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Author Topic: antenna choice  (Read 535 times)
SFD301
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Posts: 38




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« on: January 31, 2005, 04:02:06 AM »

I'm looking to move from a mag mount 2m antenna for my truck to something more permanent.   I'm leaning toward the Mahdol <sp?> mount for the rear door on my pickup.   The one with the small coax to go past the weather stripping and then a dual or triband antenna that will fold over so I can get into the garage.

I'm wondering if anyone has any comments, suggestions, or alternate mounts that require NO drilling.  Real world experiences or the like.

Thanks,

geo  kc2nmx
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K0BG
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« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2005, 06:52:45 AM »

Sorry, Geo, you won't get too much help from me when it comes to no holes. As Mark, K5LXP recently said, the no-holes, stealth antenna hasn't been invented yet.

Since it is a pickup, I'd mount the antenna on the cowl or front fender, and I'd certainly drill the hole. A Larsen NMO2/70 comes to mind.

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
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SFD301
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Posts: 38




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« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2005, 07:12:00 AM »

LOL,  I'm not looking for so much of a stealth antenna.  Just something that is NOT a mag mount, and will be easy to fold over for the garage.

I thought about the front fender mounts, but I don't like the looks so much.   I know, I know, looks and ham function don't seem to go togehter  Wink   I don't like holes because of the other damage that is sure to follow.   Plus, I change trucks every 3 years or so, and holes kill the trade/sell most times.  I figured a lip mount on the rear door would function decent, look good, and be out of the way, plus I get to easily take my investment with me  .  Just wondering if anyone had real world experience with the comet cp5 mount or antennas.

Stake hole mounts are out due to the type of bed cover I have - Retraxx roll up, and the guide rails cover most of the hole openings.

kc2nmx
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KC0ORM
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Posts: 15




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« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2005, 08:01:01 AM »

I am using a CP-5NMO mount on my Chevy Venture. The mount is installed on the hatchback. It is a leased work issued vehicle so I coulcn't drill holes. I am using a MFJ-1402 RuffRider Junior. This is a dual band 2m/70cm antenna that is about 19" long (it had to clear the University of Iowa Hospital parking garage). I use it mostly in urban area repeater work and haven't had any problems. The mount was simple to install, even I could do it.
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K7VO
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Posts: 1010




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« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2005, 09:32:59 AM »

I have had very good experience with the Diamond K-400 mount.  It's pricey but it's worth it.  I've used it on a hatchback and as a trunk lip mount.  It uses the oh-so-skinny RG-197 coax.  I've used it with a triband antenna (2m/222/440) and gotten excellent results, certainly as good in terms of coverage as the people who drilled holes in their cars.  Sorry, no holes for me.

73,
Caity
K7VO/4
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N3ZKP
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Posts: 2008




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« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2005, 01:26:24 PM »

Ditto Alan's comments.

<< I don't like holes because of the other damage that is sure to follow. Plus, I change trucks every 3 years or so, and holes kill the trade/sell most times.>>

Hog Wash! I have been installing NMO mounts in vehicles for something close to 30 years and haven't had one leak yet. That includes sedans, vans, trucks, minivans and locations from fenders, to rooftops, to trunk decks.

What "other damage that is sure to follow"? Never seen any in a properly done installation.

As for trade in devalue, that's another crock. If your vehicle has more than 50k miles on it there won't be $10 difference UNLESS one is dumb enough to leave an empty hole. I trade about the same rate and have never had a dealer pay any attention to the little rubber plugs filling the holes (and I have multiple holes on my vehicles - currently three on my '03 Windstar and five on the previous one.

If you are talking about a single hole, just leave the mount and put a $20 cell phone antenna on it.

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SFD301
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Posts: 38




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« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2005, 06:47:55 AM »

Good points on hiding the holes.   Glad you've had luck, but every vehicle I've had that has been cut, not just antenna holes, has leaked, rusted, or bubbled.   Factory installs and such.   Just my opinion, and the plain fact is I don't like the permanent mount looks much.

Trade in is a consideration for me.   After 3 years I usually have less than 40k, and mostly around 30K.   Yep,  < 40K.  I drive to work 2x week for 24 hour shifts that is <5 miles commute for work.  other than that I drive <100 miles week average doing the daily chores.   The xly puts less on her vehicle.   I also spoke poorly, I sell my autos private to get max value, and a hole will make most shy away from an otherwise perfect vehicle.

Thanks for the comments.   I also can't see much of a difference from a lip mount to hole mount as performance goes, given my application.  Local ragchew, close to the repeaters.  Occasional HF when I upgrade, but not much from the mobile.

kc2nmx
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SFD301
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Posts: 38




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« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2005, 06:53:15 AM »

Oh, also there is no way to fender mount on the front without going through the side, a horrible looking mount if ask me.   The Chevy Silverado has a hood that wraps over the fender.   A hole in the roof will be a pain for me to reach up and fold over the thing for garage parking.  Could do the through the glass mount, but I've only heard bad experiences about them.

Bumper mount?  Too easy for kids, work items to damage.  Hitch would not work because of travel trailer.  So I'm still thinking about the rear door lip mount being the best of all worlds.  I'll have to look at the Diamond mount v. the CP5.
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N3ZKP
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Posts: 2008




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« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2005, 10:06:08 AM »

Interesting. In my 40 years of messing with radios of all flavors and many, many installations, I haven't had any problems and that mirrors the record in the commercial radio field.

The same goes for trading in vehicles. Not once have I had a dealer make any comment about the holes and reduce my trade in from what it should normally be.

YMMV
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KG4RUL
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« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2005, 09:34:53 PM »

I use a comet lip mount on the rear hatch lid of my Saturn VUE.  The comet tri-band antenna has a fold-over feature.  Yes, I have to exit the car to fold/unfold the antenna but, the motorized mounts are WAY TOO expensive for my budget.

Dennis / KG4RUL
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K7VO
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Posts: 1010




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« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2005, 09:09:09 PM »

BTW, you mentioned Maldol as an antenna choice.  I have the EX-107 2m/70cm dual band model and have been totally pleased with it.  It's well made and durable and pretty inexpensive.  I am going back to a multiband radio (Icom IC-901A) so I am looking into a multiband antenna solution rather than a dualbander otherwise the Maldol would be staying.

Oh, and no matter how many times people tell me they don't have problems putting holes in cars I still say I won't do it, now or ever.  I don't want leaks and I do think it affects resale value if the car leaks, the headliner is damaged, if there is rust, etc...  I've seen all of the above as a result of other people's ham installations.  Not mine.

73,
Caity
K7VO/8
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N3ZKP
Member

Posts: 2008




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« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2005, 06:02:34 AM »

Caity:

<< I don't want leaks and I do think it affects resale value if the car leaks, the headliner is damaged, if there is rust, etc... >>

Yes, under those circumstances it does affect resale values.

<<I've seen all of the above as a result of other people's ham installations.>>

Then the installations were not properly done. Virtually every time leaks happen, it's because someone used a drill bit rather than a chassis punch or a SHARP, PROPERLY SIZED hole saw and the mount was not a tight fit in the hole. The other situation is hams using UHF/SO-239 type mounts instead of the NMO mounts. UHF connectors were designed for connecting cables, not as antenna mounts.

I am not a professional radio installer by any means, but I learned from a professional and use the correct tools for the job. I repeat, in almost 40 years of installing antennas on vehicles I have never had one installation leak, and in the commercial field, that is the norm, not the exception.

The key is having it done right.

Lon
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KF6IIU
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Posts: 293




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« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2005, 11:43:12 AM »

I have an MFJ through-glass antenna on the rear side window of my CR-V and it seems to work fine. Much to my surprise it has stayed on for about 2 years. You can barely see it in this picture:
http://www.geocities.com/kf6iiu@sbcglobal.net/Briones04/112_1235m.JPG
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