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Need help for a complete mobile setup

Rasped

Newbie
Joined
Aug 12, 2020
Messages
2
Hi guys and gals.

I'm in need of a mobile setup for an adventure rally.

We're a bunch of guys who are going to be driving mk1 Volvo V70s in a rally in Morocco. We'll be driving 10-12 days in total, and need something that can take some abuse.

I need some advice on what radio and antenna to get.

Requirements:
Must be FM, preferably AM/FM switchable.
Cheap
Durable
Preferably with a magnet mount for the roof. Length of antenna can be almost anything.

I've been looking at the Albrecht AE-6110 (I think it is similar to the Anytone Smart in US).
It's cheap, small and should be decent quality. Does anyone have a different recommendation?

As for the antenna, what should I look at?

I hope you guys can help.
 

GlobalNorth

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Joined
May 2, 2020
Messages
175
Check with the legalities of foreign nationals using radio frequencies in Morocco at the Moroccan embassy for the United States. You may not be legally able to do so.

Licensed hams have some treaty protections, but outside of licensed amateurs using amateur frequencies within the limits of the host country, you could find yourself in jail.
 

WB9YBM

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Messages
362
Location
Niles, IL
Since you'll be operating in Morocco, I guess my first questions are: what radio services are applicable & available in Morocco, how to get a license for it, and take it from there...
 

a417

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Check with the legalities of foreign nationals using radio frequencies in Morocco at the Moroccan embassy for the United States. You may not be legally able to do so.

Licensed hams have some treaty protections, but outside of licensed amateurs using amateur frequencies within the limits of the host country, you could find yourself in jail.
That's only applicable if you know he's a foreign national, which we don't.
 

GlobalNorth

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That's only applicable if you know he's a foreign national, which we don't.
Inversely, you don't know otherwise.

The use of colloquial American English is a very good predictor.
 

mmckenna

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I need some advice on what radio and antenna to get.

Requirements:
Must be FM, preferably AM/FM switchable.
Cheap
Durable
Preferably with a magnet mount for the roof. Length of antenna can be almost anything.

I've been looking at the Albrecht AE-6110 (I think it is similar to the Anytone Smart in US).
It's cheap, small and should be decent quality. Does anyone have a different recommendation?

As for the antenna, what should I look at?

I hope you guys can help.

A couple of things….

Morocco has a governing body similar to most other countries, including that of the United States.
That includes "type certification" on radios. That means the specific radio has to have appropriate type certification from the government of Morocco to be legal.
You also need to have an authorization from the agency to use a CB: Autorisation stations CB | Morocco - National Telecommunications Regulatory Agency

It would be difficult for us to recommend a specific model radio since we don't know which ones have the correct type certification for Morocco.
The group running the rally should be able to assist you with some guidance. If not, contact www.anrt.ma for guidance.

Be aware that some countries do enforce these rules and fines can be high. It would be a wise idea to research this all carefully before buying any equipment.
You may want to consult with a radio dealer in country, just to be safe.
 

a417

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Messages
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Inversely, you don't know otherwise.

The use of colloquial American English is a very good predictor.
I've been looking at the Albrecht AE-6110 (I think it is similar to the Anytone Smart in US).
Spent a week in Conca D'oro many years ago. Night deskman at hotel dropped a pen and swore like any 13 y/o teenager in suburban america would. Asked him about it ,said he learned all his "not school english" from X-Box live.

It's not important to the thread in the least, but he referenced an FM preference for CB, referenced a euro marketed radio, made the above statement, and had irregular usage of indefinite articles and punctuation that are classically common to people who are not primarily American english speakers. Leads me to believe he is of European origin or was primarily educated/raised there, or currently lives there.

I assumed he wasn't from USA, you assumed he was and directed him to the Moroccan Embassy of the United States. We disagree. No big deal.

Have a good night! (y)
 
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RFI-EMI-GUY

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Dec 22, 2013
Messages
3,943
Autorisation stations CB

The National Agency of Telecommunications Regulation (ANRT) is the authority responsible for the licensing of radio stations
CB Stations (Citizen Band) are radio stations meant for establishing short distance communications between radio enthusiasts, operated over forty band channels ((WITHIN*) 26,960 to 27,410 MHz) with a maximum power of 4 watts.
The application may be sent by mail to autorisation@anrt.ma.
Elements of the application file must include:
  • Request of the applicant (group name);
  • The form (original or copy) in the ANRT template duly filled out and signed;
Copy of the group leader's passport.


From this document which is is french.

- Emettent en modulation de fréquence et/ou en modulation d’amplitude avec une puissance ne dépassant
pas 04 watts; So it appears that AM and FM are permitted. Albrecht makes radios for Europe which do both and can be set to the local channelization of the country you are visiting. I think Albrecht is a good brand. I would recommend FM modulation and perhaps one of the upper teir models which allow you to have a sub audible tone code so you will hear transmissions from your group exclusively.


* These are the actual channel centers. It is similar to US CB spectrum.

Numéro de
canal
Fréquence
(MHz)

1 26,965 11 27,085 21 27,215 31 27,315
2 26,975 12 27,105 22 27,225 32 27,325
3 26,985 13 27,115 23 27,255 33 27,335
4 27,005 14 27,125 24 27,235 34 27,345
5 27.015 15 27.135 25 27,245 35 27,355
6 26,025 16 27,155 26 27,265 36 27,365
7 27,035 17 27,165 27 27,275 37 27,375
8 27,055 18 27,175 28 27.285 38 27,385
9 27,065 19 27,185 29 27,295 39 27,395
10 27,075 20 27,205 30 27,305 40 27,405

I would read carefully the footnotes for any restrictions on a channel. You might run afoul of some restriction if you are on the wrong channel.

As far as antennas, a lot depends upon the vehicle you are using. I would highly recommend a Larsen NMO-27 center mounted on the metal roof of the vehicle . If the vehicle is a dune buggy or pick up truck, a rear mounted 1/4 wave (~108 inches, 2.75 meter) whip antenna may get you the best results, though it may radiate a distorted pattern. Be prepared to tune the antennas for best VSWR. If you can get all this sorted out before hand would be best.

Magnetically mounted antennas are the worst. Not recommended if you can help it.

The vehicle electrical system may cause reduction in reception range. You may not notice this in the FM mode, but it is still a potential problem. Listen in AM mode with and without engine and accessories running. Far easier to fix at home than in the sand.
 

Rasped

Newbie
Joined
Aug 12, 2020
Messages
2
Alrighty then :)

Cause quite a stir there.

I'm European, I was taught British english, but spent too much time on the internet, so now it is neither British nor American english.

As for permissions to use a CB radio in Morocco, it is not a problem, every single car running in the race has one. Around 200 cars participate.

So coming back to the topic at hand?
The radio. Any other suggestions? Some dream model I should look at now that the Uniden PRO520XL isn't an option given it is AM only?

As for antenna, it's being mounted on a Volvo V70 roof. I could mount in on a roof rack to avoid the magnet mount, but given that we have to take it of once in a while, magnet is still preferable. What are the downsides to a magnet mount?

Any suggestions for an antenna in general?
 

mmckenna

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Messages
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Location
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As for antenna, it's being mounted on a Volvo V70 roof. I could mount in on a roof rack to avoid the magnet mount, but given that we have to take it of once in a while, magnet is still preferable. What are the downsides to a magnet mount?

Any suggestions for an antenna in general?
I don't have any input on the CB. Here is the USA, FM is not allowed under the current rules. AM only.

As for the mount, for an antenna to work well, it wants to have a ground plane under it. Ideally that ground plane would be 1/4 wavelength (3.7 meters) in all directions under the antenna. That's not possible to do with any road legal vehicle.
So, ideally you want a permanent mount right in the center of the vehicle roof top. The permanent mount gives a proper connection to the sheet metal roof.
Magnetic mounts do not have a connection to the roof. They use capacitive coupling to make the RF think it's connected. That creates a bit of additional loss and can cause some other issues.

If you want the best performance out of your antenna, the solution is to use a permanent mount. NMO mounts are what I'd recommend.

As for the antenna, Larsen NMO-27. I've owned the same one for 30 years and it's still working like new. And it's taken a lot of abuse off road, hitting tree branches, parking garages, etc.

There are other options, but you won't beat the performance of a permanent mount antenna.
 

a417

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Joined
Mar 14, 2004
Messages
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Cause quite a stir there.
No stir, just didn't want to send you on the ultimate wild goose chase! (y)

@mmckenna is one of the regular, active, fabulous resources on here when it comes to signal pathing...along with folks like @prcguy, @RFI-EMI-GUY and one more whose name escapes me right now, but when they speak about things like antennas and feed lines...I damn near take them as authoritative when it comes to my own work.

This is Al Gore's internet, and anything goes, but when they write...please read, there is a LOT of proven knowledge to back it up.
 
Last edited:

RFI-EMI-GUY

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Messages
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I don't have any input on the CB. Here is the USA, FM is not allowed under the current rules. AM only.

As for the mount, for an antenna to work well, it wants to have a ground plane under it. Ideally that ground plane would be 1/4 wavelength (3.7 meters) in all directions under the antenna. That's not possible to do with any road legal vehicle.
So, ideally you want a permanent mount right in the center of the vehicle roof top. The permanent mount gives a proper connection to the sheet metal roof.
Magnetic mounts do not have a connection to the roof. They use capacitive coupling to make the RF think it's connected. That creates a bit of additional loss and can cause some other issues.

If you want the best performance out of your antenna, the solution is to use a permanent mount. NMO mounts are what I'd recommend.

As for the antenna, Larsen NMO-27. I've owned the same one for 30 years and it's still working like new. And it's taken a lot of abuse off road, hitting tree branches, parking garages, etc.

There are other options, but you won't beat the performance of a permanent mount antenna.
2.7 meters quarter wave?
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

Member
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Dec 22, 2013
Messages
3,943
Funny I was just watching a car show about the Volvo 850R and Volvo's brief racing history with it!

Its an "Estate Wagon", (Shooting Brake?) so it should be plenty nice groundplane wise for mounting a rooftop NMO antenna. If there is a sunroof, of course it will need to be further back to clear it.

I would recommend looking into Morroco's rules on handheld PMR or FRS type short range UHF consumer radios, because these are equally handy when you end up on foot at the market and lost.
 

mmckenna

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Joined
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Messages
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Location
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He was probably thinking imperial meters and not metric meters. I have the same problem myself.

(Don't worry mmckenna, I got your back!) :rolleyes:
Yeah, it was a long day…..

2.7 meters is correct. 3.7 meters was either a typo, exhaustion, or just plain not paying attention. (my vote is for the latter)

Either way, 2.7 meters of ground plane under the antenna isn't going to be realistic, so there's a compromise to be made. A properly installed CB antenna will give you some decent performance. If that is what everyone else is using, then that is a good plan.
I favor the Larsen products since I've had a good experience with them over the years.

Truth is that most of the others will put that much effort into their antennas. Usually people buy a random CB antenna, put it on their vehicle, and that's it. They accept what ever performance limitations they have. Putting a bit of effort into the installation and tuning will easily give you some much better performance.
 

FiveFilter

Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2016
Messages
221
I use magnet-mount antennas on my vehicles, placed in the best possible location: in the middle of the roof. The one exception is my Jeep Wrangler, which does not have a metal roof. On that vehicle which I use off-road, I place the mag mount on the big metal hood, which comes from the factory with a copper strap for good RF grounding. It works well too.

Even though it is accepted the mag-mounts are less efficient, the question is: how much less?

I have read from a number of sources that the performance loss with a mag-mount antenna vs one permanently mounted in a hole is 0.1dB, all other things being equal. This level of loss is extremely low, measurable only with sensitive equipment, and certainly not discernable over a speaker.

I'd say the only question about the efficacy of a mag-mount in the OP's case is whether the rally involves a lot of shock to the vehicle. There are limits to how much holding power a mag mount has. I know I've never had one blow off my roof at 80mph in truck traffic, but if the vehicle hits something and there is a lot of inertia force and shock placed on the magnet, then it can lose grip.

If I were running a mag mount where there is an unusual amount shock being placed on the vehicle or the antenna is being hit by overhead obstacles, I'd duct-tape the mount to the roof. It would be a simple, quick and easily reversed process, and I'm sure it would work for anything short of a vehicle wreck.

For whatever reasons there may be, I know there is some disdain for magnet mounts in some extremely qualified quarters, as evidenced by monikers forever stating: "Just drill the damn hole." :) There are probably bumper stickers too.

But I'll take a 0.1dB loss in performance for all the convenience the magnet mount has offered me through the years. The hole saw has never come close to any vehicle I own.

My favorite mag mounts for the 11-meter CBs are the 55-inch Wilson 500 and the 62-inch Wilson 1000. Both have been on the market for decades and have proven to be excellent performers.
 

KE5MC

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Messages
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Location
Lewisville, TX
Rasped,
Any chance the competition can be asked questions of what they are using. I realize different groups competing together have constructive interactions and others not so constructive. Good luck in the race. I've watched several rally races and for sure the cars take a beating as well as hedgerows, stone walls, trees and the occasional spectator.
Mike
 
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