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Author Topic: 2 meter antenna mounting on a Chevy Equinox  (Read 8945 times)
KD0LAV
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« on: October 11, 2011, 06:21:05 PM »

Prior car used a Larsen 2 meter 70cm dual band antenna on a trunk lip mount. (no holes in the new car)  Since this car has the hatchback it presents a bunch of issues/possibilities.  I also have to be careful it isn't too high due to the garage door.  I have the RS720 adjustable mount that will go on the lip just fine but the coax may present a problem with the opening and closing of the hatch.  There are some mounts that use a very tiny cable to go through the crack.  Of course the other option is put a magnetic antenna in the center of the roof.  Then I have cable hanging over the side of the roof where the wind blows it causing damage to the paint.

Anybody have the Equinox?  Am open to suggestions since I am fairly new into amatuer radio.  73's
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KF9ZA
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« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2011, 05:40:19 AM »

I had to look at a unique solution for mounting an antenna on my Mini Cooper S convertible. There was no place to put a mag mount so I was considering this license plate mount from MFJ:

http://www.mfjenterprises.com/Product.php?productid=MFJ-2820

This might work for your Equinox.  I was looking at using it in combination with the Comet CK3M mount ( http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/hamantm/cometx.html ) which is the thin coax you mentioned.  You could use the thin cable closing thru the weather strip.  Use velco to keep the cable in place on the inside of the car.  Another option I was considering was drilling thru the body behind the license plate to get the cable in.  I would have done that only if I could find a plastic/rubber plug to put in the hole when I sold the car.  I go by the old axiom with buying a house.  Remember when you are buying a house, someday you will sell it.  Look at how it will be when you sell.  Same with a car.  Make sure your mobile installation will be un-installed so that the lease company, dealer buying your trade, or the next owner will never know there was a radio in the car.

I decided not to put a radio in the Mini and instead spend my $$ on an HF in my SUV.  Good luck and have fun.
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K0BG
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« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2011, 08:20:22 AM »

Buy yourself a Larsen angle bracket, and use the right side hood seam.
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KD0LAV
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« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2011, 04:53:15 PM »

Thanks guys for the info.  Alan I looked at the hood area on the passenger side and there is no flat space for the mount to fit over the hood.  I have a 720 mount and it looks as if the hood and fender are very tight tolerances. 
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K0BG
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« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2011, 07:06:24 AM »

The mount doesn't fit over the hood. You use the upright part of the fender to screw the mount on. The antenna itself hang over the fender, not the hood.
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KD0LAV
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« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2011, 10:13:10 PM »

Alan, it will work but barely. I drove to AES in Milwaukee this afternoon and had Jim take a look at the car.  A lot of the spaces where you normally might put an antenna were to close together.  I guess GM's fit and finish must be getting better.  We explored the mounting on the hood area as you suggested.  We will have to go with that but the side of the fender that it would mount to is not flat. There is a raised seam down the inside of the area where the bracket goes instead of just a straight piece of metal.  The mount will fit in just enough to get a very short screw into the area without it puncturing the fender area.  If you get a chance to look at a 2012 Equinox lift the hood up once.  Your idea will be the option we choose but GM didn't make it easy.
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K7RBW
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« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2011, 08:58:50 AM »

I know I'm going to get a lot of flak for suggesting it, but I've had decent luck with the Larsen Kulglas antennas mounted on the windshield. I'll be the first to admit they aren't the best option; I'd put them on par with a mag mount. But if you don't want to punch any holes, they're an option.

They are very sensitive to the glass thickness and the thicker glass of the windshield detunes it a bit. I had to take a couple of inches off the whip to bring it back into 2-meter range on my RAV4, but it's a no-hole mount that gets the job done.

That said, I think I'll be punching a hole in the roof next spring to mount a new antenna. I figure that when I sell it, I'll just put a cap on it and no one will give it a second thought. Nowadays, if you look a the roof of a car, you see all sorts of little black bumps on it for XM radio, GPS, etc. So it's not as strange to see a new fancy car with a little black antenna bump on the roof.

After that, I'll be able to do a real A/B comparison with the glass mount (to see if I really needed to punch a hole in the roof Smiley )
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K0BG
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« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2011, 09:48:46 AM »

If isn't flack, it is the fact the window glass is passivated. Even when it isn't, the coax does the major part of the radiating. If you dog deep enough, you'll find that glass mounted antennas are not recommended by any automobile maker these days.
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K7RBW
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« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2011, 06:41:04 AM »

I'm looking forward to doing some A/B testing after I install the roof-mount. I'll be sure to post the results. In the meantime, if you could point me to any references on test methods that don't involve a lot of specialized equipment, I'd appreciate it. I have some ideas, but I'm always eager to learn more.
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K0BG
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« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2011, 07:20:21 AM »

Unfortunately, you do need some sophisticated equipment. If nothing else, a decent service monitor.

Everyone will tell you their installation works well, no matter how lousy it is in reality. It pays to remember, almost anything will work. The real issue is, defining the term work! The ability to communicate with some DX station doesn't define the term work, but you'd think so by the number of people who use the ability as a measuring stick.

Further, it amazes me to see the lengths some folks will go, just to keep from drilling a hole to properly mount their antennas. Then they complain that the SWR is too high, or they have some other malady they can't fix.
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KD0LAV
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« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2011, 09:13:08 AM »

Alan

They could end up like I did.  Had the rig and antenna professionally installed.  At 3000 miles the motor started acting up and within 3 weeks of purchase parts were all over the dealers floor.  Was fixed and next day same problem surfaced.  Dealer took it back and has me in another one.  Glad I didn't drill thru roof but mounted it inside the hood lip with an "L" bracket.

Will see how the new Equinox works before I install anything in this one.
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KQ6Q
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« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2011, 01:51:55 PM »

I had a fold-out trunk lip mount on a previous car, used the antenna base and coax from it with a hand-made hood-fender gap mount - kind of a
_
 |_

shape made the center section with a curved formed in it to match the shape of the inner lip on the fender. Made the bracket from a piece of galvanized strap from Home Depot. Made this to be able to use a pre-existing hole in the horizontal portion of the fender under the hood. Works ok with  short 2m/440 spike, but a longer one, that rode the trunk on the previous car, whipped around too much in the turbulence in front, very distracting, so I keep it in reserve in case I really need the longer antenna.
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N6AJR
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« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2011, 12:30:03 PM »

You can always go under the rear of the car on the drivers side and either bolt or weld a  flat piece to stick out under the drivers side  corner in back and mount  your antenna on that. Sort of like a side ways trailer hitch.  I have also used , on an old Toyota sedan, a mount made of a plate  that sticks out under the back of the car, bolted through the  trunk to a plate inside the trunk.  I made a  sandwitch out of the floor of the trunk ( actually the tier well in the bottom of the trunk) and it also worked well.  check every couple of months that it is tight and there is a good ground.  Mounted on the back  underside of the car you can get dirt and corrosion build up.  I hope this gives you an idea or two.
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WX1CT
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« Reply #13 on: December 25, 2011, 06:30:23 PM »

I bought a 2012 Equinox last month and have two dual band Larsen NMO mounts on the roof. Works great and looks terrific!  I also have a ball mount on the left side for the HF antenna. That is still a work in progress. I've gone through all the usual mounts in the past primarily because I'm not a mechanical person. This time I took the Equinox to an installer and  had the antenna mounts installed 2 weeks out of the showroom. Pictures are available on my blog.  http://wx1ct.blogspot.com/2011/12/equinox-mobile-install.html
WX1CT
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KD0LAV
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« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2011, 06:32:38 PM »

Same color as mine.  My original 4cyl had to be replaced with another Equinox.  Now I need to get my stuff remounted all over again.
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