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Help Installing

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mikie333

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I'm no electrician but I know some basics yet I am not confident in myself to install alone.

Where would one go, I live in St. Louis (should I post it in the local thread as well?), or just in general, where would one go to have a scanner mounted and an NMO antenna mounted on the roof?

The scanner would go under my after-market Sony headunit. I tried installing a RS 2055 in there once but it didn't quite go back in (fit under the radio, just didn't rest well). The scanner's screen just died (surprise!) so I'll probably be getting a BCT-15, not sure yet. And I don't know which specific antenna.

Also, as for the antenna, I would probably have to take it down sometimes (ie in my garage when I'm home (not often)), would it be better to have a hole drilled for the NMO mount or have a trunk or hood 'clip' (don't know the technical term)

Thanks everyone!!
 

af5rn

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mikie333 said:
Also, as for the antenna, I would probably have to take it down sometimes (ie in my garage when I'm home (not often)), would it be better to have a hole drilled for the NMO mount or have a trunk or hood 'clip' (don't know the technical term)
Depends upon what you mean by "better". There is no better choice for antenna performance than a hole drilled in the metal roof of a car. None. It cannot be beat by any other mounting location. You just have to decide if you'd rather reach on the roof to unscrew the antenna, or reach across the trunk lid to do it. If you do mount it on the trunk, you'd still be best off drilling a hole to do it.
 

mikie333

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af5rn said:
Depends upon what you mean by "better". There is no better choice for antenna performance than a hole drilled in the metal roof of a car. None. It cannot be beat by any other mounting location. You just have to decide if you'd rather reach on the roof to unscrew the antenna, or reach across the trunk lid to do it. If you do mount it on the trunk, you'd still be best off drilling a hole to do it.
I drive a Honda Element, and I don't know how farmiliar you are with the vehicle, but it's not a 'flat' trunk, it opens a complete 180degrees.
 

af5rn

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Oooh! Yeah, that rules out the trunk then, lol. :lol:

You don't tell us what you are listening to, or how far away they are from you, so it's otherwise hard to advise you on what your options are. But if you're in the urban and suburban StL environment, listening pretty much to only the large, repeater and trunk based systems, then it's probably not necessary to drill a hole and mount your antenna on the roof to hear them. You could get away with a good quality antenna like the Maxrad/Comtelco mounted on a hood groove L-bracket. That will keep it low enough that you won't have to do anything to get it into the garage. But, if you're trying to listen to distant systems, then yeah, you may have to go with a roof mount. The performance is noticeably superior that way.

If all you are listening to is 800mhz systems, then your best option would be to get a short, 3db 800mhz antenna and NMO it into your roof. That way you get the best possible performance, as well as probably being short enough to clear your garage door without taking it down. And, mounted in that manner, an 800mhz antenna actually does pretty decent on UHF too.

Good luck!
 

af5rn

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A simple quarter-wave VHF whip NMOd to the roof would work. They're only about 16 inches long, so it would clear the garage door okay. And being cut specifically for VHF, would perform wonderful on your primary band of interest (better than the Comtelco/Maxrad), with decent reception on UHF too (but not as good as the Comtelco/Maxrad).
 

mikie333

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af5rn said:
A simple quarter-wave VHF whip NMOd to the roof would work. They're only about 16 inches long, so it would clear the garage door okay. A
Wouldn't clear my garage unless it's mounted on the hood


So to ask my original question again, where would one go to have this or get help installing it? A car-audio type place? Mechanics? Thanks!
 

Grog

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mikie333 said:
So to ask my original question again, where would one go to have this or get help installing it? A car-audio type place? Mechanics? Thanks!

A two-way radio shop. It's be the quickest and easiest way to have an antenna mounted.



mikie333 said:
Wouldn't clear my garage unless it's mounted on the hood

You can't fit a honda element with a 1/4 wave? How short is your garage? :lol:


But really, a 1/4 VHF antenna from sti-co would bend and work just fine. They have ads in the trade magazines with an antenna tied in a knot :D

That's what I would use if I had a roof clearance issue.


edit... you could always use an "L" bracket on the front fender (assuming it would be mountable there).
 
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SAR923

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Have you throught about a Valor PMM3B antenna like the one at http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/scanants/1190.html? It's only 13.5 inches high and it fits on top of my Suzuki Grand Vitara and makes it into my standard size garage without a problem. Even if it hits something, it's so flexible that you'd have bend it over to nearly vertical to knock it down. Works great in VHF-Hi, UHF, and 800.

If you still insist on a hood mount, just get an NMO trunk mount and use it on the hood. You can attach it with two sheet metal screws and you don't see the screws with the hood down. I'm not very mechanical but I can have one of those babies attached in about five minutes.
 

mikie333

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Grog said:
A two-way radio shop. It's be the quickest and easiest way to have an antenna mounted.
/QUOTE]

I'm not sure of any around here (St. Louis, should I post this specific question in the local forums as well?)?

How sturdy are the antennas & roof mount if it's going to be bent pretty far back, becuase my car fits in not TOO much room above it and the garage door would close/open on it
 
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