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Author Topic: SUV Antenna Options  (Read 3475 times)
W7CLC
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Posts: 39




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« on: April 26, 2010, 02:00:18 PM »

I just traded the 2000 Police Interceptor for a Jeep.  I kept my Larsen antenna though. 

I want to install an antenna on my Grand Cherokee WK for a dual-band FT8800.  Magnets are out, as are through-the-glass.  On the hood is a last resort option, I REALLY don’t want it mounted there.  

I prefer to mount it on the roof with an NMO, just aft of the satellite radio antenna (or in place of that antenna if the hole is the right size).  Now, here’s the rub.  If I put it there it will drag going in and out of the garage which, given its height, may put a lot of stress on the roof panel, the NMO, and the whip  It will hit only about 6 - 8 inches above the coil and there’s not much flex at that point.  Also, I want there to be some give for when I’m on the trail as there are lots of low-hanging trees and branches.




So, can I use a spring or some other type of break-away mount?  I suppose I can use a quick disconnect or a fold-over, but that involves continual effort and relies on my memory (not good).  

I can afford the motorized mount but the base sticks up above the rack quite a bit and I’m afraid it will get torn off when I’m wheeling.  On top of that I don’t really understand no-ground antennas.

EDIT to add:  I considered a roof mount using a low-profile type (hockey puck) antenna for daily driving when range is less important, and keeping my Larsen in the back to screw on for the woods- but I haven't found a dual band low profile antenna.

Am I forgetting another option?  
« Last Edit: April 26, 2010, 02:17:24 PM by Chris » Logged
K0BG
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« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2010, 04:40:54 PM »

Yes.

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W7CLC
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Posts: 39




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« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2010, 08:20:53 AM »

Yes.

Ok Al, can you please be a bit more specific?  Or did the fact that i do want to drill a hole throw you?   Wink
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K6LCS
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« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2010, 12:03:09 PM »

>> ... FT8800 ... magnets are out ...

Any are GUARANTEED to scratch the surface.

>> ... as are through-the-glass ...

The dual-band model marketed by Radiall-Larsen works great. Those who say otherwise are either (a) not using an actual Radiall-Larsen model, (b) trying to install it on metallic/passivated glass, or (c) somehow otherwise cannot read installation instructions.

>> ... On the hood is a last resort option, I REALLY don’t want it mounted there. 

Nor will your spouse.

>> ... roof, NMO ...

Will limit you when going through drive-throughs and parking structures and garages.

Tailgate edge mount, with an antenna that is long enough to have about 1/3 of its total length above the roof line. This is more labor-intensive to properly route the cabling, but the results are excellent.

Diamond K-400 is an excellent mount system. Either the Comet SBB-5 (38 inches) or SBB-7 (55 inches) - whichever one is long enough to have the top 1/3 clear your roofline will perform excellently for you.

>> ... I can afford the motorized mount ...

Do NOT waste your time nor money on that - the two ones marketed for hams are NOT rugged enough for your application.

Clint Bradford, K6LCS
909-241-7666
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Clint Bradford, K6LCS
http://www.work-sat.com
WB6BYU
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« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2010, 01:06:28 PM »

After many years working with the US Forest Service and Search and Rescue, the best
VHF mobile antenna I've seen for use in the bush is a simple quarter wave whip.  That's
what the folks who are out there regularly use.

Look for one that has the little coil about 1/3 the way up for 440 if you need dual-band
operation.  You can carry your existing antenna with you for when branches aren't a
problem if you want.

I had a friend who had less than 3" clearance between the top of his car and the garage
door.  The only antenna he found that worked was a quarter wave flexible whip that bent
over every time he went in and out, and it lasted that way for years.

(Meanwhile I'm trying to repair my Larsen that failed to survive a close encounter with a
tree branch while I was setting up a recent SAR exercise...)
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N3IDG
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« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2010, 04:58:33 PM »

nmo thru the roof with a 1/4 wave on two meters it will work as  a 3/4 wave on 440 . with nothing fancy to break or stress . works as well as any thing with gain i have tried
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KD0LEF
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« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2010, 05:00:39 PM »

Everyone,
I am a new HAM and I am in a very similar position with my SUV.  I drive a 2001 Tahoe and I also have roof/garage clearance issues.

I have not purchased a mobile unit yet so I have some options and would like some advice to do things right.  Right now I have a VX-8R with a magnet mount.  I unscrew the antenna as I go in-out of the garage.

I do have a bit of an advantage as I have steel bumpers front and rear (aftermarket Ranch Hand brand bumpers), so a good solid connection at the rear corner is what I was considering.

For the mobile unit I was considering a FT-8800 or an FT-8900 with the Diamond 8900 antenna.  I wanted the 8800 or 8900 so that in an emergency I could use the handheld linked to the mobile for a better transmission capability in the mountains.  What I mean is if I was out fishing and could get to the truck with the handheld, the truck could repeat out on 50w if needed.

I don’t know if that is a misconceived notion or not.  We have a pretty good coverage of repeaters where I would be traveling off road in central Colorado. (Colorado Connection repeater on Mosquito Pass).

Thank you for saving me $110 on the motorized mount option!  If all I really need is a 2m/70cm unit and a whip that would also save some money.

I am concerned about the trees while off road and the garage other times.

Any help is appreciated.

73’s Doug
KD0LEF
Colorado Springs
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W7CLC
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Posts: 39




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« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2010, 08:46:15 AM »

Despite a lot of searching, I could not find a low profile dual band antenna. 

Is it possible to mount two antennas, one for each band, for the FT8800?  Sort of a reverse duplexer set-up?
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K3GM
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« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2010, 10:15:11 AM »

Despite a lot of searching, I could not find a low profile dual band antenna. 

Is it possible to mount two antennas, one for each band, for the FT8800?  Sort of a reverse duplexer set-up?

Sure.  Get the proper diplexer like a Comet CF-416A or a CF-4160K and use a 1/4 wave NMO whip for each band.  They're short and pretty slick looking in the roof of an SUV or the trunk lid of a sedan.
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W7CLC
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Posts: 39




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« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2010, 11:41:40 AM »

Despite a lot of searching, I could not find a low profile dual band antenna. 

Is it possible to mount two antennas, one for each band, for the FT8800?  Sort of a reverse duplexer set-up?

Sure.  Get the proper diplexer like a Comet CF-416A or a CF-4160K and use a 1/4 wave NMO whip for each band.  They're short and pretty slick looking in the roof of an SUV or the trunk lid of a sedan.


Thank you!  That seems like a viable option.  Is there a minimum separation distance I should be concerned about?  Does it matter if they’re in line on the rooftop or side by side?  There’s a satellite radio antenna up there now, center aft behind the sunroof pocket, and if the hole is the right size it would save me from punching two more.
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K3GM
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« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2010, 06:08:29 PM »

Separate as far as possible is the safe answer, but 18"to 24" should suffice.  If you take down you dome light(s), you may be ableto access the roof of the vehicle.
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