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Author Topic: 2005 Dodge Caravan HF Installation  (Read 2086 times)
NZ0T
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Posts: 76




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« on: December 19, 2004, 03:28:51 PM »

I just started a new job that requires a minivan as a company car.  We will be picking up a new 2005 Dodge Caravan tomorrow.  We will own the vehicle though the company pays for it so I can drill holes if needed.  Of course the less holes the better!

I plan to install my IC706 MKII using my Outbacker JR for HF and most likely a thru-glass for 2 meters.  I already have own those antennas so those are set.  I'm thinking of using a lip mount on the rear hatch for the Outbacker or possibly a luggage rack mount.  I also have a license plate mount but I would rather have the antenna mounted higher away from the body and rear windshield defroster.

Any input would be appreciated including any noise problem quirks on the Caravan with the 3.3 liter engine.
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N3ZKP
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Posts: 2008




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« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2004, 05:02:30 PM »

Don't worry about holes. It will make no difference on trade-in. Put antennas where they need to be.

<< I plan to install my IC706 MKII using my Outbacker JR for HF and most likely a thru-glass for 2 meters. I already have own those antennas so those are set. >>

A glass mount 2m is a poor choice, but better than nothing. You will be better off getting a Larsen 270NMO and mounting it in the middle of the front roof. The best place is right over the dome light or overhead console.  

<<I'm thinking of using a lip mount on the rear hatch for the Outbacker or possibly a luggage rack mount.>>

You are going to have grounding problems with an HF antenna on a luggage rack mount. Most luggage racks are NOT grounded to the body. On HF, proper grounding is everything for proper operation and keeping RF out of the computer, etc. A lip mount on the hatch is viable, but you will need to make sure the hatch is bonded to the rest of the body and the mount is securly grounded to the hatch. Did I say grounding is everything on HF? Smiley

.<< I also have a license plate mount but I would rather have the antenna mounted higher away from the body and rear windshield defroster. >>

lousy location for both reasons, at least, and the mount isn't particularly strong, anyway.

I'm sure Alan will pop in with suggestions, too. Listen to what he has to say.

Lon
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NZ0T
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Posts: 76




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« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2004, 04:23:35 AM »

Thanks, Lon.  I only plan to go with a rack mount if something better won't work.  As far as 2M goes I don't use it much so the poor performance of a thru-glass doesn't matter.

Would you, or anyone else, know here the main computer is in a Caravan?  I want to avoid running any coax or other wiring near it.
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K0BG
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Posts: 10248


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« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2004, 06:38:30 AM »

A 2 meter glassmount antenna and an Outbacker aught to be a good pair; they're both dummy loads on a stick.

The difference between a glassmount 2 meter antenna and an NMO270 (as Lon suggested) can be as much as 20 dB, perhaps more. And there is always the risk of putting RF where it doesn't belong because of the poor groundplane (usually the coax feeding it).

As for the Outbacker, if that is all you have, use it. But a Hustler would be a better choice. Better yet, a good quality screwdriver type (TarHeel, HiQ, etc.) mounted to the front of the van. Mounting it there minimizes the signal-zapping stray capacitance that rear mounting would cause.

On HiQ's web page are some pictures of various installations on cars and vans alike. You'll have to look for them as there is no direct links to them.

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
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N3ZKP
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Posts: 2008




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« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2004, 08:49:08 AM »

My High Sierra 1800Pro is mounted at the left rear of my Windstar. I had a 2" square tube welded to the cross member of the class-4 hitch platform with a round, vertical post for the actual antenna mount to attach to. This is SOLID and there is no movement of the antenna and mount.  There is sufficient clearance to give minimal coupling between the antenna and the body.

Alan's right, the front mounting would probably eliminate any coupling to the body, but then my vehicle would look like something from the UN High Commission on Refugees. Smiley

Mine is also a company vehicle.

Lon

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NZ0T
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Posts: 76




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« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2004, 09:30:47 AM »

I do own an NO5E screwdriver but that will remain on the truck.  I don't disagree about the lower efficency of the Outbacker but I have had good results with it before and for now I can live with the reduced performance.  Later I hope to install a better antenna on the van for HF but for now economics Smiley dictate that I use one of my existing antennas.  I do have a Larsen NMO mount so I may use it instead of the thru-glass though once again 2 meter performance is not as important to me.

Thanks again, everyone!
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