No-Drill Scanner Antenna Recommendations in Fire POV

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Hello everyone,

I am a new recruit with a local volunteer fire department. I need to monitor a few frequencies in the 150/450 range to hear our paging and EMS systems. I just bought a new truck and I don't want to drill any holes in the roof to mount an antenna. There isn't really a great spot to mount a stubby up front either. I'd prefer something that I can put up above the headliner or something like that - I don't want any visible cabling. Any ideas? All of the emergency lighting in the truck is mounted inside the vehicle, I'd prefer to keep the same "slicktop" look with the antennas. Any ideas? Thanks in advance for the help!


it will be interfacing with a Uniden Home Patrol for now, and I'll probably be adding an ICOM 208H to the mix later.
 

Jay911

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What type of vehicle?

You can get fender mounts for all sorts of antennas and vehicle makes. I have a 2013 F150 Raptor and Profit makes a mount which I simply unbolt a bolt holding the fender on, put the mount in place, put the bolt back on, and it's done.
 
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What type of vehicle?

You can get fender mounts for all sorts of antennas and vehicle makes. I have a 2013 F150 Raptor and Profit makes a mount which I simply unbolt a bolt holding the fender on, put the mount in place, put the bolt back on, and it's done.
2011 Tahoe SSV. Really, I'm trying to avoid mounting anything on the exterior - I know that affects range, but I'm generally pretty close to a repeater so I'm not too terribly concerned about that.
 
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I like that second one - though it doesn't look like it picks up the 150 MHz frequencies. 150 is our EMS which isn't directly relevant to me, but still nice to know...I think I can make due with just the 450 range. If anyone knows of a 150/450 version of this, please let me know. I've done a little searching based on the links above and couldn't find one.
 

SpockVulcan

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You could have quarter wave NMO antenna and it really would look sleek. But if you're in range a repeater usually a rubber duck and a handheld should work well.
 

krokus

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There are stake hole mounts available, if you decide to go for an external.

You could make an on-glass antenna, using a window defroster repair kit.

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tbzep

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What kind of range are you looking for? I have a rubber ducky remotely mounted on my back window, which picks up UHF cleanly for about 10 miles, which more than covers my full time FD's territory, and VHF for about 25 miles which more than covers my entire county volly range. When the terrain cooperates, I get longer range out of both.

 

pinballwiz86

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2011Really, I'm trying to avoid mounting anything on the exterior
Why? If you're serious about being a volunteer FF you need to make sure you can hear dispatch 100% every time. You need to do things right. Mount an external antenna with a "mag mount" which will not leave holes.
 

pinballwiz86

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Mag-mounts can have unwanted side-effects -- like killing paint long-term.
Are you planning on displaying your truck in a museum someday? I wouldn't worry about a little swirl mark. Slap her on the roof. Make sure the clear coat is clean beforehand.
 

QDP2012

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Are you planning on displaying your truck in a museum someday? I wouldn't worry about a little swirl mark. Slap her on the roof. Make sure the clear coat is clean beforehand.
My vehicle... in a museum? ...(ha-ha) Good one.

But, both those swirl-marks (on the nice end of the scale) and rust-spots (on the other end of the scale), do effect resale value of the vehicle, which matters to some owners.

Mag-mount users should periodically clean the bottom of the mag-mount as well as the vehicle's clear-coat. Moisture and road grit, other small debris, etc. can work their way under the mount and scratch the paint.

EDIT: If the OP has an external AM/FM antenna for the OEM vehicle-radio, maybe it could be used or replaced with one that is suitable for AM/FM and scanning purposes. I haven't used one, and don't know how they perform, but I've heard some exist.

Edit 2: In the past, I've used lip-mount style at the edge of the hood and mag-mounts on the roof and/or trunk-lid of the vehicle. External is definitely better than portable or interior antenna options.

Hope this helps,
 
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no hole's being a volunteer you would not like to see my car i have a UHF XTL-5000,700\800MHZ XTL-5000,Lowband Maxtrax,Ham Radio that does VHF and UHF and last Pro-197 Scanner try a Glass Mount Antenna?
 

pinballwiz86

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My vehicle... in a museum? ...(ha-ha) Good one.

But, both those swirl-marks (on the nice end of the scale) and rust-spots (on the other end of the scale), do effect resale value of the vehicle, which matters to some owners.

Mag-mount users should periodically clean the bottom of the mag-mount as well as the vehicle's clear-coat. Moisture and road grit, other small debris, etc. can work their way under the mount and scratch the paint.

Edit: If the OP has an external AM/FM antenna for the OEM radio, maybe it could be used or replaced with one that is suitable for AM/FM and scanning purposes. I haven't used one, and don't know how they perform, but I've heard some exist.

Hope this helps,
Thanks for the tips, I guess? lol.

If you go ahead and put an antenna inside your car just know that you ARE risking not hearing a call out.

Look deep inside and ask yourself what your priorities are. A loss of maybe $500 on the resale of your car or being a good FF?


-EDIT- Nevermind. I thought you were the OP. haha.
 

rescue161

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If you're dead set on a mag-mount, make sure you, 1) wash & wax the area (or vehicle), 2) place a clear protective film over the area of where the mag-mount will be placed and finally, 3) place mag-mount antenna on top of protective film. When you're ready to trade in the vehicle, just remove the film.
 

crazyboy

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Why? If you're serious about being a volunteer FF you need to make sure you can hear dispatch 100% every time. You need to do things right. Mount an external antenna with a "mag mount" which will not leave holes.
Doing things right and mag mount should never ever be used in the same sentence.

Drill a damn hole, put a low profile antenna on it, be done. When you sell the car, leave it there and tell them it was for a gps or satellite radio, or take it out and put a plug in it. Haven't actually seen someone look at the roof of a used vehicle when they bought it anyway. You'll thank me later.
 

fleef

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Doing things right and mag mount should never ever be used in the same sentence.

Drill a damn hole, put a low profile antenna on it, be done. When you sell the car, leave it there and tell them it was for a gps or satellite radio, or take it out and put a plug in it. Haven't actually seen someone look at the roof of a used vehicle when they bought it anyway. You'll thank me later.
Thumbs up to that idea. I bought a used Ford Taurus yrs back that had that "plug" on the roof and I thought it was a factory designed option for future mobile GPS antenna, as in "built in" and not from previous owner.
 
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