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Author Topic: Mount PL-239 connector on roof  (Read 8160 times)
KC2MWB
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Posts: 3




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« on: October 18, 2013, 08:54:32 PM »

I have a mag-mount antenna for my E350 Ford van. It is a pain to run the feedline through a window or door, and I worry about crunching the coax.

I am wondering about mounting a PL-239 connector to the roof of the van, then having an internal port to attach to the radio. Yes, there is going to be some (slight) additional loss for having two extra connections between the antenna and the radio, but it would have the added benefit of making it easier to change antennas.

Is there a way to get a PL-239 connector attached to the roof? Is there hardware designed for this?

Thanks!
Glenn
KC2MWB
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WX7G
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« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2013, 12:17:44 AM »

If you mean an SO-239 bulkhead feedthru connector you can just drill a hole and mount it. I mounted a bulkhead feedthrough BNC connector on an old Ford Ranger that had no headliner. 
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K0ECW
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« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2013, 02:32:07 AM »

For the love of all things holy do NOT use anything other than a quality NMO mount. The NMO mount will be waterproof (unlike the SO-239) and will have coax attached to it to run to the radio.
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AA4PB
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Posts: 12892




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« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2013, 05:25:30 AM »

I agree, if you are going to cut a hole in the roof why would you want to use a mag mount antenna? Just install an NMO mount and antenna in the proper way.
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KC2MWB
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« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2013, 06:34:20 AM »

I guess that I figured the PL-239 connector would be more versatile if I wanted to replace the cheap antenna that I can afford right now with a better one later on. I may also want to set up a larger antenna (read: won't fit on the roof) to use the van as a temporary base station. Would the NMO mount allow me to do that?

You did get the right idea - I am concerned about getting a setup that will be waterproof and not damage the car.

Thanks again - pretty new to the mobile thing.  Cheesy

Glenn
KC2MWB
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AA4PB
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« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2013, 07:12:17 AM »

I'd use an NMO mount in the center of the roof for a VHF/UHF whip antenna. If you add HF you'll need a solid (bumper mount perhaps or a ball mount) 3/8-inch mount. For a "temporary base" I'd run a wire out the window to a wire antenna for HF or a small Yagi for VHF/UHF. You might want to consider one of the mounts that you drive a tire over to hold it to the ground.
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K1CJS
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« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2013, 07:26:15 AM »

I would also use the NMO mount.  If you have an antenna that has the connector you specified, you can always get an adapter to mount that antenna onto the NMO mount.
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KC2MWB
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« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2013, 07:29:23 AM »

Excellent! Thanks for the suggestions, I think the NMO mount is the way to go.
Glenn
KC2MWB
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AA4PB
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« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2013, 08:22:31 AM »

Take a look at the HS-34 hole saw designed for such antenna installations. It will help to eliminate scratches and damage to the vehicle finish.
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K9YLI
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« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2013, 08:46:17 AM »

 Drill the hole from the inside.   Remove a dome light.
make room and drill.. maybe use a step  bit to enlarge the hole to exact fit.
.
remove door post and  door sill.
Snake cable thru  headlinner to side door post..
snake cable thru  doo post and  door sill area to  under dash area.
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K7RBW
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Posts: 398




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« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2013, 02:50:41 PM »

If you use the NMO hole saw, you drill from the outside and run the cable and mount from the outside. (Didn't make sense to me, initially, but it neither would work from the inside). To keep from scratching the paint, I put a piece of 2"-wide blue painter's tape where the hole would go and drilled through that. Came out perfect and didn't leave a mark (besides the 3/4" hole for the mount, of course).

I would still drop the headliner a bit, even though the NMO hole saw won't go in far enough to hit anything. With new cars, they have all sorts of things between the roof and the floor (like side-curtain airbags) so it's easier to run the antenna cable around those obstacles. It's also a good thing to see what's on the other side of the roof before you punch a hole.

Measure twice, cut (drill) once. The $35 hole saw is well worth the investment. It makes the perfect hole and makes it cleanly.

One other thing, the SO-239 adapters and antennas can be big and heavy so you might look around to see where the roof is strongest, or find a way to reinforce it.
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KB2FCV
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« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2013, 09:42:43 AM »

NMO is defintely the right choice! I've been using them for years.. no problems at all once they're in.
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K5LXP
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« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2013, 03:17:23 PM »

NMO is also the clear choice from a cost standpoint.  The mounts are cheap and the antennas can be too.  A Larsen 2M quarter wave is all of $12 retail.


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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W9GB
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Posts: 2626




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« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2013, 07:46:36 PM »

NMO is the choice for VHF/UHF mobile antennas.
Over a million first responders in the past five decades -- can't be wrong --
and they abuse antennas more than you will.


Show up at the right municipal / county auction -- and NMO antenna parts are FREE.

IF you are thinking about HF antennas,
then I look at rear bumper mounts, due to antenna height.
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