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Author Topic: Mounting a 2-meter mobile  (Read 395 times)
KC9EOS
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« on: May 07, 2004, 09:00:56 AM »

Many of us remember when car dashboards were not quite so cluttered!  It was easy to spot the place where you'd mount a radio.

I'm looking for mounting ideas for a small VHF mobile.  As I look at my cars, I see very little space where I can see that happening, what with center units being in the way, etc.

What have you done to get around this problem?  Also, while on the topic, what about best ways to run coax to an antenna, and what about easy in-easy out mounts?  Any way to make it easy to bring the unit in the house from time to time?

Thanks!
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N7NBB
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« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2004, 09:37:26 AM »

Radios are like JELL-O™....  "There's ALWAYS Room"

Some radios now have removable face plates that make mounting options easier, but since you didn't mention that, there is always room somewhere... unfortunately it may not be the "BEST" desired location, but at least "it's in there."

You may have to settle for mounting it vertically along side a center console, (wish manufacturers would get a clue here... with LCD displays it would be an easy trick to have the display switchable for this option)  If ya don't SMOKE, there is THAT space (ashtray) You may need to build an extra little mounting bracket that allows you to use the ashtray space.

With four seater cars now having 12 cup holders (why?), most of which pivot in and out of sight, that might be an optional source of a bracket anchor point.

CARRY LESS CRAP in your Glove Compartment ! then there is room for a radio, with the added plus of being able to completely CLOSE UP and secure the radio out of sight, hide cables, etc etc.

If everything else fails there is always a small patch of real estate on top of the dash, where a small (you said small) radio could be held in place by a windshield bracket (made for palm piolets, gps, etc) just glue it to the windshield, and clamp on your radio.... (easy in easy out).

I've seen several installs that have a bracket coming out of an air conditioner vent, that holds the radio in front of (and below) the vent.

What it boils down to is a decision on your part... do you want a radio   -   or do you want a "COSMETICALLY PERFECT" looking dashboard for your passengers to enjoy...

there is GOING to be a trade-off... you can't have both... you enjoy your radio hobby, or enjoy the "graceful" lines of your dashboard, and wish you had a radio.

this is kind of like the guys who say "help me with this problem", then dont' indicate their type radio, power level, or other "IMPORTANT" stuff to help diagnose the problem.... you didn't give much to go on....  What type of vehicle... what model of radio... are you into casual frequent conversations, or do you want the radio just for emergencies...

All of this will determine what is best... what will work for you....

Good luck... hope some of the above has stirred up some ideas.

73
CAM - N7NBB
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KC8AXJ
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« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2004, 10:31:50 AM »

I made an obtuse angle plate (about 8" high and 6" wide) and have it bolted to the center of the floor.
I have two radios on in and a cell phone handset bracket mounted to it.

There are companies that make a mount that is in the form of that flexable pipe used in desk lamps. Then you can bolt the bracket in any postion (like on the floor or under the dash) and twist it to get the radio orientated the way you what it.

Good Luck !
Steve
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K0BG
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« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2004, 10:33:08 AM »

I cringe when someone suggests mounting a radio on top of the dash. From a distraction standpoint, it is one of the worse places to mount one.

You might want to look over my web site for some suggestions.

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2004, 12:02:36 PM »

I've used the far-side vertical wall of the center console (so the rig's really mounted towards the passenger footwell) to mount rigs for many years.  It works, and it's not inconvenient if you angle the rig's panel towards you and place a mike hang hook on the dash closer to you.  Always use screws/bolts appropriate hardware for everything, and don't rely on adhesives, Velcro or stuff like that!  Everything becomes a missile in a crash, so everything should be very securely bolted in place.

However, there are some very good mobile rig mounts that provide instant removability, with blind-mate power, antenna and speaker connections through the mount; thus, to remove the rig, you just unkey a latch and pull -- that's it.  To slide the rig back in, you just line it up with the mount, and push -- that's it.  That's the way mobile mounts should be!  And ones like this are available.  I use mounts made by Gamber Johnson; I think info is at http://www.mobilemounts.com

WB2WIK/6
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K8LEA
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« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2004, 01:32:04 PM »

About a million years ago (well, maybe 25), I somehow came into possession of a U-shaped mounting widget that must have been designed for a CB or tape player.

It's really just a shelf with mounting flanges.

I believe it's on it's third car now - and bear in mind that I kept the last car (I _had_ to replace it in 2000) for over 11 years.

At one time I had two radios stacked (RS had some bracketing accessories that were handy) on there, a radar detector hiding under it (actually a control head for some stuff in the grille), and a couple of accessory switches.  It's down to a FT-1500M and a light switch now....

The FT-1500M is about small enough to put anyplace, and would work well along side a console, but since I had the space and didn't have a console, I used it again in 2000....  Four screws hold it to the tranny hump....

If I had the money, the removeable head might be the best way - you can stick those to the dash or wherever feels good, but this is a good alternative.  Can't use the ash tray - it's the cupholder!  Makes you wonder what they were thinking at Ford (it's a '99 Town Car), but since I quit smoking and just keep small change in the ash tray part, I guess it doesn't matter.

Back in 1977 I put a Brimstone 144 in the glove box of a '77 Ford LTD Brougham.  A little hard to change the channels, but it was invisible.  I trunk mounted the thing in an '84 Crown Vic, but that got silly.  Bought an IC-25 and put it on the hump....

Guess the magic word is "wherever it fits"....

Stu K8LEA
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AC5E
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« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2004, 03:26:30 PM »

Thinking about the vehicles parked in the driveway -
 
The Caravan has an HF rig mounted vertically on the right side of the drivers seat. The mike hangs on a hook on the side of the drink tray - the key straps on my leg.

The Intrepid has only a 2m/440 rig with a detachable faceplate. The faceplate is mounted on a small metal L bracket that hangs it over the ash tray and the rig is bolted to the top of the trunk under the rear window. No smokers so no problem with fouling the butt bucket.

The Dakota has a 144/440 rig with the faceplate on the dash under the heater controls and the body of the rig is behind the seat.

The Tundra has a one piece 144/440 rig on a floor mount. From IIX I think without going out to look.

In the past I have used several styles of floor mount bolted to the transmission hump - a roof mount with the rig over the rear view mirror - and a headliner/console mount with a swingdown bracket for the faceplate.

Where there's a will there's usually a way. Of course, sometimes the way is more difficult than the will is strong.

Which means it's time to trade vehicles or see the local car audio installer for ideas. Those guys deal with people who want to put really weird stuff in their wheels!

73  Pete Allen  AC5E
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N6AJR
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« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2004, 04:59:53 PM »

radio shack has a package with 3 sets of flat brackets that can be put together and bent as needed.

I just find them handy.  also get self tapping screwa for the floor boards, , position the item and run the screw in an be done, then you have no: drill it,:  then find the hole :and untangle the carpet etc.

Self tapping sheet metal screws, I get them in the 1 inch length by the pound..
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K3ASF
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« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2004, 05:29:34 PM »

What type of vehicle do you have? If you're looking for a hump mount I can highly recommend a PanaVise. Check out cheapham.com They only advertise 2 and in my estimation are ideal. Panavise has a number of mounts and they will send you a catalog if you contact them at panavise.com
   No, I'm not a dealer. I spent some time on this site, which is where I rely on most of my info as you are, and that was suggested to me. Hope it helps.
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K8LEA
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« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2004, 05:41:56 PM »

AJR's comment reminded me....

If you dig a bit in the hardware store you can find sheet metal screws with what amounts to a drill bit on the end.

Just  crank up your power screwdriver and let 'em fly.  (Put a little bit of oil on 'em if they're dry.)

I stole a couple from the guys who put in my first cellphone, and found a hardware store source more recently.   Unfortunately the store poofed, but I bought a few [grin].

And, yes, I've used those RS kits more than once.

Just happened to think - the first time I hung a radio in a car had to have been sometime in 1964.  I can't crawl up under the dash like I used to, though.  I can barely _see_ it....

Stu K8LEA
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W2SRH
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« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2004, 11:40:56 PM »

Well, you didn't mention what kind of vehicle you're mounting the radio in, nor the radio, but I'll share what I did with mine.

'02 Explorer Sport Trac, with a stickshift (discontinued 6 months after I drove it off the lot, glad I bought it when I did).  Most of the install pages I found on the Internet about Sport Tracs showed someone mounting their rig to the cup holder, which in my truck is right where the gearshift sits.  Originally I was going to mount the rig behind the rear seats in the compartment there, and remote mount the head on the dash somewhere, but a shortage of cash said I'd have to get the remote kit later.  Turns out that the plate just under the steering wheel (plastic piece, but solid metal behind it) has a lot of space behind it, and the spot by the right knee is pretty flat.  Since my knee doesn't hit that area when I drive, or when I get in or out, I mounted the rig right there.  Mic holder just under the vent button for the rear window, and the end result is that I didn't need the remote mounting kit nor an external speaker.

All I had to do was remove the plate and panel to mark it for drilling, and verify that none of the wires behind the plate would be in the way (cruise control wires, tucked them up a little and tied them off to be sure).  Drilled the holes and screwed it in place, and that sucker's not moving.  Once the weather here gets nice enough, I'll be drilling the hole in the roof for the antenna (using a magmount currently).
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K1CJS
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« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2004, 08:42:13 AM »

For mounting, there's little that can be said unless you let us know the specifics, that is: 1. What kind or size radio, 2. The car's setup, ie: bucket seats, bench type, 40/60, if there's a center console, and so on, 3. The type area the dash occupies, such as availability of space under the dash, if there are cubby holes (used for handy storage) and so on....

However, for materials to actually make some kind of a mounting bracket, the local home improvement store usually has assorted shape, size and length aluminum and steel straps, angle iron, channels and square tubes that can be cut and bolted together in just about any conceivable way to make a bracket or stand to mount your radio on.  I've actually made one that holds three radios over the tranny hump on my Marquis, and that comes out fairly quickly by removing four 1/4 inch screws.  Of course, you have to have basic abilities to measure, cut and assemble, but the parts are readily available for just about anything you could think of.

Hope this helps, and good luck!
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K4III
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« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2004, 05:28:08 PM »

Remote Head, remote cable, wire throught glove compartment or under seat. wire under liner under door edge or above door cutout. Hope this helps?
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