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Author Topic: Need Ideas - Mounting Solution for HF Antenna  (Read 1239 times)
N9ZMO
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Posts: 22




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« on: March 14, 2008, 11:38:28 AM »

Hello all,

I've been researching HF mobile in my truck (Pickup) and am about ready to pull the trigger on getting the items and start the install.  I've read over Alan's site several times over and plan to fully implement the best practices outlined there.

My question comes in with installing the antenna. I have a fiber glass tonneau cover so the post mount systems won't work for me. I also use the trailer hitch often to haul the bicycles when we travel so putting the antenna there is not possible.

I've seen some photos and saw discussions on how others have done some custom attachment to the trailer hitch off to the side. I would like to see more detail and perhaps a photo or two of the install so I could mimic that.  I'm also open to other suggestions for mounting.

Thanks and 73,
Kurt / N9ZMO
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K0BG
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« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2008, 12:03:05 PM »

If you go through the Photo Gallery, you'll see several examples. Just remember, low mounting will increase ground losses.

What most folks do is have a second receiver welded to a tube which extends the antenna either to the outside of the fender, or offsets the antenna to the driver's side, and behind the bumper. Personally, if I were doing this (even though I don't like low mounting), I'd have a flat piece of steel welded to the hitch frame. That flat piece would them have a 3/4 inch hole for the base insulator.

Adding a second receiver increases the resistive losses, even if you add a ground strap. If you have to R&R the antenna often, then get a heavy-duty base QD like the SS one made by HiQ.

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
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N9ZMO
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« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2008, 12:39:07 PM »

I have indeed looked over the photos and gathered ideas. I'd love to put it up higher. I'm opting to go with the High Sierra screwdriver antenna. I would need to remove it fairly often to get the truck into the garage at night if it's up high..which i'm not opposed to.

Thanks, I'll review the photos again for more ideas and thoughts.

Kurt / N9ZMO
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W3LK
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Posts: 5639




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« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2008, 01:39:27 PM »

<< I would need to remove it fairly often to get the truck into the garage at night if it's up high..which i'm not opposed to. >>

Not necessarily necessary. Smiley

Most of the time. folding over the whip will take care of clearance problems unless you have the antenna mounted very high. That what I do with my installation.

I have a 2" square steel tube welded to the lateral member of the hitch platform extending out past the left rear. There is a 1 1/8 round rod welded to it to mount the HS1800 on. Take a look at the photos of my Windstar on Alan's site.

The low mounting isn't optimal, but I am more than satisfied with the performance. I have no problems tuning any frequency and I make several MARS nets above 75m on a regular basis - all over the Eastern seaboard. No complaints when DX'ing either.

All mobile installations are a compromise.

73,

Lon - W3LK
Naugatuck, Connecticut
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N9ZMO
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Posts: 22




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« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2008, 06:20:18 AM »

Lon,

Thanks for the idea and notes on not having to remove the antenna altogether.  I took another spin through Alan's site and photos looking for your setup and Call sign on there and don't see your call on there.  I know my eyes are getting old and such but I didn't see it.

Thanks again for the idea, Im pursuing that.

73, Kurt
N9ZMO
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K0BG
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« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2008, 08:13:19 AM »

That's my error. When I upgraded to Gallery 2 (a BIG mistake), all of the photos had to be re-uploaded, twice! The second reload didn't work correctly. I'm still having problems making the upload work, but by the time you read this, they should be there under his call.

If and when I get the search working, it'll be easier.

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
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W3LK
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« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2008, 08:45:34 AM »

Kurt:

Just FYI, in the photos the coil on the High Sierra in at the 20m position. On 75m, the coil is about 9" higher. With the whip folded over, it still just above the roof line.

On your pickup, with the lateral bar and vertical post welded to the hitch platform, it would be easy to extend the vertical post up past the box (and brace it to the top of the box). Put the HS mount on the post and you get the coil completely clear of the body. This would give you something similar to Alan's installation on his Ridgeline.

It would be a little difficult to do on my Windstar. I would have to take the post all the way to the luggage rack level. Smiley

73,

Lon - W3LK
Naugatuck, Connecticut
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N9ZMO
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Posts: 22




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« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2008, 12:44:24 PM »

Alan,

Thanks and no problem. I really appreciate your web site and all the information there. It's very beneficial to see everything needed to do a proper and safe install in one concise place.  I've gone though the pain of software upgrades way too often, I do feel your pain there.

73, Kurt
N9ZMO
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N9ZMO
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Posts: 22




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« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2008, 12:59:25 PM »

Lon,

Nicely setup. I can't brace anything using the truck bed as i have a fiber glass tonneau cover that would prevent any bracing.  I would do the compromise and just have it setup pretty much similar to yours.  I probably will be back with more questions as I move forward now.

Thanks again,
73, Kurt
N9ZMO
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W3LK
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« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2008, 05:19:05 PM »

You could always weld or bolt the brace to the side panel just below the rail. <gg>

Good luck with the project. Be sure to send Alan photos of the finished installation.

73,

Lon - W3LK
Naugatuck, Connecticut
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N9ZMO
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Posts: 22




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« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2008, 06:16:04 AM »

I will be posting photos as i go along. I think I have the pick list of what I need for the major Items. I'm going to list them here to recap and see if I'm missing any big items.

1. High Sierra HS1800-Pro Platinum Kit
2. BetterRF IC7000 Tuner
3. BetterRF IC7000 Controller
4. West Mountain RAdio Rig Runner 4005

I have a VHF/UHF installed that I would then power off the rigrunner also and just run one set of power wires from the battery to the 4005.

Thanks,
73 - Kurt
N9ZMO
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K0BG
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« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2008, 09:50:21 AM »

Kurt, if you e-mail me, I'll send you some instructions for the BetterRF that are a little easier to follow than the ones in the box.

There are a few things you need to know before you even start your install, and they're in the instructions too.

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
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N9ZMO
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Posts: 22




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« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2008, 07:36:41 AM »

Thanks for the followup information. Very helpful.

Kurt
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KF6IIU
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Posts: 293




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« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2008, 02:18:05 PM »

I'd still put the antenna on top of the cover. Line the inside of the cover with chicken wire and bond everything together.

You could even glass it in. This is what I've seen composite aircraft builders do to get ground planes on their aircraft. They use something lighter than chicken wire, like small gauge copper wire, but the idea is the same - get it up high, and over a ground plane.
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W3LK
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Posts: 5639




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« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2008, 07:34:38 PM »

The cap doesn't have the physical strength to handle a full size motorized antenna without considerable reinforcement.

And while the screen, tape, wires, or what have you ground plane will do for 2m, it will be inadequate for HF.

73,

Lon - W3LK
Naugatuck, Connecticut
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