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Ham Radio Antenna Install

Discussion in '3rd Gen. Tacomas (2016+)' started by cheuer, May 18, 2016.

  1. May 18, 2016 at 8:05 AM
    #1
    cheuer

    cheuer [OP] Well-Known Member

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    OEM Tonneau, Mobtown Offroad Sliders
    Ok, I finally took some pics so I could post a write-up of this antenna install. Here's what I'm using, with links to where I purchased them:
    I had originally bought a different cable assembly that came with everything, and the UHF version of the antenna instead of NMO, but I didn't realize how small the mounting hole on the bracket was (3/8"), so instead of drilling that out I returned those items and bought the NMO antenna and another cable assembly that fits a 3/8" hole. . .but it didn't work with the thick bracket (3/16"). I then bought the NMO mount separately on eBay because it stated that it worked on surfaces from 3/16" to 1/4", and the UHF connectors because the cable assembly I bought actually didn't come with one. . .

    Long story short, make sure that you check both the hole size and the thickness of the bracket you intend to mount on before buying the mount. I'm sure that someone sells a cable assembly that fits the bill, but since I already had the cable (and didn't want to pay return shipping to HRO again), I just bought new connectors.

    So here's the install:

    I started by putting on the hood bracket and noticed it was sitting pretty far forward, so I threw the mounting end into a vise and hauled on it to bend it back, then put it on the hood again to check, then bent it again. I ended up with it being just slightly too far back, which I'm currently living with.

    Hood bracket installed, I added the mount:

    IMG_20160518_073132.jpg

    The cable runs into the hood next to the bracket, and I added a zip tie here to make sure it stayed in place:

    IMG_20160518_073300.jpg

    The cable runs down the side of the bracket and into the hood cavity through here:

    IMG_20160518_073330.jpg

    Alternate view:

    IMG_20160518_073313.jpg

    This big rubber grommet seemed nice to run the cable through. I'm not sure what these nipples are for, but after snipping one off it worked quite well:

    IMG_20160518_073436.jpg

    Here's where it comes out far up inside the passenger footwell. I ran the cable behind the carpet:

    IMG_20160518_073638.jpg

    You can see the cable in the upper left where it comes out from behind the carpet and into the center console area:

    IMG_20160518_073711.jpg

    To take off the center console, push down on the plastic at the top of the boot around the shifter to pop it off, then take off the shifter knob by unscrewing it. Open the console box, then pull up right at this spot. There are no screws that you need to undo, it's all just clips:

    2016-05-18 08_47_58-IMG_20160518_073935.jpg

    (If I ever have to take it off again, I'll add a pic with it removed, but I did this install at night and didn't take any pics at the time)

    I routed the cable through the center console and stuck it out here, then cut it off and soldered on the connector, leaving about 1.5' of cable:

    IMG_20160518_074026.jpg

    From there I use an adapter like this one to connect to a handheld transceiver for now, while planning to buy a mobile transceiver to mount in the truck somewhere. There's enough cable that I could mount it under the seat, under the dash or on the side of the center console, depending on what I end up getting.

    Here's a few more pics of the mount with the antenna on at various angles. So far I'm very pleased with the result.

    IMG_20160518_074106.jpg

    IMG_20160518_074117.jpg
    You can see in this one that it's leaning a little far back. I'll bend it forwards again someday:

    IMG_20160518_074147.jpg

    And finally, the action shot:

    IMG_20160514_133037.jpg
     
  2. May 18, 2016 at 8:10 AM
    #2
    Crom

    Crom Outside

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    Very good. :)
     
    cheuer [OP] likes this.
  3. May 18, 2016 at 8:16 AM
    #3
    cllowe24

    cllowe24 Well-Known Member

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    Billstines with 885 coils 2”aal Lce header, pro dry drop in filter, charcoal filter removal, light bar in grill, ditch lights, yaesu dual band radio, and a bunch of other junk
    Looks good. How is the rx and tx? I thought of using the same mount but wanted the antenna above my roof line.
     
  4. May 18, 2016 at 9:08 AM
    #4
    cheuer

    cheuer [OP] Well-Known Member

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    OEM Tonneau, Mobtown Offroad Sliders
    It sounded fine to me, and the other station I was talking to said she could hear me fine. I don't have anything to measure it with, unfortunately. We've been pretty casual ham users, really only using simplex frequencies when offroad and mostly using HTs, so getting the antenna mounted externally in any form is a huge boost. I just couldn't stomach the thought of drilling into the roof.
     
    Tullie D likes this.
  5. May 18, 2016 at 9:29 AM
    #5
    TheTruffleShuffle

    TheTruffleShuffle Member

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    Great write-up, thanks for posting this!
     
    cheuer [OP] likes this.
  6. May 18, 2016 at 10:40 AM
    #6
    cllowe24

    cllowe24 Well-Known Member

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    No drill. Mounted on door

    image.jpg
     
    Caliph420, the glen and Crom like this.
  7. May 18, 2016 at 11:07 AM
    #7
    cheuer

    cheuer [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, but then I'd worry about the kids getting in and out and slamming the door.

    Sent from my Oneplus One
     
  8. May 18, 2016 at 1:08 PM
    #8
    Woodrow F Call

    Woodrow F Call Kindling crackles and the smoke curls up...

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    Nice.... now where is the radio?
     
  9. May 18, 2016 at 2:16 PM
    #9
    cheuer

    cheuer [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Yet to come, still considering options but I have an old Vertex HT to fall back on until then.

    Sent from my Oneplus One
     
  10. May 18, 2016 at 6:56 PM
    #10
    Tarheel54

    Tarheel54 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, after literally thousands of land mobile radio installs I have done something doesn't look freaken right to me. Maybe I should cross my eyes to see but it looks like the antenna is going to smack the window every time you pop the hood. I'll be honest haven't really looked in depth at mounting a antenna for a mobile radio on my truck because after working on all types of radio systems all day the last thing I want to muck with is the same for me but seems to me a simple L bracket would fit the bill mounted on fender side. No? Google Tessco and see what they offer.
     
  11. May 18, 2016 at 7:05 PM
    #11
    Sep1911

    Sep1911 Well-Known Member

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    Copy cat.
     
  12. May 18, 2016 at 7:50 PM
    #12
    cheuer

    cheuer [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Nope, with the hood all the way up the antenna doesn't hit the windshield, the hinge isn't right at the edge of the hood but farther back so it doesn't tilt as much as you'd think.
     
  13. May 19, 2016 at 2:43 AM
    #13
    FoleySwampPlotts

    FoleySwampPlotts Well-Known Member

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    '16 Tacoma- Avid side steps, LED interior lighting, yaesu ft-2900R VHF radio (KD8EHC), dog box, Garmin Alpha, Plott Hounds Wife's rig '12 Rav4 4x4 4cyl.... its a cupcake, but a damn good runner
  14. May 29, 2016 at 7:37 AM
    #14
    smirk

    smirk Well-Known Member

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    I like this mount. I wish Relentless made it for 1st gens. Looks like it provides a bit more ground plane (maybe negligible though?) than the CBI ditch light bracket that is available.

    I might have to DIY something similar.
     
    cheuer [OP] likes this.
  15. Nov 2, 2016 at 7:55 PM
    #15
    jkcashin

    jkcashin Well-Known Member

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    Just got this very same mount! Woohoo!
     
  16. Nov 2, 2016 at 11:51 PM
    #16
    cheuer

    cheuer [OP] Well-Known Member

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  17. Nov 4, 2016 at 9:16 PM
    #17
    jkcashin

    jkcashin Well-Known Member

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  18. Jan 8, 2017 at 6:26 PM
    #18
    Joe23

    Joe23 Canuckistikian

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    Check build thread
    what mount is this
     
  19. Jan 8, 2017 at 7:14 PM
    #19
    cllowe24

    cllowe24 Well-Known Member

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    It's a brc mount
     
  20. Jan 8, 2017 at 7:27 PM
    #20
    Joe23

    Joe23 Canuckistikian

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    Check build thread
    Never heard of them. Got a website? Stuff I'm seeing on Google seems more like TV antenna mounts
     

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