers can be used with all later "On-Glass" antenna models.
Q: Can you cut the coaxial cable? And if not, how do you store excess antenna cable?
A: Yes, the coaxial cable can be cut without degrading performance. Excess cable can be stored in any manner as long as the coiled cable does not exceed the minimum bend radius. Bend Radius = 10 x R. Example: RG-58/U diameter = 0.2". Therefore, Coiling/Bending diameter = 2".
Q: How much cable can you cut from total length, if any?
A: The antenna is originally designed to meet specifications without the coaxial cable. The cable may be cut to accommodate typical installations. Remember! With the A/S solid state coupling box, no tuning is required after the cable has been cut. With competitor’s models, you will need to retune the coupling box!
Q: If you use existing coax from a damaged, currently installed antenna with an new A/S coupling box and whip, are there any concerns?
A: As long as the cable and connectors are in good condition, they should not need replacing.
Q: What happens if a glass mount antenna is mounted on the window of a car with a fiber glass roof? Can glass mounts be used through fiber glass?
A: Glass mounted antennas cannot be mounted through fiber glass roofs. However, the presence of fiber glass will not degrade the performance of 800/1900 MHz "On-Glass" antennas.
Q: Does it make a difference if it is mounted on a corner as opposed to the center of the glass?
A: The optimal location for pattern symmetry is near the center of the roofline. If the installation requires mounting to the corner, there should not be significant performance degradation. Always install the antenna as high on the glass as possible.
Q: What difference does it make if an "On-Glass" antenna is mounted on the front or back window?
A: "On-Glass" antennas are specifically designed for tempered automobile glass, which has a nominal thickness of 5/32". Front windshield glass is a laminated safety glass, which is thicker and causes some degradation to the VSWR match. Expect a VSWR match to be nominally 2:1.
Q: How much does window tint on a vehicle really effect a glass mount antenna?
A: OEM window tints vary widely, and most have been found to be acceptable based upon final installations. Ford Instaclear is a product that is known to degrade performance. Any after-market tint should absolutely be trimmed away before the "On-Glass" installation.
Q: How much effect does the inner shielding have on the cable loss, when terminating a connector?
A: The difference between standard RG-58/U and low loss, double-shielded
RG-58/U type cables:
  • RG-58/U @ 900 MHz – 14.5 dB/100’
  • RG-58/U Low Loss @ 900 MHz – 12.5 dB/100’
  • Difference for a 15’ installation = 0.3 dB
  • RG-58/U @ 2000 MHz – 24.2 dB/100’
  • RG-58/U Low Loss @ 2000 MHz – 20.0 dB/100’
  • Difference for a 15’ installation = 0.63 dB
Q: What if any loss of performance can be expected from using a 1/4 wave antenna compared to a standard 3 dB gain antenna?
A: For urban areas with dense cell coverage and high multi-path, very little to none. For rural areas with fewer cell sites and greater distance between them, it becomes essential. The difference in performance for a typical installation relies on the antenna’s ability to clear the roofline and provide line-of-sight signal from the vehicle to the cell site, and its ability to focus the energy along the horizon for maximum range.
Q: Some glass mount antennas have tuning ports on the inside coupler. Are we allowed to tune these or should we leave them alone?
A: Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and instructions. A/S does not have a tunable coupler for 800/1900 MHz.

Q: Does A/S make dual band 1/4-wave antennas?
A: Antenna Specialists does not currently offer a dual band -wave antenna. Dual Band -wave antennas will not meet the need or expectation for quality service in the various coverage areas of the US.
Q: Why are there not tunable antennas to compensate for various glass types?
A: Tunable antennas add components, cost and increase the potential for mechanical/electrical noise. Tempered glass is the primary glass used in the automotive market, and is therefore the preferred choice for installation.
Q: Are there A/S after-market 1/4-wave antennas available?
A: Yes, for 800 MHz antennas. "On-Glass" APD826/827. Roof Mount ASP-1810/1815.
Q: Which cars have OEM tint that affects glass mount antenna performance?
A: Ford InstaClear is the only known glass that will not permit "On-Glass" installations. Antenna Specialists further recommends not to install any "On-Glass" antenna over after-market tint. Remove the tint from the desired installation area before installing the antenna.
Q: Can I mount an "On-Glass" antenna on glass treated with Rain-X?
A: No. Chemical properties of Rain-X reduce the holding ability of the adhesive tape used to mount "On-Glass" antennas by over 50%. If Rain-X, or another acidified alcohol surface treatment, has been applied to the glass, it must be removed from the mounting area. We recommend Bon Ami cleanser or Ultra Brite flouride toothpaste.
Q: I live in the Southwestern United States where winters are fairly mild. Do I still have to follow the cold weather "On-Glass" installation tips?
A: Most definitely! Cold weather is considered any temperature below 60 F (16 C). If either the temperature of the glass or the adhesive pad is below 60 F (16 C), the glass should be heated with a blow dryer and the adhesive pad should be warmed in a heated room for several minutes.
Q: I am an installer. Every July and August, I have problems with "On-Glass" antennas falling off of cars? What is wrong with the product?
A: There is nothing wrong with the product. You just have to remember to make sure the surface of the glass is not wet prior to installation. The high humidity of the summers is most likely causing a bit of dampness on the glass. We recommend installing the antenna in an air-conditioned garage bay. If this is not possible, please be sure to use a blow dryer to remove any excess moisture from the glass.

Make sure the perimeter liner tape is removed from the exterior foot and that there are no air bubbles or openings in the perimeter seal.

Also, installation instructions state you should mount the exterior part of the antenna first, then the interior. This will allow more curing time for the exterior. Remember that it is best to mount the antenna first, then install the phone or car kit. This allows the more curing time to occur before the car is driven.

Q: Oops! I did not mount my new dual band "On-Glass" antenna in the correct location. Can I just peel it off and move it over slightly?
A: Unfortunately not. The dual band "On-Glass" antenna series can only be mounting once. Please be sure to use the template to locate the correct mounting location the first time. If needed, replacement bases (KAV392)and couplers (KAV393) are available.
Q: Help! I am a new installer and don't have much experience with installing antennas. Where can I get some help?
A: Just call the Antenna Specialists Sales Department or your local Manufacturers Representative to schedule an AirTime class. This course is geared toward providing basic antenna knowledge for installers as well as Customer Care and Sales staff.
Q: Will cutting the cable during installation of an "On-Glass" antenna require retuning of the coupling box?
A: No, it won't. Antenna Specialists patented solid state coupling box allows the cable to be shortened during installation with no retuning needed. This is not the case with other brands of glass mount antennas.
Q: Any quick tips for installing "On-Glass" antennas?
A: Sure, just be sure to do the following:
1) Install on a clean surface
2) Install on a dry surface
3) Install on glass that is at least 60 F (16 C)
And do NOT do this:
1) Install outside in inclement conditions
2) Install without checking for good contact
3) Install using adhesive tape stored at cold temperatures
Q: Will an "On-Glass" antenna work on an Insta-Clear windshield?
A: Unfortunately not. Insta-Clear windows have metallic content. Part of the operating principal of "On-Glass" antennas is that they do not conduct through metal.




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