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Author Topic: Opek & MFJ Window antenna mounts??? Do they w  (Read 942 times)
KB1JXL
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Posts: 13




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« on: February 02, 2004, 04:54:04 PM »

Unfortunately, I just learned from the XYL that all bets are off with putting my mobile rig in the AHEMMMM...XYL's new Taurus...I will be able to use HT's out of the vehicle though, although no drilling of holes because she doesn't want any holes in her trunk and no mag mounts because she does not want the scratching to occur, which usually does happen from my experience. Seeing that I will only be using HT's out of the car, has anyone had any luck with these window mounts where you put the bracket on top of the window and then roll the window up with coax inside and the antenna on the outside? Both of my HT's have SMA connectors. I believe OPEK & MFJ both make these specifically for HT's. Oh yeah, she is also putting down her foot on any "on-glass" mounts.


Looks like Diamond mag mount and the Kenwood mobile rig will have to go in my Isuzu Rodeo now that she is so smitten with the Taurus.

Hey, what are you gonna do? Gotta love those XYL's.

73, Stephen  
 
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N3ZKP
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« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2004, 05:14:43 PM »

<< Hey, what are you gonna do?>>

Trade them in on a new model that doesn't mind radios, antennas and holes? <gg>

I haven't personally used any of the window mounts, but logic says they HAVE to be an improvement over a rubber duck inside the vehicle.

Lon
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KB1JXL
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« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2004, 06:03:29 PM »

Thanks Lon!! I figured outside is always better than inside.  Oh yeah..it's not that she doesn't like the radios, antennas, and holes, etc...it's just that when the car is new and all so pretty to them...they start to FREAK OUT!!  Ya know??
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KC2MMI
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« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2004, 10:33:47 PM »

I've used a magmount for years with no problem, you may be able to compromise with your wife on this one.

If the Taurus has a clear coat over the paint (like most new cars) you have it easy. Any body shop can feather 3-4 more coats over the middle of the roof CHEAPLY because there is no color matching or masking involved. I'm guessing $50-100 if you drop it off on the same day he's spraying clearcoat for any other job.

With that much extra thickness, the paint doesn't get damaged and any scratched can just be polished out of the clearcoat, $20 and a 20 minutes at the most.

If you have the clearcoat added, your wife can be SURE that any scratches are easily removed, no fuss, no worry, just compound or polish the roof once you notice them. Otherwise:

But my antenna just has a "teflon" type layer over the base so grit doesn't get embedded in it. I use a paper towel with some Windex on it to clean the roof (no grit means no scratches) before I plop the antenna down. Same thing to clean the antenna base.

If you have a soft rubber base that traps grit, buy a roll of THIN "freezer paper" or "butcher paper" aka "wax paper" at the supermart, and just stick a clean piece of it under the antenna when you put it on. Same thing, no grit, no scratches. (And of course it helps if you keep the car fairly clean to start with.<G>)
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KB1JXL
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« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2004, 10:42:06 PM »

Thanks, yeah today someone suggested Teflon to me.  I think I will give the wax paper a shot.  The XYL won't budge, as I said the car is too PRETTY right now.  Give it 2 years of scratches, chips, and dents and there will eventually be a mag mount there.

KB1JXL
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K5LXP
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« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2004, 12:49:14 AM »

If the issue is purely the notion of messing up the paint but not necessarily the addition of an antenna, how about a mount that fits between body panel or trunk seams, gutter channel, etc? My XYL changed her mind "midstream" after she got her new car, so I let her pick out the rig and antenna, and where she wanted everything mounted. Waited 'till she was gone for the afternoon to do the "dirty deed" so she didn't smell fresh cut paint. You will quickly tire of an HT on an external antenna, most HT's choke and puke of overload with even a modest whip antenna. Do your past installations have her running scared? Maybe there's a compromise if the install is done professionally. Not sure if it's the hill you're willing to die on, all depends on how much time you spend in that car, I guess.  Philosophically, it's just as much your car too.

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
k5lxp@arrl.net
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KB1JXL
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« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2004, 09:54:33 AM »

I will be driving this vehicle very rarely over the next 2 years as I will be using the leased Isuzu Rodeo which she used to drive.  I am getting my Kenwood G707A dual band mobile rig powered up today in the Isuzu.  It wil definitely only be an HT in her vehicle (1st baby on the way... a new mobile rig for her car is not in the near future plan...$$$$$).  I just want to get out there on the local repeaters ( within 30 miles) as I did before with my  cheap 1/4 wave MFJ mag mount.  I am thinking of trying my Comet SMA-24 HT antenna on one of these window mounts???  What do you think?  You mentioned "choke" and "puke of overload"...what do you mean as I am a rookie to the hobby??  Do you mean the signal will eventually deteriorate with such a "flimsy-like" HT whip antenna (Comet SMA-24)?  We both ultimately do not want any type of a long whip antenna, whether mag, NMO, or hitch/bumper mount on this vehicle.  I would be interested in your feedback.

Thanks, Stephen
KB1JXL
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N3ZKP
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« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2004, 12:00:04 PM »

<< it's just that when the car is new and all so pretty to them...they start to FREAK OUT!! Ya know?? >>

THAT'S the time to drill the holes - let them get their freakin' out out of their system in one long harang!!! <gg>

Lon
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KB1JXL
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« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2004, 02:02:49 PM »

Hey Lon, thanks for the feedback!! Unfortunately right now is not the time to FREAK out the XYL as we are expecting our first child in April!!! Need I say more??

Stephen, KB1JXL
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K5LXP
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« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2004, 03:11:17 PM »

Looks like this isn't the hill to die on if you won't be driving the car a lot.  And tempting the fate of a hormonally-deranged woman is definitely not worth it.  What I meant by choke and puke is many HT's made these days have very little front end filtering, and even moderately strong signals can overload the receiver causing all sorts of noise, intermod, grunge and other nastiness.  Some are better than others, even within the same brand.  Ham HT's aren't spec'ed for IMD and OIP3, though they ought to be.  Seems hams are more interested in DC-daylight coverage than operating in the band they're authorized for.  Anyway, the only way to know if an HT is suitable for an external antenna is to try it, you'll know in short order if it can handle it or not.

BTW, I treat my APRS setup as "temporary" in my XYL's car, don't consider it important enough to drill a hole for just once in a while operating.  I bought a small 2M mag mount and put it in the trunk, and ran the power and coax to the back seat where I hook up the APRS box.  When it's not in use the power cables and coax get coiled under the seat and the antenna gets stuck in the trunk next to the spare.  When I need it all it takes is a second to pluck out the mag mount, stick it on the trunk and connect the cables to the box.  You could do something similar with your HT, by leaving a temporary antenna with the car all the time it wouldn't be a big deal to connect up your HT, set up the antenna and go.


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
k5lxp@arrl.net
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KB1JXL
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« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2004, 04:09:13 PM »

Mark, IMD?  OIP3?  Apologize about my rookie ignorance, but you lost me with those abrreves.??  Both of my HT's (VX-150 and Rad Shack HTZ-420) both have wotked great with external mag mounts (MFJ 1/4 and 5/8, Diamond NR770NH, Austin Spectrum...etc) No intermod, grunge, nastiness, etc....

So, just so I am clear, you think I might experience the intermod, grunge, and nastiness with these cheap (admittedly my words) window clip mounts?  

I absolutely appreciate your feedback.  I was especially hoping someone would respond who has used these window clip on mounts.  Anybody out there?

Stephen
KB1JXL
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K5LXP
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« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2004, 05:18:13 PM »

OIP3, dynamic range, out of band rejection, etc. are measurements you can do to a receiver to test how strong of a signal it takes before the receiver goes "non-linear".  If you go beyond this point, all sorts of bad things happen.  RF switches start to generate harmonics, mixers generate mostly undesired products, amplifiers compress and generate even more crud.  If your HT's have worked successfully with external antennas already, you're set to go.  I've got one Alinco HT that's virtually useless with a quarter wave groundplane, another Alinco that does just fine.  No way to really test this until you hook it up in the real world.  It even depends on where you live, even well built equipment will have trouble in a high-RF environment.  This is part of the price difference you see in commercial vs. ham gear.

Personally, I think those window/clip mounts suck, but "suck" is relative.  It would be better than a rubber duck inside the car, but there really isn't any groundplane or counterpoise for this thing to work efficiently.  I would be looking for a solution that gets you a quarter wave over some metal.  User reports are too subjective, you would really need to do some field tests to compare signal strengths between a known good antenna and the window clip version.  I would bet the window clip duck would be about 6-10dB below a quarter wave over a ground plane.

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
k5lxp@arrl.net

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N3ZKP
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Posts: 2008




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« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2004, 12:48:11 AM »

<< Unfortunately right now is not the time to FREAK out the XYL as we are expecting our first child in April!!! Need I say more?? >>

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!

My daughter is due to deliver grandchild number five for us in about five weeks. My wife and I will be praying that all goes well for you, your wife and the new baby. Boy, is your life gonna change!!!! <gg>

Lon
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KA5S
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« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2004, 12:24:12 AM »

I have such a window mount. It needs a ground-independent antenna, and for that I have a Comet CH-722Sa, which works EXTREMELY well on 440 and 2 meters on such a mount. It is all steel, rigid, rugged enough for mobile use, will handle 50 watts -- and is XYL-friendly in that it is slim, black and non-geeky looking.

Cortland
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KB1JXL
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« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2004, 10:57:47 AM »

KA5S....thanks...which mount do you use? The MFJ or the OPEK?  My Comet HT antenna (SMA24) is black and has the SMA connector, so should I go with the OPEK then because the OPEK has the window mount in terminating SMA?  The OPEK appears to only come in silver/grey color.  The MFJ only appears to come in terminating BNC and not SMA.  I suppose they might make a BNC/SMA adapter that could go between the antenna and the mount?Huh  Your thoughts???

KB1JXL
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