Park a daily driver with antenna in a garage?

needairtime

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I guess this may end up as a poll, but do people mostly park their antenna daily driver cars outdoors?

I mean, this must be annoying if you have even a full 2 meter antenna on a truck going into an standard 7 or 8 foot garage door. Nevermind a HF antenna unless you have like a screwdriver or other loading coil or matching network that keeps the length down.

I suspect on a lower profile passenger car, a 2 meter antenna (with loading coils) should fit, but just wondering.
 

alcahuete

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You either park outside, take the antennas off, or risk damage.

I went to 1/4 wave antennas, for the most part, long ago. Barely a noticeable difference here in Southern California, with mostly mountaintop repeaters, and longest antenna is 19".
 

needairtime

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Yeah I suspect the motorized mounts help a bit, though increases price a bit.

I'm figuring people don't take antennas down because it's going to be a PITA to do it every time you come home and leave. Magmounts might make it easier too. Else have to park outside - which is what most people do? or do they?

Curious who has the resolve to remove the antenna to park in a garage every night and put it back on in the morning?
 

KK4JUG

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In the South, tree-lined streets can also be a problem and, because of the longer growing season, it's a problem for a longer time.

While I'm home (in town) I use a Comet SBB1 (16"). On the road, I switch to a Comet SBB15 (43").
 

tweiss3

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I use Larsen NMO2/70SH with the spring, and they stay attached. We park outside, the garage is very low profile, and the transit would hit without the antenna.
 

AK9R

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Larsen NMO2/70B (34.5 inches long) on a Larsen TMB34B right angle mount attached to the junction between the fender and inner fender at the hood opening on a 2015 Ford Expedition. Tip of antenna just touches the weather seal on the bottom of a standard 7' residential garage door. Vehicle is always parked in the garage.

If I wanted to use a roof mount, it'd be a NMO 1/4 wave whip. Should be able to tune it for max performance on 146 MHz and reasonable performance on 446 MHz. If the whip gets banged up, just replace it.

I have heard of many people having long-term reliability issues with motorized antenna mounts, so I do not recommend them.

In my opinion, the Japanese antennas, and their Chinese knock-offs, are too stiff. Larsen, MaxRad, and Laird have been making antennas for high-reliability mobile applications for years and their antennas are generally not as stiff as the Japanese antennas.
 

mmckenna

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Not an issue with a good NMO mount and a 1/4 wave VHF antenna.

For 10+ years my dad parked a 4x4 Chevy Silverado with a 1/4 wave whip on it in his garage. Zero damage.

If you use some Chinese crap antenna and a mag mount or the cheapest Chinese NMO mount, then sure, you might see a failure. But good components will not have issues with this.
 
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I mean...my current pickup's cab will contact the garage door if I try and pull it in so it can't park in there to begin with. That being said, a quality antenna won't be bothered by it. If I know I've got to go to the airport and park in a garage, I tend to swap my whip out for a nitol version (like the Sti-Co flexiwhip). I've run empty parking garages with those and never had any issues with them.

TypicallyI pair a 1/4 wave VHF whip with a UHF wideband knob and 7/800 MHz knob.
 

mmckenna

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Yeah, 4x4 F-350's don't fit in garages very well. Mine stays outside.

But I did get into a parking garage in Las Vegas a few years ago and the overhead shrunk down awful quick. I had about 3-4 inches of clearance. The wide band 1/4 wave Larsen antenna took a lot of strain, pretty much folded over at 90º. No damage to the aluminum roof and no damage to the NMO mount. The spring took a permanent lean to the rear, but it was easy enough to replace the spring on it's own. Still using the antenna….
 

mrweather

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Larsen NMO150HW and associated 37" whip on the trunklid of my 2018 Charge and no interference issues with the top of the garage door opening.
 

Token

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I guess this may end up as a poll, but do people mostly park their antenna daily driver cars outdoors?

I mean, this must be annoying if you have even a full 2 meter antenna on a truck going into an standard 7 or 8 foot garage door. Nevermind a HF antenna unless you have like a screwdriver or other loading coil or matching network that keeps the length down.

I suspect on a lower profile passenger car, a 2 meter antenna (with loading coils) should fit, but just wondering.

T!
 

jwt873

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The cowl mounted NMO-2/70 on my Jeep twangs every time I go in our out of my 7' high garage door. It only catches the top couple of inches.. Other than the ball going missing from the tip of the antenna, I've with no real problems.

Once I had a 102 inch stainless steel whip mounted on the rear.... I forgot about it and drove into the garage when I got home. It bent over almost 90 degrees before I realized it... I backed out and fortunately it sprang back to normal.
 

needairtime

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I suppose there's a good reason why lots of antennas are made of spring steel instead of soft copper.

The other thing I wonder is whether mounting lower but not center, say on a fender or bumper, is worse or better than a center roof mount with a loading coil to make up for the length loss? Radiation pattern is probably the most significant difference but what about effects of height and losses from the matching network and nonideal radiator?
 

mmckenna

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I suppose there's a good reason why lots of antennas are made of spring steel instead of soft copper.

The other thing I wonder is whether mounting lower but not center, say on a fender or bumper, is worse or better than a center roof mount with a loading coil to make up for the length loss? Radiation pattern is probably the most significant difference but what about effects of height and losses from the matching network and nonideal radiator?
Lopsided ground plane, shadowing from the vehicle cabin on higher frequencies, all less than ideal. Using a taller antenna won't necessarily overcome those things. Even 'ground independent/half wave/NGP" antennas will be impacted by what ground plane there is under them. Antennas bigger than 1/4 wave are going to compress the radiation pattern to some extent, and that might just mean more RF in the passenger cabin.

Solutions:
Taller garages
shorter vehicles
more flexible antennas
better mounts
don't park in the garage.

Or, use antennas in less than ideal locations and deal with what ever performance impacts that comes with. Probably not a big deal for most hobby users.
 
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Yeah, 4x4 F-350's don't fit in garages very well. Mine stays outside.

But I did get into a parking garage in Las Vegas a few years ago and the overhead shrunk down awful quick. I had about 3-4 inches of clearance. The wide band 1/4 wave Larsen antenna took a lot of strain, pretty much folded over at 90º. No damage to the aluminum roof and no damage to the NMO mount. The spring took a permanent lean to the rear, but it was easy enough to replace the spring on it's own. Still using the antenna….
I remember driving through Ceasar's garage...I had the Nitol whip on but even then I cam close to rubbing the top of the fin.
 

mmckenna

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I remember driving through Ceasar's garage...I had the Nitol whip on but even then I cam close to rubbing the top of the fin.
Yeah, I knew better, but I sort of got part way in with a big line of traffic behind me and was trying to find a place to pull out of the way to remove the antenna. A basic 1/4 wave whip would have been fine, but I had the stiff 1/4 wave wide band whip, which only flexes at the spring. I've got a new em-Wave 1/4 wave whip on their with a spring. IWCE coming up in September (I hope) and maybe I'll give it another go.
 
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