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Author Topic: 281A in a 2012 Corolla?  (Read 9815 times)
KC9VJD
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« on: March 04, 2014, 12:58:38 PM »

I have a Kenwood 281A I want to install in my 2012 Corolla. Thinking of a trunk lip mount NMO for the antenna. Anybody install a HAM radio in a Corolla and have any tips/suggestions? TIA

Jack
KC9VJD
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K0BG
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« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2014, 11:30:53 AM »

Go to my web site, and look in the Photo Gallery.
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N6AJR
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« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2014, 11:39:47 AM »

I agree with Alan, and also emphasize the fact of grounding the radio to the car, the shield side of the coax at the antenna to the chassis, and grounding the neg post of the batterry to the chassis.
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KE5TJT
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« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2014, 07:45:01 AM »

Just remember, you can't REALLY patch a hole once made. It will be visible from the inside or outside that there was once a hole there. That will de-value a vehicle substantially. .002% of Americans have a ham radio licence, and most of those aren't active hams. Just a word of caution. Nobody has been able to PROVE that an antenna, that mounts with a hole, is any better than a good quality mag mount or lip mount. Oh sure, they will come up with opinions that sound wonderful, but when has an actual scientific side-by-side test been done? NEVER.  

Now, I do agree with the grounding advice given above, but that can be done without drilling holes. My radio is grounded to one of the bolts that holds the passenger door on. All I did was wire up a connector and put it on the bolt and used a nut I happened to have that screwed on to tighten. Absolutely no holes drilled. A chassis ground is a chassis ground, period.

Just a heads up.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2014, 07:53:05 AM by KE5TJT » Logged
K7RBW
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« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2014, 06:48:15 AM »

Just remember, you can't REALLY patch a hole once made. It will be visible from the inside or outside that there was once a hole there. That will de-value a vehicle substantially. .002% of Americans have a ham radio licence, and most of those aren't active hams. Just a word of caution. Nobody has been able to PROVE that an antenna, that mounts with a hole, is any better than a good quality mag mount or lip mount. Oh sure, they will come up with opinions that sound wonderful, but when has an actual scientific side-by-side test been done? NEVER.

There are places where you can drill a hole in your car/truck and cause lots of damage. It is also possible to drill a hole and mount an antenna in a professional manner such that it won't affect the resale value, in fact, it could even increase it (e.g. by using it for a satellite radio installation). Some dealers/buyers might use the antenna mount as a reason to offer less, but that's more of a negotiating tactic than a statement of the actual worth (those same people will pick on everything about the car). After 5 years (or maybe less), a used car is a used car and the worn out tires and brakes are going to have a greater impact on the resale value than a professional-quality NMO antenna installation.

Larsen (the antenna company) DID do a scientific survey of antenna placements on a real vehicle and proved that a center-of-the-roof NMO mount had the highest gain of all the placements they tried. That same study (which is floating around on the Internet, but I don't have time to find it at the moment), however, showed that there are many places that, while slightly worse DB-wise, still offered pretty good performance. Whether the extra 2-3 db of gain is worth a hole in the roof is a personal, not a scientific decision.
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W8JX
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« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2014, 07:08:40 AM »

Whether the extra 2-3 db of gain is worth a hole in the roof is a personal, not a scientific decision.

I disagree because based on experience I find a 1/4 wave mag mount on 2m on roof will outperform a 5/8 on a trunk lip or fender mount in real world.
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Ham since 1969....  Old School 20 WPM Extra
M6GOM
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« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2014, 02:46:07 PM »

Just remember, you can't REALLY patch a hole once made. It will be visible from the inside or outside that there was once a hole there. That will de-value a vehicle substantially.

You just need to be a bit clever when it comes to selling the car. Just buy a cheap "shark fin" GPS antenna to fill the hole. Paint it the same colour as the body and say it was a dealer fitted extra.

http://www.buysend.com/product/63842/black-antena-gps-fm-am-for-radio-car-small-aerial-mast-vehicle-accessories/?olo=googleProducts&gclid=CNHHt-OBhL0CFerpwgod62cAOw

I've never had a vehicle devalued because I drilled a hole for the antenna. In the early 90's I just plugged the hole with a mobile phone antenna carphone. The last car I sold I just did the old "shark fin antenna" trick.
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M6GOM
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« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2014, 02:47:26 PM »

Whether the extra 2-3 db of gain is worth a hole in the roof is a personal, not a scientific decision.

I disagree because based on experience I find a 1/4 wave mag mount on 2m on roof will outperform a 5/8 on a trunk lip or fender mount in real world.

Probably will if you spend your time talking through repeaters due to the gain at higher TOAs over a 5/8 wave plus the directivity you get sticking an antenna at one end/corner of a vehicle.
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KC9VJD
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« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2014, 03:01:05 PM »

Got the mount in and the power cord run. Found a large grommet with wires in the middle of it and found room on the side to make a cut and push the wires through. Now just waiting for the antenna mount to get here. Got a bunch of small nicks/cuts on my hands and a stiff neck from laying on the floor of the drivers side. ^%&^% small cars....
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KC9VJD
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« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2014, 01:12:21 PM »

Got it all installed. Working great and hitting all the repeaters programmed into it.

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N6AJR
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« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2014, 04:01:06 PM »

Nice Job, looks good and it works...
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K1DA
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« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2014, 10:14:56 AM »

Guy in my neighborhood bought (or was issued) a late unmarked  Crown Vic  which at one time had a Larsen 3/4 inch mount in the center of the trunk, it was removed and not plugged. leaving  a hole.  Been that way all winter.  I fugure once it warms up the water will start sloshing around and he'll wise up.( I have been tempted to stick some black tape over it, on principle but it ain't my car.)   Happened to me, a little trunk leak filled my spare tire well, but I didn't notice it until spring and some of the ice melted, leaving the rest floating and banging around when the car changed speed.  I thought the rear suspension was failing.
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N0WKR
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« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2014, 02:56:28 PM »

Hey, Jack -

Where did you run the power cord in your Corolla?  I couldn't find a wire bundle with enough room in my 2011 Corolla.  Did you put it through the bundle above and to the right of the steering column? 

Thanks

Chip N0WKR

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KC9VJD
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« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2014, 03:48:32 AM »

Hey, Jack -

Where did you run the power cord in your Corolla?  I couldn't find a wire bundle with enough room in my 2011 Corolla.  Did you put it through the bundle above and to the right of the steering column? 

Thanks

Chip N0WKR

I ran it exactly where you mentioned. Real pain to get it started through but it worked.

Jack KC9VJD
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