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[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

Drilling Holes

from Alan Applegate, K0BG on March 20, 2009
View comments about this article!

"Editor's Note: Due to the popularity of some of eHam's older articles, many of which you may not have read, the eHam.net team has decided to rerun some of the best articles that we have received since eHam's inception. These articles will be reprinted to add to the quality of eHam's content and in a show of appreciation to the authors of these articles."





Drilling Holes

After many years of mobiling I still find it fascinating, almost irresistibly, and even mysterious. The ease of making international contacts with a minimum of radiated power remains a conundrum when compared with the typical non-mobilerís maze of amplifiers and high strung aluminum as any QRP operator can attest to.

I do not use the reference to QRP lightly, as the average mobile is more akin to QRP than the aforementioned QRO setup. This is because most mobile stations radiate only a fraction of their input power. There are many factors to this equation, and anyone who has read my previous installments here on eHam.net know most of them. One of the most important is proper mounting of your mobile antenna. Many amateurs shortcut this part of their mobile installation for all of the wrong reasons. And I want to address these reasons one by one.

Let me say from the outset that most of the following is slanted toward HF mobile operation, but the basics can be applied to VHF and UHF as well.

And Iím not going to be drawn into an argument about radiation angles, HAAT measurements, and other esoteric technical data. This is, after all, a discussion about drilling holes with a bent on getting the most out of your mobile. In other words, efficiency.

The average short, 80 through 15 meter HF mobile antenna (8 to 11 feet in length) exhibits a capacitive reactance of between 20 and 45 pf, some amount of radiation resistance, and other losses. Some form of coil cancels the reactive component and resonates the antenna on the frequency of choice. Below is a schematic of the average mobile antenna.

The nomenclature is as follows: -XA is the capacitive reactance of the antenna; +XL the inductive reactance which cancels -XA and brings the antenna into resonance; RL which is the resistive losses in the coil; RG which is the ground losses; RR the radiation loss; and CS which is the capacitive shunt losses. It is this latter loss weíre most concerned with here because it bypasses the radiation loss component of the antenna as can be easily seen by looking at the schematic above.

Contrary to popular convention, radiation resistance is a loss albeit desired. And it is the ratio of this loss with respect to the other losses which determine antenna efficiency.

We can control RL by using higher Q factor coils; we can control RG to some extend by selecting an advantageous mounting location; and we can control CS if we pay close attention not only to mounting position, but how we mount as well.

Below is a pictorial of a short mobile antenna showing the capacitive coupling which occurs. Less obvious is the shunt capacitance of the mount itself. Some recent authors suggest this loss equals 2 or 3 pf, but it can be much larger in value. While weíre on the subject, think about this: An 8 foot mobile antenna at 7.2 Mhz has a capacitance of Ň28 pf. If by poor mounting location and position we were to introduce 10 pf of stray (shunt) capacitance, our antenna efficiency would be cut by 35%. This is not rocket science, it is Ohmís law!

It may not be clear to all, but the most advantageous mounting position is in the middle of the top of the vehicle. The shunt capacitance to ground and to the body are at their lowest value, and if we use a good-quality, low loss ball mount, weíd have the ideal setup. There is a problem here at least in some localities because of overall antenna height. Out in the desert southwest where I live, overall heights up to 16 feet are mostly okay. On the eastern seaboard, even 11 feet can get you into trouble. Itís obvious then why lots of amateurs mount their antennas similar to the pictorial above. The problem is, however, this is the least efficient position in terms of RG and CS. "Well", they say, "this was the only way I could mount it without drilling holes in my lease vehicle." (Weíre getting closer to the truth of the title of this treatise.) Some amateurs bypass this (or so they think) by using a large magmount attached to the truck and maybe even the top of the vehicle. Aaaah, but magmounts add a large measure of CS unless they are well RF grounded which isnít always an easy task without drilling holes (weíre getting closer!).

So just what am I suggesting? First, select a position on your vehicle where the antenna (mast and especially the coil) is as clear of the vehicleís body as possible, where the overall height of the antenna is consistent with the environment where your principle driving is conducted, and mounted in such a way as to minimize stray capacitance. And keep in mind, a short antenna mounted on the roof just might be superior to a longer one mounted on the bumper, all else being equal. For those folks driving vans or pickups with camper shells, your best bet may be to mount the antenna at the front of the vehicle.

Now, Iím not naive and I do realize the complexities of mounting a 10 pound screwdriver antenna on the side of a vehicle made out of 16 or 18 gauge steel of questionable quality. Not all of us have this problem, but still choose to mount smaller antennas with all manner of truck lip mounts, and even CB-style license plate mounts. And all because we just wonít drill holes (Weíre here at the gist of it!)

I suspect I should have written a list of excuses and come up with a smartalic, terse, or inane answers. I chose not. But I have done my research and the following is a synopsis. I have purposely left out the actual names and locations for obvious reasons (advise of council), but after reading this information, you can check with your dealer for details with respect to leasing, trade in or other provisions or lack of them.

The most prevalent excuse is; It is a lease car and Iím forbidden to attach any permanently mounted antennas or drill any holes.

I have to date spoken with one owner, three sales managers, two lease managers, one used car sales manager, and one nonaffiliated appraiser. Theyíve encompassed one Mercury dealer, two Ford dealers, two Toyota dealers, one Chrysler dealer, and an independent insurance adjusting firm. Iíve read four different lease agreements. (One dealer wouldnít let me read a lease agreement unless I was going to lease a vehicle. Iím told this is against the law so beware of the dealer if this happens to you!)

Much to my surprise only Toyota has a lease provision which prohibits certain after-market devices from being installed in or on the vehicle. Antennas and radios were not specifically mentioned. The sales manager of the dealer in question is oddly enough, an amateur radio operator. He gave me a few statistics about his dealershipís lease program which may or may not correspond to your dealer. Some 76% of his lease cars are purchased by the lessee at the term of the lease, so drilling holes in this case is moot. Nearly all of the extra charges applied to turned in lease cars are due to excess mileage and excess interior wear. He couldnít remember if he ever added charges due to antenna holes. We looked at three recently turned in lease cars and one of them had a plug right in the middle of the trunk lid! His comment? "I didnít even see it until you mentioned it."

The owner of the Mercury dealer is a personal friend of mine whom Iíve known since high school. Their lease mentions over all appearance in specific terms, but he echoed the over mileage charges expressed by the Toyota sales manger. He did say heíd almost bet every vehicle heís ever taken back had at least a cell phone antenna on it.

One of the Ford dealerís salesmen asked me a question as I approached the front door. "How do you keep that thing (my antenna) from pulling a hole in your fender?" I told him I donít worry about such things as I know they have a good body shop. His unsolicited reply (honest to john), "Yeah, we fix lots of antenna holes especially on trucks and vans." His lease manager seemed unconcerned about antenna holes and more about the amount of manure they had to clean out of them (this is after all ranch country).

The most direct answer I got was from the Chrysler dealerís lease manager. "I donít give a damn about holes, antenna or otherwise. How it looks, how it was serviced, and how many miles are on it is what I look for."

Thus the answer here is, check with your dealer and reread your lease agreement. It just might not make any difference whether there is a hole or not.

The second most prevalent excuse is; My wife wonít let me drill holes in her car.

Well, if it is truly "her car", and sheís making the payments, I guess you have a valid excuse. Then my question is, why are you putting the rig in her car instead of yours? In my personal case, my wife married me knowing I was an amateur radio operator, and nowadays sheíll just have to put up with the clutter, holes, rigs, noise, dangling mic cords, etc. And if your wife is like mine, I have to swallow some of her idiosyncrasies, so turnabout is fair play. In all honesty, if it is a family vehicle and she says no, then you havenít presented your case correctly. And if she threatens divorce if you do so, then youíre destined for divorce anyway and you might as well get it over with.

The third most prevalent excuse is; Itíll reduce the trade in value.

Nowadays, a smokerís vehicle will reduce the trade value in much further than any antenna hole ever could. If youíre a smoker, youíre already down the tubes, so trade in value is moot.

The average trade in mileage of one owner vehicles (not including lease vehicles) is 68,000 for cars, and 107,000 for trucks. With this much mileage, theyíre going to the auto auction and not to the dealerís lot. Thus, this is not a valid excuse.

The fourth most prevalent excuse is: I just canít bear to drill a hole in my new car.

The answer is, bring it to me!

Alan Applegate, KōBG

Roswell, NM

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
 
Drilling Holes  
by K4MC on March 20, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Only the first hole in a new car hurts, and then only for a little while!

Wendell
K4MC
 
RE: Drilling Holes  
by AA4PB on March 20, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I don't feel like the car is really mine until I've drilled at least one hole in it.
 
Drilling Holes  
by W3WWR on March 20, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
On a lease vehicle they may deduct for any damage depending on who checks your vehicle in when it comes in off lease. Most lease vehicles are either bought by the dealer who has first option or are returned to the lessor and sent to the auction for disposal.

It depends on the vehicle but most repairs are easily made by a good body shop even a roof of a vehicle. Just be careful when picking a spot on the roof as not to compromise any supporting cross members, drop the headliner down and check.

If this is your own vehicle then do what you want and either fix it or let the next owner dealer or otherwise
worry about it.

 
RE: Drilling Holes  
by KI4WGI on March 20, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I had no qualms drilling holes in my 93 Concorde. I placed my 2m antenna on the center of the trunk, though now I wished I'd placed it on the roof now.

My other vehicle is a Caravan. Everything is a roof mount with vans, unless you stick a ball mount on the side.

As far as my wifes "new" Malibu...we'll just say that's why HT's and mag mount antenna were invented!

73's
KI4WGI
 
RE: Drilling Holes  
by KD0TRG on March 20, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
2M antenna mount smack in the middle of the roof on the F250 Crew Cab, 11 foot whip off of the front bumper. Took a brand new drill bit to pierce the bumper for the first time - after that, things just work!

I always enjoy your articles, KC
 
RE: Drilling Holes  
by K0MU on March 20, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I've seen these discussions before focus into how holes affect leases.

My take is:
If you have to lease a car, you can't afford that car. Yes someone will chime in about "depreciation." However, a car is simply a tool to take you from point a to point b. The most inexpensive way to go is to purchase a slightly used car and drive it for over 10 years

BTW, I do the next most inexpensive thing, purchase modest new cars with that wonderful "new car smell", and immediately punch holes in it for antennas, and drive them till they drop.

If you lease a car, think about why.

Are you leasing for your needs or are you serving your ego by driving a more expensive vehicle that you can't afford to buy? I suspect the latter is most common.

To sum up my thoughts, and to borrow phrase from a group that I generally oppose:

"DRILL BABY DRILL!!!!!"
 
RE: Drilling Holes  
by WA9AFM on March 20, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I've 'punched holes' in five different vehicles I've owned. Each time I sold/traded it, I pointed out the body plugs; the responses were underwhelming. In the most recent case, the lady buying my '98 Honda Accord asked if a cell phone antenna would fit in the NMO mount which had yet to be removed from the trunk lid. When I told her it would, she asked if I would leave the mount?....I did, of course.
 
Drilling Holes  
by N3QE on March 20, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I think it's an attitude-towards-property thing more than anything else.

A lot of people buy or lease a "new car" and to them it's always a new car. Well, my wife's "new car" is now 17 years old and she still gets a little irked if I change even the most minor thing about it with something that isn't really truly 100% original.

I have a neighbor, a ham, with a house that he got new about 10 years ago. He steadfastly refuses to drill a hole anywhere in the house to bring the antenna cable through. On the other hand, I spent most of a spring ripping out termite-damaged wood joists and sillplates from my house, and have zero reluctance to put a couple little holes in the walls.

Tim.
 
RE: Drilling Holes  
by W3LK on March 20, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
The only smell better than the "new car" smell, is the new car smell mixed with the smell of burning paint as I drill holes in the vehicle for multiple antennas.

N3QE: the only hesitation I had to drilling a hole in the exterior wall of my retirement home for the PVC pipe for my feed lines, was exactly where to put it. :)

Same deal for the wall mount for the VHF/UHF antenna's mast and the same for the anemometer and rain gauge for the weather station, the deck speakers mounted under the eaves ...

73,

Lon - W3LK
Naugatuck, Connecticut
 
RE: Drilling Holes  
by W7COM on March 20, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I worked a year and a half doing DirecTV installs. I now have no fear of drilling holes in a house or mounting an antenna so that the wind won't take it down.
 
RE: Drilling Holes  
by W0FM on March 20, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I'm in the commercial two-way radio business, so, I guess you can say that I'm in the "hole drilling" buisness. As I have shared here before, I have never had anyone report to me that the return or trade-in value of their car was marked down because of an antenna mounting hole. Never.

We lease dozens of brand new cars and vans for our own business and every one of them gets a minimum of one or two holes (sometimes many more) drilled in the roof before the employee receives the vehicle. We have never been nicked by a lease agency or car dealership for the holes. Drill on.

Nice article, Alan.

73 de Terry, WōFM
 
Drilling Holes  
by N3GTO on March 20, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Great article Alan. I always enjoy reading your articles, as well as your comments on other's articles. I have referred to your web site on many occasions, as it is a wealth of useful information for the mobile HF operator. There are two very important items that I feel you have failed to mention in this article. Those important items are whether or not you can you work any station that you can hear, and how many DX stations you can work in the first hour of operation. :)
 
RE: Drilling Holes  
by W4VR on March 20, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I drilled a hole in the center of the trunk lid of my car for a 2 meter antenna. When I traded the car in no questions were asked.
 
Drilling Holes  
by N3GTO on March 20, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Great article Alan. I always enjoy reading your articles, as well as your comments on other's articles. I have referred to your web site on many occasions, as it is a wealth of useful information for the mobile HF operator. There are two very important items that I feel you have failed to mention in this article. Those important items are whether or not you can you work any station that you can hear, and how many DX stations you can work in the first hour of operation. :)

I forgot to mention that I am the proud owner of a NMO size hole in the roof of my Blazer.
 
RE: Drilling Holes  
by N6AJR on March 20, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
find a nice trunk lid at the junk yard to match your car, drill a hole in the current lid and when you sell the car install the other trunk lid.. hole with no problem
 
RE: Drilling Holes  
by KE4DRN on March 20, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
hi,

Jay, K0MU has it right!

If you are not in business, avoid a lease.

Buy the car you can afford and use the savings
to buy that HF radio you've always wanted,
along with the necessary accessories!

Antenna mounts, not cup holders!

73 james
 
RE: Drilling Holes  
by W8AAZ on March 20, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
First car I drilled was a 65 Rambler(50$). Dead center of the roof I drilled a hole, installed a ceramic feedtru and made an impromptu quarter wave 2M whip from brass rod. First new car I had, I drilled a hole and mounted a ball mount in the rear fender. Last car before this one had a nice installation of a NMO mount right dead center roof with coax run under the liner and down out of sight, under the dash. I put a plastic NMO cover on it when I traded in. On a 10 year old Chevy, they don't give a dang about that. I have had my current car for 10 years, and never drilled anything in it. Use mag mounts, got 3 in the trunk. With 2M being so comparitively dead now, I don't operate without a good reason anyway. Forget about HF, I have tried a little and the noise from the digital crap in the newer cars is so bad that I have little desire to battle it.
 
Drilling Holes  
by KG4CLD on March 20, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Buy a older car or van. This way you can drill as many holes in it as you want and no one will frown upon it.
You should see the beater I drive. Even the IRS feels sorry for me!

Dgs-kg4cld
 
RE: Drilling Holes  
by VE2DSB on March 21, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
If you don't doing yourself a hole in your car....

Rust will do it for you...

Dan
 
Drilling Holes  
by N8QBY on March 21, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Bragging about drilling holes in a new vehicle sounds kind of childish. There are other options that work very well if you use some imagination. Drilled hole antenna installations are not that much more effective than other options available. Just my opinion of course, as 10 hams will have 10 reasons why their setup is better. To each their own, but don't pretend that you enjoy the drilling.
 
Drilling Holes  
by N8QBY on March 21, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
It's a hole drilling thing. :o)
 
Drilling Holes  
by K1DA on March 21, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
A chassis punch works better.
 
RE: Drilling Holes  
by W3LK on March 21, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
<< To each their own, but don't pretend that you enjoy the drilling. >>

Ah, but I DO enjoy it! :)

Those of us recommending drilling holes to mount antennas do it from experience in getting top performance from mobile installations, especially on HF.

If one is content with less than optimum performance, then by all means do whatever makes you happy. However, the presumption is when someone asks questions about antenna installation, that the questioner want's maximum performance, hence the recommendations to drill.

Besides the improved performance, I prefer the professional-looking installation to the trashy, southern-engineered solutions seen all too often at hamfests and club meetings.

73,

Lon - W3LK
Naugatuck, Connecticut
 
RE: Drilling Holes  
by W3LK on March 21, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Make that:

...the questioner wants maximum performance...

Sorry for the errant apostrophe.

73,

Lon - W3LK
Naugatuck, Connecticut
 
RE: Drilling Holes  
by 5R8GQ on March 21, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
W3LK
"The only smell better than the "new car" smell, is the new car smell mixed with the smell of burning paint".

LOL! I like it!

However, to me the only smell better than the "new car" smell is the new car smell mixed with the
"new electronic gear" smell! (You know, when you open the new box and plastic wrap from that new rig?)


 
RE: Drilling Holes  
by KQ4KK on March 21, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I've sold two cars with plastic caps over the NMO mount. Both times I told the buyer you can mount a Cell phone external antenna there.

They were very happy I left the mount on..
 
Drilling Holes  
by KD6HUC on March 21, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
It's not the holes on the exterior that upset me. It's those stinking plastic clips for the interior panels that break every time! Have drill will travel!
 
Drilling Holes  
by W7LV on March 21, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
My Jeep club has unoffically named me the Designated Antenna Man, as my Grand Cherokee looks like a science fair project intended to sweep the skies of cactus wrens and ravens. Plus, MY $5 flea market CB and decades-old 102" whip consistently outperforms all the Do-Da junk they buy from the local CB emporium.

The sight of the Antennex hole saw and the Bird 43 coming out of the toopl box gets 'em all quiet and interested. Turns 'em into "Whuffoes."

"Whuffo that antenna bent back 45 degrees in the middle?"

"Whuffo you got two batteries and no winch?"

"Whuffo you got that 1/0 welding wire to the back of the Jeep?"

"Whuffo you put that Antennex on Stinky Jim's Jeep instead of a Wilson?"

Makes me feel a little like the radio equivalent of Dr. House, MD.

:::::::::::::::

Q: "Who do you talk to on all those radios?"

A: "Pretty much anyone I want to..."

:::::::::::::::

Honda's dealer who leased me my Ridgeline told me that they'd hit me for $400 GringoBucks to, "weld and paint," a 3/4" NMO hole.

BRONNK! WRONG ANSWER!!!

Local bodyshop wanted $150, which I thought was only about $50 too high.

I put a $3 plug in it and never heard a word when it was returned to their custody at lease end.

:::::::::::

I still like the HF antennas on the FRONT of the car, personally. Have Screwdriver type on a 2" drawbar that goes into the Front Receiver Hitch ($179.00 on sale at e-trailer) with some copper braid back to the unibody. Far from the maddening Jeep fuel pump.

Mobile is NOT Plug and PLay, but is is a pretty good place to develop some analytical skills.
 
RE: Drilling Holes  
by KE5KDT on March 22, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
It is better to mount all antennas on the front of the vehicle to take advantage of moving radiation effect. Sitting still there is no difference whether the antenna is mounted to the front or rear of the vehicle. When moving, radiation coming from a rear bumper mounted antenna only has the benefit of one half of the antenna circular radiation pattern on the vehicle as the ground plane, if that. The faster you go more of the radiation spills over off the back of the vehicle and is lost making the antenna less effective. When mounted to the front bumper the faster you go more of the radiation moves to the rear of the vehicle, or you could say the vehicle moves under the stationary transmitted signal, and can take advantage of more metal underneath to greatly increase the gound plane. Hence, radio transmission strength is greatly improved. There is a speed for each frequency that makes it most effective. For 17 meters it is around 90 MPH. If going over 100 MPH 17 meters gets worse and is only good for line of sight. It could be that on some bands one would need to travel well above 150 MPH to be most effective. Most folks wouldn't purchase a Porche or Ferrari to have a more effective transmission. I haven't done any experiments with other frequencies or drilling holes in the hood, roof, or trunk, but would welcome a scientific study of this moving radiation effect. Bob
 
RE: Drilling Holes  
by K0MU on March 22, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
KE5KDT:

Regarding the moving radiation effect... If the car is equipped with an "oscillation overthruster", does this alter things?

K0MU
 
RE: Drilling Holes  
by KB2IUA on March 22, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Just couldn't wait for April first, could you.
 
RE: Drilling Holes  
by NO6L on March 22, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Moving radiation, is it? This sounds like some of the explanations I got on the Flat Earth Society forum to explain ionospheric propagation.

Most amusing.

The difference is, they're serious.

/end of line
 
RE: Drilling Holes  
by N0LOH on March 22, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
As a convert to the hole driller faith, I can tell you that one hole is better than the three rust spots from a tri-mag mount. My dealer friend said that he's actually had someone get all excited when they saw the antenna holes plugged on a used car. They asked if it had been used as a police car. They must have been looking for a new Blues-mobile.
 
RE: Drilling Holes  
by KB2FCV on March 23, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
A few years back I bought our van. The afternoon after I picked it up, it had a hole drilled in the roof and a nice new nmo mount put in. Radio was mounted the following day - more holes drilled. If we're gonna drive the van into the ground, why use mag mounts?

The only car I did not drill was the one and only time I leased a car. I used a trunk lip mount (and still drilled holes to mount the radio).
 
Drilling Holes  
by K4IQT on March 23, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
The only car I hesitated to drill was a high-dollar Audi. So I installed a (forgettable) glass-mounted VHF antenna on the rear window, very carefully cutting grooves in the mounting pad to avoid contact with the defroster vanes.

Well, when I traded the car a few years later at a Toyota dealership and mentioned that I needed to remove the antenna pad first, the sales manager just jumped in and chopped it out along with about a foot of defroster vane and most of the coax, then handed it to me with a "there ya go, sir". It was going to auction anyway, since they did not want to pollute their used car lot with a European brand.

My first antenna-equipped car was a 64 Olds, and it had numerous antenna mounts and various hole plugs where I'd changed locations. Don't sweat the holes if you are going to keep the car until it becomes a "fisherman's special".

Unfortunately, I can't roof mount or side mount an antenna on my Tundra since then it won't fit in the garage (4" door clearance on each side, 8" at the top). I like a warm start on cold mornings, so that's the price.
 
Drilling Holes  
by KA1YBS on March 25, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I can't wait to drill a new hole in my 08 Hyundai.

Actually, I should have done it last year when the car had 18 miles on it, I really miss HF mobile. When I traded my last old car in, I had 4 holes drilled and didn't even bother to patch them up.

Nice cheap car, deserves an 11 foot crown!

Happy Mobiling :)
 
RE: Drilling Holes  
by KO4L on March 30, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
When I made the first hole for a NMO mount in the roof of my truck I realized that "oh oh" this roof is not as thick as I remember in my 1980 Vehicle. The roof is tin-can thin in some vehicles and may need re-inforcing on the underside. Just FYI.

KO4Lloyd
 
Drilling Holes  
by KI6WDZ on April 1, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I decided to drill a hole in my "newish" 2007 Nissan Frontier. Unfortunately the hole ended in in the middle of a roof beam that wouldn't allow my cabling to go through. I had about five minutes of angst before I realized that the only solution was a rubber plug, and another hole. Everything went smoothly with the second and I don't give it any thought now. Fortunately I had pre-purchased a set of plugs for 3/4 inch holes. (I'll never tell my wife though.)
 
Drilling Holes  
by KG4RAY on April 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I've never drilled a hole in my car before. Honestly, I don't do very much mobile operation. I am not opposed to drilling holes but my main concern is keeping the hole water tight.

I know that this is a pretty basic question, but how does one ensure that once the NMO mount is in place that there won't be a leak during the next driving rain?
 
Drilling Holes  
by W4RKS on April 5, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Remember, it's just a car (or truck).

I recall a fellow ham, W4OLG (now a silent key) who bought a brand new Ford station wagon in about 1952 or so. Right away, he cut a rectanglular hole in the middle of the dashboard to mount a receiver. A Gonset i think.

Well, I was shocked. But he said, "Look, when I
get rid of it, it will be an old car. I'll enjoy it
now."

He was right. It's just a car. Drill away.

Jim W. W4KRS
 
RE: Drilling Holes  
by KI6WDZ on April 8, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
"Remember, it's just a car (or truck). - -SNIP SNIP SNIP - - He was right. It's just a car. Drill away. "

Well said. I enjoy my truck more now that I have the antenna mounted permanently.
 
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