Antenna bed mount advice - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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  #1  
Old 02-13-2006
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Antenna bed mount advice

Im getting closer to getting my antenna set up. want to see what setup people have running. I have a stepside so i cant use the stakehole mount. I plan to use a 4 foot firestik II. I also dont want to drill since it has the plastic.
This is the mount im thinking of using with some re-adjusting of the hardware thinking it would clamp to the edge of the bedrail.
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  #2  
Old 02-13-2006
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here is where mine is.
Drilled into the bumper
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  #3  
Old 02-13-2006
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I made a mount for my magnet mount antenna, screwed it to the inside of my bed and sandwiched it between the bed and bed cover....

If you dont want to drill holes get a magnet mount....

Rocky
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  #4  
Old 02-13-2006
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^^ magnet mount will work, but i HATE them

Mine fell off once on the freeway and swung around on the cord and scratched the side of my truck...it pissed me off big time




I may have been going a little fast as well.
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  #5  
Old 02-14-2006
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Drilling holes in the roof of the Ranger is not an idea that I would entertain....
As for using a magnetic mounted antenna.... Try a Wilson 1K or 5K... the magnet that is used for these antennas is a 250lb rated magnet !!!! You WILL have to have the antenna's load coil screwed on to remove the magnetic base or slide it off !!!
I have run a Wilson 1K on my 98 Jeep Cherokee while offroading.... The only time the antenna ever came loose was when a large tree branch hit the antenna at the load coil base.... IF this were a hard mounted antenna; you would find a large hole where the antenna previously was mounted...
The performance that the Wilson 1K or 5K delivers... WILL outperform almost any other antenna short of the 102" stainless steel whip.
From my experience.... mounting a fiberglass whip behind the cab WILL decrease performance, make the transmit and receive directional and increase problems with tuning the SWR.

OR 4x4
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  #6  
Old 02-14-2006
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Antenna questions, my favorite. First off as OR said mounting an antenna on the bed or bumper will make it highly directional. If you are hell bent on mounting it that way mount it like Rocky's. Not to bust your chops Erv but, where that antenna is mounted has to be both highly directional and interfering with itself (but it does look good). Erv have you ever checked the SWR on that? I ask because I had an antenna mounted right next to my cab on my last Ranger and the SWR was off the scale and almost impossible to tune out due to the fact that the signal was being radiated in all directions (gotta love the vertical antenna they "radiate equally bad in all directions" {Ham Radio Operator humor}) and it would basically bounce of the cab when I'd transmit and recieve it's own radiant power. Of course this can be overcome (I've seen Hams with "screwdrivers" mounted in their reciever hitch) but it's not easy and you will always lose some power. Back on topic though, personally I've found mag mounts work ok but, thye aren't perfect either. I'd use a mag mount but, as long as you keep it away from the cab and match the SWR you should be fine with that setup you showed. Last but not least, do NOT coil up any excess coax, run it around something else before coiling it.
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  #7  
Old 02-14-2006
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how about if i install a 4 or 5 ft fiberglass antenna on the right rear of the bed? will that work? mount would be top edge of bed in the rear. exactly like rocky but other side?
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  #8  
Old 02-14-2006
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Mounting the antenna on the corner of the bed may provide decent SWR as long as you GROUND the antenna very well to the vehicle frame, but you will still be VERY directional for your received and transmitted signals.
As ElJay said.... DO NOT coil up excess coax... IT WILL create a RF choke that will affect your receive and transmit signals...
IF you are really concerned with the distance you can transmit and receive.... study for your HAM license....
Last summer I finished studying for General and passed the test....

OR 4x4
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  #9  
Old 02-14-2006
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I have been waiting to go get my wilson 5k magnet mount, i have only had mine come off once...when i was 4 wheeling and it was on top of the truck it got knocked off by a big branch....I havent had any problems with mine on the rear corner at all....but when i get the wilson i might put it on top of the cab to get out further...all depends on the SWR reading....

Rocky
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  #10  
Old 02-14-2006
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Rocky,

Clean the roof and wax the area where you are going to place the magnet.
Tuning the Wilson antennas will be VERY easy, but when you go to tune the antenna for best SWR; make sure that nothing (trees, buildings, telephone poles) is within 30' of your truck otherwise it will reflect and give you bad readings.
Insert the whip into the load coil, bottom out the whip in the bottom of the load coil and raise it up about 1/4" and the SWR should be ALMOST perfect for AM Ch 1-40 (26.950-27.4050).

OR 4x4
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  #11  
Old 02-14-2006
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Well if i buy it from a cb shop i will have them do the SWR while im there ALTHOUGH i can get a wilson 5k for 80$ off ebay, and a cb shop charges 80$ for a wilson 1k....so i will get it from ebay....What is the ideal SWR 1 or 1.5

Rocky
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  #12  
Old 02-14-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OffRoad 4x4
Drilling holes in the roof of the Ranger is not an idea that I would entertain....
i have 8 dont be a ****** just do it lol....its just sheet metal
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  #13  
Old 02-14-2006
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rocky what shop are u going to? thats kinda high my wilson 2k was on $65 and my wilson 5k's were $89 a piece

off ebay are u talking about hard mount or magnetic if magnetic disreguard the first part of this post
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Old 02-14-2006
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  #15  
Old 02-14-2006
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sory no pics yet but i have mounded myne like Alon but i am running duels (one on each side) with 5' cheapies. exept i am using aluminum brackets. they work verry well with my DX959. no linear and i get out about 20 miles or so and i recieve at 30 miles or so. Its workes real well.
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  #16  
Old 02-14-2006
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Clamps make poor grounds. Make you scrape the paint away from where the clamp graps so it makes a good ground contact.

As far as the directional problems of mounting the antenna on the bumper or the performance problems of being behind the cab, all are very true. However, if you are only going to be using them on the trail for short distances between vehicles, you'll be fine.
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  #17  
Old 02-14-2006
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****** or whatever..... I refuse to punch holes in the roof.....
The ideal SWR is 1.0, but anything less than 1.5 is fine....
Personally... I tune my antenna to my most used frequency and usually it is 1.0-1.1.
My preference is a Wilson 5000 magnetic mount with LMR 240 coax and Sirio 4000 PL antenna that is considered a 7/8 wave with the 84" antenna and load coil.
I know this has been said before.... but.... ANTENNA IS EVERYTHING !!!!!
Antenna preference is like opinions.... EVERYONE has one and some are better than others!!!

OR 4x4
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  #18  
Old 02-15-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OffRoad 4x4
ANTENNA IS EVERYTHING !!!!!
DING DING DING! I would throw the word system in there so it can include the coax and connectors as well. People get so hung up on having a fancy-pants radio and cranking up wattage. A basic bare-bones $40 radio with a high quality, properly installed antenna system will probably out perform the $200 sqawk-box any day, any time.
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  #19  
Old 02-15-2006
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Matt,

My feelings exactly.... A high quality antenna with a mediocre radio will out perform an outstanding radio with a cheap antenna.....
The key word is ANTENNA GAIN !!!!
In my Jeep (trail vehicle) I run a Uniden Grant LT AM/SSB with a Wilson 1K and a Yaesu FT 2200M 2 meter with a Hustler 5/8 wave and can transmit as far as I need to....

OR 4x4
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  #20  
Old 02-16-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 05rangeredge
i get out about 20 miles or so and i recieve at 30 miles or so. Its workes real well.

how do you know you get out 20 miles, thats Very far range....For granted the 959 is a very good radio, but with dual sticks, i just dont see 20 miles coming from that...

Im ordering my wilson 5k soon off ebay, im getting a magnet mount, i would mount mine behind the cab but i have a bed cover...

Rocky
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  #21  
Old 02-17-2006
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Well put OffRoad, I forgot to preach the importance of antenna (all hail the antenna gods in hopes of lower SWR and better range). The BEST place for an antenna is dead center of your roof. The higher the antenna is mounted the better it will work. The roof also acts as a great (ok the best you're gonna get) ground plane. As for SWR, another trick is just set it as low as possible on channel 20 and as long as there aren't any problems with your antenna you should be under 1.5:1 throughout the entire range. As for dual antenna setups, they look cool but, on a Ranger they really aren't far enough apart to help. In fact they actually hurt the performance in much the same way putting an antenna too close to the cab does.

OffRoad, did you pass the code or just the theory? Either way congrats. I passed the General theory about 2.5 years ago but, didn't take the code so, I'm still a lowly tech. However I still can pass the theory so, I just have to get to work on that code (yeah I wish, I barely have the time to sneeze most days with school and work...)
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