Mobile Antennas

I currently have a Diamond SG-7500 for my Ham radio and a scanner antenna, BUT they are pretty big. I'm in the market for some new antennas. One for my Ham radio and one for my scanner. I want them to be fairly small, preferrably under 24" tall or so. What brand do you guys recommend as far as height, quality, db gain, etc. Also I want them to be magnet mount because I don't really want to drill holes in the roof of my Jeep :p.
 
Instead of a mag mount, which will damage the paint and cause rust due to vibration, I suggest a lip mount. Diamond K412, Comet RS-520, or MFJ 345 will handle the size you are looking into. They mount on the hatchback lip or door lip, and have a rubber backing that won't scratch the finish. If you have a luggage rack, these companies make mounts for that too.

Stepping down from the Diamond 7500 to a smaller antenna is not reccomended. At the size you are looking at, there is no gain at 2M (see my post about setting up a mobile station in "Got a Ham question/problem?" regarding size vs. gain). You will notice a major degrdation in both transmitted and recieved signal quality when on repeater fringes.

I reccomend changing your mount if you're using a mag mount, and sticking with the 7500. If you really want a smaller dual band antenna, look at Diamond's NR72B, Comet's AX-50, SSB-2, or 10-B, and MFJ's 1402. All fit your size requirement, but have no gain at 2M
 
I've got a K412SNMO and it works great for me. The mag mount I had before scratched my paint, and I will never use one again. The K412 did not leave any type of mark. I started out with a SBB-2NMO because I didn't want to have a huge antenna on my car. After a couple of chases I quickly realized that short of an antenna is about worthless. I purchased a SG7500NMO a few months ago, and there is a huge difference.

For local driving, I usually keep the SBB-2 on. When I go out to chase or travel for work I always install the SG7500.
 
Well I have the luggage rack mount right now (K550KM) and I don't really have much trust in it anymore. It's pretty heavy and when I put it on my luggage rack the luggage rack gets a little flimsy, so you can imagine what it is doing at 60mph+. I already have the cable and connectors, so would a K400 work?
 
Before spending extra bucks on another mount, try mounting the K550 as close as possible to the side rail. You won't get as much of a ground plane, but it should be more stable being close to the anchor point of the rack.
 
Unfortunately, there is no trunk on an SUV, so I can't run lip mounts. I spose I could on the side of the hood, but i think antenna's on the hood look stupid for my vehicle anyway. I'm stuck with magnet mounts until either A) i can find an alternative permanant mounting system or B) get the guts up to take the drill to the roof.

Any suggestions here?
 
Do you have a roof rack on your SUV?? If you do then there is mounts that fits onto roof racks. You still may have to drill a hole for the coax but it will save you extra holes for the drilling of the mount.
 
Have you guys tried taking out the roof linings on some SUV's
On mine I will have to start at the bottom of the pillars and remove all the trim just to get at the roof lining- it is also a one piece mouded one so I stick with mag mounts or a mount on the tailgate where the spare wheel hangs- Ok for really big antenna
 
Originally posted by Mike Sharp
Have you guys tried taking out the roof linings on some SUV's
On mine I will have to start at the bottom of the pillars and remove all the trim just to get at the roof lining- it is also a one piece moulded one so I stick with mag mounts or a mount on the tailgate where the spare wheel hangs- Ok for really big antenna

Good god yes! I did that on Graham's Tahoe and in the end we ended up just pulling all the trim loose and just dropping the headliner down to gain some access! Not much easier in a minivan either! :shock:

But I agree with some, drill it and go nmo mounts if at all possible. Performance all around will be better, PARTICULARLY on a ham radio. They make little rubber plugs that fit those 3/4 holes perfectly and on top of an SUV/Minivan will almost never be seen. Not only that, having a good secure mount that an nmo drilled can provide is nice not to have to worry about mags or other types of mounts coming loose when that semi truck tries to blow you off the road.

There are some mounts out there now that will mount to the top edge of the back door on SUV's/minivans.

As for scanners, I have a couple of these in mind from a local dealer here in Lubbock:
http://shop.waltel.com/catalog/product_inf...products_id/479
they are NMO antennas but he also has the mag bases the will fit on as well.

Now if I can just find a new dual band ham antenna with tons of gain that I like to replace my old dying comet antenna!
 
Originally posted by David Drummond+--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(David Drummond)</div>
<!--QuoteBegin-Mike Sharp
Have you guys tried taking out the roof linings on some SUV's
On mine I will have to start at the bottom of the pillars and remove all the trim just to get at the roof lining- it is also a one piece moulded one so I stick with mag mounts or a mount on the tailgate where the spare wheel hangs- Ok for really big antenna

Good god yes! I did that on Graham's Tahoe and in the end we ended up just pulling all the trim loose and just dropping the headliner down to gain some access! Not much easier in a minivan either! :shock:

But I agree with some, drill it and go nmo mounts if at all possible. Performance all around will be better, PARTICULARLY on a ham radio. They make little rubber plugs that fit those 3/4 holes perfectly and on top of an SUV/Minivan will almost never be seen. Not only that, having a good secure mount that an nmo drilled can provide is nice not to have to worry about mags or other types of mounts coming loose when that semi truck tries to blow you off the road.

There are some mounts out there now that will mount to the top edge of the back door on SUV's/minivans.

As for scanners, I have a couple of these in mind from a local dealer here in Lubbock:
http://shop.waltel.com/catalog/product_inf...products_id/479
they are NMO antennas but he also has the mag bases the will fit on as well.

Now if I can just find a new dual band ham antenna with tons of gain that I like to replace my old dying comet antenna![/b]

I like those scanner antennas! I've been looking everywhere for a nice scanner antenna, doesnt seem like anyone makes a nice one. Well, until now anyway.

I think I convinced myself in the last couple hours that I'm going to drill. It's just gonna be a HUGE pain in the butt, I think I'm gonna have to do the same thing, by starting at the bottom trim and working my way up to pull the whole headliner. Also doesnt help that I have a roof mounted factory console either :roll: . apparently ford wasnt thinking about people wanting to disassemble their brand new vehciles, lol.
 
Originally posted by Ben Engle
Unfortunately, there is no trunk on an SUV, so I can't run lip mounts. I spose I could on the side of the hood, but i think antenna's on the hood look stupid for my vehicle anyway. I'm stuck with magnet mounts until either A) i can find an alternative permanant mounting system or B) get the guts up to take the drill to the roof.

Any suggestions here?

Ben, there are various other types of mounts that you could use that are basically the same as lipmount but are designed for SUV's. You might take a look at the Diamond K400 or the Comet RS-730 for a good example.
 
If you're lucky, you may have a dome light somewhere near where you want to drill. You can remove the dome light and drill right above it. Then remove the door trim and work the headliner down enough to where you feed the coax from where the dome light is, to the edge somewhere. I used a wire coat hanger to assist in grabbing the coax. This worked really well for me as far as not having to remove the entire headliner. Also, the dome light hole gives you a some working room from beneath the headliner. From there you can run your coax down the seam of the door (in my case towards the dash area) and under the dash to where I mounted the radio.

The rubber O-ring on the NMO mount will prevent any water leaks. Should I ever need to remove it, theres no need to take the headliner down again, as I can get to everything by taking down the dome light and pull the coax back through.
 
Check over at batboard.batlabs.com for assistance with drilling into the vehicle's roof. People there do vehicle installs for a living and can provide advice and tips to help you avoid a costly mistake. :)
 
If your SUV has wrap around doors, a lip mount will fit right on it. Just mount it on top of a back door close to the hinge,
 
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