Power antennas are great. You can make them go up, and, well, down, and... well, they make the radio work. The radio's important so that you can listen to, uh, well, sometimes there's good music. Anyway, they're fun to watch, and I want to keep mine working.
When Nissan (or whoever Nissan handed the specs to) designed this specific antenna, they didn't bother to weatherproof it. Sure, the mechanism has a little spout at the bottom to let the rain out (which, if I lived in Seattle, or Florida, would be all it needed), but around here, moisture will pool in the housing during the day, then freeze at night. Then the nylon gear rack inside the antenna breaks into pieces and I have to tear it apart again.
So I got to thinking, and then to hacking. Here's what I came up with: the pop-bottle cap antenna protector. (Also my first instructable! And entered in the Transform It! challenge.)
(Disclaimer: Cut metal has sharp edges, and wire has a way of whipping around and poking you in the eye if you aren't careful. Bits of wire sometimes take flight when you cut them off. Work carefully.)
Check out the vid:
Step 1: What You Need
A bottle cap or two (beer caps are more fun to look at, I used an Izzie cap because it matched the truck)
The motor from a wind-up toy car (we need the steel spring inside; just hit it with a hammer and it'll come apart)
Wire (I used a tangle of aluminum wire I found beside the road; avoid wire that will rust)
(Optional) Turtle Wax and a rag
Something to mix the epoxy on, and with