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Author Topic: Best place to mount long Diamond 2Meter antenna on a pickup?  (Read 5590 times)
N3CSA
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« on: December 20, 2010, 06:13:07 PM »

I need to improve the performance of the rig in my truck (2010 Nissan Frontier crew cab).  I am seriously considering the Diamond NR22L antenna, for 2 meters.

It's a tall antenna, about 8'.  Thinking of mounting it just under the left taillight.  Thus it would be at the far rear of the vehicle.

I've read that you want to mount these close to the frame, which this would be.

What do you think of this plan?
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K0BG
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« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2010, 06:15:24 PM »

Here's my honest opinion. A quarter wave, mounted in the center of the roof, will outperform the Comet.

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N3CSA
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« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2010, 06:23:27 PM »

Well, not looking at a Comet, am looking at the Diamond.

I cannot cut the roof open, I go through vehicles every 3 years so I cannot be intrusive.  What I install has to come back out relatively soon... so using a plate between the rear fender and tailgate (so hidden) to bolt the antenna base to seems like a good way to go.
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K5LXP
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« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2010, 08:45:58 PM »

If you weren't interested in the answer, then why ask the question?

K0BG's answer is correct.  Putting an 8', marginal quality antenna in a compromised location isn't better than a known performer in a good location.  Millions of identical commercial installations over the decades can't be wrong.

If you're going to do it your way anyway, then just do it.  Nothing we're going to tell you is going to convince you otherwise.


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
« Last Edit: December 20, 2010, 08:55:55 PM by Mark Brueggemann » Logged
KE5MJS
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« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2010, 10:02:18 PM »

Not everyone follows the trends. You've voiced your opinion and I think all would agree that you dissapprove. Ease up on the guy.  Cool

NEXT!
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N3CSA
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« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2010, 05:03:49 AM »

I'm just asking questions folks.  I read all the reviews here on the Diamond NR22L antenna and all rated it very highly, certainly not "marginal".

As far as the location question, ok now I understand that at the far end is not a good location.  That's all I wanted to know.

I will mount something in the center of the vehicle but again unfortunately I cannot do a hole-in-the-roof mount. 
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K0BG
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« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2010, 07:07:11 AM »

Comet, Diamond, Midol, and a few other Pacific Rim antennas are very popular. It isn't the cost, because they typically cost as much as a decent antenna like a Larsen NMO2/70 BK. Rather, most folks buy them because the have a rather high gain. The problem is, they don't specify the dB gain suffix (i or d), so their figures are questionable.

Diamond has one model (perhaps the one you're look at) that is advertised as having three phasing coils. When in fact, the top one isn't a coil, but a connector, albeit looks just like the minuscule coils it does have. Smack the antenna with a low-hanging limb, and you don't have an antenna. Do this with a 1/4 wave, and all you need to do is straighten it back up.

Playing the Gain Game is a popular undertaking. And, if you're going to work VHF simplex, a couple of dB might extend your FM area by perhaps 10%. However, the vast majority of FM communications is through repeaters, where antenna gain is much less important. In fact, depending on the HAAT of the mobile and that of the repeater, you're usually better off with a 1/4 wave, just as Mark alluded to.

By the way, Mark has probably installed more mobile VHF gear than any amateur I know of. If anyone knows what works best, he does!
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W3LK
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« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2010, 09:05:23 AM »

Well, not looking at a Comet, am looking at the Diamond.

Same thing; they areb both built by the same Pacific Rim company - and neither one is worth what you pay for them. I'll put my 33" Larsen NMO270 against ANY Pacific Rim antenna and run rings around it. Even the standard 19" quarter way generally beats those 8' tall monsters. It always amazes my how much people believe the hype from Diamond and Comet.

Quote
I cannot cut the roof open, I go through vehicles every 3 years so I cannot be intrusive.  What I install has to come back out relatively soon... so using a plate between the rear fender and tailgate (so hidden) to bolt the antenna base to seems like a good way to go.

Having installed more antennas that I can remember over the years, I can tell you that a 3/4" hole is no big deal. I traded vehicles every three years and every one has at least one hole in the roof - gernerally more than one - and not once did it every have any effect upon the resale value. I put a Motorola rubber plug in them and no one ever noticed.

BTW - a properly installed NMO mount is watertight and will not leak.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2010, 09:12:01 AM by Lon Kinley » Logged

A smoking section in a restaurant makes as much sense as a peeing section in a swimming pool.
K1CJS
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« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2010, 06:20:34 PM »

Do you have a toolbox across the bed just behind the cab?  If so, would you consider drilling that?

If not, consider the light that a lot of pickups have right behind the cab that illuminates the rear box area.  If it has a heavy enough mount, maybe you can get/fashion an angle bracket and mount a 1/4 wave whip on that.  When you sell the truck, just remove the mount.  You can get stick on cable clips that will hold the co-ax from flopping around, and just route it into the cab where you can.
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N3CSA
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« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2010, 03:08:37 PM »

Well, based on the info here I did much more reading about the Larsen antennas.  I ordered a Larsen 150 2-meter antenna and a matching NMO magnetic base.  The Larsen technical info they have on their website is very informative.

This antenna will go in the center of the roof.  According to Larsen, the mag mount only incurs a very slight loss.  I am willing to accept that in exchange for the flexibility that I will be able to easily yank it down and tuck it inside when I go into a parking garage.

Thanks for the advice folks.
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AD4U
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« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2010, 04:29:29 PM »

I think you will be very happy with this antenna.  IMO it will beat the Diamond on the bumper hands down.

Dick  AD4U
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W3LK
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« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2010, 05:49:48 PM »

Good move on the antenna change, but be advised that, with a mag mount, you will quite possibly have a fair bit of common mode current on the coax. If you have a problem with RF getting into the vehicle's computers, this will be the reason why.
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A smoking section in a restaurant makes as much sense as a peeing section in a swimming pool.
KC8IUR
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« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2010, 11:05:06 AM »

Here's my honest opinion. A quarter wave, mounted in the center of the roof, will outperform the Comet.



Thread hijack...

I've read your site and you have a lot of info there. What do you think would be better on a full sized pick up; 1/4 wave center of roof or 5/8 wave in a rear stake pocket? Is it always always always center of roof, or just enough metal directly underneath and not butted up against a 'shadow'?
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K0BG
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« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2010, 11:49:05 AM »

Well, you need to read this: http://www.k0bg.com/images/pdf/mobile_vhf_ant.pdf

It is also on Danny Richardson's, K6MHE, web site, but a little hard to find.

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VE3PLO
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« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2010, 09:35:45 PM »

The only good antenna from Diamond is a M285S, and yes, drill the hole and put it on the roof.
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