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Author Topic: VW New Beetle HF Installation  (Read 458 times)
W4ZLG
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Posts: 8




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« on: May 17, 2004, 01:04:36 PM »

Hello to All,

I am considering installing an HF radio and antenna on a 4 year old VW New Beetle.  So I'm looking for some opinions on how to do this correctly.   The round shape of the vehicle makes it an interesting challenge to mount an HF antenna and 2/70cm antenna.  

So far, I've been thinking about attaching an antenna mount where the tie down towing bar is, which is under the bumber on the right rear side.  A sturdy stainless steel plate extending enough to clear the bumber and clamped into place on the tow bar should work.  I have collected 3 different hamsticks and an outbacker (leaning towards using the outbacker).  I'm also thinking about purchasing a High Seierra HS-1800.  

I'm looking at the Kenwood TS-480 or a Icom 706 MIIG.  I'm leaning towards the 706 because it has VHF/UHF and the front panel separates.  I would like to put the base in the trunk.  Also what kind of mount could I get to accomodate 2/70?

So I'd appreciate any suggestions on this setup, or problems I might run into with my current approach.  My favorite bands are 75, 40, 20, 17, and 2/70 for locals.

Looking forward to some feedback.  73's de Ken
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N3ZKP
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Posts: 2008




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« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2004, 02:10:50 PM »

For the 2/70 antenna, drill a 3/4 inch hole in the middle of the roof and mount a Larsen 2/70 NMO antenna. You won't find anything better for dual band.

Forget the HamSticks. Make sure the mount is properly grounded to the frame and the body and buy the 1800DX or PRO. You'll not regret it.

Lon
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W4ZLG
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« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2004, 03:12:48 PM »

I forgot to mention that the Beetle has a sunroof!  So drilling a 3/4 inch hole in the middle of the roof is not an option.  Thanks for the post and your comments on the 1800DX!
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K0BG
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« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2004, 05:44:55 PM »

You know what, I'm going to have to refreash my memory about the new bugs. As I recall, there are several flat places (or nearly so) where you could drill a 3/4" hole for a dual bander. I can't say if there is room for a ballmount or not. I'd shy away from any form of mag mount because og the safety issues.

If your statifaction level is low, you could use a license plate mount and a light-weight Hamstick. You'll make contacts, but only with the stronger signals.

Your real challenge comes when you start trying to tame the ignition noise. If you want more info on this, you can visit my web site where I have either republished my articles or provided links as the case may be.

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
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KG4RUL
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« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2004, 08:34:16 AM »

There was an article in QST February 2004 describing a "mobile Antenna Base with Internal Capacitive Matching".  The mounting system used may be applicable to your situation.

Dennis / KG4RUL
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K0BG
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« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2004, 10:42:24 AM »

While Dennis is correct about the matching article, there is one problem about it; the antenna it matches is not DC grounded. In a stray published the following month, I noted this fact.

UNUNs and inductive matching DC ground the antenna to help prevent static buildup on the antenna. If you do opt for capacitive matching, at least add a 10K resistor across the base of the antenna. While this will not protect you if the antenna hits a high-tension line, it'll at least tame the static. A large corona ball is also necessary, but seldom employed.

Alan,KØBG
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AD5X
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Posts: 1428




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« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2004, 06:17:23 PM »

The VW NB seems to be very quiet.  Mine is the Y2K Turbo Bug.  I have virtually no noise.  I've used two different radios - an IC706G, and an SG2020.  The '706G is my favorite rig.  Power comes from the 30-amp fused accessory stud under the panel just above the drivers knees (remove three screws and the panel  drops down).  I bent up small brackets that attach to the radio mounting bracket, and then mount the whole assembly to the passenger-side dash via the screws that hold the dash in place.  Email me at ad5x@arrl.net and I'll send you photos of the SG-2020 mount, and the unit mounted in the car (I don't have photos of the 706G in the car yet).  

I use a glass mount 2m/440 MHz antenna on the right rear passenger window, and the QST article mount (my article) for HF.  I like capacitive matching, and can't disagree with the resistor to discharge static build-up, though I can't tell the difference with or without it.  I don't drive around where there are high voltage lines 8-10 feet above the ground so haven't worried about that.

There aren't many places to put an antenna other than the windows or on that hook.  The hook ties directly into the frame and seems to be a fairly good ground for an HF antenna.  The only metal on the VW NB is the hatch, roof, and hood.  Everything else is fiberglass, so don't punch holes in the sides or fenders for a ball mount.  I also have the sunroof (retracts into the roof) so that pretty much eliminates the roof for an antenna.

Phil - AD5X
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AD5X
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« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2004, 09:04:23 AM »

One last thing - You can get the coax out of the car easily through the spare tire wheel well.  There are rubber gasketed slots there near the back end through which you can pass your LMR-200 (I like LMR-200 because it is extremely well shielded, the size of RG-58, and low loss for the lengths needed in a car).  You won't be able to pass a PL-259 style connector through these slots, but you can pass a BNC terminated cable with some care, and you can easily pass an SMA terminated cable through the slots.

Also - if you connect to the 30-amp accessory stud I mentioned in the previous post, make sure you unplug the associated 30-amp fuse in the fuse panel first!  In my car, that fuse wasn't installed since that stud wasn't used for anything in the stock VW NB.  I believe it is there if you have the deluxe sound system in your car.

Finally, I'd originally considered a license plate antenna mount.  But turns out that the license plate is mounted on the fiberglass body, so you'd need to figure out how to run a good ground from that to the frame.  So I think that the tie-down hook mount is your best bet.

Phil - AD5X
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