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Mobile Antenna Install

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andy404ns

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Hey guys - I just bought a Comtelco mobile antenna with a mag mount base and 12 feet of cable. I was wondering if anyone has any ideas of a good way to run the cable into the car without
a) drilling a hole into the roof; and
b) having the cable get crushed by the door every time it opens and closes.

I'm up for any suggestions. FYI its a 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Thanks in advance.
 

KG4ZPD

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Best thing to do is run the cable between the metal frame and the rubber seal on the rear door and run the cable in a way that its not easily visible. Such as behind the plastic molding or under the carpet.
 

N4JNW

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If it was a truck, i was gonna say, remove the 3rd brake light, cut a small notch in the top of it, and run in through the brake light.

That's how my CB antenna is ran in on one of my trucks. Very clean and neat.

If you're going to be transmitting through it, be careful not to pinch or kink the coax. That will change the impedance of it, and will affect your standing wave greatly. For recieving only, run it in through a door or somewhere..
 

mwilsonemt

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Since it will be on an SUV, another option instead of using the rear passanger door is to use the tailgate.
 

specman

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I have a 96 Grand Cherokee and used to run coax into the tail gate. It would fit nicely running it to a top corner and down the side, I ran it over the seal near the bottom to avoid any water problems. Worked pretty good. I finally went ahead and use permanent hole mounts now.
 

astrodanco

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specman said:
I finally went ahead and use permanent hole mounts now.
Good for you, that's the prudent way to do it. I cringe as I read about people cutting holes in their brake lights and allowing water to get inside. I have three NMO mounts on my car. One for the GPS antenna, one for the cell phone antenna and one for the scanner antenna. I'd have one for the XM antenna too if I could find an NMO mount XM antenna.
 

N4JNW

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astrodanco said:
Good for you, that's the prudent way to do it. I cringe as I read about people cutting holes in their brake lights and allowing water to get inside. I have three NMO mounts on my car. One for the GPS antenna, one for the cell phone antenna and one for the scanner antenna. I'd have one for the XM antenna too if I could find an NMO mount XM antenna.
If done correctly, no water can get inside. Now don't get me wrong, when you cut corners, ANYTHING can go wrong. But, when I done my truck, I just took my time with a dremel tool, and whittled and nipped until the coax fit very snug into it's "notch". I also took a small dab of clear silicone caulk, and dabbed INSIDE the brake light, to prevent any water that might get in, from getting in.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

I am very satisfied witht is setup, but I understand what you mean about the water getting in. It would/could make for a very unpleasant situation in a downpour..

Honestly, If I could do over, I'd go with an NMO mount. I had no idea I was going to leave a radio in this truck for as long as I have, and if I could do over, I wouldn't think twice about popping a hole in the cab. an NMO mount really makes for a cleaner install also.
 

specman

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I have no qualms at all at properly drilling mounts for my antennas. I typically keep my vehicles for a long time anyways so I don't get worried about depreciation. I currently have 1 NMO cell mount, 1 NMO WiFi mount, 2 NMO ham antenna mounts and several other brackets on the vehicle.

There was mention of GPS antenna; you can get a through-hole type model that will fit in an NMO sized hole. Haven't gone that route yet since my "puck" receiver works well enough through the glass.
 

astrodanco

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specman said:
There was mention of GPS antenna; you can get a through-hole type model that will fit in an NMO sized hole. Haven't gone that route yet since my "puck" receiver works well enough through the glass.
The Antenex GPSU15M is an NMO mount GPS antenna. It screws right onto any NMO mount. The Radial-Larsen GPSNMO02 is also an NMO mount GPS antenna. The GPSU15M only needs 3V DC bias to operate. The GPSNMO02 needs 5V DC bias. Note that almost no GPS receivers output 5V DC bias these days which pretty much leaves us with the GPSU15M. It's available from http://www.tessco.com for $48.45.
 

specman

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astrodanco said:
The Antenex GPSU15M is an NMO mount GPS antenna. It screws right onto any NMO mount. The Radial-Larsen GPSNMO02 is also an NMO mount GPS antenna. The GPSU15M only needs 3V DC bias to operate. The GPSNMO02 needs 5V DC bias.
I mistakingly thought it was GPS you were talking about earlier; instead it was XM you had mentioned... in which case I don't know what's available since I'm not inclined to use it.

Figures that Antennex has a nice GPS solution; I use one of their units for WiFi and love it. Was thinking of trying another one for some of my other stuff too.
 
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firescannerbob

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astrodanco said:
I'd have one for the XM antenna too if I could find an NMO mount XM antenna.
I've been looking and haven't found one. I hope one is out there somewhere, since the little mag antenna looks cheap.
 

firescannerbob

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My little XM antenna works fine, too. I'd just like something that looks more professional. I just spent quite a bit of time on Google, and it appears that no one is making an NMO XM antenna.
 

N4JNW

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Sometimes, more professional, isn't always as practical..

I'd save myself a hole in the roof and sticky that dude to the dash. If it works, why change it?

Plus, on the dash, it's out of the elements. If mounted correctly on the dash and not just "threw" up there, it actually looks nice. I stuck mine over in the corner on the passenger side and never had any problems with reception at all.
 

firescannerbob

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KG4LJF said:
Sometimes, more professional, isn't always as practical.
Agreed.
Mine is on the roof, near the back window, with the cable running under the rear window molding. It works, just looking for something a little different. After all the effort I put into mounting other antennas on the car, it would just be nice to do the same with the XM. Plus, I would bet that if Antennex or Maxrad made a XM antenna, it would be a superior performer than the little standard antenna (I'm thinking of crowded urban areas, etc).
 
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