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Ham radio antenna install location questions

Discussion in 'Technical Chat' started by jbaird22, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. Feb 27, 2013 at 9:09 PM
    #1
    jbaird22

    jbaird22 [OP] Active Member

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    I recently got my tech ticket. I'm shopping around for a 2m or maybe a 2m/70cm radio and antenna. I've found a lot of radios and antenna combos but my question is about mounting and antenna efficiency. I have read a lot of threads where guys are encouraged to "drill the hole" and I'm not entirely opposed to it, but I'm considering other locations as well. I see a lot of antennas mounted on fenders, by beds, etc. How efficient are these locations? Should I just bite the bullet and drill the hole?
     
  2. Feb 28, 2013 at 10:23 AM
    #2
    silver taco

    silver taco Well-Known Member

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    I mounted mine with a bracket to the bedrail of the truck. There are gommets that on the back of the cab. You can run the cable through there.
     
  3. Feb 28, 2013 at 10:31 AM
    #3
    SoCaltaco65

    SoCaltaco65 Well-Known Member

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    Just purchase a Comet magnet base that uses a NMO style threaded connector, this way you can run 4 different manufactures antennas in a wide array of single and multi band configurations, the Coax is thin enough to sneak under the door sill.

    I have had this set up with no issues for 2 years now, and when I need to take the antenna off I pull it and or pull the mag too and throw in the bed.

    if you want good effective range/receive then the roof is the best place.
     
  4. Feb 28, 2013 at 10:38 AM
    #4
    SoCaltaco65

    SoCaltaco65 Well-Known Member

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  5. Feb 28, 2013 at 10:42 AM
    #5
    MonkeyProof

    MonkeyProof Power Top

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    Drill and install a NMO type through the roof, very easy to do and if done properly it will not leak.
     
  6. Feb 28, 2013 at 10:56 AM
    #6
    jbaird22

    jbaird22 [OP] Active Member

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    I should've specified I didn't want a mag mount just because I don't trust magnets to hold on. Where I live it is very windy, add that to driving in the wind and I don't trust it. At work we had a mag mounted license plate reader camera that came unmounted at about 80mph. I don't want my antenna to have the same results.

    For those that mount near the bed, do you have a metal bed or composite bed? For info my truck is an 2008 access cab.

    Thanks for the replies.
     
  7. Feb 28, 2013 at 11:18 AM
    #7
    Monkeyboy

    Monkeyboy Well-Known Member

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    For 2m/70cm it doesn't matter too much. Those frequencies don't require as large a ground plane. It's just not as fussy.

    An NMO through the roof is probably the best solution. Second to that is a hood lip mount. It should work acceptably pretty much anywhere you put it though.
     
  8. Feb 28, 2013 at 1:20 PM
    #8
    H0LLYW00D

    H0LLYW00D Well-Known Member

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    To many to list here, see my build info on my website.
    I currently have mine mounted between the bed and the cab on a custom bracket mounted to the rear track rails. They fold when not in use and have small custom support arms to remove some of the weight from the antenna hinges. They however will be moving possibly to the roof on a motorized mount, still need to work that part out as i need to know if moving them a few feet higher will make it worth the work in the end, otherwise they will stay in that location but have motorized mounts as its kind of a pain to raise and lower by hand twice a day, specially on short trips.
     
  9. Mar 3, 2013 at 1:10 PM
    #9
    jbaird22

    jbaird22 [OP] Active Member

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    For those that have used NMO mounts on their Tacomas, what was involved in getting it mounted and running the coax? How much coax was needed? I am looking at either using a 2m single band non remote mount or a 2m/70cm remote mount rig. There arent any radio shops local to me so finding and acquiring parts is going to be done online.

    Thanks and 73s
     
  10. Mar 3, 2013 at 1:18 PM
    #10
    MonkeyProof

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    I bought a Larsen NMO kit and used whatever length that came with it. I have plenty leftover.
    I ran the coax across the roof, down the door pillar and then across the floor to the center console and then up to the dash.
     
  11. Mar 4, 2013 at 10:23 AM
    #11
    jbaird22

    jbaird22 [OP] Active Member

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    Where did you mount your radio? Thanks for the response!
     
  12. Mar 4, 2013 at 10:32 AM
    #12
    MonkeyProof

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    I mounted a yaesu FT2800m in the stock stereo location using a double din thingy..

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Mar 4, 2013 at 10:40 AM
    #13
    PreRunnerSeth

    PreRunnerSeth Well-Known Member

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    Ugh, This is a VERY bad place to mount a Ham radio. Mobile ham radios generally put out as much as 50W depending on the setting. CBs only put out 4W and this is why they are ok to mount like this. A Ham radio operating at a reasonable duty cycle and 50W will get way too hot mounted like that. They need space around them to breathe. The Finals wont last long like this.

    *******Edit. and this particular radio does 65W on high.
     
  14. Mar 4, 2013 at 10:43 AM
    #14
    Manwithoutaplan

    Manwithoutaplan the full Monty

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    [​IMG]

    here is where i mounted my Ham icom8000.
     
  15. Mar 4, 2013 at 11:13 AM
    #15
    MonkeyProof

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    Thanks for the thought on where its mounted but its been here in this location since late 2008 with everyday use at full power. Never any problems so I'm not worried. I know the 2800 and 2900's have a problem with the power transistor blowing but I Havnt experienced that problem yet with either of my 2800's. I have another one similarly mounted on my rock crawler as well.
     
  16. Mar 4, 2013 at 11:54 AM
    #16
    BenMara

    BenMara Asian RedNeck

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    Last edited: Mar 4, 2013
  17. Mar 24, 2013 at 2:10 PM
    #17
    jbaird22

    jbaird22 [OP] Active Member

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    Manwithoutaplan- is that a full radio or is the face plate?

    I bought a kenwood tm-281a and a cheap l bracket and comet antenna. I got a Larsen NMO terminated cable. If I can't figure out a solid way to mount the antenna with the bracket, I can just punch a hole. Not excited about that though. I was thinking of making a custom mount for the L bracket and using the rail on the front of the bed.

    Does anyone know if the front cubby on the center console is removable? I was looking and it appears that may need to either be clearance or removed to get the radio to sit far enough back.
     
  18. Mar 24, 2013 at 9:48 PM
    #18
    BenMara

    BenMara Asian RedNeck

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    Manwithoutaplan rig is a IC-V8000 full radio in lower bucket.
     
  19. Mar 24, 2013 at 10:11 PM
    #19
    jbaird22

    jbaird22 [OP] Active Member

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    I didn't notice before, but his truck is a manual and mine is an automatic. I don't want to lose my cup holders in the front. I guess I'll have to mess with it when it gets here.
     
  20. Mar 24, 2013 at 11:36 PM
    #20
    Manwithoutaplan

    Manwithoutaplan the full Monty

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    correct.

    Full radio Pioneer

    CB cobra 19.
     
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