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Ham radio antenna mount options w/ tonneau cover, not hood mounted

Discussion in '3rd Gen. Tacomas (2016+)' started by Metalnut, Feb 25, 2018.

  1. Feb 25, 2018 at 1:38 PM
    #1
    Metalnut

    Metalnut [OP] In My Kingdom Cold

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    Hey all,

    I want to install a mobile 144/440 ham radio in my Taco, but I'm having trouble finding a suitable antenna mount. I've read a lot of threads but not all talk about 3rd gen, and not all take into account bed covers. So basically I have a bed cover that I'd like to keep, and I am not fond of mounting the antenna up front in a ditch light location, partially because it'd bug me to see it, and partially because I'd like to keep the RF further away from my face. I also can't get myself to drill a hole in the roof, despite that being the best location.

    I've looked at the Rago Fabrications tailgate mount and I don't think I have the clearance for it, I need to verify. I know C4 made a similar bracket for a while, but had issues with clearances and movement. So, what are my other options?

    I'm actually getting to the point where a magnet-mounted roof antenna isn't out of the question.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Feb 25, 2018 at 1:54 PM
    #2
    PB FAB

    PB FAB Well-Known Member

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    SC4333 likes this.
  3. Feb 25, 2018 at 1:58 PM
    #3
    Marbleyard

    Marbleyard Thread killer

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  4. Feb 25, 2018 at 2:00 PM
    #4
    Traegermaster

    Traegermaster Well-Known Member

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    BAMF had antenna mounts as well
     
  5. Feb 25, 2018 at 2:04 PM
    #5
    crazysccrmd

    crazysccrmd Well-Known Member

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    I have an MFJ-1729 magnetic on the roof of my 2nd gen. It works well, haven’t had any problems with clarity on transmit or receive. It’s also cheap so when it gets knocked off by a branch on the trail and then run over it doesn’t hurt too bad.

    https://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/5385
     
  6. Feb 25, 2018 at 3:55 PM
    #6
    Metalnut

    Metalnut [OP] In My Kingdom Cold

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    That looks promising but that hole is really small. I don't think it'll fit the proper connectors?

    For 2nd gen only :(

    Yeah, I've been reading some reviews of the magnetic antennas, that's why I think it's a decent backup plan.
     
  7. Feb 25, 2018 at 4:03 PM
    #7
    YotalikesTacos

    YotalikesTacos Big Sexy Trail Limo

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    I installed the Rago mount today. It rubbed a little bit but I just pulled on it towards the driver side and it clears fine now. I’m reall happy with it.
     
  8. Feb 25, 2018 at 4:05 PM
    #8
    Rujack

    Rujack Well-Known Member

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    You’ll get a more symmetrical toroid w a mag mount on the roof than mounted to a bed rail. You also might find that tour antenna couples to the pillar if you mount to close to the cab. FWIW
     
  9. Feb 25, 2018 at 4:09 PM
    #9
    Metalnut

    Metalnut [OP] In My Kingdom Cold

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    Do you have any pictures? And how big is the hole for the actual antenna mounting? Meaning, what connectors will fit?

    Yeah, I'm keeping that in the back of my mind. The issue I have is that if I have to take off the antenna (I sometimes park in low downtown garages), it'll be hard-wired into the cab and I won't have many options as to what do with it while the car is moving in the garage. I'd still like to go under-and-into the cab as opposed to going through a window or door seal. I suppose I could unscrew the antenna itself in those cases.

    Edit: I just realized that Comet makes some mag mounts intended for just that, nice.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2018
  10. Feb 25, 2018 at 4:33 PM
    #10
    YotalikesTacos

    YotalikesTacos Big Sexy Trail Limo

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    I ran the cable by removing the tail light. There’s a space right below the mount that you can use. I didn’t have to drill.

    757CD7F8-2365-42C8-A6B7-2D24CF89B404.jpg
    73847525-3E36-4B29-B356-3DFF84D936E4.jpg
     
  11. Feb 25, 2018 at 4:55 PM
    #11
    Metalnut

    Metalnut [OP] In My Kingdom Cold

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    That looks great! I routed my diff breather hose behind the tail light, so I'm familiar with that space. But I meant how big is the hole in the bracket itself? What stud/adapter did you use?

    Thanks! This is very promising.
     
  12. Feb 25, 2018 at 5:00 PM
    #12
    Rujack

    Rujack Well-Known Member

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    I made this one for my 10m/11m antenna out of some aluminum I had lying around. I was looking for something like Yotalikestacos has but couldn’t find it...that one looks nice.

    Edit: just realized something like mine won’t work with a tonneau
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2018
  13. Feb 25, 2018 at 5:21 PM
    #13
    YotalikesTacos

    YotalikesTacos Big Sexy Trail Limo

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  14. Feb 25, 2018 at 5:28 PM
    #14
    Metalnut

    Metalnut [OP] In My Kingdom Cold

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    Thanks guys, this is all very helpful. I think I may try the Rago mount and see how it goes, worst case I'm out $50 and will go with a magmount.

    I'm not sure the Rago is properly grounded, though. I'm guessing scraping some of the paint off and running a ground wire would improve things?
     
  15. Feb 25, 2018 at 5:39 PM
    #15
    Doc's Rig

    Doc's Rig Your opinion is not statistically significant

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    Fab your own, that's what I did. It's painted black now.

    Screenshot_20171203-052058_zps6jtqmr64_e7b39c2340af183ca014dd9aca84ad0ce072517c.jpg

    Screenshot_20171203-052038_zps6nr0flxu_fd0551c83d9acdf9f173fd27bd31f297dbacccaf.jpg
     
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  16. Oct 11, 2018 at 7:39 AM
    #16
    Trouble_The_Tacoma

    Trouble_The_Tacoma KI5BWY

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    I couldn't imagine your SWR being great in that location.
     
  17. Oct 11, 2018 at 7:47 AM
    #17
    Doc's Rig

    Doc's Rig Your opinion is not statistically significant

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    [​IMG]
     
  18. Oct 11, 2018 at 7:48 AM
    #18
    Trouble_The_Tacoma

    Trouble_The_Tacoma KI5BWY

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    I'll be damned. I'm trying to figure out how I want to setup my Ham in my truck. Just passed my test and anxiously waiting for my callsign. Been 19 days since I took the test.......
     
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  19. Oct 11, 2018 at 8:09 AM
    #19
    vicali

    vicali tirekicker

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    I went with the standard industry mount; This is my old 2nd gen but it's in the same place on the 2017 now..
    [​IMG]
     
  20. Oct 11, 2018 at 8:20 AM
    #20
    kbp810

    kbp810 Well-Known Member

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    Remember you need a ground plane, not an electrical ground. Just scrapping paint off the mount probably won't help much; but if it needs a little help, running a wide ground strap from the mount down to the frame might do the trick.

    I've ran a 2m/70cm from a ditch light bracket for quite a while now; never had problems communicating. and could talk to a buddy around 10 miles away (with houses, building, and trees in between) without problem. Now I have it on a bed rail just behind my cab, with the same experience. I'm pretty much just using mine for trail comms though, and the occasional morning chat on local repeaters.

    Roof mount is ideal, but not a good option for me as I do a lot of trail riding, and we tend to run into a lot of tight trails and low hanging branches.
     

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