Realistic radio antennas?

21 posts in this topic

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Has anyone come up with a realistic material for radio antennas? I've seen piano wire and pins used but they seem out of scale to me.

We need something rigid but thin. Any ideas? Please post pics if you can. Any help is appreciated.

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Posted · Report post

I've always used stretched sprue. I've tried piano wire, but if it ever gets bent its ruined.

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Posted · Report post

Have you tried guitar strings?

David G.

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Posted · Report post

I use acupuncture needles. To me they are exactly the right size, they are stiff enough and have a metal appearance.

59impala159.jpg

59impala144.jpg

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I use #12 guitar string with an O scale 1/2" nut w/4" cast iron washer from Grandt Line model railroad products for a base.

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I use the smallest size guitar string for my antennaes.

This is the only photo I have where you can see the antennae very well.

011-8_zps2a280daa.jpg

A little tip on installing antennaes: after you make your base, glue it to the body, then drill your hole through the base and the body. Allow the antennae to go through roughly 3 mms, then super glue it. After the super glue dries, bend it over and add more. This will make your antennae super solid and you'll never have to worry about it coming off.

Edited by plowboy

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Posted · Report post

I've used insect mounting pins, stretched sprue or stainless tube. Here's one with insect mounting pin.

DSCF2851_zps3f1560b4.jpg

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An insect mounting pin seems to be the easiest to use. Where might a fella locate some?

Plowboy, that sounds like sage advice, thanks very much.

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I used an insect mounting pin on my daughter's van and am really pleased with how it looks. The rounded end is very small on these pins. I don't remember the size I got, but am pretty sure it's the smallest.

ReneesVanDSC_1054_zps14530875.jpg

It's a little bent over in that photo but It's back vertical now. That's whats nice about them .. they are flexible but can be just bent back in place. I used CA as plowboy recommends..

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An insect mounting pin seems to be the easiest to use. Where might a fella locate some?

I ordered some from Indigo Instruments .

100 each - size # 000 for $ 5.85

or

10 each - sizes # 000 thru # 7 for $ 6.45

Size # 000 is 0.10 " diameter and is perfect for antennae .

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I found the insect mounting pins on Amazon too. I'll order a few other things to make it worth the shipping. Thanks much guys.

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The beauty of guitar string is that it isn't rigid so if you knock it of squish it with a box lid it wont permanently bend out of shape.

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Where would you get acupuncture needles??

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Would some one who uses the guitar string please let us know what size and how much we might expect to pay for one?

Since we seem to have a lot of interest, we may as well get all the info out on the table.

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You can get the High "E" string for any electric guitar. These range from .005 to.010 in diameter. A guitar string could cost as little as $.50 to $1.50 depending on where you get them. Also most strings are over 36 inches long, so 1 could yield many cars worth. I have also found these in corner drugstores for a full set only costing $4.50, and the larger sizes have a wrap around them, could be used for brake lines and simulated braided lines.

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Would some one who uses the guitar string please let us know what size and how much we might expect to pay for one?

Since we seem to have a lot of interest, we may as well get all the info out on the table.

I'm not a guitar player so I can't say what sizes. But I bought a pack of different sizes and best I can remember they were less than $10 . but to be honest that was over 15 years ago

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Would some one who uses the guitar string please let us know what size and how much we might expect to pay for one?

Since we seem to have a lot of interest, we may as well get all the info out on the table.

Go back to post #5 Rob and I use a # 12 guitar string for my antennas and also to "pin" parts such as side view mirrors. I believe I only paid about a dollar for the string, no more than $1.50 and there's plenty so only buy one.

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Posted · Report post

For those using guitar string antennas .. what do you use for the ball end? or just leave it as is?

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Posted (edited) · Report post

For those using guitar string antennas .. what do you use for the ball end? or just leave it as is?

Mike for the ball end of the antenna, you can use a very tiny drop of epoxy, and then when it's thoroughly dry, paint it silver. I like my epoxy to "set up" a bit. Put it on too soon, and it can tend to "droop" over the end.

It doesn't show up well, but you can see the top of the antennas on the '49 Merc and Turbine car that I did. Also there's a pic of what I used for the base on the Mercury. Yes, I used guitar string, but I also used M.A.S.'s stainless steel tubing to represent the telescoping feature of most antennas.

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Hope this helps!

Edited by MrObsessive

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