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Affordable place in CT for antenna install?

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cg

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Affordable is a relative term.
If I was looking for a quality job, I would expect to pay 200-300 for labor, perhaps 3 to 4 hours.. Pulling trim, dropping the headliner, marking, drilling, cleaning, installing the mounts, running cables back to where you want them, then putting it all back together.

chris
 

Mattkuhar

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Affordable is a relative term.
If I was looking for a quality job, I would expect to pay 200-300 for labor, perhaps 3 to 4 hours.. Pulling trim, dropping the headliner, marking, drilling, cleaning, installing the mounts, running cables back to where you want them, then putting it all back together.

chris
That's not to bad, makes it a bit easier I'm sure since all my trim is already ripped out.
 

Russabbey

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RE: affordable place for antenna install

When I had 3 of them installed on my new truck at the time (2011) it cost $300 at the local Motorola shop. They did an excellent job by the way. The only reason I took it to them was the air bag deployment module in the side curtains. I really didn't want to set it off some how. And with my luck........

Russ Abbey, KG4MAV
 

Mattkuhar

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When I had 3 of them installed on my new truck at the time (2011) it cost $300 at the local Motorola shop. They did an excellent job by the way. The only reason I took it to them was the air bag deployment module in the side curtains. I really didn't want to set it off some how. And with my luck........

Russ Abbey, KG4MAV
for $300 its worth it, i think i know what im doing with my income tax this year now. how long is the coax from each mount when they install them?
 

Mattkuhar

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When they ran the coax, it was only long enough to get to the radios. There was only a couple of inches of slack in them. :)
with my particular install (still a little ways off) do you think they should be able to leave me a fair amount of slack for different placement locations in the cab?
 

Russabbey

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Re: install of antennas

Remember, you are the customer and they should do as you request as far as leaving some slack in the coax. :) But a question here, what type of radio are you going to install? If it's a Ham radio, does it have the remote head to it? And also how are you going to mount it? That is really the biggest question after the antennas. In my Ford F-150, I have the no drill radio mounts that hook to a seat bolt and hold the heads of both my dual band and HF radios. (two different stalks for the heads) They are cheap at $20 each so I went that route.
73
Russ Abbey, KG4MAV
 

Mattkuhar

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Remember, you are the customer and they should do as you request as far as leaving some slack in the coax. :) But a question here, what type of radio are you going to install? If it's a Ham radio, does it have the remote head to it? And also how are you going to mount it? That is really the biggest question after the antennas. In my Ford F-150, I have the no drill radio mounts that hook to a seat bolt and hold the heads of both my dual band and HF radios. (two different stalks for the heads) They are cheap at $20 each so I went that route.
73
Russ Abbey, KG4MAV
ive got a Kenwood TK780h-1 and a small CB for now, but eventually it will be a few radios, maybe with remote heads. just studying for ham now havent looked at radios yet cause i know they are $$$. probably gonna be mounted ont top of dash until i get bucket seats put in. bench seat kills mounting areas cause its a stick shift. ill try to get some pics of my truck up soon before i try installing anything to get some advice.

Matt Kuhar
 

Mattkuhar

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ok, found a nice guy in my town that has done antennas for local people, and they have said he does decent work. i would just have to get the parts, is this an ok mount to use? my understanding is that i can use the same mount with different radios just by switching out the whip on the mount to match the transmitting frequency. is that correct?

3 4" NMO Brass Surface Roof Antenna Mount PL 259 | eBay
 
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Nighthawk424

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ok, found a nice guy in my town that has done antennas for local people, and they have said he does decent work. i would just have to get the parts, is this an ok mount to use? my understanding is that i can use the same mount with different radios just by switching out the whip on the mount to match the transmitting frequency. is that correct?

3 4" NMO Brass Surface Roof Antenna Mount PL 259 | eBay
Well yes that does look like an ok NMO mount. However the ones I have used in the past the PL-259 on the end looks a little higher quality perhaps. The ones I used the PL-259 on the end was removable by just unscrewing it. (helpful when routing it through firewalls and such) But the one you show on Ebay looks fine. And yes you can use the same mount for different radio's / antennas. Normally you just unscrew the coil from the NMO mount and screw a different one on. There are tons of different coils available in NMO style. CB ones, VHF wide band ones etc. So no normally you would not switch out the whip but the entire coil. But in some circumstances you may only switch the whip depending on the coil. For instance if you had a quarter wave whip in for the city and then popped a 5/8 whip in for the bush. But you are making the right choice going with NMO. There is a ton of coils available in that mount and also it is pretty well top of the line. Very nice antennas made for those mounts from companies like larson and maxrad. Just be sure to keep those mounts dry. (get the rubber O ring on properly) If you have one your not using put a cap on it.
 

Nighthawk424

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Oh and one more thing to add about your project. Are you sure you really want to put all 3 mounts on the roof? Have you considered perhaps putting one of them on an L bracket off the front fender? That way you do not have so many antennas close to each other. For instance if you were scanning with one antenna and then transmitting on your VHF radio it would very likely interfere with your scanner. Having that little bit of separation from the distance of the fender to the roof of the cab can make a world of difference. This is just in my experience of running multiple radios in a pickup. Sometimes it is nice to have that option. (oh and also for cosmetic reasons putting the technical aside)
 
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Mattkuhar

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Well yes that does look like an ok NMO mount. However the ones I have used in the past the PL-259 on the end looks a little higher quality perhaps. The ones I used the PL-259 on the end was removable by just unscrewing it. (helpful when routing it through firewalls and such) But the one you show on Ebay looks fine. And yes you can use the same mount for different radio's / antennas. Normally you just unscrew the coil from the NMO mount and screw a different one on. There are tons of different coils available in NMO style. CB ones, VHF wide band ones etc. So no normally you would not switch out the whip but the entire coil. But in some circumstances you may only switch the whip depending on the coil. For instance if you had a quarter wave whip in for the city and then popped a 5/8 whip in for the bush. But you are making the right choice going with NMO. There is a ton of coils available in that mount and also it is pretty well top of the line. Very nice antennas made for those mounts from companies like larson and maxrad. Just be sure to keep those mounts dry. (get the rubber O ring on properly) If you have one your not using put a cap on it.
i was gonna cut the PL-259 off and use a screw on connector so i can run the cable thru small areas. thats what i meant by whip was the coil/whip assembly (seems easier the change the whole assembly quickly if i had to) do they make full wave NMO antennas for VHF/UHF? i dont have any height problems to worry about so i can run full wave if its a bit better than 1/4 or 5/8. never really gave much thought to a fender mount, always heard that they dont have great receive/transmit performance. was thinkin 3 on roof CB,VHF,UHF once i get a UHF radio, but im always open to suggestions before i do anything :)
 

Nighthawk424

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Well no I have never seen anything bigger than a 5/8 or 1/2 wave for VHF on a vehicle. For UHF however that would be easy. I think typically any mobile antenna that is real long is made of a thicker less flexible whip usually with a spring on the bottom. (think of the old 9' CB antennas) As far as performance of an antenna off the fender they actually work quite well. Especially on the higher bands. They tend to be a bit directional when mounted on the fender. Obviously the roof is the best though yes. However sometimes there are reasons for not going on the roof such as if you go on trails with trees a lot. Or if you go into underground parking areas. Also when you have a bunch of antennas on the roof those will start to become directional also. They will act as reflectors. So there's another reason to consider having one of your mounts off the fender.

One other thing to note is that for the lower bands such as CB the antennas that are made with NMO connectors on them are not optimum. They still work good though. However the best would be one of those 9 foot whips. But then that brings up other cosmetic issues etc. Generally on CB you need all the help you can get from your antenna.
 
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Mattkuhar

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Well no I have never seen anything bigger than a 5/8 or 1/2 wave for VHF on a vehicle. For UHF however that would be easy. I think typically any mobile antenna that is real long is made of a thicker less flexible whip usually with a spring on the bottom. (think of the old 9' CB antennas) As far as performance of an antenna off the fender they actually work quite well. Especially on the higher bands. They tend to be a bit directional when mounted on the fender. Obviously the roof is the best though yes. However sometimes there are reasons for not going on the roof such as if you go on trails with trees a lot. Or if you go into underground parking areas. Also when you have a bunch of antennas on the roof those will start to become directional also. They will act as reflectors. So there's another reason to consider having one of your mounts off the fender.

One other thing to note is that for the lower bands such as CB the antennas that are made with NMO connectors on them are not optimum. They still work good though. However the best would be one of those 9 foot whips. But then that brings up other cosmetic issues etc. Generally on CB you need all the help you can get from your antenna.
yea currently for CB i have a mag mount K40 setup i think 4-5 foot whip. i do have and old 9 footer though, but dont have a mount yet. thinking about doing away with the cb and just going with 2 on roof now VHF and UHF. dont have to worry about underground or parking garages. i hit my ladder rack on the garage at the mall a while back and decided im not garageing it for parking lol
 

Mattkuhar

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well, the local guy said hes uncomfortable drilling into my truck (not sure why) so i returned the NMO mounts i bought and im looking for a radio shop in CT still. i have contacted several companies such as Northeastern Communications (motorola dealer) and have never heard back from them. so im wondering, can anyone here from CT tell me where i can get NMO mounts put in my roof??
 

KC8ESL

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A unibit from Harbor Freight is $8.

If your headliner is already missing, it should be a cakewalk to drill a 3/4" hole.
 

Mattkuhar

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whats a unibit? nope headliner is still there, been trying to figure out how to remove it without damaging it cause im thinking about doing self install except im afraid i wouldnt get them all lined up like id like. any opinion on what works best as far as arrangement of them? i was thinking across the roof drivers side to passenger side.

EDIT: didnt realize a step drill was a unibit lol. when i drill i should go from the outside in right? (to avoid splintering paint)
 
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12dbsinad

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whats a unibit? nope headliner is still there, been trying to figure out how to remove it without damaging it cause im thinking about doing self install except im afraid i wouldnt get them all lined up like id like. any opinion on what works best as far as arrangement of them? i was thinking across the roof drivers side to passenger side.

EDIT: didnt realize a step drill was a unibit lol. when i drill i should go from the outside in right? (to avoid splintering paint)
Is this a regular cab P/U or extended cab? You could intall the antennas left to right, that would give you the greatest seperation, especially if its a reguluar cab truck. It isn't really necessary to remove the entire headliner, I just drop it down on one side of the vehicle. Basically to make sure there are no metal "ribs" that run left to right, or front to back. I'd suggest purchasing a NMO hole saw. Laird makes one, model HS34 that can be had for around the price of a quality unibit. This will make a clean 3/4 inch hole without fear of poking thru the headliner if its in place. Also,do not use a 3/4 regular hole saw. This will make the hole bigger than 3/4 and can cause problems when installing the NMO mount. When running the coax, make sure you do not pass underneath the curtain airbags. If you are running it down the A pillar, run it above the airbag so it does not interfere with the deployment. With the right tool, and some time (since its your first antenna install I assume) it can be a fun project, and you can say you did it yourself. Good luck.
 

Mattkuhar

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regular cab, no curtain air bags cause of trucks age. Northeastern Comm got back to me today, 75 per hour plus parts. but i am thinking about possibly doing it myself so i can say i did it myself. and yes it will be my first antenna install (first vehicle too)
 
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