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Mirror mount for '12 F-350

rjdj2000

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Been wanting to ask for awhile now if anyone has ever mounted antenna on the mirrors on a F-350. Mine is a Lariat that has the power folding/extending mirrors. With the plastic, idk how it would hold up. Now I know the ground plane wouldn't be there, have been in CB's for 20+ yrs. and could ground the mount. I just didn't want the antenna's behind the cab (4 dr truck) and no toolboxes (sold them for tonneau cover), on a mount that goes under hood and drilling holes to mount in body/cab is out as I am not willing to drill holes in it. I have done that once back in the day on a S-10 I had to mount a 102" whip. Just looking for any recommendations from you all as was planning on going with a 885 Beartracker as I want the scanner feature as well and not run separate radios. Probably won't use the CB side much as I will the scanner. I just need to figure out if my 'trick' will work on the scanner side to be able to receive everything versus what they will allow out of "stock"
 

mmckenna

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and could ground the mount.
Grounding the mount isn't the same as providing a ground plane. While you'll never get a real ground plane for CB on any road legal vehicle, you'll do better with some metal under the antenna. That's why putting the antenna in the center of the roof is ideal.

You can get 'no ground plane' antennas for CB, but they can be a hassle and won't work as well.

I understand you don't want to drill any holes, but it really does make everything work much better.
I have a 2017 and 2018 F350, and not sure what the 2012 mirrors look like. Not sure how I'd attach antennas to mine. Both the work and personal trucks have antenna mounts on the roof.



As for the CB/Scanner combo, sounds like it's a bit of a dud since it doesn't allow programming or customization. From what I've read, a dedicated scanner is a much better option.
 

Hit_Factor

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I put a back rack on my 2011 F350 then mounted ham antenna on one post and scanner antenna on the other.

I would never put an antenna on the truck's mirror. To much force and the mirrors may fold in. All plastic, so no real strength. Mine is also a Lariat, so we probably have the same mirrors. If you can't put the antenna on top, one of the two back or front corners is next best.
 

rjdj2000

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I put a back rack on my 2011 F350 then mounted ham antenna on one post and scanner antenna on the other.

I would never put an antenna on the truck's mirror. To much force and the mirrors may fold in. All plastic, so no real strength. Mine is also a Lariat, so we probably have the same mirrors. If you can't put the antenna on top, one of the two back or front corners is next best.
I was going to get one of the back racks but never did. More than likely they are as I don't think they changed much between those years. Will have to think on it some more as the CB part would probably not get used much and that radio kind of disguises the scanner part lol.

As for the CB/Scanner combo, sounds like it's a bit of a dud since it doesn't allow programming or customization. From what I've read, a dedicated scanner is a much better option.
Well as I have looked at the file structure and know what type of agencies it will receive, it is the same as my 536HP I have in the house, I had planned on trying to modify the database so it would get everything in my area. So say talkgroups that are Fire-Talk/Tac, I would change them to Fire Dispatch as the 885 only does dispatch. So in that aspect yes it is a dud as to what it would get but the file is easily modifiable via spreadsheet as I can read the database it has in it.

Not sure if it would work as I don't have one yet to try it out on and I don't know anyone in my area that has one to try it on. Was thinking of trying to get someone on here that would be willing to try it out and I would modify the files and send them to see how it worked out.
 

mmckenna

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I was going to get one of the back racks but never did.
So, only issue with that is they do not supply a very good ground plane.

I'm running a slightly customized version of one of these on my personal F-350. No antennas on it, but it's been a really nice rack. I had it built with expanded mesh instead of the cross bars. Keeps my sons UTV off the back window. Same profile as the cab, so low wind noise. Headache Racks, Truck Racks & Accessories - Magnum Truck Racks

Not sure if it would work as I don't have one yet to try it out on and I don't know anyone in my area that has one to try it on. Was thinking of trying to get someone on here that would be willing to try it out and I would modify the files and send them to see how it worked out.
Would be interesting to know if it works. I rarely use CB, in fact, haven't had one in my current truck, and don't plan to. Everything in my county is VHF, so my Motorola CDM works fine for what I need.
 

rjdj2000

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Would be interesting to know if it works. I rarely use CB, in fact, haven't had one in my current truck, and don't plan to. Everything in my county is VHF, so my Motorola CDM works fine for what I need.
Yeah I know. I will probably mess around with my 536 here at home and see if it messes with the structure of the file any. I haven't been in CB since the early 2000's. Have a few base radios and a couple higher powered mobiles but haven't dug them out after buying the house. There isn't much room in the truck to install one let alone two radios, CB and scanner so a unit with both would work out best. Everything in my county is P25 so it is either use the web browser on my phone to connect to my home scanner then listen through the truck. Only drawback then is can only listen to that and nothing else. Once I mess around with the file, I will report back in case anyone would like to try it to see.
 

GlobalNorth

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The plastic that Ford uses for their side mirrors won't hold up to antenna mounting and if you have the power fold-in mirrors, the gears are plastic and the additional wind loading will wear the mechanism faster.

I bought one of these for a 2 meter antenna as soon as the VE offers local testing again:

 

rjdj2000

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Well I finally got the Beartracker 885 radio and yes it is a bit cumbersome to "program" @mmckenna but I used Excel and imported the hpd files as tab delimited and took out what I didn't want to hear and pretty much wiped the National file. I works just as good as my 536HP unit as I did run them side by side for little bit to see how it would do and it performed just as well on my local P25 system. I go into a little more detail on editing the files here: Beartracker 885 - Editing HPD files

Now for mounting in truck, I didn't drill holes in truck and used some HD velcro to keep radio from sliding all over the dash as it sits in the litte 'well' in the dash. As to mounting the antennas, I stumbled onto some light mounts that use the lower hood hinge bolt along with a bolt up a little higher on the fender. I extended the arm out from an old garage door opener part and so far it is holding up quite well. Used 2 antennas from Walcott radio that has the tuning rings on them so they matched. (Picture below) Fed into the truck through 2 6 ft cables (worked out perfectly also) to go to the CD/Scanner on the radio. So far I really haven't heard much on the CB side and I have only used the SWR meter in the radio (I know it's not a good thing to do that) and it says it about 1.5/1.6 on 1/40 but I will verify it once I find my regular meter to check things out. I may have to go a different route on the antennas due to lack of ground plane but I really don't use it that much to probably worry about it. Wonder if I could make a 'ground plane' for them like they put on the A99 base antennas??? Hummm... Work in a machine shop so may have to try to figure something out and see if it would work with little stubby radials on the base.

The light mounts are like 1/4" steel and they don't move at all and best part is, even though I drilled another hole for the antenna bracket, I probably could add the small LED flood lights they show for it. Best of all is how the antennas are mounted, they don't get in my field of view when driving.
Mount.jpg
 

slowmover

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I applaud the effort, but you’re giving up an awful lot of 11-Meter performance.

A SIRIO 5000 on a permanent roof mount isn’t hard to remove or reinstall, and you’d be almost the best on any Interstate any day (pickup drivers do notoriously bad installs).

There are other subjects worth your time in the following:

Mobile Install Bible

IMO, put an RM Italy KL203 behind the 885 after you upgrade the power wires. An 11-Meter Bandpass Filter after that if you want to cut the workload and a good deal of hash. Hear, and Get Heard.

A noise-canceling mic never hurts.

External Speaker (both design and mounting location) will make a big difference. I’ve a KES-5 I occasionally use with my 885 (public service rated), and it reproduces CB + Scanner input nicely (my DSP speaker causes me to have to make audio adjustments; one input or other, not BOTH as I prefer).

Will look forward to your other sub-forum thread/posts. Not anything I’ve done and am glad to know about it. Thx.

As to display wash, build a hooded enclosure.

— Last, don’t forget the Uniden BC-906W wireless speaker/microphone to keep ready as this is a Uniden advantage.

“Well, I won’t use it”.
See the “2022 GMC Terrain” thread. Stay for the ride till the end. The video. Most of the men with radios probably still had them working afterwards.

And if it was safety they sought getting away from the vehicles, the BC-906 would have been great to have while hundreds of feet away.

The exact scenario for which the 885 was born.


.
 
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rjdj2000

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Yes, I know I am probably giving up a lot with how it is installed. I've been with CB's for at least 20 yrs, been out of it for the past 10-15 years though and have went through to get ham license but just never took the exam for some odd reason. Still have about 3-4 base units that have been worked on along with a Connex mobile unit that is a talker.

The main reason for how it is installed is due to the fact that if I put something on the roof (truck has power sunroof also) that when I go to put truck in garage the antenna will be taken out and I don't want to be putting one on and off every day just to park in the truck. Right now without having a base unit setup, I may think about putting one back up this summer, I really don't have a reason to transmitt. It just more for listening right now but have the squelch set up higher to mute it. Once the weather breaks, I may come up with another bracket to mount the antennas to using the stud mounts but for now I just used what I had on hand.

I will try to keep updates on how the database part of it over on the other thread. I just wished the Uniden rep that is on here would comment something about the avoids. While I know this IS a dumbed down scanner (no real display) they could of at least used a program like Sentinel to allow people who wanted to block things that they did not want to hear. All of it could of been done using the avoid feature but for now I just wiped the main nationwide file and for where I am at, deleted everything except what I want to listen to. They could of also allowed for a freq. display or talkgroup info to display as when you listen to the WX section it does show freq. on the display. So there are a few things they could improve on this unit and for the scanner side it probably could be done with a firmware update.
 
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