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  #1  
Old 02-13-2007
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HAM Antenna Questions

I did some searching but couldn't find what I was looking for, so here goes. I was wondering what types/styles (NMO, glass mount, etc.) anyone had and if they liked them or not. I am a storm spotter and my handheld with a mag-mount just isn't cutting it. I have a Yaesu FT-2800 or FT-1802 that I'm going to install but I don't know what style antenna I should use. Right now these are the what I'm thinking:
1.- NMO mount on the roof of the cab to try and get minimal disruption of the signal.
2.- A glass mount antenna so I don't have to drill a hole in the roof.
3.- I have a crossbed toolbox and was thinking of maybe mounting one on there.

If anyone has any advice I would really appreciate it.

KC0LQP
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  #2  
Old 02-13-2007
 
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John, N3ELZ, drilled his roof and put an NMO in it on his old truck, and I think he's gone to ball mounts on the rear side panels of the bed this time around.

I have an NMO trunk mount with a VHF whip on mounted on my hood on the other side of the FM radio antenna. That works out pretty good, but where the cable squishes between the hood and fender, the cable is a little too wide for that and is taking paint off of both I think. I have an NMO roof mount that I haven't had the chance to drill into the roof yet to put in, so when that gets done, the VHF whip is going to be moved up there, and I'm putting a 900mHz stub onto the hood mount.

I also have a glass mount dual band antenna, but don't use it because I don't have the radio that I was planning to use for it installed (going to be my APRS setup). I chose the glass mount because if I need to use it in a picnh, I could just disconnect the radio and use it for UHF too.

Best antenna would be to drill the roof and put the antenna there if you have the ***** to drillit .
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  #3  
Old 02-13-2007
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Hah! You're good. However, the ball mounts are for HF (longer antennas) and I have the same NMO mount from the old truck -- just moved it over.

I'm using a 1/4 wave for 2 meters on an NMO on the roof and it works FB. No complaints and it's low profile enough it hasn't been a problem that way. Coverage is as good as a 1/4 wave can be.

I went up through the dome light in my extended cab to make the mounting. Drilled through the brace and the roof above it.

It can be interesting to get the nut tight when you're done, lol -- but it can be done and it's a fine type of mount -- very strong.

I have a glass mount 1/2 wave on the rear glass for my VHF APRS antenna (which the whip broke so it's not in use). It worked okay but I don't think it's as good as the roof mount 1/4 wave.

I say NMO on the roof. Nearly ideal ground plane for VHF/UHF.

For HF the roof is a problem because of antenna length. There I say a bed rail top or a ball mount on the fender.
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  #4  
Old 02-13-2007
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Thanks for the responses. I figured the NMO was the way to go and I'm pretty sure my dad agrees since he already has the hole saw needed dug out of the tool box to do it...lol I just thought I'd see what everyone else thought before taking the plunge and drilling. I was wondering, where's a good place to mount it, right in the middle, like over the dome light or maybe further back by the 3rd brake light?
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  #5  
Old 02-13-2007
 
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Most people I've talked to say about 17-18" away from other antenna's, so I would say over the dome light, or if you can't get there, somewhere in the middle...
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  #6  
Old 02-13-2007
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Thanks, that's what I thought too but I figured I'd ask just in case.
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  #7  
Old 02-13-2007
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The roof mounted NMO is the best option for max performance. I'm using a dual band glass mount on my rear window with good success, what ever that is here in the mountains. It's sometimes hard to know what to expect because you are often very high or very low.
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  #8  
Old 02-13-2007
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The glass mounts these days are not too bad. I know 20 years ago or so we steered away from them as it seemed like they were worse -- or maybe it just seemed like it, I don't know.
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  #9  
Old 02-14-2007
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+1 for NMO on the roof.
I went with a dual band antenna on the front fender. It's a L shaped stainless bracket with an nmo hole in it, coax running between the fender and hood. Works well for me, I wanted to keep it short(ish) to get into garages, top of the antenna is about 4" taller than the trucks am/fm radio antenna. Probably wouldn't work so well for those with fiberglass hoods (edge models).

-KD7UQT <- I hate my callsign lol
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  #10  
Old 02-14-2007
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Thanks for the respnose. Height isn't too big of an issue for me, no garage to worry about just drive-thru windows :) I think an NMO with something on there like a 1/4 wave is what I'll go with. Now if it would get warm out so I could do it :)
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  #11  
Old 02-14-2007
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NMO is the way to go!

I have never encountered a glass mount antenna that didn't suck. I use NMO on the roof for my fire dept radio and an L-Bracket by the hood for for the ham antenna.
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  #12  
Old 02-14-2007
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i have been debating with getting one drilled into my truck also. my boss said he hill set me up with a amp/radio/dual ban antenna for free just in his freqency
call sign is wpcj517 i belive. i jsut cant part with a hole in my roof
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  #13  
Old 02-14-2007
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MonsterGuy
i have been debating with getting one drilled into my truck also. my boss said he hill set me up with a amp/radio/dual ban antenna for free just in his freqency
call sign is wpcj517 i belive. i jsut cant part with a hole in my roof

You may want to have your boss check the status of his fcc license. As it is now, his license under that callsign expired in January 2005...

Also, his current license is going to be terminated soon if he doesn't "build the system out", or file some paperwork with the fcc saying he has...
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  #14  
Old 02-14-2007
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i think he was talking with them last month he had to get his tower re done. lightning took it off so he ahd to renew his licens or soemthing 1000w he licenced for with a 175" antena
and i do belive it is a diff call sigh now u mention it i havent use it yet with the new one was just put back up last week
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  #15  
Old 02-14-2007
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ok i just talkd to him, i guess the FCC messed up on something so they filed a potition or something and my boss also and he wanted to keep the call sign so he dint have to change everything over so there is another call sighn but they said we can keep the original one. he said its listed under sorenson electric under the fcc
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  #16  
Old 02-14-2007
 
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Ehh, cool. I had to do somewhat the same thing with our license, in filing the paperwork and such.
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  #17  
Old 02-14-2007
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ya i think fcc forgot to process the papers and the fee and tried to get us again and he had all the docs to show them so idk whats going on now he said he just waiting for them to get back to them but he does have another call sign he said it was something wierd
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  #18  
Old 03-30-2007
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Well, I'm going with the NMO mount over the dome light, but I need some help. I can't get that freaking dome light off!!! I've tried before, but to no avail. The manual even says go to a authorized service place, yada, yada, yada. I was hoping to do it myself though. So, can anyone help me out? Thanx again
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  #19  
Old 03-30-2007
 
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What does your dome light look like? If it's like the one on my reg cab, you pop the plastic cover off, then there are 3 screws holding it in, that also provide the electric supply for the light.
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  #20  
Old 03-30-2007
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The covr can be tough. Grab it from the rear window side and kida peel it off. Then there are 3 screws that supply power and ground, they are also the mounts. Have at it.
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  #21  
Old 04-02-2007
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Awesome, thank you. That's what I thought I had to do but it is on there and really doesn't want to come off. When I get to the install I'll try that. Thanks again!
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