REALLY Dumb Radio Question

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Jun 18, 2012
Phoenix, AZ
Hey Everybody. So, my initial post got answered after a little digging. BUT, since I can't figure out how to delete this thread, I'll redeem myself and ask another question. What antenna's are people running, aside from the stock antenna? I want to swap my stock antenna (mostly due to someone breaking it in a parking lot). In its place I want to put a ham radio antenna. Are there hidden antennas that are reliable? I see so many for $10 or so, but idk if I'd trust it...thoughts?
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My wife showed me on her Honda that it just has to be there. Replacing mine is an option (i have a stock replacement) and I haven't because the immoveable replacement antennae is so dang tuff.
You want to replace the stock antenna with a HAM antenna? Look at WagonGear for his Firestick mount and then I believe there is a Firestick Antenna that can be had that will do both HAM and Radio.
Running one of Kevin's mounts with a CB and radio. Works great.
When you say "hideaway antennas that are worth anything" what are you talking about. All cars have AM/FM antennas, in the 80s and 90s many vehicles came with them as part of the windshield. If you are looking for something like today's XM/Satellite radio antenna (the little nubs) then you are SOL I am pretty sure. Best bet is to get one of the little rubbery ones from your LAPS and go with that.
I thought I had heard about antennas that are like the ones in the windshield, or put it on the dash, or other "hideaway" locations. Does that even exist? Or was that my imaginary friend giving me advice again..... If I need to do a fin antenna or some other little antenna, which would it be and where would people go? I've seen guys replace the existing antenna spot with a cb/ham/etc antenna, so their am/fm stick has to go somewhere, right?
Really depends. I know that there are some XM/Satellite units that have little "puck" style antennas that you can mount to your dash right at the windshield and still get good reception. Most XM/Satellite units have smallish antennas and will have instructions on where they should be installed.

With regards to the CB/HAM antenna there are those out there that are dual purpose antennas so they CAN be used for a CB or HAM AND AM/FM antenna (Firestik is a good example of a dual purpose). So you would effectively have the CB/HAM antenna mounted in that spot and no need for a secondary AM/FM antenna.
i am a ham and have a 2-meter installed in the center console; served by a small antenna on the driver's side opposite the am/fm stock antenna. if you want to transmit you will need a proper antenna. i also use a remote speaker mounted in the passenger side above the glove box. there should be a place for that already waiting. power directly to the battery (fused). if you want the best transmission mount a 5/8 antenna in the center of the roof; for mobile HF you need a hitch mount. i've been running this setup over 25-years.
To start I wanted to run an antenna for my Baofeng UV-5R until I get a proper mobile unit. I was thinking of mounting it next to by CB antenna on the center of the roof. For HF, I used to have a bumper mount before a drunk smashed her LeBaron into my truck. I haven't really looked, but I was told if an antenna isn't mounted in the center of the rig you won't get good reception...... Guide me, oh Dave!

Here you can see the driver's side 2-meter antenna mounted, same approximate position as the standard radio mount, just opposite side for symmetry. (a slight bend makes for an upright presentation) Holes/cutouts under the hood (inside the engine bay) allow you to install the antenna without additional cutting - only one drilled hole required to mount. this antenna is about the height of my rooftop. (i do have a magnet mount 5/8 for the roof when needed - about 1% of the time for me.)

antenna placement is NOT critical for reception; the perfect placement for transmission is the center of the roof/top. However, you may not want to take the antenna off and on every time you enter or exit a garage or drive thru... which is why I have a shortie on the driver side. All this works fine for an antenna for 2-meters. If you are on the higher frequencies, the antenna is so short you can roof mount and probably not even remove for your home garage (test that first before you commit to drilling the hole). For HF, which requires a much taller antenna, a receiver/hitch mount is best because you can more easily remove it and it does not bump everything you drive under.

Here is the 2-meter rig mounted in the center console. i leave the lid screws off to make the console top removable - i just set it aside when operating the rig. The radio mount is attached to the passenger side of the console interior side panel. remote speaker plug and antenna feed from holes in the bottom of the console. You will need to remove the console to run speaker wires, power cable and antenna cable, drill holes in the console and attach the radio mount. (when complete as above, the radio is easily removed with the two side hand screws as if mounted under a dash). out of sight is always better - just remember to turn the rig off to prevent battery drain. remember, Ham radios need power and ground to the battery - remember to fuse BOTH positive and negative feeds (do NOT use the cig lighter wire/fuse). also, use correct gauge wire for your full transmit power.


the speaker hole pattern is already on my 1987 fj60. when you remove the glove box interior, you can easily mount a speaker (can't remember the size now), and then run the wire to your console for a remote speaker that you can easily hear!!!

this is handy for NOAA weather reports, monitoring other frequencies or talking to another ham; the volume is so much better and the sound quality is so much better!

If you are in a more remote location and need every bit of antenna gain, only consider the center roof mount and watch what you drive under!!!
My plan is to build my own center console and have my radios (at least one) set in the console. I'm going to install an aux fuse box to run radios (AM/FM, 2m, 70cm, CB, 10m), so I won't have a problem with power (aside from install tips). My speaker is right now under the existing cup holder, which is perfect.

With antennas, I've seen small antennas with a coil for 2m and 70cm that I can put up with a magnet. I've thought about that, a puck on passenger side antenna spot or something on the inside of the windshield/dash, and my existing CB magnet on top. When I get my truck lifted, I won't fit in garages anyway, so I'm not real worried about height. I really couldn't bring myself to drill into the body of my rig, so putting an antenna where you have yours is a no go, but I could do it on the passenger side! I assume your antenna can be unscrewed when not in use. What make/model is it? Could it run 70cm as well? I assume it would be better than this- I want to get as much info as possible before I go through with the actual install. I don't have radios yet, other than my little Baofeng. I can't break the bank all at once.

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