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*Premium Member
2005 SLK55 AMG
Joined
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1,543 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So here I go again with another of my DY mods. I’m calling this Homelink/DAB antenna since this may attract attention to those who have given up trying to remove the Homelink console thing, and there are quite a few in the records. You will see in my pictures (metal clip in the foreground) the tools I used in my endeavours and in the end it was the hacksaw I resorted to and literally sawed the plastic protrusion holding the clip in 2 minutes flat! ! I don’t know quite why this console should need two bolts as well as a rather nasty strong metal clip but I know I got to the point of being perilously close to breaking the windscreen and or rear view mirror (which also would not budge) just to unclip the thing. Anyway, refitted the console is none the less secure and I have my antenna fitted!

As anyone who knows me will know, I have an Android head unit with a fine pictorial DAB and FM tuner but, these R171s were not really designed for a decent DAB aerial. I tried the stick on windscreen and then an adapter kit which connects to the OEM aerial via the Fakra. The latter gave a slight improvement in signal but DAB was feeble and FM practically non-existent! I bought a cheap magnetic aerial and experimented in different positions around the car. The trunk/boot was not as good a signal as the roof and although later cars have a Sharkfin here, I didn’t want to drill a conspicuous hole right in the middle of the lid. So the ideal place was on the roof and the only part of the roof that it could possibly go was above the windscreen. I admit it was a drastic and irreversible contemplation but, having managed to remove the Homelink/lighting console, I bit the bullet.

The exterior panel is extremely thick for obvious reasons and drilling was something of a nightmare. With the roof open, standing on the seat and using various drill bits and a cone bit, at one stage I felt like giving up but I had got to the point of no return so I needed to finish the task! The inside panel was less of a chore but needed a larger hole to accommodate the bolt and socket piece to tighten it. The existing square hole where the metal clip lodged is too far forward for the base of the aerial to sit centrally. All exposed metal was primed except the inside where the base of the antenna needs a clean earth point. It ain't pretty but what the eye don't see the heart won't grieve as they say. I have seen a number of drophead cars with antennas in this position and I don’t see any issues with metal fatigue since as we know, these cars are built like tanks anyhow.

There are a number of antennas out there which combine FM and DAB and they range in price from about £30 to over £100. Frankly they all look the same and I’m pretty sure they are all from the same manufacturer but branded differently. I chose the Eightwood which I bought thru Amazon.

Running the wires down the A pillar to the footwell where all the connections are was a doddle once I had removed the panelling and I threw in a cabin filter change while I was down there. I wanted the antenna to look as stock as possible so over several days I meticulously primed, painted and lacquered the base in body colour Iridium Silver. Because the roof line is slightly curved, I needed to use a layer of 6mm weatherproof closed loop adhesive foam between the base of the antenna and the roof which works fine. Eightwood recommend using grease to seal the bolt which I did as an added precaution.

Results, if I say so myself are spectacular! Before, I could really only get a decent DAB signal from one BBC radio channel. Now I can get a fine selection of Rock, classical and news programs which I had previously given up on. The added bonus is that I also have a good selection of FM channels.

So there you go. Not for the feint hearted this one but well worth the effort. I dare say this mod could apply to other functions, maybe Sirius or aftermarket GPS antennas if that is what you need.

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**Premium Member 2014 SLK200
Joined
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3,610 Posts
Ohh, good work Maya.
Does that mean that you now have a working but redundant UK Homelinky unit thingy?
If so I would be interested.
 

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*Premium Member
2005 SLK55 AMG
Joined
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1,543 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Alas no. Never had the actual Homelink thing, just blanked off buttons. Could be a good idea tho 😎
 

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*Premium Member
2007 SLK55 AMG
Joined
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343 Posts
That's a bold and brave move! Well done mate, it looks factory fitted (y)

I have the sticky windscreen one and it works fine, but then again, I only listen to BBC Radio 2 👨‍🦳
 

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*Premium Member
2009 SLK350
Joined
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94 Posts
Nice job and quite brave. Thankfully my stick on DAB aerial works pretty much everywhere I've needed it so far.
 

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*Premium Member
2005 SLK55 AMG
Joined
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1,543 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for comments folks. The stick on jobby just wouldn't work for me. It could be where I live since it's very built up round here. Looking forward to my Lands End trip this summer where Pirate FM (on DAB?) should be loud and proud :p . Also it's great at last to have a full selection of FM stations!
 
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