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Installing A FireStik: Best Placement on F150

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Blenderite

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Hey guys,

I am new to the forum and the CB world in general. I was given a Uniden Pro520XL and I just got everything I need to install everything. I am still waiting on the tuner, but I can at least install everything and just wait to power it up. I have a FireStik II FS5 with the tunable tip, FireStik heavy-duty spring, FireStik Heavy Duty SO-239 Stud Mount, 18' of CB Antenna Cable, and a Uniden 15-watt speaker. The tuner I ordered is a Astatic PDC7 with the 3' Jumper.

Here is what I need to know. What would be the best place to mount the antenna to? I do not want to drill any holes in my roof. Other than that, I am open to putting it anywhere. Also, I will probably end up building my own mounting bracket for the stud mount. Is aluminium good enough or should I just go for steel? I know that it needs to be grounded, so I will be sure to keep that in mind.

Thanks in advance for the advice!!
-Blenderite
 

JayMojave

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Hello Blenderite: The best place is in the center of the roof for a antenna to be placed/installed.

But many place the antenna else were and it works just fine. With the "NO DRILL HOLES" rule, a multiable magnetic mount may work, but since you already have a hard mount, I have seen many remove the Cab center brake light above the rear window and install a "L" type bracket between the cab and the light to allow a antenna to be installed. Aluminum is perfect for that antenna installation.

Mounting the antenna on the truck bed near ( a few Ft ) the cab, is a bad idea as the cab interferes with the antennas properties, resulting on a high SWR and poor performance.

If I need to drill a hole in the cab, hood, floor, bed, door, bumper, or what ever I have a drill motor and 3/8 inch drill bit at the ready, since I will never be invited to Paris Air Show for a truck display, making speeches, signing auto graphs, singing songs, flying some of their Jets, and just plain socially mingling with the normal folk. CB Radio performance comes before any domestic needs, or adult responsibility stuff. Maybe things are different here in the desert...

Jay in the Great Mojave Desert
 

Blenderite

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Hello Blenderite: The best place is in the center of the roof for a antenna to be placed/installed.

But many place the antenna else were and it works just fine. With the "NO DRILL HOLES" rule, a multiable magnetic mount may work, but since you already have a hard mount, I have seen many remove the Cab center brake light above the rear window and install a "L" type bracket between the cab and the light to allow a antenna to be installed. Aluminum is perfect for that antenna installation.

Mounting the antenna on the truck bed near ( a few Ft ) the cab, is a bad idea as the cab interferes with the antennas properties, resulting on a high SWR and poor performance.

If I need to drill a hole in the cab, hood, floor, bed, door, bumper, or what ever I have a drill motor and 3/8 inch drill bit at the ready, since I will never be invited to Paris Air Show for a truck display, making speeches, signing autographs, singing songs, flying some of their Jets, and just plain socially mingling with the normal folk. CB Radio performance comes before any domestic needs, or adult responsibility stuff. Maybe things are different here in the desert...

Jay in the Great Mojave Desert
Thanks for your response. Yes, mounting above the roof line will be in the future. I plan on building a headache rack pretty soon.

The only reason I don't want to drill in the roof is because we get a lot of rain here and I really don't want more water damage to be done to my truck. The previous owner already did that for me! A headache rack seems like a perfect solution for me there. I will have to double check to make sure it has a good ground, but for now, I will probably mount to the drivers side bed rail for now. For me, it doesn't have anything to do with the looks. My truck is banged up pretty good, not a show truck for sure.

I might even upgrade to a dual FireStik when I get that headache rack on. Is there enough benefit to justify the extra cost?
 

DaveJacobsen

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The best place to put a stiff tall antenna is not the roof... it will rip out 1st whack of a branch.
Your best bet is high on the back of the cab or a engine-hood mount... they'll both be directional, but you'll get a good ground plane.
FWIW: I had a firestick installed on a ball mount on the truck bed, worked ok.
 

jonwienke

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The location for best RF performance is always the middle of the roof.

The issue of whether stiff fiberglass antennas are appropriate for vehicle use is completely separate.
 

prcguy

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You can buy stake hole brackets that do not require holes and mount it to the first stake hole behind the cab. You will probably have to drill a small hole for the short ground strap that comes with these mounts but you can usually hide that inside the stake hole or on the inside wall of the bed just down from the mount.

Much of your antenna will stick up above the cab and should work ok without hitting objects overhead. The ground plane area is not the best but antennas will usually tune fine there. I've mounted dozens of antennas in a similar spot but before stake hole mounts were invented, I used to use an L bracket (half a Firestick SS mirror mount) on the inside bed wall as high as it would fit.
prcguy
 

JayMojave

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Yeah what all the others said:

Going to duel antennas maybe a good deal for larger trucks, but for a F150 maybe ?!?!!?! You will get a lot of "OPINIONS" on this but what is needed is a formal Comparison Field Strength Measurements between the single and duel antennas. This includes measuring the field strength in a polar or azimuth manner, and recording the data for comparison. The best I would guess at, would be a +3dB increase ( one half of a S-Unit all most insignificant ) in Field Strength in some directions but not all. It might give some slight favor in some directions that a single antenna may not. Again needs to measured.

Suggest you get the single antenna working first, then switch to duel antennas if thats what you want. The Duel antennas do look great tho. Good luck, let us know how you make out.

Jay in the Great Mojave Desert
 

prcguy

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I've probably installed about a hundred dual firesticks on pickup truck mirrors, mostly because that's what the customer wanted. I've done some range comparisons between a single mirror mount, dual mirror mount and a single antenna in the roof of a pickup and I don't remember a lot of difference between a single and dual mirror setup. The single roof mount does work noticeably better as it should.
prcguy



Yeah what all the others said:

Going to duel antennas maybe a good deal for larger trucks, but for a F150 maybe ?!?!!?! You will get a lot of "OPINIONS" on this but what is needed is a formal Comparison Field Strength Measurements between the single and duel antennas. This includes measuring the field strength in a polar or azimuth manner, and recording the data for comparison. The best I would guess at, would be a +3dB increase ( one half of a S-Unit all most insignificant ) in Field Strength in some directions but not all. It might give some slight favor in some directions that a single antenna may not. Again needs to measured.

Suggest you get the single antenna working first, then switch to duel antennas if thats what you want. The Duel antennas do look great tho. Good luck, let us know how you make out.

Jay in the Great Mojave Desert
 

Blenderite

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This is why I signed up here. Thanks so much for the advice!

If dual sticks will not give me a significant improvement, I won't go to it. I just assumed it would which is why I ever even considered it.

As far as whether a FireStik is good for a vehicle, because of the stiffness, I did buy the FireStik heavy duty spring. I assume that this will allow the antenna to bend down instead of breaking. Is this a correct assumption?

-Blenderite
 

DaveJacobsen

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The location for best RF performance is always the middle of the roof.

The issue of whether stiff fiberglass antennas are appropriate for vehicle use is completely separate.
In all fairness, the question was "where is the best place to mount a firestick"....
 

movinon

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Headache rack is a good mounting place on a pick up.
To get your coax out to the bed there is a fart valve in the back of the cab for equalization when you slam a door. Pull your seat down and loosen the interior panel and you will see it. I put my ham antenna on a receiver hitch an that's how I ran my coax. Ziptie to the frame an done.
Mounting 2 antenna is co-phasing. It makes them directional forward to back or side to side. Might be better to use one antenna.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk
 

jonwienke

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As far as whether a FireStik is good for a vehicle, because of the stiffness, I did buy the FireStik heavy duty spring. I assume that this will allow the antenna to bend down instead of breaking. Is this a correct assumption?
Not really. With a flexible antenna, if it is struck vigorously in the middle, it will flex enough to not break until its own inertia is overcome and it bends at the spring. A stiff fiberglass antenna will shatter before inertia is overcome and bends at the spring.
 

Blenderite

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Not really. With a flexible antenna, if it is struck vigorously in the middle, it will flex enough to not break until its own inertia is overcome and it bends at the spring. A stiff fiberglass antenna will shatter before inertia is overcome and bends at the spring.
So the spring is useless in my case if I understand you correctly?
 

jonwienke

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So the spring is useless in my case if I understand you correctly?
Not useless, but a stiff brittle antenna is more likely to crack and break on impact than a flexible whip, spring or no spring..
 

prcguy

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A Firestick is a very stiff fiberglass antenna and well known to be durable and not prone to breakage. If I handed you a 4ft Firestick and offered you $100 cash to break it within 1hr by hitting it against anything you please and as hard as you can swing it, you would walk away empty handed.
prcguy

Not really. With a flexible antenna, if it is struck vigorously in the middle, it will flex enough to not break until its own inertia is overcome and it bends at the spring. A stiff fiberglass antenna will shatter before inertia is overcome and bends at the spring.
 

movinon

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Not enough ground plane for a CB or VHF antenna.
Yup it will work fine on a rack.
Escort pickups with racks been using them like that for years.
Hams use the racks for dual band vhf/uhf all the time.
Best place sure center of roof but op already said he didn't want to use that.
 
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