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Commercial Radio Antennas Please keep discussion related to professional, commercially used antennas and antenna systems for the two-way radio industry. Topics for the use of these antennas on amateur bands are accepted here.

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Old 03-06-2014, 11:14 AM
   
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Default Onstar - VHF?

New to the forum, so forgive me if this is misplaced.

I will soon be installing a Motorola Astro Spectra in a 07 Silverado (NNBS). I am really avoiding drilling the cab roof to install an antenna, and was hoping to find some kind of "undercover" antenna that experienced users would recommend? Truck is a daily driver so needs to be something clean looking. Also I don't have a lot of height clearance as the truck is garage kept and only have about 3" above it to enter the garage.

I know I am asking a lot but hoping to find something reliable. I was specifically wondering if there were a On-Star antenna "look-a-like" that i could use in conjunction with the radio?

Radio is 110W and operating mainly around the 150-165mHz range.

Thanks for your help in advance!
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Old 03-07-2014, 12:21 PM
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Try this site:

STI-Co | Antenna Manufacturer | Antenna Systems | Antenna Accessories

And this one for phantom antennas:

http://www.theantennafarm.com/catalo...-antennas-211/
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Old 03-07-2014, 1:11 PM
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"Shark fin" multi band antenna with VHF whip, probably as efficient as you will find for this sort of installation:
Heavy Duty Multi Function Antenna - Panorama Antennas - Specialists in Antennas
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Old 03-07-2014, 4:06 PM
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Phantom antennas are only rated for 60W you put an astro spectra 110W on it and it will smoke the antenna.. I have seen it done. They do not work well for anything but well covered repeater systems. the bandwith is very narrow..Truck is 7 years old. One NMO antenna on the roof if done properly will not leak or effect the value.
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Old 03-07-2014, 4:48 PM
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Agreed, everyone that I know who have tried the phantom antennas on VHF have not been happy. Very, very narrow bandwidth, very poor performance. All of them have been replaced by a 1/4 wave whip.
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Old 03-08-2014, 1:01 PM
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Three inches of clearance isn't going to lend itself to any kind of roof mount antenna including a beer can style low profile. As stated earlier, any of the low profile antennas have low power ratings. Even 50 watts is going to turn one of them into a stinking mass of carbon in short order. An NMO and quarter wave is out of the question if you are like me. I absolutely hate taking antennas on and off of a vehicle. I don't know what part of the country you live in, but assume its raining or snowing when you pull up to your garage point. How fun is THAT going to be, climbing out and taking an antenna off or putting in on when you have to go under the low clearance? NOT.

The 2007 doesn't have an external whip for AM-FM, much like most newer vehicles, which would have been a very nice choice for a good disguise antenna.

The only decent disguise antennas on the market for a low profile application are made by the one company that supplies to the DEA, IRS, USSS, and just about every other agency that needs disguise antennas. We routinely install this guy's antennas on dual 110w XTL5000 packages. Go look at www.licenseplateantennas.com. Not only do they have diversity license plate packages, but they make just about every kind of OEM replacement antenna available, in power ratings up to 150watts. However, they are NOT inexpensive. You want quality or cheap? What works and looks good with no problems is usually NEVER cheap. These guys discount to HAMS too, so if you have that card, play it. I have EIGHT radios in my SUV. I have TWO antennas.
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Old 05-04-2014, 8:30 PM
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Agreed - and the Stico antenna are good quality, flexible, and as low profile as you're liable to find in a quarter-wave. Have you thought about through-glass? If you're on a repeated system, may not hurt, though you'll want to turn the output down (100w into any quarter wave always seemed kinda silly to me anyway, if you want gain, get it from the antenna. Antennas don't put as much strain on the power side of the system, and having 100w out doesn't help your RX, whereas antenna gain will...just my two cents).
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Old 05-04-2014, 9:03 PM
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FYI, if you don't have the large W9 control head, any of the other types will fit in a standard DIN radio space. There's a pretty good chance you have an available DIN sized space in your dash depending on what am/fm radio is already in there. If it's a double DIN sized unit, you can replace it with a single DIN sized unit and put the Astro Spectra control head in there. That will make for a super clean installation. It could not be much cleaner than that.
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Old 05-05-2014, 2:15 PM
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1. Does it have to run 110W? Or do you have no choice in the matter? (You said Spectra...HAM or commercial use?)
2. Even though you need a good ground plane, you said you essentially cannot use the roof (clearance). I don't think you have too many choices, but I might recommend an L-bracket on the fender. (they screw in under the hood lip) and a 1/4 wave. We used to do some logging trucks this way in the radio shop, they ran 60-100w LOW BAND radios...and the match was ok, not what we wanted, but ok. VHF ones worked fine.

http://www.theantennafarm.com/catalo...ic-mounts-297/

The only question on these is whether the truck is a Classic (06-07 style) or a Newer (07-08 style) they made both bodies in 1/2 ton during the 2007 model year.
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Last edited by quarterwave; 05-05-2014 at 2:20 PM..
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Old 05-05-2014, 5:11 PM
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Default Onstar - VHF?

The Sharkee is the only "covert-ish" antenna I could recommend for multi service with VHF. Consider though taking a look to see if there is an AM/FM mount (c shaped bracket) on the passenger side cowl. That is what I used only 13 Tahoe for a low band antenna. If you have the bracket you can install an NMO mount in it and screw a 1/4~ on. The result will appear stock and meet your height requirements.


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Old 05-05-2014, 6:07 PM
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I had a new 2001 Jeep Cherokee that I wanted to keep unmolested and ran across a similar issue of antenna/radio placement and garage height. I experimented with various configurations of small covert antennas with mixed results. Most had power limitations, limited band width, and/ or poor SWR returns. The glass mount models always gave high SWR returns. So after years of going without a mobile install, I gave this antenna a try on a L mount fender bracket directly opposite the radio antenna on the drivers side,

http://www.theantennafarm.com/catalo...322w-4470.html

For mobile mounting of my Icom 2200H I used a Havis "vehicle specific" laptop mount that attached to the passanger seat bolts and provided a great platform that didn't interfere with passenger legs or vehicle controls. No need to drill holes in the dash or console. The only holes I did drill were for the L bracket which was inside the fender of the engine compartment. Just 3 tiny sheet metal screws were all that were needed.

Whenever I didn't want the radio/antenna to be visible, I merely unscrewed the rod and threw a beach towel over the radio. I could do it in about 10 seconds.
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Old 05-05-2014, 7:06 PM
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I'd recommend a 1/4 wave fender mounted. Either with an L bracket, or a lip mount NMO that attaches to the hood with set screws. If you use a low profile antenna, like a Larsen NMOQB black quarter wave, it is barely noticable. I would also advise to turn the TX power down given the location of the antenna. You usually can obtain decent VSWR readings.

I would however stay away from VHF Phantoms, or glass mounted antennas. I have always had very poor results from both, and a fender mounted antenna always performs better, a night and day difference.
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Old 05-06-2014, 9:52 AM
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I've always wanted to mount one in the middle of the hood...just for fun.
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Old 05-06-2014, 10:53 AM
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I have heard there is a way to mount a quarter wave antenna in the back D pillar cap which is just a fiberglass cover.

One thing I have wanted to try is a vhf antenna where the Avalanche fm antenna goes. The Tahoe and Avalanche share the same front end so you should be able to either drill a small hole in the plastic upper cowl near the windshield or buy one for an Avalanche. Since the Avalanche doesn't have the rear quarter glass like the Tahoe it had to mount the antenna like the good ole days. Here's what it would look like:
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Old 05-06-2014, 1:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quarterwave View Post
I've always wanted to mount one in the middle of the hood...just for fun.
Haha, since I have 3 antennas on top my truck people keep telling me I need to add some antennas to the wheels, tailgate, both bumpers ! And the hood
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Old 05-06-2014, 1:22 PM
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Default Onstar - VHF?

A bit dirty at the moment (pollen) but here is the "stock" antenna location on the Tahoe.






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Old 05-08-2014, 4:57 PM
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[QUOTE=DisasterGuy;2184026]A bit dirty at the moment (pollen) but here is the "stock" antenna location on the Tahoe.

I like that one, and you can use any NMO style antenna.
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