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Any Newer model F-150 installs out there?

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Firefox89

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I am looking to do a simple install for my 2010 F-150 by putting a antenna mount on the lip of my hood and running it through the firewall to come out to the dash and place the my BC346HP to a mic clip. Has anybody else done this simple of a install or is there any other ideas that come to mind? I really do not having any experience doing this so I was just looking for something simple (aka not drilling holes, ect.). Any antennas to recommend or anything as well? I am mostly scanning the Ohio MARCS IP (800 MHz system). I'm hoping that this will improve my reception as I am mobile as well as not having to buy another scanner as well.

Thanks All.
 

mmckenna

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I've done installs in my 2011 F-150, but they were remote head transceivers with permanent NMO antennas on the roof.

A few tricks:
Power directly off the battery. Tapping into existing circuits, even the cigarette lighter, can introduce unwanted noise into your scanner.
Getting the antenna outside the vehicle is going to improve reception quite a bit. Even a basic 1/4 wave 800MHz antenna is going to work just fine.
If you really want to get the most out of your radio, install one of the multi-band antennas.

If you can, do an NMO antenna mount. It'll give you the most amount of flexibility down the road. The simple 90 degree "L" bracket mounts from the side of the fender where the hood meets work well.

Routing the cables through the fire wall are going to be the hardest part. I'm not any help there. I ran a 6 gauge power feed from the battery to behind the rear seat and my radios are back there. Just the control heads are on the dash.

Good luck!
 
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I've done pretty much the same as mmckenna. It's not really any harder to mount an NMO in the roof, just ahead of the bed light. It's an easy drill and cable fish. Otherwise, go with the "L" bracket in the hood gap. You'll still be drilling 3 very small holes for the screws.

Stay away from the no holes trunk lip type mounts. In time they will warp the metal, cause paint hazing, and rust will form on the underside where the securing screws are.
 

ofd8001

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You might think about a vehicle specific NMO bracket for the antenna. They easily mount to an existing bolt in the fender and you can route your cable as described.

http://www.theantennafarm.com/catalog/ford-f150-2009-2014-ford-expedition-2009-2014-4089.html

If you look at the above site, you'll see a "Click Here" link for the install instructions. There are photos showing the install.

I used two of these for my 2013 (one scanner, one ham radio).

For power, I ran a new circuit to the battery, but added a relay which is turned on by the ignition sense.
 

CryptoBoy

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For power, I poke a hole in a big rubber plug in the firewall. There are several of these in various places. I then tape my power wire to a coat hanger and poke it through the hole to feed the wire through. It's pretty simple, but those plugs are really spongy and thick, and take a sharp poker to get through. Be sure to fuse the line right next to the battery.

I have both NMO mounts in the roof and a hood lip mount on the drivers side. The roof mount works best, but the hood mount is okay too. All the F150s from 2009 to 2014 are basically the same, so search around and you can find plenty of install pics and tips.
 

AK9R

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I took a slightly different approach to radio power in my 2011 F-150. I have an Optima yellow top battery mounted in a cross-bed toolbox. I tapped into the trailer brake battery charging circuit and ran that to the Optima battery. I then come off the battery to a fused power distribution block in the JottoDesk Lazy-L console that I'm using for the radios. The trailer brake battery charging circuit is only energized (by a relay in the main fuse panel) when the engine is running.

My route for the power was through the rubber plug in the front wall of the truck bed and through the cabin air vent in the back of the cab wall.
 

Firefox89

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Would somebody please be able to recomend an antenna with the NMO hood mount from antannafarm.com or scannermaster.com for me? I am just trying to get the best reception and am not really sure which one to buy to get the best outcome.
 

mmckenna

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If you are running a portable scanner, then no, you don't need to run a power circuit. If you ever install a permanent mount mobile scanner, you will.

As for the antenna..
Depends on what you are looking for. I see you said you are interested in 800MHz, so a dedicated 800MHz antenna would be fine. However, if you ever want to use the VHF or UHF side of your scanner, you would want something appropriate for that. The tri-band antennas from Larsen are supposed to work pretty well. They are durable and backed up by a company that has been building mobile antennas longer than many of the people on this board have been alive.
http://www.theantennafarm.com/catalog/larsen-nmo150-450-800-1050.html


Antenna mounts:
http://www.theantennafarm.com/catalog/ford-f150-2009-2014-ford-expedition-2009-2014-4089.html
 

tglendye

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The tri-band antennas do work well, but honestly I think a simple 1/4 wave vhf antenna (with nmo mount) works just as well. You could look that up on one of the websites or do a simple "1/4 wave vhf nmo" search on EBay. In my experience the 1/4 wave does well on vhf-hi, uhf and 800. And not that bad on vhf-low. Just make sure you are getting a vhf-hi antenna and not a vhf low, unless you wanted to monitor ONLY vhf-low.

I have an 06 F150 and did use the vehicle specific nmo mount as has been previously suggested. Works well and no holes required.
 

ofd8001

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The Larsen mentioned above is a good antenna.

Scannermaster also has a similar antenna, a little higher in price however:

Comtelco All-Band Low-Profile Scanner Antenna

I'd recommend a wide-band antenna. One never knows which direction their scanning may take in the future.

When buying an antenna, also be sure you get the cabling from the antenna to the scanner (with BNC end for a mobile scanner). Sometimes cable is included, but more often it isn't.
 

ka3nxn

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I have a 2014 Ford Escape Titanium Edition and I use the Austin Spectra on an NMO hood mount. It's probably one of the best multi-band mobile antennas out there.

One thing to make sure about the hood. Make sure that your hood is metal. I had a 99 Expedition that I put a 2 meter antenna on the hood and wondered why I could never get a good SWR. I came to find out by accident that the hood on this model Expedition was not metal. It drove me crazy why antennas never worked well on this vehicles hood, now I know why.


Jaime-KA3NXN
 
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NoCoFire

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Firefox,

Not a 2010 generation but here are some pics for a 2007. Very similar - but not exact.

http://forums.radioreference.com/pictures-your-shack-mobile-setup/199900-2007-f150.html

I have had excellent success with both lip mounts on the vhf side using a Mot 5/8 and 1/4 and on the vhf/uhf mount using a comet b10-nmo. I know it goes against the "rules" for most but it worked excellent for me. Simplex, hitting repeaters (at 40+ mi away) and working satellites were no problem for either radio.

Good luck
 

Firefox89

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Ok, just because I'm a dumb firefighter and not really sure... what is NMO? I just want to make sure so I understand what I'm buying. Also, I saw that one mount came with coax... is that sufficient or do I need to purchase "better"? Also... anybody have any idea how much time this install should take?
 

kayn1n32008

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Ok, just because I'm a dumb firefighter and not really sure... what is NMO? I just want to make sure so I understand what I'm buying. Also, I saw that one mount came with coax... is that sufficient or do I need to purchase "better"? Also... anybody have any idea how much time this install should take?

It is a particular type of antenna mount. There are MANY different types of mobile antenna mounts.

The coax that comes with a mount will be sufficient for 99.9% of mobile installs. The cable runs will be short enough that coax loss will not be an issue.

A competent installer should be able to install a dash mount(non remote) radio in a couple of hours.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

ofd8001

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NMO is "New Motorola" mount. Back in "the day" there was a lot of fussing to be done when installing antenna bases. Install a piece, thread the coax, strip it, install another piece, fold shielding back, install another peice and put a couple of nuts on.

Motorola came up with something much easier and that's how it got the name which got shortened down to "NMO". It is a one piece with locking nut.

The NMO is used "most" of the time these days.

I concur with the above on the coax.
 
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