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Author Topic: Yaesu FT7800 installation into a 2012 Ford Fiesta  (Read 2921 times)
KE5TJT
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« on: February 22, 2014, 05:30:27 PM »

I made this short video for you guys to see my new installation of an old radio. This radio has been in my truck, almost dormant, since 2011. My truck got horrible gas mileage so it stayed parked. Well, I was tired of wishing I had my ham radio in my car. I made it so I could easily transfer the radio from vehicle to vehicle with each one having its own antenna. It would take me roughly a minute, maybe two, to transfer the radio between the vehicles. My truck wouldn't get the radio where it was, it would have to just sit on the seat. I only have one separation kit so I used it in my car, which I use all the time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkfMq5czsW8
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KE5TJT
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« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2014, 08:40:10 PM »

Just to clarify, when I say old radio, I mean older than 2011. That's just when I parked the truck. The radio was bought early 2008. I actually was digging through my "ham radio" file folder and found the original receipt. 269 dollars with a free separation kit (a 50 dollar value) and 100 for a Diawa Cn103L SWR meter. Boy those were the days! LOL
« Last Edit: February 22, 2014, 08:42:29 PM by KE5TJT » Logged
M6GOM
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« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2014, 06:35:18 AM »

How well does the antenna work?
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KE5TJT
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« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2014, 07:44:06 AM »

How well does the antenna work?

I have this same antenna in my truck and was able to clearly communicate with a repeater 41 miles away (measured with the ruler on google earth). The antenna works fine, you just have to install it properly and tune it a little with the included screw.
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KE5TJT
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« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2014, 10:31:52 AM »

When I say clearly communicate, I mean the guy said I had "eggs frying in the background" but was absolutely readable and having no trouble hitting the repeater. Considering my truck was parked on the opposite side of my house, against my house, from the repeater, I was impressed with that.
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KE5TJT
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« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2014, 02:07:24 PM »

I went ran an errand and made my first contact to that repeater 41 miles away using the new installation in my car. He said, at times, I was full quieting. As I was going down the road, he said I was fading in and out. No surprise there. My road closes in pretty quickly with large trees on each side. I had installed my Tram 1191 antenna without the little 90 degree short wire that goes on the cable. They hadn't sent it, and they had to send it later. I just popped it on and my SWR's are from 1.1:1 to 1.7:1 across the 440mhz band so it's working great. Unfortunately on the highway, I hadn't tightened the antenna enough, and it fell hard against my back glass. It didn't hurt anything, but I tightened the hell out of it this time.
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K0BG
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« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2014, 03:06:11 PM »

Wide bandwidth and/or low SWR is not an indicator of how "well" and antenna "works". I am surprised, however, that you haven't had issues with common mode due to the fact the coax feed line is acting as the ground plane for the glass mount.
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KE5TJT
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« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2014, 06:24:05 PM »

Well then I must ask, how do you define working well? When people post reviews of antennas, they speak of the SWR they get and the range. My SWR is 1.1:1-1.7:1 over both bands and my range has been equal between both of my trams, at over 40 miles to the repeater, line of sight. That's certainly equal to what everyone else is getting around here with more expensive equipment. The guy I spoke with happened to be very familiar with the coverage area and said that I was in an area of "very spotty coverage historically" yet him and I were communicating just fine.

I don't know any other ways to define whether an antenna is working or not other than SWR's and range, as well as receiving performance, and I've had great results with all 3.
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K5LXP
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« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2014, 06:28:34 AM »

Well then I must ask, how do you define working well?

I make a distinction between working well, and working well enough.

A yagi on a tower works well.  You're hard pressed to beat it except with a bigger yagi and a bigger tower.

A rubber duck on an HT doesn't work well, but in many cases well enough.

If your glass antenna works well enough for you, then one that works well is superfluous.

For years I've run an ATAS HF screwdriver which by all accounts does not work well.  But for what I expect out of it, it works well enough.


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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KE5TJT
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Posts: 56




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« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2014, 04:03:50 PM »

That makes about as much sense as saying that a Ford Focus doesn't run good because it doesn't keep up with a Mustang. If it runs good, it runs good. If a window mount antenna is working as well as antenna setups costing 3 to 4 times as much, then it's working well. Period. How well some other type of antenna works IN COMPARISON to this one is irrelevant. We aren't comparing antennas, we are talking about this one.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2014, 04:20:15 PM by KE5TJT » Logged
K5LXP
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« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2014, 08:29:27 AM »

If a window mount antenna is working as well as antenna setups costing 3 to 4 times as much, then it's working well.

Glass mount antennas by their nature have issues that typically prevent them from working as well as just about any other permanent mount antenna.  Yours may be working great, but that doesn't happen for most people that try them.   

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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KE5TJT
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Posts: 56




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« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2014, 12:51:15 PM »

If a window mount antenna is working as well as antenna setups costing 3 to 4 times as much, then it's working well.

Glass mount antennas by their nature have issues that typically prevent them from working as well as just about any other permanent mount antenna.  Yours may be working great, but that doesn't happen for most people that try them.  

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM


And that's fine, but when I say my antenna is working well because of great range and low SWR's, then that's all it means. Why are those two things the measuring sticks of other antennas, and yet with mine, it's not good enough? I'm only comparing it to other antennas in the fact that I'm getting identical performance as much "higher grade" antennas are, so it means my low grade antenna is working pretty good. I CERTAINLY think a properly mounted thru-window antenna will have performance identical or better than that of a perma-mount antenna OF THE SAME LENGTH AND GAIN. That's my opinion. Why compare a 47" perma-mount 5/8 wave to a 29" thru-window mount? The fact that you have to says a lot about the smaller antenna, don't you think?

I must be the exception to the rule because I've had great luck with BOTH of mine. I think most people who have issues with them don't follow one or more of the following rules:

1. Antenna outside must line up EXACTLY with antenna box inside. Not just close, exactly. Not almost exact, flat out exact. I had SWR's in the 8 to 9:1 range and then noticed it wasn't lined up perfectly. I wiggled it around inside and got it lined up exactly and they dropped to 1.1:1 to 1.7:1 for both 440 and 2 meter, with tuning.

2. They use them on glass with metallic tint. This will kill the antenna performance dead. This is no more the antennas fault than rule number 1. There are a long list of vehicles out there that come from the factory with glass with metallic tint. These thru-window antennas cannot be used on these vehicles. This, however, doesn't mean there is anything inherently wrong with thru-window antennas.

3. They use them on glass too thick. This again is not the antennas fault.

4. Antenna tuner screw is EXTREMELY sensitive. My SWR's went from 3:1 to 1.1:1 with an 1/8th turn of the screw. My jaw hit the floor, too. People may think they know how to tune an antenna, and in theory, they do. But these seem sensitive. It took me almost 2 hours to finally nail down the sweet spot.

I have the same one on my truck and have identical performance 5.5 years later. And I have no holes, no rust, no devaluing of my truck due to holes nobody else wants. Also, no unsightly perma mount antennas screaming out "come steal me" to thieves. Nobody even sees my antenna, and if they do, don't know or care what it is.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2014, 12:59:30 PM by KE5TJT » Logged
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