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KIA Soul antenna installation...anybody do one?

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Retroradio

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Not willing to put a hole in the roof and the coax running through the unused rear passenger door resulted after awhile in a wet floor from water wicking.

The hood is curved down on the sides so a bracket mount there is not likely.
The only option I see is a “trunk lip” mount on the hatch but there doesn’t seem to be enough clearance for it there. The mounts I see online come with a few feet of very small coax to a larger size enabling a small incursion through the seal Hopefully mitigation water seepage

Anybody mount one of these this way or have any other suggestions? Buying another vehicle is not an option.
 

a417

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So you are not willing to do what most here see as the proper thing, and all the other options you have found have major complications? You may not be 'willing' to put a hole in the roof, and definitely can't buy another vehicle...so maybe you need to reevaluate the willingness aspect of the thru the roof mount?
 

vagrant

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I use two trunk lip mounts on my vehicle. I did not think there would be enough clearance either, until I purchased one and saw that it easily slipped on and zero problem with clearance. I then purchased another for the other side of the cargo door. One of them does indeed use a thin bit of coax near the mount that step up to a larger size. One is mounted at the bottom, the other on the side of the cargo door.

I do not have a Kia Soul, but there should be enough clearance. Whatever works for you is proper. I do not use an NMO mount on the roof of my vehicle because I park it in a garage and clearance is an issue. I would be happy to compare my rooftop setup against an NMO mount. I'm bored as hell for some odd reason.
 

Retroradio

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Good info. The trunk lip mounts I have found are NMO and fold so that would be a bonus. I guess I wont know till I order one and see.
The problem is twofold. Os there enough clearance and can I get the coax in without leaks down the road.
The hatchback at the back of the Soul has about 1/8“ clearance or so...best guess.
 

vagrant

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I forgot which brand of lip mounts I use, maybe Comet. As for the coax and connector that fits into the mount, I have used NMO and UHF at one time or another, swapping them out depending on the antenna and what I was using it for. On one mount I use a Diamond NR770HB antenna and they have an NMO option for that antenna as well. On the other I am pretty sure I use a Comet SSB2 antenna which is a UHF connector. The Diamond is dedicated to APRS on 2m and the Comet handles 70cm P25.

Everyone's needs and RF environment are different. Most repeaters around here are 3000 ~ 7000 feet ASL making it relatively easy to TX/RX through one, as well as run low power. NMO on the roof is good advice, but it may not always be the best for one's needs. The only way to know what will work is to experiment. Remember to come back and post what did and or did not work for you.
 

Retroradio

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Thank for the suggestion but as I said in my original post that is not an option. Holes in roofs are not good for trade in down the road.
Have had radios in vehicles for 4 decades and this is the first one Ive had were its an issue to get the antenna mounted and the coax in.
 

a417

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Thank for the suggestion but as I said in my original post that is not an option. Holes in roofs are not good for trade in down the road.
This is a popular misconception that has been argued many times on this message board. Have a good day.
 

mmckenna

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I am a lineman for the county.
Holes in roofs are not good for trade in down the road.

I understand your concern, however a properly installed NMO mount will not impact trade in value. I've installed a lot of NMO mounts and never once have an issue when those trucks were traded in.
It's rare that when you trade in a vehicle that it stays with the dealer. Usually the cars go to a broker where they are auctioned off sight unseen. They are concerned about overall condition and milage. If you want to trade in a car, install a cellular antenna on the mount and tell them that it works great for streaming audio while driving.

Seriously.

But, since it's still going to likely be a no go on the NMO mount, you really don't have a lot of choices. Magnet mounts will have the issues you noticed with water leakage. Other issue is damage to the coax jacket, that will let water penetrate into the cable and start corrosion. It can also pinch the coaxial cable and change the impedance value.

Mounting off the hood using an L-bracket is likely your only option at this point. Glass mount antennas don't work well, and work even worse if you have tinted windows.

The standard Larsen L bracket with the NMO-HF style mounts with some marine grade heat shrink over the coax entry point to the NMO base will work well enough. Don't expect spectacular performance as the antenna will be down below the vehicle body, which can shield it. If you are transmitting, it can result in high RF levels inside the passenger compartment, and will have a lopsided radiation pattern.
 

Retroradio

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An L mount is impractical due to the design of the hood. Unless someone knows of one that works on a KIA Soul.
I personally wont buy a vehicle that has had an NMO mount ( too many unknown variables) on the roof but thats a different thread I’m sure...lol

Ive heard of success with the trunk lip mount with the thin coax to feed thru the door seal as as soon as you break the seal there’s bound to be an issue logically.
 
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03msc

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Understood. I simply prefer to give the best advice for the best solution and best performance possible. Anyway, mmckenna provided you some good info on an alternative. I simply said what I did (as did he) because we don't want you basing your decision to use a compromised antenna install on incorrect info when you could mount one on the roof and get much better performance. Since you now know that, you can make your decision as to whichever way you want to go.
 

Retroradio

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I copied mag mount the antenna to the roof. ( with the fold over adaptor on it for underground parking) but the issue remains on how to get the coax into the vehicle.
I would logically prefer to put a mag mount dead centre on the roof as I have always done but its the coax issue.
Looks like another year with a radio.... :-(
 

mmckenna

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Misconception and a ongoing discussion on roof mounts aside , I’m looking for alternate methods to install the antenna as was made clear in the original post.

Yes, it was.

Like I said above, the Larsen L brackets off the hood lip are about the best option you have if a no hole install is your desire.

Depending on the way the hood is, you can get brackets that come straight off, or are 90º angle. Pick one that works. You will need to drill 2 holes to attach the bracket. It comes with stainless steel screws. Put some sealant behind the bracket when you install it, and some sealant on the screws. When you go to trade in the vehicle, remove the bracket and screws and squirt some sealant over the holes. No one will notice.

Use the Larsen NMOHF style NMO mounts. The non-HF mounts are designed to have the coaxial cable connection point inside a dry vehicle. Using them on a mount like this will result in issues down the road. For an extra measure of protection, put some marine grade heat shrink over the point where the coax enters the mount. That'll help with strain relief and keeping any moisture out.

Depending on what your use is, pick an appropriate NMO mount antenna. Telling us what frequency and if you will be transmitting or not would help us recommend an antenna.

Here's what I'm talking about:
Get a bracket withOUT the NMO mount.
Then get this NMO mount, with the type of connector your radio uses:
Get some marine grade heat shrink from Harbor Freight, a marine supply store, or online. Harbor Freight sells it in a box with an assortment of sizes. Slide a piece of that over the coax and shrink it around the point where the coaxial cable enters the antenna mount.
Install connector of your choice.
 

Retroradio

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Good recommendations. It’s a 2m radio.
Looking online all the “L” or hood brackets are designed for Chevys and Ford pickups that I could find. The hood and inner fender design is different on the KIA and asking around has not helped. It would have to be ordered online and finding a bracket that would work is the issue. Getting the coax thru the firewall then is easy .
Yes its a compromise....But better than nothing I guess.
Cheers!
 
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