Mobile antenna dilemma

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Tlanglais

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Hi all,

Recently I purchased a new car and I am trying to find the best solution to a mobile antenna. My last car I had a mag mount that worked great, but I do not wish to use this on my new paint. I have been looking at window mounts, but I am not thrilled with having a 28" whip coming off my window. The only other thing I have seen are those very cheap looking suction cup types that stick to the inside of the window. UGH! I miss having good reception in my car, but I really don't want to drill holes or scratch the paint with a magnet. Any ideas?

Thanks!!
 

marksmith

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What are you listening to?
I have found that in listening g to local 800mz systems, that a standard portable antenna works ok for 90% of my listening.

On a second vehicle I use a Laird 2 inch high magnet mount motorola that is incredible, pulling in very strong signals from marginal systems.

536/436/ws1095/996p2/996xt/325p2/396xt/psr800/396t/HP-1/HP-2 & others
 

Tlanglais

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I listen to pretty much everything, but mostly PD & FD. Not all on 800mz. Really looking for something with a broad range.
 

majoco

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I am not thrilled with having a 28" whip coming off my window.
I doubt that you could replace a 28" whip with a 2" mag mount regardless of who made it.

I have used a mag mount with a lid from an ice cream carton between the mag and the roof - no marks on the paint. Cut the lip off the lid or else it fills up with rain water!
 

Tlanglais

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Yeah, I'm even thinking of using trim tape from my local auto parts store. This will keep it off the paint and wont allow it to move and scratch the surface. If I decide to remove it, there won't be a hole and the tape is easily cut by running dental floss through it.
 

DJ11DLN

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Go to your local auto parts store and look for "adhesive rocker panel guard," or Google for something similar. I can't recall the exact name at the moment. This is clear (well, translucent) material to apply over rocker panels and quarter panels to resist rock chips. You can cut a piece slightly larger than your mag mount base and apply it to your new car where you want the antenna to be. It won't interfere with the capacitive coupling between the mount and the body at all, and it will keep the mount from scratching the paint. When you go to trade the car, a heat gun or a hair dryer will allow you to peel it off and there will be no trace that it was ever on there.
 

marksmith

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Antenna Farm is closed for several months? Get a lot of my stuff there. Why closed?

536/436/ws1095/996p2/996xt/325p2/396xt/psr800/396t/HP-1/HP-2 & others
 

BigEd1314

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Antenna Farm is closed for several months? Get a lot of my stuff there. Why closed?

536/436/ws1095/996p2/996xt/325p2/396xt/psr800/396t/HP-1/HP-2 & others
Not trying to sound like a butthole or anything, but it's in big red letters at the top of the page, first sentence:

Due to an illness The Antenna Farm is closed. We hope to resume operations in late August to September of 2017. Meanwhile feel free to browse our website. Thank you for your patience while the owner recovers.

-Ed
 

paulears

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Tape is not an issue. Any form of contact with your paint finish can damage it if grit gets in between - so constant removal, cleaning and replacement is the way to go - or a boot mount (sorry, trunk) that pokes out through the gap. You can use window alarm tape to create a reasonable antenna, that cleans off with not too much effort.
 

majoco

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The base of the antenna doesn't have to be in mechanical contact with the body of the car - the small capacitance of the paint and tape thickness is sufficient to effectively electrically join the antenna base to the car body. You are going to tune the antenna anyway by adjusting against a VSWR meter or antenna analyser anyway...aren't you....say yes...
 

jonwienke

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Mag mounts are capacitively coupled to the car body. Putting tape or anything else between the base and the car body will reduce the coupling capacitance and reduce performance to some degree.
 

marksmith

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The base of the antenna doesn't have to be in mechanical contact with the body of the car - the small capacitance of the paint and tape thickness is sufficient to effectively electrically join the antenna base to the car body. You are going to tune the antenna anyway by adjusting against a VSWR meter or antenna analyser anyway...aren't you....say yes...
Tuning a receive only antenna is useless, and will accomplish nothing. SWR means a lot when transmitting.

536/436/ws1095/996p2/996xt/325p2/396xt/psr800/396t/HP-1/HP-2 & others
 

bob550

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Someone years ago mentioned regular household wax paper as a buffer between the mag mount and car surface. I never tried that, however, nor used anything else for that purpose. If you simply apply car wax to the paint surface first, clean the bottom of the antenna base that contacts the car, and not move the antenna around frequently, you should be OK.
 

Tlanglais

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Thanks for all the input everyone. I think I am gonna go with the tape idea. The tape used for body molding on cars is pretty strong stuff. Essentially permanent until I decide to remove it. I will live with the slight loss in coupling capacitance , as it will still be far better than the rubber duckie on the radio. My primary concern is that it does not move once situated on the car.
 
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