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When your car is aluminum...


HCCFCA
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I use HT's when my car club goes on drives. Depending on the number of cars, the line can get pretty long. I recently purchased a 20 watt mobile unit to gain some distance. The dilemma is this: the car is completely aluminum so no mag mounts (or those base plates with the double sided tape) and I will not use a lip mount that might mar the paint or drill holes. Where could I mount an antenna and what antenna would it be. Does such an animal exist? 

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I ran this antenna for many years in a few specific vehicles. Its rated for 35 watts and works well as long as its in site. Don't stuff behind trim. Just 3M tape to the rear glass. 

https://www.amazon.com/Covert-SB450FME12-450-470mhz-Internal-Antenna/dp/B007JSDDFA

Mine was from Laird I think but doesn't come up on there site ant longer. Heck I may still have one in the parts box out in the barn. They made one for 800 that we used alot for volunteer fire chiefs when we were 800mhz. 

I would think this would work well for your application. 

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So, no mag mount, no lip mount, and you don't want to drill holes.  Have to be honest, i have no idea what else you could possibly do except use your handheld.  I mean, you are asking how to mount an antenna without mounting an antenna... so holding it is all that is left.

 

What kind of vehicle is it?  I mean, I put a lip mount on a $100k Challenger Hellcat that was even painted black and had zero issue with the paint.  That really is the best method if you want it to work and not have damage.

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Steel plate with one sticky side + mag mount. I think Midland has them bundled with their radios. If it was me, I'd try to use 3M Heavy Duty Double Sided Tape with 16GA or thicker steel plate. The tape is available on Amazon in different widths and thicknesses. It's a bitch to remove, need to use hair dryer or heat gun. I do not use it for antenna mounting (I just drill), I use it for other applications where I can't use bolts, rivets etc.

Other option: see if you can fabricate a bracket that'll go under the bolts that hold the hood/trunk hinges, and use 1/2 or 5/8 antenna for better efficiency.

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I have used glass mounts before.  Its a compromise, but they work(ish).  It will be better than an HT.  Just be sure you don't trash the window seal when you roll it up.

 

I would be more prone to use this...  Uses something like superglue to mount to the glass.  It will look a lot cleaner and when you decide to remove it, you will never know it was on the glass.

 

https://www.amazon.com/TRAM-1192-Pre-Tuned-150-154-Dual-Band/dp/B07B9V77BH/ref=asc_df_B07B9V77BH/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=270610367741&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=14561024409338638345&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9008161&hvtargid=pla-574076094856&psc=1

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Cool!

I understand the problem, I'm currently considering options of mounting antenna on BMW i3, which is fully plastic. Should it be my car, I'd drilled it, but it's not my car. Right now I'm torn between sticky plate on the roof or rear spoiler, fabricated mounting bracket that will be held by hinge bolts of the rear hatch (preferred option so far), or slot antenna inside the rear spoiler (full stealth install and an engineering challenge). I also saw pictures of upside-down mounted HT antennas inside the corvettes, on the roof cross bar.

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Yeah a bit of a dilemma. The B2WR mount is not permanent as far as I can tell and it's not a glass mount, it looks like it pinch on the glass. There's a cable to the antenna mount point. 

1. Assuming I can put 20 watts through it? Think that's possible?

2, Recommended antenna?

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37 minutes ago, HCCFCA said:

Yeah a bit of a dilemma. The B2WR mount is not permanent as far as I can tell and it's not a glass mount, it looks like it pinch on the glass. There's a cable to the antenna mount point. 

1. Assuming I can put 20 watts through it? Think that's possible?

2, Recommended antenna?

 

Yes, the mount an associated cable will support a 20w system.  The question is, will the antenna you buy support a 20w system. 

 

That mount comes in options for antenna compatibility.  BNC, SMA and reverse SMA.  I would find an antenna you like and buy the corresponding mount.  All of the types it supports are handheld antennas.  So I wouldn't expect much in the power department.  Max is typically 10w.

 

Example:  https://www.buytwowayradios.com/nagoya-na-771g.html

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Thanks for the insight Marc! Much appreciated.

I'll check out the links. Good to hear the mount will handle the power and now I have 2 alternative antennas. That's progress. 

Irony: I have the 771G for my HT but I think its a different connector, I'll have to look

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11 hours ago, HCCFCA said:

Well, this is why I don't want to do any damage...

Yes, Im fortunate.

I saw some kind of mount that fits over the drivers/passengers window (on B2WR's) but it looks like it's only for HT's. and its the mount only and no antenna. https://www.buytwowayradios.com/nagoya-rb-clp-1.html

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Nice!!! If I HAVE to put an antenna on that car I would fabricate a bracket that would bolt to the cowl underneath the front lid on the passenger side and use an NMO mount using existing bolts that are going into metal for grounding. That might be a problem as that care is most likely composite, but you can run a ground to the bracket if needed.. The mount can be sheet metal with the proper bends that would attach to the nearest bolts. Once fabricated I would have it dipped in black vinyl and add rubber bumpers for added safety to prevent any contact with painted surfaces or areas that can be seen. Run cable the traditional way through the firewall. The best thing about doing it this way is you can unscrew the antenna when not in use and put on an black NMO cap, which would blend in and nobody would even notice. That would be my approach, but I would need to see underneath the hood to make a template. Doing it this way is you can pull everything out in less than 20-minutes and restore the car back to original. No holes, no scratches. Using the NMO mount will give you a better choice of antennas, especially black ones. A black Larsen 1/4 wave antenna won't even be seen from a distance. Just be aware of the windshield wiper operation and factor that into you measurements.

 

Here's a black 1/4 wave NMO.

https://www.amazon.com/Laird-Technologies-450-470-Quarterwave-Antenna/dp/B0079555WM/ref=pd_lpo_1?pd_rd_i=B0079555WM&psc=1

80580.jpg

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Stico makes disguised antennas that mount underneath the molded bumper covers (either front or rear).  I've also done stuff for UHF where we just formed an angle bracket that used the license plate mount, and then ran a standard NMO off that. Works if the plate isn't recessed very far. Doesn't get the antenna up, but gets it out...

Just looking at the car, I'd be tempted to buy a replacement passenger side mirror, fab a mount for an NMO with a 6" hatpin into that mirror with some copper sheathing molded to the underside behind the mirror assembly for a ground plane - then run the coax down into the door and through the existing loom into the dash. Call it a day. Easy to return to stock when it's time, and should work well.

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All ideas to think about for sure. Knowing my car, some are possible others not so much. Thanks guys. 

On a side note: a replacement mirror on a Ferrari 458 If you can find one, will cost several thousand dollars. It's called the Ferrari tax...

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Depending if you have a passanger, you could do something like this: https://www.arcantenna.com/products/trab4500np-m2m-400-490-mhz-black-low-profile-omni-antenna

Mount it in the rear window behind the passenger seat (2'8" from you for RF exposure requirements at 20W), could make a bracket off the seat bolt. There really aren't many options, other than to find a window lip mount and roll the window up on it.

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I was poking at photos online for ideas...are there any bolts inside the rear hatch that could work to hold an antenna bracket, either on the frame, or on the hatch itself?  Thinking a custom version of the semi common premade fender mounts brackets they sell for common pickups, and carrying a no-ground-plane antenna; the one @tweiss linked is a good option, and the antenna farm lists a few 1/2 wave whips for the 450-470 range.

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10 minutes ago, wayoverthere said:

I was poking at photos online for ideas...are there any bolts inside the rear hatch that could work to hold an antenna bracket, either on the frame, or on the hatch itself?  Thinking a custom version of the semi common premade fender mounts brackets they sell for common pickups, and carrying a no-ground-plane antenna; the one @tweiss linked is a good option, and the antenna farm lists a few 1/2 wave whips for the 450-470 range.

There is a window between the passenger compartment and the rear compartment where the engine is. I wouldn't recommend putting the antenna in the engine compartment. 

On a whim, I started looking a Dubai exotic police vehicles, and I don't see an antenna on a single one.

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3 hours ago, HCCFCA said:

All ideas to think about for sure. Knowing my car, some are possible others not so much. Thanks guys. 

On a side note: a replacement mirror on a Ferrari 458 If you can find one, will cost several thousand dollars. It's called the Ferrari tax...

I wouldn't want to even think about putting a scratch on that car, even places that will never be seen. Oh, when I said "cowl" in the other post I may not have used the right term. I was referring to that black area between the hood and windshield where the wipers reside. It would be fairly close to where an AM/FM antenna would be on most cars. Whatever you do just take your time and enjoy.

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I thought about something along the lines mentioned by wayoverthere. There are grills on either side of the rear glass window. Theoretically i could throw some bolts from the underside thru the grill work. OTOH it gets REALLY hot in the engine compartment and then Id have to run the cable out the pass window along the body work to the grill. Upon closer inspection, the mesh is too fine, plus, as mentioned - no possibilities of scratches is the prime directive (so to speak)

 

IMG_7669.jpg.3b376ecaa773cd95e447f24825056abe.jpg

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