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Vehicle install


widnerkj
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I am trying to plan out which parts to order to install a mobile radio in my truck. It’s a 1999 Silverado. I’m going to punch the hole in the roof for the antenna. I’ve ordered this antenna mount,

 

https://www.buytwowayradios.com/tram-1258-uhf.html

 

And I’ll be ordering the Wouxun KG-1000G when it’s available again. That said, what NMO mount antenna are you folks using, or recommend? I do poke around off-roading, and I’m a little worried about mesquite tree limbs breaking the antenna.

 

 

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I don't mess around off road too much anymore, but I've tagged trees a few times in parking lots and neighborhood with the browning 5/8 over 5/8 (around 30" tall) on a mag mount, and no issues. It does have a spring built in, and it's on a mag mount, which hasnt come off or moved.  It is kind of an invitation to get hit sitting where it is, though (center of the roof).

I do also keep a little 1/4 wave in the glove compartment for low clearance situations like parking lots...I know Laird and some others make small flexible quarter waves, some with springs.

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ive got a guy i talk to that has the nagoya 771c nmo and he gets great range, now we do live in a mountainous area so the repeaters are usually pretty high. that being said im using the nagoya mag mount that they recommend with the kg1000g and its a banger also. with mine we went wheeling this weekend and it held up great to the trees. two good choices in my book.

how much u charge me to bring me some of them there wonder branches you be talking bout! I miss bbqing with raw mesquite logs instead of this chip bs im stuck with now......

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ive got a guy i talk to that has the nagoya 771c nmo and he gets great range, now we do live in a mountainous area so the repeaters are usually pretty high. that being said im using the nagoya mag mount that they recommend with the kg1000g and its a banger also. with mine we went wheeling this weekend and it held up great to the trees. two good choices in my book.
how much u charge me to bring me some of them there wonder branches you be talking bout! I miss bbqing with raw mesquite logs instead of this chip bs im stuck with now......

Oh man. I have so much hatred for the mesquite trees, I forget folks in other places actually enjoy them. Once one pops up on your property, there is nearly no getting rid of it. Send me a direct message, and I’ll mail you a big bunch of seed pods.


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I grew up in  southeast New Mexico, so smoking with mesquite was the norm. I remember walking in a 30ft square and in 5 mins or less having enough wood for whatever I was going to be cooking at that time, never had to store it since it was everywhere. id love to take you up on them seeds but I'm pretty sure they wouldn't do any good here in the Colorado winters. 

 

Extreme, would a metal roof rack about 2ft away effect that antenna to much, i put a ut-72 on my cousins blazer, and she would like to have a nmo mount so theres no cable out the door, but we need to keep it short since shes lifted to the sky. 

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8 hours ago, serrasalmus said:

I grew up in  southeast New Mexico, so smoking with mesquite was the norm. I remember walking in a 30ft square and in 5 mins or less having enough wood for whatever I was going to be cooking at that time, never had to store it since it was everywhere. id love to take you up on them seeds but I'm pretty sure they wouldn't do any good here in the Colorado winters. 

 

Extreme, would a metal roof rack about 2ft away effect that antenna to much, i put a ut-72 on my cousins blazer, and she would like to have a nmo mount so theres no cable out the door, but we need to keep it short since shes lifted to the sky. 

Should be no issues with a roof rack.  Even a fiberglass/plastic kayak on the roof, covering the antenna will not block signal.

1/4 wave is 7", phantom is 3.5" and both will easily unscrew to remove, and a threaded NMO cap is available from antenna dealers (Antenna Farm).  I've had excellent results with the 1/4 on both my Jeep and my SxS (with an 8" square x 1/4 thick aluminum mounted to the steel kayak rack).  50 miles to repeater easily with NMO on my XJ with it's long, wide, steel roof.  I have phantom antennas that worked fine but no direct comparison for range or Q of signal.   There is a difference in beam pattern and maybe someone else can explain that better than I.  I'm in the high desert with tall mountains (western mountains..lol), huge valleys and a lot of open ground.  I did talk to my wife at home from 16 miles LOS on simplex, from very slightly higher elevation than my house.. correction: my wife was listening to the trail group while were cruising and quoted some of the conversation when I got home.

Is the Blazer a fiberglass roof?  If so you would need something to create a ground plane for a permanent mount NMO.  I've considered whether a 12" square of aluminum or screen material might work if mounted inside the cap and grounded to the chassis with the NMO through the metal.  Maybe someone else will chime in.  Of course, if the Blazer has a steel roof, it's moot, and you can use simple NMO with the antenna of choice.

I was going to try a longer 5/8 wave antenna but I really don't see where it would improve much for me and would make overhead clearance an even bigger issue.  But they do come in spring-loaded base.

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radio and goodies are ordered.  There is pretty fantastic repeater coverage here south of Tucson.  So I went with a phantom.  If I don't care for it, I'll order a 1/4 wave and swap em.  I can't seem to find that 1/4 wave from Extreme's photo.  All the ones I seem to find are way longer than 7".  And I'm a little nervous on account of the pickup having a 6" lift from the previous owner.  :unsure:  I'm pretty confident the phantom with the KG-1000G's power should be adequate.   But the local electronic surplus has a pile of XPR2500's new in box for $250, so I might test that one out also for the price.

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1 hour ago, widnerkj said:

.  I can't seem to find that 1/4 wave from Extreme's photo.  All the ones I seem to find are way longer than 7". 

Here's one that looks pretty similar: https://www.theantennafarm.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=191_192_196_213&products_id=4476

Here's another style: https://www.theantennafarm.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=191_192_196_213&products_id=796

 

Both list a height of 6", but no gain.

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Ordered the one from Extreme's link.  I'll use the phantom for a trunklid install on the Kia forte.  That little go kart only goes from home to work.  Now it's just the wait for all the pieces to assemble.

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I had been looking at the wrong antenna's I guess.  Most were like this one.

https://www.buytwowayradios.com/wouxun-ano-050g.html

which is 31".  And I wouldn't care if it was going on the trunk of the Kia.  However on the roof of a lifted truck ducking under mesquite trees, I wanted much more low profile.  As far as repeater coverage nearby. My area is pretty fantastic.  So if I need to yell for help, Lemmon 650 is seriously good coverage in my area.  But using to talk with others on the trail with me this should be just fine with the one from antenna farm.

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You might be surprised how well the 1/4 works with repeaters. But then the repeaters I use are at 6-7000' elevation. For you to get that in Texas you'd have to go to New Mexico..lol.

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e2d92a6cb6385bd74945647901a5e9ab.jpg

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29 minutes ago, widnerkj said:

Not in Texas.  I'm about 25-30 miles due south of Tucson, AZ.  I believe the repeater for Lemmon 650 is around 9'000 ASL.

Aha.. perfect.  That antenna will work great.

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8 hours ago, widnerkj said:

I had been looking at the wrong antenna's I guess.  Most were like this one.

https://www.buytwowayradios.com/wouxun-ano-050g.html

which is 31".  And I wouldn't care if it was going on the trunk of the Kia.  However on the roof of a lifted truck ducking under mesquite trees, I wanted much more low profile.  As far as repeater coverage nearby. My area is pretty fantastic.  So if I need to yell for help, Lemmon 650 is seriously good coverage in my area.  But using to talk with others on the trail with me this should be just fine with the one from antenna farm.

Thats not a 1/4 wave antenna.

 

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3 hours ago, kb2ztx said:

Thats not a 1/4 wave antenna.

 

Correct, it's not.  He linked to what he described as "the wrong antenna". 

(I had been looking at the wrong antenna's I guess.  Most were like this one.

https://www.buytwowayradios.com/wouxun-ano-050g.html

which is 31".) 

Since, we've been discussing the 7" 1/4 wave he ordered.

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Again a GMRS 1/4 wave is not 7". Thats my point. Its 6". 7" will get you in the 40 =\- mhz range. for 460 mhz its 6". Ive worked on UHF public safety for decades and yet to see a 7" UHF 1/4 wave. 

 

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For those that would like to know how to calculate the wavelength, a simple way find it is to divide 300 by the frequency (in MHz) being used. The result is the wavelength in meters.

For example, what is commonly called the "2 meter" ham band can be determined by dividing 300 by 146 (the middle of the band), with the result of 2.05 meters, which is pretty close to 2 meters, hence the name. Another example is for the "70 cm" ham band, 300 divided by 430 (MHz) is .697, which rounds nicely to .7 meters, or 70 cm. A quarter wavelength at this frequency would be 70 cm / 4, which equals 17.5 cm, or approximately 7 inches.

At the GMRS frequency of ~465 MHz. (roughly the mid-point of the band when accounting for repeater use) the wavelength is .645 meters. A quarter wavelength at this frequency would be just over 16 cm, or about 6 3/8 inches.

If you know the wavelength, you can also calculate the frequency in a similar manner. Simply divide 300 by the wavelength (in meters) to find the approximate frequency. For example, for the 20 meter ham band this would be 300 / 20, or approximately 15 MHz. The actual band is in the 14 MHz range, but this formula will get you close.

The other way to think about it is that the frequency in MHz, multiplied by the wavelength in meters, should equal something close to 300.

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42 minutes ago, kb2ztx said:

Again a GMRS 1/4 wave is not 7". Thats my point. Its 6". 7" will get you in the 40 =\- mhz range. for 460 mhz its 6". Ive worked on UHF public safety for decades and yet to see a 7" UHF 1/4 wave. 

 

The Larsen AB450 that I linked is a 1/4 wave antenna with 6" whip.  OVERALL length mounted on the roof is measured 7", which I gave him due to his concern for overhead clearance on a lifted vehicle.

https://www.theantennafarm.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=191_192_196_213&products_id=4476

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Well, everything is here except the antenna from antenna farm.  And I'm going to wait for that to show up before I go hog a hole out in the roof of the truck.  Impatience leads to sloppy installs. :)   That said, I seriously can't say enough good things about the antenna farm.  I ordered while working overnight using my work computer, so the companies IP address (which shows as somewhere in VA).  And while driving home after getting off shift at 7:30am, I received a phone call from them.  He was concerned about the IP being from VA, but the shipping being out to AZ, and wanted to make sure there wasn't fraud.  I explained that's work's IP, and everything is good.  What a pleasant surprise.   I'll be ordering everything from him from now on to be sure. 

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I just finished installing this antenna this past Sunday.  I tried it down on bed cover but it didn't work there.  The swr was way up and less signal than the HT with its own upgraded antenna. 

I finally moved it to the roof and could not get over the difference. I doubled my range to another HT at my house.  When running trough swr it showed 1:1.01 from channel 1-22.  Can't remember the last time I had my truck in parking garage. Although I did bounce antenna off a tree branch at my shooting range.  The top half of antenna is so fine you almost don't see it. The inside of truck is not finished yet.  Waiting to decide if I will go w an amp or not.  

20210530_180606.jpg

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6 hours ago, Doctnj said:

I just finished installing this antenna this past Sunday.  I tried it down on bed cover but it didn't work there.  The swr was way up and less signal than the HT with its own upgraded antenna. 

I finally moved it to the roof and could not get over the difference. I doubled my range to another HT at my house.  When running trough swr it showed 1:1.01 from channel 1-22.  Can't remember the last time I had my truck in parking garage. Although I did bounce antenna off a tree branch at my shooting range.  The top half of antenna is so fine you almost don't see it. The inside of truck is not finished yet.  Waiting to decide if I will go w an amp or not.  

20210530_180606.jpg

That looks like how I have my dual band Ham antenna mounted on the Jeep. The difference is mine in on the roof rack cross rails but in about the same location. I need it there so I can quickly, and easily, take the antenna off when having to navigate low overhead clearance areas. My antenna is nearly 60 inches tall by the way. 

The main problem is the antenna height. You really have to watch where you drive. Going through a drive-thru window or parking garage does a nice job of tearing off the antenna or bending it over. Then there is the occasional tree branch strike too.

What a few people have done is use a motorized mount that can lower the antenna. It isn't exactly cheap but does solve problem, mostly. As noted you need to use a ground plane independent antenna.

https://www.diamondantenna.net/k9000lrmo.html

 

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[mention]Lscott [/mention] I’d imagine a motorized mount wouldn’t be too difficult. We had a Komatsu technician at the mine who rigged up his safety flag and strobe on a linear actuator. So they’d raise up as he entered he property. It’d be pretty simple to make the mount that rotates 90 degrees to the rear.


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