Antenna Adapters

Many automakers have unique antenna cable connectors attached to the end of their antenna cables which plug into their radios. However, these unique connectors will NOT fit into new

replacement radios. So what do you do when the antenna cable connector does not fit into your new replacement radio. Simple, you add a specialty “antenna adapter” cable to convert the automakers un ique antenna cable connector over to a standard connector that will plug into a new radio.

These “antenna adapters” are small jumper cables, usually less than 6 inches in length. One end of the “antenna adapter” will be designed to plug into the automakers unique antenna cable connector, and the other end has a standard antenna cable connector designed to work with all new replacement radios.

Does Your Vehicle Need An “Antenna Adapter” ?

General Motors starting during the 1989 production year: General Motors started to use a “miniature” version of the standard antenna cable connector for the 1989 and new production models. If you vehicle is a 1989 or 1990, there is a really good chance your vehicle needs an antenna adapter. If you vehicle was built after 1990, you are almost assured you will need a GM antenna adapter.

Nissans typically from the early to mid 1980’s up to the early to mid 1990’s: Nissan designed their vehicles with (2) antennas for many of their vehicles. The primary antenna was a standard mast antenna found on all vehicles, but the second antenna was sometime built into either the front or rear windshield. Even Nissan vehicles that did not have a second antenna did have a unique antenna cable connector at the radio so these vehicles also need a Nissan “antenna adapter”. This design from Nissan was called the “DIVERSITY ANTENNA” and may be seen printed on some Nissan radios. The adapter for these is called a “NISSAN DIVERSITY antenna adapter”.

Volkswagons typically after the late 1980’s: Volkswagon uses a unique antenna cable for (2) antenna types. Although the connector that plugs into the VW radio is exactly the same, there are (2) different antenna adapters required for different vehicles.

Roof mounted VW antennas: these antennas are “amplified” antennas with built in electronics to amplify the AM/FM reception. Because of this, VW added a power wire built into the antenna cable to “turn on/off” the amplified antenna when the VW radio is turned on/off. There is a special antenna adapter needed for these roof mounted antennas. The required antenna adapter will have electronics built into the rear of the antenna adapter to turn on/off the VW amplified antenna on top of the vehicle.

Front hood or trunk mounted mast antennas: these VW antennas are standard, non amplified antennas. These antennas also use the unique connector attached to the end of the antenna cable, but no additional wires are needed since these antennas are not amplified.


GM 1989 and newer vehicles


Nissan “Diversity” antennas



Volkswagon Standard antennas and roof mounted amplified antennas



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              by The Install Doctor