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Author Topic: Antenna Options For Freightliner Cascadia  (Read 22966 times)

Posts: 268

« on: February 19, 2012, 09:51:02 AM »

Hi guys,

Im going to install a 10m mobile rig in my semi truck at work since the band is opening up now. The problem is that the Freightliner Cascadia has limited antenna mount options. The factory CB radio antenna mounts are located towards the top of the roof on each side, and they also serve as the AM/FM antennas using a crappy duplexer. There are some custom made mounts for the door mirrors, but they mount behind the bracket bolts under the window. These mounts only work with 6 ft whips. The only other option that I can see are the two rails on the back of the cab, one is a hand-rail and the other is a rail for the deal that holds your air lines up out of the way and it slides back and forth on this horizontal rail as you make your turns.

My three antenna choices so far are:
1. Hustler 10m RM-10 resonator
2. Wilson 5000 center loaded tuned to 10m
3. A helical type antenna with the big coil at the bottom


Posts: 268

« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2012, 09:53:38 AM »

Im also thinking about using a 3 or 4 ft long fiberglass whip CB antenna for a ground, similar to a dipole. Instead of SO-239 mounts, I would use stud types so i can split the center conductor and the shielding between the two antennas. These newer trucks are terrible for no sheet metal in the bodies and doors now, so everyone is always having swr problems. Any ideas about this would be appreciated.

Posts: 448

« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2012, 11:19:24 AM »

If you are going to just do 10 meters only, then, if you can get to the
split coax harness for the dual antennas you currently have, run one
side with the duplexer to your CB and AM/FM radio. (you'll have to replace
the coax with single runs to do this) And another for the 10 meter radio.
(minus the duplexer) I would then use a regular fiberglass antenna and shorten
it to work on 10 meters. (mount it on the driver's side to avoid low hanging limbs
  10 meters has not been all the good lately. I haven't looked up your call so, I
don't know if you are a tech class or higher. Either way, if you do only 10 meters
and with conditions like they are right now, you won't get much fun out of Amateur
radio.  Depending on what you plan to use for 10 meters, you can probably spend
a little more money and get a decent used mobile HF rig. Then, you have a lot more
options open to you. And a screwdriver antenna like the Little Tarheel II can work
pretty well for 40- 10 meters. (more expensive than basic fiberglass whips, but, in
my opinion worth the difference)
 Good luck and hope to work you mobile!

Forgot to mention, a lot of the rigs now days have aluminum cabs and composite hoods.
If you have problems with SWR, then there is a bonding issue between the mount and the cab  and frame. Go to K0BG's website and do some reading there and you will find a lot of good info for mobile op's. With a little extra work, you can have a good setup and not have a lot of problems. Biggest issue I have found is RFI from the fuel injectors. On Caterpillar engines, it can be quite a problem. But, it can be reduced. And a radio with a good noise blanker helps too.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2012, 11:25:01 AM by WD5GWY » Logged

Posts: 9930

« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2012, 10:45:36 AM »

I also suggest you go with a  hf or shack in a box radio and antenna for just a bit more than a 10 meter box and antenna.

look for a used ft 857 d and an atas 100 or atas 120 antenna which autotunes with this radio ( also the ft 897, ft 817 and several others ) new 300 bucks used about $100. They are not the best antenna in the world, but do ok and are physically small and short.

A radio like the IC 706 mk II G or alinco dx 70 will also work and there are a ton of screwdriver antennas in different sizes to suit your needs.  I have seen them on mirror mounts, mounted on the headache rack,  mounted on the exhaust stack shield, and even on the front bumper.  Lots of ways to go there,  look around next time you fuel up and see what others have done.

with a shcak in a box radio, as a tech you get 2m/440/ 6m and hf 10-160 m.  any thing over 40 m is getting hard to deal with as a mobile antenna but it can be done. But uhf/ vhf/hf all in one box will increase your funlevel and keep you occupied on them long runs.  good luck, have fun and tell us what you ended up doing.
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