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Author Topic: Mobile Grounding  (Read 704 times)
AB9DF
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Posts: 81




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« on: March 20, 2008, 02:25:21 PM »

I have a Hustler ball mount installed on my left rear panel of my Astro Van.  Drilled 4 holes and it mounted up very nicely.  Not sure what the big deal is about drilling holes.  It looks good.  My question is related to grounding.  A friend of mine suggested that even though I have a permanently install ball mount, he suggested attaching a ground strap to the negative side of the ball mount on the inside wall and running it to the frame.  He suggested a 1" ground strap and bolting it to the frame.  It sounds like a good idea but is worth it?  Worth being a relative term.  Is there any reason not to do it?  Or, is there really a good reason to do?  
Any thoughts?  I have not reason to think my current setup is not properly grounded for RF.
Look forward to your thoughts.
Rob AB9DF
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N0NOB
Member

Posts: 97




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« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2008, 02:51:57 PM »

I followed Alan's suggestions as best I could and may
have gone overboard on some.
Added 2 inch braid from ball mount and radio to the frame.
Read all of Alan's suggestions at www.k0bg.com

73
Irv
N0NOB
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RX1
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Posts: 9




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« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2008, 05:53:16 AM »

"AB9DF on March 20, 2008  Mail this to a friend!  
I have a Hustler ball mount installed on my left rear panel of my Astro Van. Drilled 4 holes and it mounted up very nicely. Not sure what the big deal is about drilling holes."

Absolutely nothing personal or any offense intended. Everyone has their own interests and priorities. However, the kind of person who doesn't mind attaching a ball mount and whip antenna to their vehicle, is often the same type who wouldn't understand why others don't want holes drilled in the first place.  
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K0BG
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Posts: 9844


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« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2008, 07:10:25 AM »

Adding a ground strap from the ball to a chassis hard point won't buy you anything, especially on a unibodied vehicle.

The various ideas relating to the types of grounds gets very confusing because we call a lot of different things ground. The only thing you really need to think about is a return for the coax. If it's connected to the body at the mount, and assuming it has continuity with the body, that's all that's needed.

The reason some people install long ground straps from their mounts to the frame is because they typically don't drill holes, and they think that ground strap is a replacement for a ground plane. Such is not the case.

As for RX1, whomever he is; drilling holes is a personal decision based on a lot of factors. In most cases it's based on an excuse, and can almost guarantee you, I've heard just about every lame excuse under the sun.

That said, just about any antenna installation will work to some extent. Obviously, some are better than others. It is how much better that's in question. Until you have a first class installation (which typically requires drilling holes), you have no idea how much difference there is.

I guess in the final analysis, it's how far you're willing to go.

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
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W3LK
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Posts: 5644




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« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2008, 08:25:16 AM »

RX1: "However, the kind of person who doesn't mind attaching a ball mount and whip antenna to their vehicle, is often the same type who wouldn't understand why others don't want holes drilled in the first place."

Not necessarily. I understand WHY, I just don't agree with the reasoning IF the person is really interested in a top performing installation. There are some  no-hole installations (radio and antennas) that look pretty good and work reasonably well. However there are far more that look like crap (inside and outside the vehicle) and work even worse, especially HF installations. Take a look in the parking lot of any hamfest or tailgate sale and you'll see what I mean.

It all boils down to this question: are you SERIOUS about your mobile operations, or are you just playing at it?

I haven't had a ball mount and whip since the early 60's but I have installed radios (amateur, commercial, or LE auxiliary - or a combination thereof) in every vehicle I've had over the last 45+ years and drilled holes for the antennas, radios and control heads in every one of them. Some under the dash (boy, am I dating myself. Smiley), many in stacks on the transmission hump (remember those?) or on the dash. I have put antennas in the roof of every one of those vehicles. In most cases, the drilling started the afternoon I brought the vehicle home from the dealer. There's nothing like drilling holes while the smell of new car fills the air. <g>

You haven't lived until you have had to install a tube-type GE Prog Line or Motorola Motrac in a vehicle - or in one case, three of them in the same vehicle - and run lines capable of carrying 30A or more, for each radio, to the trunk.

So, no, I don't have a lot of sympathy for people who want to do half-baked installations and then complain about the performance.

73,

Lon - W3LK
Naugatuck, Connecticut
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W3LK
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Posts: 5644




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« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2008, 08:28:50 AM »

PS ...

I don't pay a lot of attention to the opinions of people who post without their real name or call sign, either. Smiley

73,

Lon - W3LK
Naugatuck, Connecticut
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RX1
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Posts: 9




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« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2008, 10:10:21 AM »

W3LK,

I apologize, as I did not intend to prompt any defensiveness. My remark was meant only to address what are common difference in priorities. Although I'm not one who prefers to drill holes, I am one who understands the limitations of compromise. I'm willing to accept them. Not everyone who opts for the compromise is complaining that it isn't performing to specs.

Look, if I had an SUV or other vehicle that was geared for such application, I'd probably view the drilling of holes in a different light. I completely accept the fact that there are others who view it differently. My opinion is just that, mine.

There does tend to be a trend in this hobby for persons to see anyone leaning outside of their opinion to be the ones who "just don't get it." Hey, if someone decides that they don't want to drill holes in their Acura, Lexus, Infiniti, etc, I have no problem understanding that. Now if they're complaining about performance at that point, that's a different story.

With regard to posting without a callsign, I took it for granted that both of you were bigger than that. That tends to be a crutch that I would expect from someone with a smaller level of maturity. A lot of folks have good reasons for remaining anonymous. I don't believe I've been disrespectful to you, at least not intentionally.  
       

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W3LK
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Posts: 5644




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« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2008, 11:11:33 AM »

I did not take you to be disrespectful. I just don't care for people who make their posts from behind a wall. I put them in the same category as anonymous phone calls, letter to the editor, and so forth. I'm just of the opinion, right or wrong, that they have something to hide.

<<  A lot of folks have good reasons for remaining anonymous.>>

I could comment that they don't want to be held accountable for their actions, but I won't, although in the majority of cases on this site, it is true. As for maturity, distrust of faceless and nameless people is acquired by experience. Smiley

Thanks for your responses, though. I think we've taking this far enough. I hope you come to a satisfactory solution to the antenna mount problem on the other forum.

73,

Lon - W3LK
Naugatuck, Connecticut
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KF6IIU
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Posts: 293




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« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2008, 01:55:13 PM »

>> Not sure what the big deal is about drilling holes.

I think what he meant was, "I was a little scared about drilling holes, but once I did, and it looked great, and it didn't effect the resale value of my ride, and it didn't piss of the XYL, and now my antenna doesn't fall off at 80 mph, I'm glad I did!"
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KE4DRN
Member

Posts: 3714




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« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2008, 05:35:39 PM »

hi,

just like the first QSO, everyone worries if they
will do it right.

same with drilling holes in the car or truck,
you can't undrill the hole !

as for those that post w/o callsign as the eham id,
eham welcomes everyone, subscriber $ or not, to the site.

I read and learn from everyone here, callsign or not,
if somebody wants to learn from the rest of us then that
is a good thing.

73 james
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KF4URY
Member

Posts: 101




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« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2008, 05:17:52 PM »

---I don't pay a lot of attention to the opinions of people who post without their real name or call sign, either. Smiley---


That's ok, a lot of people don't pay attention to someone with an inflated view of themselves either.
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