How to Determine Which Roof Mount Antenna is Right For You

Posted by STI-CO® Antenna Solutions on 19th Apr 2023

If you’re in the process of deciding what kind of antenna is the right fit for you, you probably already know how many factors play into finding the right one.

At STI-CO®, we’ve been making and providing antennas for over fifty years, and in that time we’ve come to have a deep understanding of how the placement of different antennas will impact its functionality.

In this article, we’ll break roof antenna placement down into three simple areas: the green zone, the yellow zone, and the red zone. By the end of the article, you’ll have a better understanding of how each works, how, and which is best for your needs.

First, we’ll break down the green zone placement.

Green Zone Antenna Roof Placement

The green zone at a glance:

  • Free of obstructions
  • Easy to access
  • Simple to install

What is the green zone for a roof antenna?

Ideally, the antenna would be mounted on top of the vehicle. That's the best location for the antenna because there's protection. It's high up on the vehicle and there should be little to no interference with the antenna pattern, allowing for a good directional signal.

While most customers tend to want something in the green zone, there are still a few things to consider: is it a leased vehicle, and is the antenna only for temporary use? If they have to turn the vehicle back in, the recommendation is not to go for the best, green zone antenna, as you will not be able to easily remove it.

Yellow Zone Antenna Roof Placement

Yellow Zone Antennas for Leased Cars

The yellow zone at a glance:

  • Some obstructions
  • Easy to install
  • Semi-covert

What is the yellow zone for a roof antenna?

A yellow zone antenna is a semi-discrete antenna that is actually mounted inside the vehicle to still provide a great antenna pattern that will overcome some obstruction issues with those antennas.

When considering a yellow zone antenna, it’s important to keep in mind that there is going to be some interference from pillars, because the antenna is on the inside of the vehicle. Additionally, if this is a leased or temporary use vehicle, a yellow zone antenna can be transferred out of the vehicle using a drill.

Red Zone Antenna Roof Placement

Red Zone Antenna Roof Placement

The red zone at a glance:

  • Large Obstruction (vehicle)
  • Difficult Install (usually requires 2 antennas and splitter)
  • Very Covert

What is the red zone for a roof antenna?

The red zone is for antennas that are installed underneath the vehicle.

It's difficult to install, and therefore you should anticipate some interference with the antenna. In the red zone, we have antennas that might be underneath the bumper in some situations, or maybe the license plate. Unfortunately, in the red zone, we still have the infrastructure in the ground below you and may not perform as well as intended, or as well as it would when it's higher on the vehicle.

Which antenna zone is right for you?

While this depends on every individual use, there are a few consistencies that will help decide which placement is right for you.

  • Are driving a leased car that will need to be returned? A yellow zone placement would be right for you, as those can be easily removed using basic tools.
  • Are looking for something extremely covert, with no markings? A red zone placement would be best for you.
  • Are looking for the highest frequency, best performing antenna? A green zone placement would be the best fit for you.

[Ready to pursue an antenna project? We’d love to work with you! Click here to request an inquiry from our sales team and someone will reach out to you as soon as possible.]