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Author Topic: NMO vs UHF for roof mount  (Read 1488 times)
NQ4S
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« on: April 25, 2002, 07:56:05 PM »

OK, in a previous posting I asked about options for vehicle mounts in the situation where I don't have a lot of overhead clearance.  Unfortunately, few options came up that are workable (or at least aesthetically pleasing).

Rather than risk damage to the body from a clamp on mount or having something up in the visible area on the front of the vehicle, I'm probably going to swallow the cost, take the Escape down to my dealership, and have their shop do the drilling and mounting for a roof centered stud.  On top of that I can put a 15" short VHF/UHF whip and still make it into the garage during the day.  I'm just not willing ot handle the interior dismantling that would be required to run the cabling for this.  Best to let the professionals handle it.

Now, which type of mount to use?  I see both NMO and UHF mounts out there.  Quite a few people seem to swear by the NMO for vehicles.  Why?  What makes it better?  Is this the best one to have for a permanent roof installation?

Ideas and insights are most welcome.

Thanks.

de NQ4S (Del)
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N8EMR
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Posts: 234




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« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2002, 11:21:59 AM »

NMO are far more common in commerical equipment. NMO has a lower profile when no antenna is attached and may be seen as less of an issue at resale time.
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2002, 12:15:45 PM »

Absolutely go with NMO.  It's lower profile and mechanically stronger, and the standard in the 2-way industry.

As for the "professionals," if you're uncertain about the job, I agree with you.  What I do, and it costs a bit less, is this:

Remove the headliner myself (it's very easy to remove -- the difficult part is getting it installed back in place!), and punch the hole myself, and install the NMO mount with coaxial cable attached.

Then, drive to the nearest "auto upholstery" shop, whose hourly rates are typically much lower than a car dealer's, and have them re-fit the headliner.  They have all the right tools, knowledge and experience, and it usually takes them about 15 minutes to do a perfect job.  Cost: About $25.  Auto dealer cost to do all the work: Can be as much as $140 ("two hours at $70 per hour").

73 de Steve, WB2WIK/6
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N2MDB
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« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2002, 11:27:49 AM »

You may not need to drop the headliner..A common "trick" in the install field (I do mobile radio repair work for a living) is to just remove the dome light...Then you put a small pilot hole through from the underside so you get the right spot on the roof. Just make sure there is enough clearance behind the light that it won't hit the bottom of the mount (going slightly ahead/behind the dome light opening is a good idea) Then use your hole saw to drill down from the top (put a piece of cardboard or newspaper under the hole to catch the metal shavings). Then use some stiff wire to put a pull wire through to the edge of the headliner at the moldings...You will only need to move a small section (often just a couple of spring clips). Even when I have had to remove a headliner, I have never had to remove it completely...Usually just removing 1 side is enough to get in there and work. Then it's all lined up already to put back in place.
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