2015 Ford F-150 BCD536HPx2 Install

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SuperDuty82

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Here are some pictures of my recent additions to my 2015 F-150. I originally started with one 536 but decided that two was better!. Location was a tough decision, but I am happy with my choice. I ended up custom making the brackets that secure the radios to the dash, as well as custom made the double radio brackets. I also custom made the antenna brackets that secure to my Back Rack and I'm currently running 2 Larsen antennas. Along with the radios. I also installed GPS for each radio.
 

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Dann

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Nice setup. I have been looking at the Back Rack for the same idea for the antenna mounts.
 

SuperDuty82

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Nice setup. I have been looking at the Back Rack for the same idea for the antenna mounts.
Thanks! Yea since I have the aluminium body truck, I really couldn't install the NMO mounts to the roof so this was the next best thing. Back Rack makes an antenna bracket which I bought and discovered the hole for the mount is too big. I measured the mount from back rack and fabricated a couple of my own using sheet metal and making sure to drill the correct 3/4" hole. Really seems to be working well!
 

03msc

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First off, great looking install and nice job on the brackets. Also, I'm pretty sure I've seen where people have said it's fine to NMO antennas in the roof of the Ford pickups. BUT, since you're doing rx only I think the difference would be negligible at best. The rack mounted is fine and that's a great choice of antenna for a scanner. Plus they are symmetrical so my OCD inclinations thank you!
 

SuperDuty82

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Great install, but can you still use the cup holder under the center seat?
I checked this morning, and with both radios I could fit a small cup into the cup holders, but nothing larger than that. I still have the two cup holders in the center console though. The sacrifices every parent has to make for their children I guess lol
 

SuperDuty82

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First off, great looking install and nice job on the brackets. Also, I'm pretty sure I've seen where people have said it's fine to NMO antennas in the roof of the Ford pickups. BUT, since you're doing rx only I think the difference would be negligible at best. The rack mounted is fine and that's a great choice of antenna for a scanner. Plus they are symmetrical so my OCD inclinations thank you!
Thank you! Yea I was wondering about that. You're right that since I'm only doing rx, I probably could have just mounted them to the body. I was thinking about experimenting with a couple other antennas. I am looking at the Austin Spectra four band antenna and the Laird multi band also. I hear mixed reviews on both though. Do you have any experience with either of those?
 

03msc

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Thank you! Yea I was wondering about that. You're right that since I'm only doing rx, I probably could have just mounted them to the body. I was thinking about experimenting with a couple other antennas. I am looking at the Austin Spectra four band antenna and the Laird multi band also. I hear mixed reviews on both though. Do you have any experience with either of those?
Not personally but I have heard (read) some praise for the Austin Spectra.

I think your antennas mounted where they are is just fine. I doubt you'd notice any difference if they were on the roof since they are rx only. The experiment would be changing one out with, say, the Spectra antenna and seeing if you noticed a difference. It probably all depends on what frequencies and/or system(s) you are monitoring and how far away they are.
 
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The trunk lid on the Crown Victoria PI has been aluminum since the late 90's…aluminum is not a problem for NMO.

I can't ever decide if I would be willing to try Backrack or not. The bed cover's I'd like to get support them but they just look so cheesy when compared to the options made by Ranch Hand and Frontier. It wasn't until last year that I actually saw a Backrack installed on a pickup but I've known about them for a decade or so…they just aren't very popular in my part of the country.
 

SuperDuty82

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Not personally but I have heard (read) some praise for the Austin Spectra.

I think your antennas mounted where they are is just fine. I doubt you'd notice any difference if they were on the roof since they are rx only. The experiment would be changing one out with, say, the Spectra antenna and seeing if you noticed a difference. It probably all depends on what frequencies and/or system(s) you are monitoring and how far away they are.
I just purchased the Spectra, should be here tomorrow. I'm curious to know if there will be any signal gain, or loss for that matter. Half the fun is doing the experiments! Now to start the process of getting a Ham license!
 

SuperDuty82

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The trunk lid on the Crown Victoria PI has been aluminum since the late 90's…aluminum is not a problem for NMO.

I can't ever decide if I would be willing to try Backrack or not. The bed cover's I'd like to get support them but they just look so cheesy when compared to the options made by Ranch Hand and Frontier. It wasn't until last year that I actually saw a Backrack installed on a pickup but I've known about them for a decade or so…they just aren't very popular in my part of the country.
That's good to know. I suppose a direct body install would look a little cleaner, but I must say I am happy so far with the location and performance of the antennas where they are now. I've seen a couple racks made by Ranch Hand and they do look nice and beefy. This is the second Back Rack I've owned and I've had no issues with them. They are super easy to install too, just four bolts. Very sturdy too.
 

N5TWB

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Now to start the process of getting a Ham license!
Here's where it gets real. Better start wrapping your head around the reality of drilling for NMO mounts on the cab roof. A nice large expanse of sheet metal = antenna ground plane!

I wish you much success in your study to prepare for the exams. Go into it with the idea you're going to take two tests that first session. Initially, study hard for the Technician license to ensure you pass and have the opportunity to test for General on the same test fee. Study some for the General and take the test. You just might get lucky and pass that one in that first session, too!
 

SuperDuty82

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Here's where it gets real. Better start wrapping your head around the reality of drilling for NMO mounts on the cab roof. A nice large expanse of sheet metal = antenna ground plane!

I wish you much success in your study to prepare for the exams. Go into it with the idea you're going to take two tests that first session. Initially, study hard for the Technician license to ensure you pass and have the opportunity to test for General on the same test fee. Study some for the General and take the test. You just might get lucky and pass that one in that first session, too!
Thanks for the advice! I'm thankful for the radio community, everyone is usually more than happy to help or answer questions. I'm sure I'll be looking for advice when it comes to purchasing a radio and setting it up!
 

STEVE392

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I like it. I like that you have a back rack on your bed and still are able to use a tonneu cover without issues. It's what kept me from getting a back rack.
 

SuperDuty82

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I like it. I like that you have a back rack on your bed and still are able to use a tonneu cover without issues. It's what kept me from getting a back rack.
Thanks. Luckily Back Rack now makes adapters to allow for a tonneau cover. They are not compatible with all tonneau covers, but if you go to their website you can see which ones will work with the Back Rack.
 

QuietPlease

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I have a 2011 F150 and have mounted a scanner and radio almost exactly the same way. My problem has been the antennas. I currently just have them mounted to each side of the bed right behind the cab. Reception is surprisingly good, but I know it could be better if they were above the cab.

I'd like to mount them on a Back Rack or even to the roof. My problem is that I use a parking garage daily and I don't have enough clearance. I've been hoping to run across some kind of way to remotely tilt them 90 degrees before entering the garage, but I haven't had much luck.
 
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