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Hatchback mount with dual lip dilemma solved

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N9JIG

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I am patting myself on the back today! I had a dilemma with an antenna mount. I wanted to mount a 5 foot tall antenna (Diamond CR8900A) on my van. I could have used a NMO to UHF adaptor and put it on the roof but that would have made it too tall for my tastes and I doubted the ability of the NMO mount to withstand all the tree bashing that would occur.

The antenna instruction sheet (Yes, I actually read it!) said specifically not to use a Magnet mount for grounding reasons. I did not want to drill holes on the side of the van (no problems with roof holes though, got 4 of them!)

While I had space on my Honda Odyssey's hatchback between the rear window and taillight assembly for the Diamond heavy duty lip mount, I was vexed by a dual channel on this lip that would prevent me from getting the allen wrench in to tighten down the set screws. (The mount used M4 allen head set screws.)

I saw 2 options here: The first was to drill a hole directly above the set screw large enough to fit the allen wrench thru. This would have been tough to drill the hole directly over the wrench, the metal is not of a regular shape, making this about a 13 on a difficulty scale of 1 to 10.

The second solution would be to find hex head cap screws that fit so I could fit a small wrench. Problem is I needed 8mm or shorter to fit into the gap.

Visiting 5 or 6 different hardware and home stores in the area proved that M4 screws less than 10mm long were impossible to find. I ended up buying a batch of stainless steel 10mm long cap screws.

I could get 1 of the 10MM screws in and eventually got the second in but couldn't make any headway with the last two. I tried cutting down the screws with a Dremel but that didn't work as I couldn't avoid destroying the threads on any of the 3 sacrificial screws.

After an hour or so of finagling I gave up on trying to get this lip mount in and planned on trying something else when I started working on some other project to clear my head. I then noticed my mounting bracket and hardware for my Kenwood TM-D700. On the side of the radio it warned to use only M4 x 6mm screws... Hmmm......

Looking thru my hardware bin I dug out some mounting screws for various radios and voila! M4 cap screws that were only 6mm long!. Popped these into the last 2 holes on the lip mount and whipped out the little ignition wrench and I was in business. I gotta watch for rust as these are those black coated screws, and not stainless steel, but I think they will be OK.

That mount ain't going anywhere! It is low enough on the hatch that the antenna doesn't extend much higher above the roof than the VHF 1/4 wave so I won't be bringing down half the branches between here and Maine this summer. Just have to watch for corrosion, but if things go well by this time next spring I will be replacing the van. (2 years old now with 65,000 miles, almost time to get a new one...)

3 hours of work on a beautiful Saturday morning and I still had time to clean out the garage, fix the BBQ, make brats for lunch, listen to the Cubs win (again!) and take the wife out for dinner and a movie...
 

sfreiman

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Can the CR8900A be used as a base antenna too?

I live in a loft condo, so can not have an antenna outside. However, I have an 18 foot ceiling, am high above the ground and have a great, huge steel beam that I can use a trunk lip or magnetic mount antenna on. Can a steel beam provide a decent ground plane for the antenna?
 
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N9JIG

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I live in a loft condo, so can not have an antenna outside. However, I have an 18 foot ceiling, am high above the ground and have a great, huge steel beam that I can use a trunk lip or magnetic mount antenna on. Can a steel beam provide a decent ground plane for the antenna?
While you should probably have created a new thread for this post so that people who aren't subscribed to a months old thread on a different subject would see it I will be happy to help!

The steel beam should work out great as a mag-mount ground plane! Trunk-lip mounts might have too small a channel to fit around the edges of a beam like that however.

You might want to see if you can figure out a way to mount base station style antennas to the beam. I am thinking a couple heavy duty C-clamps and a piece of 3/4 inch plywood. Sand off the paint or corrosion from the beam under the clamp and clamp down on a length of heavy ground wire that runs to the antenna mount attached to the plywood with a couple good lag screws.

You could also try something like this with sheet metal instead of plywood, punch a few 3/4 inch holes and use NMO mounts or other mobile mounts.

If this is inside and not in the wind this should work pretty well for even some large antennas.
 
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