Looking for advice on antennas and mounting locations for CB and ham

Discussion in 'VA/DC/MD- Capital Land Cruiser Club' started by SportsmanJake, Jul 24, 2018.

  1. SportsmanJake

    SportsmanJake

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    Hi CLCC,

    I am looking for advice on where to mount a CB antenna and a 2m/70cm antenna. I am asking on the club page because I've talked to a few club members who are very knowledgeable and would like to have some local support if I need to troubleshoot.

    Goal: Determine best place to mount ham and cb antennas.

    Available Locations:
    • Driver or Passenger Fenders via a Gamaviti mount
    • Driver or Passenger side of light hoops on steel bumper (I would need to make and weld some mounting tabs)
    I already own a 3' Firestick cb antenna and would like to use that if possible.

    Currently, I want to mount the 2m/70cm on the driver side fender and the cb antenna on the passenger side of the bumper.

    Can anyone recommend a 2m/70cm antenna that would work well in this location?
    Also looking on recommendations for coax.

    Thanks
     
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  2. 76FJ40

    76FJ40 Old Fart SILVER Star

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    Paging Ed
     
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  3. TRFCSUX

    TRFCSUX Wasn't me

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  4. apinti

    apinti SILVER Star

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    The best place for the 2m/70cm ham antenna is in the middle of your roof, mounted on a NMO connector properly grounded to the body. ( Of course, you will have cowboy up and drill o hole first)
    CB antennas, they are too long to be mounted anywerea else but on the bumper or fender.
     
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  5. SportsmanJake

    SportsmanJake

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    I am well aware. I am not interested in drilling into the roof. I also have about 1 inch of clearance with my garage door.

    Thanks for your input.
     
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  6. apinti

    apinti SILVER Star

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    Well, in that case you can go the mag-mount route although it won't be as effective. Anything else is just a matter of compromise.
     
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  7. Stumpalama

    Stumpalama Forum Junkie SILVER Star

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    Front bull bar with an NMO mount, if you have one. That gives you the most exposed antenna from the widest direction.
     
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  8. emorth

    emorth

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    As @apinti mentioned, the best place is the center of the roof, but that is unusually impractical.

    Some thoughts:
    - Mounting the 2m/70cm on the driver side fender is a good alternative
    - Generic mounts may work that are less expensive than the Gamaviti mount. Google NMO mounting brackets
    - A "trunk lip" mount may also work
    trunk lip mnt.jpg
    - Personal preference for 2M/440 antennas is Diamond Diamond® Antenna ~ Mobile Antennas
    - I use the Diamond NR73BNMO when length is not a concern (higher gain) and the NR72BNMO for parking garages
    - This is a good generic type of mount for the Firestick. Use shrink tube with the internal adhesive to seal the PL-259 connector
    ant mount.jpg
    - Don't mount the 2M/440 antenna on the same fender as the AM/FM radio antenna, the transmit RF could damage the AM/FM receiver. The CB has low transmit power, not a concern
    - Antenna should be as unobstructed as possible. so it has a 360 degree "view"
    - I have the equipment to tune the CB antenna, the Diamond antennas should be good to go out of the box
    - Personal preference for cable is Belden RG58 https://catalog.belden.com/techdata/EN/9201_techdata.pdf Don't use the cheap coax sold for CB radios, it is extremely lossy for VHF/UHF transmitting. Available at Newark, Mouser, TESSCO, HRO (Ham Radio Outlet), and may other places. There is an HRO in Woodbridge, might be worth the trip to see the other goodies they have.

    Hope this is useful info, let me know what I can do to help.
     
  9. Stumpalama

    Stumpalama Forum Junkie SILVER Star

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    The master has spoken.
     
  10. SportsmanJake

    SportsmanJake

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    Thanks ed. You have given me a lot of great information.

    2 more questions.

    I will be running both coax cables through the firewall so I will have to attach the pl-259 from inside the cab.

    I do not currently own any tools to crimp a 259. I am also not the greatest at soldering (probably passable though).

    • What do you recommend for attaching the pl-259s? What PL-259 connectors do you recommend?

    • To connect to the Diamond NR72BNMO, I need a Coax with an NMO mount. What do you recommend? Would something like this work?
     
  11. emorth

    emorth

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    Would something like this work? Absolutely.

    Well, at the risk of totally exposing my OCD Geekness, I solder almost everything. My summer job during college was equipping emergency vehicles. We didn't want an ambulance to lose its lights, siren or radios while transporting a critical patient to the hospital, so we soldered everything. Soldering is far better than crimping, in many ways.

    Regarding the PL259s, Anderson makes the best RF connectors, IMHO. Generic solder version with silver plating and a Teflon insulator are fine too. Make sure you get the screw in insert for the RG58 cable. Can't make any recommendations for the crimp version, I've never used them.

    So, a suggestion to avoid having to attach a PL259... The NMO mount requires a 3/4 inch hole and is installed from the outside of the vehicle. The PL 259 will fit thru the 3/4 inch hole. They did this so you can feed the coax with PL259 thru the hole when installing the NMO mount. This makes it really easy to mount an NMO on the roof of a vehicle without having to drop the headliner. OK, I know you are not mounting your antenna on the roof, so what is the point? They make rubber hole plugs to plug the 3/4 inch hole when the NMO mount is removed. If you are willing to drill a 3/4 inch hole in your firewall, so the PL259 will pass thru it, you can modify this rubber hole plug to protect the coax from the sharp edges of the hole. Drill out the center part of the plug and cut one side, that way you can wrap it around the coax cable and inset it in the firewall hole. Now, you can use the pre-wired NMO mount with the PL259 attached because the PL259 will fit thru the 3/4 inch hole in the firewall. No need to solder or crimp the PL259. And, when/if you remove the antenna, you can use another hole plug to fill hole in the firewall. I have plugs.

    1.jpg

    Now, the down side. You want to run two coax cables thru the firewall. Two cables will fit in the modified hole plug BUT the second PL259 will not fit thru the 3/4 inch hole with the first coax cable in place. So, two holes, one per cable, or one hole and you will have to attach the second PL259.

    If you want to come by the my place, (Burke, VA) I will be happy to solder on the PL259s for you. Or, we could do it in the parking lot before a club meeting. Your call, let me know what you want to do.

    2.jpg
     
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  12. StaleAle

    StaleAle MUD-aholic SILVER Star

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    Ummm...Ed, did you mean to say Amphenol makes the best RF connectors?

    Me thinks you have Anderson connectors on the brain (refer to Dumpster Diving post).
     
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  13. emorth

    emorth

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    Yep. Amphenol. Yet another senior moment brain fart. :doh:
    Good catch.
     
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  14. SportsmanJake

    SportsmanJake

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    Thanks Ed.
    I am going to try my hand at soldering one of the PL-259s if I cannot fit both through my firewall.

    Luckily I have already drilled a 1.25" hole to accommodate the Daystar Firewall boot.
     
  15. DirtNap

    DirtNap

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    you can also get the coax with an FME on the radio end of it. It is basically a 2-part PL259. One part is permanently attached to the coax, and is just slightly thicker than the coax. and you can screw on the other part of the PL-259 fitting once it is fished.
     
  16. StaleAle

    StaleAle MUD-aholic SILVER Star

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    You are going to need a good soldering gun to overcome the fast heat dissipation of the braid and mass of the connector. 200/260 Watt as I recall.
     
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