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N9JIG 2018 Mobile

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N9JIG

Sheriff
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#1
Moved things around a bit on my 2016 Expedition. I mounted one of the RH-96's directly to the console rail sideways. While it still lets me use the cupholder it no longer is in the line of fire of the airbags. The other RH96 and the DR638 are still mounted on a block placed in the little well forward of the gear shifter, when in motion the shifter does not block the view at all. Both RH-96's are connected to BCD996XT's in the rear cargo area.

I added my BCD436HP to the mix, I needed a Phase 2 scanner for trips and the upcoming County system. The USB cable goes to the console USB power adapter and the antenna lead goes to a Spectrum Force Mini-Mag Mount on the roof.

The XT's and the DR638's all have individual antennas, I am using a Comet Dual Bander for the 638 and Comtelco scanner antennas for the XT's. Sometimes when I go to California or other areas still using low-band I will swap one or both with MON-51's but they are too tall to fit in my garage. I can get in and out in my garage without banging with these antennas and they provide great performance.

I had considered connecting the 436 to one of the rear scanner antennas using a multicoupler but would have required a long run of coax to the rear cargo area. I tried that as a test and got better performance out of the little mag mount antenna, in fact it outperforms the NMO mounted antennas noticeably.
 

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03msc

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I wish my garage was that big - my crew cab Silverado won't fit inside mine, length wise or with antennas on top, so I'm always envious of folks who can park their vehicle, with antennas on top, inside their garage without problem. Looks like another great setup, Rich!

Why do you think you get better performance out of the little mag mount as opposed to the nmo mounted antennas? As we all know, nmo is the ideal way to mount antennas. I'm not doubting your findings, just curious if you have any ideas as to why.
 

DJ11DLN

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Your setup looks great.

I was surprised at how well the Spectrum Force worked. I've got one on my Terrain because I'm intimidated by all those curtain airbags etc up in the headliner. It was supposed to be temporary until I worked up the courage to drop it or broke down and had a professional install done but now I'm not so sure.
 

N9JIG

Sheriff
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#6
I wish my garage was that big - my crew cab Silverado won't fit inside mine, length wise or with antennas on top, so I'm always envious of folks who can park their vehicle, with antennas on top, inside their garage without problem. Looks like another great setup, Rich!
The garage is what sold me on this house. I can park my truck sideways in it if I want. Before I put in the cabinets on either side I could actually drive in one door and out the other without stopping. The high clearance is awesome!

Why do you think you get better performance out of the little mag mount as opposed to the nmo mounted antennas? As we all know, nmo is the ideal way to mount antennas. I'm not doubting your findings, just curious if you have any ideas as to why.
I compared it to the results I was getting from the other radios and antennas and the 436/SF antenna was doing better than the XT/NMO ones. I used NOAA weather channels and local ATIS and control channels as references. I was able to pick up Prescott Weather (about 70 miles) on the 436 but neither of the XT's. I was abe to hear Payson weather (85 miles) much stronger and better voice quality on the 436.

I tried swapping antennas and the 436 worked about the same as the XT's when connected to a multicoupler with a 12-inch jumper but the 20 foot one needed to mount the radio up front brought the performance down below that of the other radios and the 436 connected to the little mag-mount.
 

N9JIG

Sheriff
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#7
Your setup looks great.

I was surprised at how well the Spectrum Force worked. I've got one on my Terrain because I'm intimidated by all those curtain airbags etc up in the headliner. It was supposed to be temporary until I worked up the courage to drop it or broke down and had a professional install done but now I'm not so sure.

I really like them, they work great and are dirt cheap. They are sold under many names and can usually be found at hamfests from various dealers. I have a few with SMA and a few with BNC's, and use them as temporary antennas on my vehicles until I get the NMO's drilled.

That said, I wish I would have added an NMO with the coax routed to the front when I had these installed. I hemmed and hawed about it at the time and decided against it. I might still do it but there is a chance I might be replacing the Expedition with a pickup at some point (wife wants a travel trailer...) so I think I will run this way until a decision is made.
 

TailGator911

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I sometimes regret my decision to forgo my garage in lieu of a tv room/den with the fireplace and sliding glass doors. I had the renovation done because I wanted more space in the house and a cozy den that would accommodate a massive flat screen on the wall. We love the room, but miss the garage at times. But, not tonight when it's below freezing and the toasty fire is going and we're settled into the sofa watching The Walking Dead on the big screen. Let it snow let it snow let it snow on my truck, it's ok:)

Yeah I envy your big garage, Rich. Very nice mobile setup you have there!

JD
kf4anc
 

cbehr91

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#11
On the rail channels which is better? The Comtelco scanner antenna or the Comet (looks like a B-10NMO?)
 
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#13
Looks great! I've always liked the Expedition and it would be on my short list if I was in the market for an SUV. I like how you've cleanly managed to mount the multiple heads on the center console. What are you using for speakers?
 

K7MFC

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#14
Very nice mobile setup. My F150 has an identical center console and there are limited options with this cabin configuration - the RH96's work well here. How did you power the remote units in the rear?
 

N9JIG

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#15
Very nice mobile setup. My F150 has an identical center console and there are limited options with this cabin configuration - the RH96's work well here. How did you power the remote units in the rear?
I had ProCom install the NMO antennas and a relay-controlled power lead to the rear of the truck, as well as a switched power lead for ignition sense and a decent ground. This allows the radios themselves to go on and off with the ignition.
 

N9JIG

Sheriff
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#17
What is the little cubby for above the 12 volt port on the dash?
I don't know what the intent for it is but I think it might just be there to create symmetry with the trailer controls on the left side. It is too small for sunglasses (and there already is a space for those by the interior lights). The owners manual doesn't mention it and when I asked at the dealer no one knew.

On my prior install I cut a piece of 2x2 and trimmed it to fit snugly in the opening, mounting an RH-96 to it. This was great for visibility but it intruded on the airbag space. The current set up is clear of the airbag paths.
 
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#18
Very nice Rich! What radio is connected to the remote head? I wish Uniden made one available for the 996P2.
All they (Uniden) would need to do is update the firmware in the RH-96 to support parsing commands for programmed Phase II systems... That goes for the 996 remote control software as well.
 
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#19
Rich,

1) what are you using to mount/support the 436?

2) where did you source the right angle USB cable to power the 436? Is there a part number?

Very cool install. Looks like an A-10 ****pit. It's a bummer Spectrum Force Mini-Mag Mount antenna
product uses RG-174 cable. The signal loss is very high, wish they used RG-316 Mil Spec instead.

I actually replaced the stock cable in a dual-band mag-mount with Mil Spec double shielded Teflon cable
that had very low loss. Yes, it's a mag mount, but the stock cable just sucked.
 
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