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Author Topic: H.F. antenna for 2007 Toyota Tacoma  (Read 3872 times)
NT6U
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Posts: 68




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« on: February 12, 2012, 01:46:41 PM »

   I own a 07 Toyota Tacoma 4X4.  I am installing a TS-480, and some form of H.F. mobile antenna.  I have not decided on antenna due to lack of mobile experience, cost is important yet not deciding factor.  The bed of this model P/U is all fiberglass.  Has anyone had experience mounting say a scorpion or other H.F. antenna in this truck?  Will the all fiberglass bed cause any heartburn? Any suggestions on mounting location/s, or antenna.  I have the HX model 480, no tuner.  Thanks to all in advance.  Greg.
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AC4RD
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Posts: 1236




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« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2012, 04:21:12 AM »

... some form of H.F. mobile antenna.  I have not decided on antenna due to lack of mobile experience, cost is important yet not deciding factor.  

Greg, I'm more than a little surprised that you haven't had a bunch of responses, so I'll chime in with two bits of advice.  One is to look at K0BG's website, www.k0bg.com  It is a *fantastic* resource for newcomers to HF mobile operations!  There are pages devoted to all the important topics, written clearly and simply--it's an education on HF mobiling even before you get to the pages and pages of other people's HF mobile setups.   DEFINITELY plan to spend some time reading it!

The second bit of advice is one a lot of people may disagree with:  Try using a simple bumper or lip mount with a Hamstick-style antenna or two.  Give that a shot and see how you like it.   That's a very inexpensive way to start, and if you love HF mobile operating, you can sell the hamsticks and upgrade the antenna and mount after you've gotten a bit of experience.  If you don't like HF mobiling, you haven't lost much money.  If you DO like it, you know more about what to look for in an upgraded antenna system.

HTH!  Good luck, and feel free to discuss or ask questions here on the "Mobile Ham" forum--it's a great resource!  73!  --ken ac4rd

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K0BG
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« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2012, 07:20:45 AM »

The bed is a composite, and not fiberglass. There is a bed attachment point, on both sides about 18 inches or so from the back of the cab, and about 4 inches from the side of the bed. If you look under the bed you can see them. You'll have to modify the attachment obviously, but there isn't any other practical in-bed mounting point. This is especially true if you buy a Scorpion—it weighs 18 pounds!

If the antenna is light weight (less than 8 pounds or so), you can use the cargo rail. Problem there is, it is attached to the bed on only one end!

You won't have any problems electrically, as the alternator is 130 amps. You will, however, have some ignition RFI. If you bond the tail pipe, and the hood, most of that will go away.
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AI8P
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« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2012, 10:00:12 AM »

Greg,

I have a 2006 Tacoma with the same plastic bed.    Even stake hole mounts don't work as there are no real stake holes.

I mounted a 2M NMO on the far (back) end of the drivers side bed rail.   This was because the garage wouldn't allow me to put it on the roof and the warning that came with the truck saying any RF in the cab could be a problem.

When I needed to go HF mobile, I just put an adapter on the NMO and put a 40M hamstick on that - no bonding of the fender to the other body parts - just stuck it out there on the end of the bed rail.

It was no world beater but it worked and I actually won a few contests using it as an NVIS on 40M.

  It did require a careful drilling of a hole in the bed rail and the plastic cover of same.    This year I am going to put a separate hamstick mount at the end of the other bed rail so that I don't have to sacrifice my 2M antenna when I want to work HF mobile.

Your mileage may vary.

Dennis
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N6AF
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« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2012, 09:48:57 PM »

I have a Chevy Silverado with an open bed and learned quickly what not to do.  I started out by trying to mount my Hustler whip onto the bumper.  This of course placed the lower portion of the whip behind the closed tail gate.  To sum up the results; it didn't work very well.  Then I tried installing the Hustler whip on the back of the toolbox in the bed of the truck - unbelievable improvement!  I would say I picked up more than 10 dB by getting the whip away from the adjacent tail gate metal.  Don't even consider mounting it on the bumper.  I used "truckers wing mirror" mounting hardware on the back side of the tool box to make a sturdy mount for the whip.  It works great.  When I run my ALS-500 with the FT-100D I get about 550 Watts CW output with the engine running.  It's pretty crazy.  I get super signal reports with that amp but it unnerves me (possibly literally) when I see my speedometer and tach pegging their needles on voice peaks.  I'm getting a little off track here but you get the idea.  Placing the entire antenna so it's not right next to a metal surface like the tail gate is the secret.  I also have a Tundra with a fiberglass camper shell.  I don't mean a full size camper but the shell that's the same height as the cab of the truck.  I haven't installed an antenna on the Tundra yet but based on what I learned with the Chevy tool box experience, my plan is to buy a tow hitch style bike rack holder and use that to get the Hustler whip up so its base is at least as high as the top of the metal tail gate.  We'll see how the fiberglass shell affects it.  You get the idea here.  Get the whip up and away from any adjacent metal.  Happy mobile ops!  73 Chas  N6AF
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KI4SDY
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« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2012, 11:21:50 PM »

An inexpensive, easy, strong and quick fix is to use a flat bumper mount that secures with a large bolt under the bumper, the MFJ-1600T 4 1/2 foot extender mast and their 10, 20 and 40 meter hamsticks. I would probably start with the MFJ 1620T 20 meter stick for immediate good results. This gets you grounded to the frame and above the metal of the truck. In addition, it turns the hamstick into a good performing center loaded whip. You cannot beat it for the money ($19.95 for the extender and $14.95 for each whip)!  Wink

I have mounted small VHF and UHF antennas on my aluminum tool box and while they provide an adequate grounding surface for small antennas, the aluminum is soft and will bend under impact with longer heavy antennas.  Shocked  
« Last Edit: February 13, 2012, 11:27:37 PM by KI4SDY » Logged
W8JX
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« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2012, 03:55:19 AM »

I have used a chain type bumper mount for many years with good results.
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AC4RD
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« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2012, 04:24:19 AM »

... the lower portion of the whip behind the closed tail gate.  To sum up the results; it didn't work very well.  Then I tried installing the Hustler whip on the back of the toolbox in the bed of the truck - unbelievable improvement!  I would say I picked up more than 10 dB by getting the whip away from the adjacent tail gate metal....

One more individual datapoint:  I can't easily mount any antenna where it isn't parallel to and near to sheet metal.  (My car, a 2006 xB, is the same shape as a shoebox ... and only slightly larger.)   Because of a parking garage, I'm also limited in total length of an antenna, and hence use a bumper-level mount.   I've done a lot of experimenting with various antennas over the last year, and I found that the best results *for me* (your mileage may vary, close cover before striking) came when I used a long enough mast to get the resonator above the top of the roofline.   If you look at my QRZ entry, there's a link to my page about my current mobile setup.  It seems to me that the Hustler resonators with homebrewed capacity hats and DXE masts are the best inexpensive setup I've found to date.   Again, though, start off with ANYTHING, see if you like mobile HF, and you'll be able to upgrade antennas with a little more hands-on experience.   GL 73! 

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WX7G
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« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2012, 09:22:00 AM »

The Lakeview company - the maker of Hamsticks - has closed it's doors after 30 years in business.

I don't know if the MFJ equivalent is made by Lakeview or not.
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KK4CRY
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Posts: 35




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« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2012, 01:47:00 AM »

I was thinking of using a Breedlove Flat Top Swivel Ball just ahead of the driver side tail light to mount a screwdriver antenna. But im currently setting up my base HF rig.
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KG9NZ
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Posts: 26




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« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2012, 01:28:00 PM »

The Lakeview company - the maker of Hamsticks - has closed it's doors after 30 years in business.

I don't know if the MFJ equivalent is made by Lakeview or not.

I recently bought some Hamstick antennas from Lakeview, then found they were closed and only had one band in stock.  I bought MFJ antennas for the others, and have been very pleased with them.  You can adjust them to be resonant at a certain frequency, take them apart, and then when you put them back together they are still adjusted.  Whereas the Hamstick you have to adjust every time (guess you could mark it somehow, but not as convenient as using the MFJ ones).
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