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Author Topic: installing FM antenna on top of truck  (Read 6446 times)
K9ZZP
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« on: January 30, 2016, 03:20:06 PM »

Hello,
I am putting a FM antenna on my new to me truck. I was wondering where to place it, but when I installed the box in the back of the truck I found that someone had installed one before and sealed the hole with a plug.  So I'm putting it right in middle of the cab which is where the dome light is. I have a NMO mount.  How do people fish the coax through the head liner?  I have a Yaesu FT-817ND that I'm going to install somehow in front of the seat so that it can be taken in and out of truck for portable operation when I camp.  Should I start bonding the truck at this point?  I would prefer to wait till it gets warmer as my arthritis is not real good for crawling around on the ground in the cold.
Thanks for your help.

Marion
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K0BG
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« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2016, 06:22:01 AM »

It is rather easy to fish coax in most pickups, with late model Dodge Rams the most difficult.

You might want to visit my web site for more details on the bonding, etc.
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KK4YDR
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« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2016, 10:01:07 AM »

Go to homedepot or lowes and buy a small fish stick kit. You can connect the coax plug to one end of the fish stick, starting at the hole in the cab, and push the stick so that it passes out of the headliner near one of your doors. Then you can route the cable down the pillar or center pillars or wherever you like.

The nmo mount can pass through the hole from the outside in. It will fit as long as your hole has been drilled to the proper size for NMO application.

Using the center of the metal cab is going to give you the best possible V/U ground plane possible. There will not be a better location on the vehicle period.
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K6CPO
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« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2016, 10:53:10 AM »

When I installed an NMO mount of the roof of my Dodge Dakota, it was fairly easy to drop the headliner and B pillar trim to fish the coax through.  My truck is a 1998 and doesn't have the side curtain airbags that a lot of newer vehicles have.  These are probably the biggest impediment to routing coax from a roof mount.
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K9ZZP
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« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2016, 02:09:43 PM »

Alan,
I am a fan of your website.  Thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom with the community. As a student of your site it says--I believe, that the most important bonding was for HF.  I have now gone back to your site and found the page on VHF/UHF antennas.  Now from reading that page I believe that you said that the hood and exhaust bonding are very helpful.  The hood and doors are no problem, but the exhaust bonding will be a bit more painful as I have to crawl under truck.  Because of the arthritis in my spine it took me three weeks to fix the rusted out gas line in my old dodge truck. I had to drop the tank to do it.  I think it took my another two weeks to get over it and that was in the summer.
Exhaust bonding should be in front and behind the cat. converter then one after the muffler and maybe one more on rear tailpipe.  I have 1" bonding straps some different size lugs, S.S. #10 self tapping 1/2" screws. I haven't got the star washers yet, but I am working on an order to Mouser, so may get whatever they have.  I will go for S.S in them.  My lugs are copper.

KK4YDR--I have fishing sticks.  I thought I would have to cut the connector of my antenna wire and put a new connector on, so maybe I won't have too.   Smiley

K6CPO-- My truck is a 1997 Ford-250 with extended cab.  I am going to pull the plastic off the door pillar.  I don't know what you mean about dropping the headliner. I thought I would be able to fish the coax from the dome light to the pillar.  I'm thinking about going to the passenger side and then under the seat to the middle console.

More info: I am pulling a wire(10 gauge) and matching ground wire to center counsel area for power center. A unit with one lighter socket and 2 usb ports for phone charging and a place to plug in the GPS..  I will put 15amp fuse in line by battery. I also want I to power my radio and tuner;   The power going into radio is through inline 4amp fuse, and I may add 4amp fuse to turner plug. And I guess I'm going to need power for Antenna controller. I don't know what amperage the controller will be, so I need to look that up before running wire through firewall.  Radio and turner will be on Powerpoles.  I am still designing mounting unit for mobile/portable use.

Thanks for all the help.
73
Marion
K9ZZP
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SOFAR
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« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2016, 02:39:26 PM »

That's what Alan is here for, to toot his own horn.

Notice the lack of links on the site? I find that odd.
Even some of the most knowledgeable amateurs support some of their statements with  links.

But alas.. Clicking a link would take you away from Alan's little world.
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AC4RD
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« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2016, 04:08:28 AM »

That's what Alan is here for, to toot his own horn.

I'm really surprised anybody would complain.  The K0BG site is a great resource, and Alan has obviously put a lot of time and work into it.  He doesn't get anything for it, AFAIK, no clickbait ads or pop-ups (the last time I was there), but maintains the site as a service to other hams.   What in the world is there to complain about in all of that? 
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K0BG
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« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2016, 06:14:24 AM »

Ken, there will always be folks who hide behind their behinds, so that they have the freedom to chastise others without recourse. Apparently, this is the only way they can achieve fame. Unfortunately, it is ill fame, and what goes around, comes around.
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AF6AU
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« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2016, 08:11:47 AM »

I had a Ford extra cab F250 (loved it), installed the same thing, a NMO just ahead of the dome light. The headliner in my truck was a cardboard form with a layer of foam then the headliner cloth. The foam always dries out and goes bad after 10-13 years or so, then the damn cloth falls down. Yes, remove the plastic corner pillar covers, makes it easy... It also allows for the addition of some nice stereo speakers in the holes Fold left you. You will have to run the coax without the end PL-259 installed.

IF your Ford truck is getting near that magic 10 year point, consider taking the time, remove the cardboard headliner insert and get it redone, it's going to fall soon anyway. Then doing the antenna is easy peasy. Both my Truck and the Escape began to fall at 10 years like a clock.

I used one of those thinner wire coathangers with a loop in the end, began at the light hole, to get a fishing sinker and 20 pound line over to the corner. It dropped enough that by taking off the corner pillar plastic, and the speaker in the corner, I could grab it. Tying the fishing line to the coax center conductor copper wire bent back and tapped down (no insulation), pulling the RG-58 was easy. The largest PITA was removing all the covers and the kick panel to run the coax. You can try to run it down the windshield pillar, it works for Jeeps, but don't know, it varies for each vehicle.

I did similar with a Ford excape, but with the plastic for the pillar off via a couple screws, and the cardboard headliner edge was right there. I pulled the coax directly using a 3 foot long brazing rod.

Be sure to seal the NMO on the outside (I used camper joint compound as in time the O-ring in the NMO mount compression sets and begin to leak), and also sandpaper the paint on the inside a bit to bare metal for a GOOD local ground. Once tightened, spray it with aerosol grease, brushed on prmer, or something to keep it from rusting from condensation (it's not going to leak right?).

You cannot beat getting a good antenna installed well, on the top of a pickup cab. You will easily get 20 miles or better out of a HT with it, and the problems with dropouts, picket-fencing, fading, are so much improved. I used a Larsen 5/8 on 2M, then a Comet SBB-5 dual bander. Both worked great, advantage Comet, it has a bend-over joint, so the whip has give when contacting a low branch of a tree.

Check you SWR in a open parking lot somewhere, RF reflected off the house will give you false readings.

Note, you will pick up a little high speed wind noise. The whip cutting through the air noise is transmitted through the roof, subdued by the headliner, but still in the background..
JML
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KK4YDR
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« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2016, 12:33:28 AM »

That's what Alan is here for, to toot his own horn.

Notice the lack of links on the site? I find that odd.
Even some of the most knowledgeable amateurs support some of their statements with  links.

But alas.. Clicking a link would take you away from Alan's little world.

What kind of callsign is SOFAR??? Alan is a great service to the community of radio operators. Go pound sand. Or go back to channel 6 where you probably belong anyways.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2016, 12:36:47 AM by KK4YDR » Logged
SOFAR
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« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2016, 06:21:26 AM »

Ken, there will always be folks who hide behind their behinds, so that they have the freedom to chastise others without recourse. Apparently, this is the only way they can achieve fame. Unfortunately, it is ill fame, and what goes around, comes around.

Recourse? Drama much? The fact that you are so intolerant of someone's opinion only confirms my initial impression. That you expect constant validation and recognition.

The site is just executed in an odd fashion. More time is spent critiquing others misconceptions, than simply laying out theory. All the information is out there, things such as bonding could not be much simpler, for anyone with common sense, and basic mechanical skills.

I visited the site a couple times, but did not mesh with the 'writing style'. Professionals in all fields can give credit to certain publications mentors etc. The fact that I cannot recall one link, or any other suggested resources for visitors to the site, gives one the impression that you're the end all of all things RF.

I'm sure you won't be offended by one persons honest opinion.
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K0BG
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« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2016, 06:30:19 AM »

A typical case of psychopathic cognitive dissonance.
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SOFAR
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« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2016, 10:59:35 AM »

A typical case of psychopathic cognitive dissonance.

More drama Alan? I simply see through, and choose to call you on your B.S..

Instead of addressing one of the points I brought up, you choose to play junior psychiatrist.
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K9ZZP
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« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2016, 03:58:42 PM »

As the original poster I am thankful for all the good advise.  I didn't start studying HAM radio until I was 59.  I have a lot of common sense and have been working on cars and other mechanical things since I was a 6 year ago girl.  No I don't understand electronics or theories on how best do things.  I came to this site for information.  I have been given great information but I'm not here to listen to somebody who hides behind some made up name who as far as I can tell might be someone playing with a CB radio and never even received a tech license. Please do not respond to a thread unless you can contribute to the topic. As my grandmother said, if you can't say something nice, don't say anything.

K0BG--As far as I can tell you are a scholar and a gentleman.

I am leaving now so I can find the ignore button on this forum.
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AC4RD
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« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2016, 04:03:41 AM »


K0BG--As far as I can tell you are a scholar and a gentleman.
.

I think about 99.9% of hams who have visited Alan's website would agree completely with that, and add that he is remarkably generous with his time and energy, putting up such a useful website to help others.  Any time anybody asks me about mobile HF, I say www.k0bg.com is the very first place to look. 
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