• To anyone looking to acquire commercial radio programming software:

    Please do not make requests for copies of radio programming software which is sold (or was sold) by the manufacturer for any monetary value. All requests will be deleted and a forum infraction issued. Making a request such as this is attempting to engage in software piracy and this forum cannot be involved or associated with this activity. The same goes for any private transaction via Private Message. Even if you attempt to engage in this activity in PM's we will still enforce the forum rules. Your PM's are not private and the administration has the right to read them if there's a hint to criminal activity.

    If you are having trouble legally obtaining software please state so. We do not want any hurt feelings when your vague post is mistaken for a free request. It is YOUR responsibility to properly word your request.

    To obtain Motorola software see the Sticky in the Motorola forum.

    The various other vendors often permit their dealers to sell the software online (i.e., Kenwood). Please use Google or some other search engine to find a dealer that sells the software. Typically each series or individual radio requires its own software package. Often the Kenwood software is less than $100 so don't be a cheapskate; just purchase it.

    For M/A Com/Harris/GE, etc: there are two software packages that program all current and past radios. One package is for conventional programming and the other for trunked programming. The trunked package is in upwards of $2,500. The conventional package is more reasonable though is still several hundred dollars. The benefit is you do not need multiple versions for each radio (unlike Motorola).

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29ltd with a wilson 2000.

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jonwienke

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Mount the antenna in the middle of the cab roof. It will work far better.
 

mmckenna

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Absolutely! As Jon said, do a permanent mount installation in the dead center of the truck cab. Not a mag mount, not a clamp, but drill a hole and do the full installation. This provides a better ground plane and removes the chances of the truck cab interfering with the antenna the way it's mounted now.

Feed power for your radio directly off the battery. Don't tap into existing wiring, as this is an easy way to introduce all kinds of interference from vehicle electronics.

Avoid the temptation to get the radio "peaked and tuned" or otherwise touched in any way by some guy at the truck stop who claims to be an expert. Problem with these guys is they'll mess with the radio to increase the power output, but do nothing for actual performance. While boosting power is easy, it's much more important to provide a clean signal directly on the right frequency, as well as making sure it's receiving as well as it can. This isn't done by some "golden screwdriver" at the truck stop, so save your money.
A proper antenna will do more to improve performance than anything else.
 

FiveFilter

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A Wilson 1000 magnet-mount on the roof will do very well, probably as good as it gets. At least, mine does on my F250.
 

cmdrwill

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Yup, NO groundplane on that antenna so-called install.

An NMO-27 in the center cab roof will work 'way much' better.
 

mmckenna

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Comparing a magnetic mount to a permanent mount will show that the mag mounts have a bit additional loss.
The capacitive coupling used for the ground plane connection on the mag mounts doesn't come free.

While the difference is slight, if you really are looking for the best install, then it's worth the permanent NMO mount in the dead center of the roof. Not only does this provide a direct connection to the ground plane, but it also often results in shorter cable runs, which can remove a little bit of feed line loss. It also prevents the cable getting pinched, crimped, damaged, or water intrusion when you try to run it through a window or door.

All these little losses add up after a while.

And I'll second the Larsen NMO-27 installed on a permanent mount NMO in the center of the cab. Short of a full 1/4 wave 108" whip, it's an ideal solution.

There is no magic pixy dust that makes one brand antenna work better than another. Antenna performance is governed by the law of physics. Those laws cannot be cheated by snake oil, clever sales tactics or magic voodoo waves. What you want to look for is a quality built antenna that is designed for the frequencies you are using.
The nice thing about NMO mounts is that they are the de-facto industry standard on the professional side. If installed correctly and properly maintained, they'll easily outlast the vehicle. There's a good reason why nearly every single fire truck, police car, state trooper, sheriff, ambulance, etc. will have antennas permanently installed with NMO mounts with a proper ground plane underneath them. That's because when lives are on the line and radios absolutely need to work, you don't go with magnets, stick on, funky brackets, voodoo magic, etc. If that stuff worked, you'd see every public safety vehicle using it.
The Larsen brand antennas are excellent performers. Larsen has been building high quality, professional mobile antennas for decades. They have an excellent reputation and stand behind their products. I've got Larsen antennas that I'm running that are well over 20 years old.

If you want professional results, then use professional products. Avoid anything you find at a truck stop, Radio Shack,etc. While it'll cost a bit more, it'll last a lot longer and it'll work much better.
 

JayMojave

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Hello C01: Great picture.

Yeah I have to agree having the antenna in the center of the vehicles roof is the way to go.

The NMO type mount works with the shorter Larsen or Comtelco Antennas, but the Wilson 1000 or 5000 also has a "Drill a Hole type mount" that also works well. Again I have to agree no magic dust will make a shorter antenna work like a longer antenna. Even longer and better is the 102 inch stainless steal whip antenna. I have made my own Fiberglass 96 inch whip antenna that uses 8 gauge silver plated wire, but needs a heavy duty spring at the base mount. It doesn't look to Cosmopolitan but works like gang busters.

The Wilson 2000 I have helped with in a few installations and don't like them. Seems hard to match and don't have a good feeling they are working in my humble option only, have NOT done a formal field strength comparison test. I could be all wet here but would like to make a comparison FS type test in a open area. Good luck, please let us know how you make out there.

Jay in the Great Mojave Desert
 
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