RadioShack Mag Mount Question

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ScannerSky

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Hey all,

I recently got the RadioShack Mag Mount antenna for my Jeep Liberty and so far it is working pretty well. I put it on the top of my roof and ran the coax through the door jamb of the passenger door. My question is if that is a safe/good area for the antenna. I did notice that the base got loose when driving all day - I just tightened it back up. This may have been because I hit a small branch slowly while backing up in my driveway. Has anyone had good experience with this antenna? Any reccomendations? I am guessing I should take it off before I go for a car wash, right? After all this snow, I need one badly today!! I am using it for my Pro-79 in my car. It looks awesome!! I'm such a buff! lol :)

Thanks in advance! Happy Holidays! :)
 
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N0IU

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You will probably want to route the cable through one of the least used doors which for most people (without kids!) is one of the rear passenger doors.

And you will absolutely want to take the antenna off before going through the carwash (whatever that is!) At least you only have one antenna to take off. Think of what this poor guy has to go through when he goes to the carwash!
 
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kb2vxa

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Enough with the whackermobiles already!

Now if you want suggestions here's the best I can give you. Put the antenna on the vehicle only when you're using it, a "permanent" installation leads to two complications. First dirt tends to accumulate under the mount which leads to leaving a mark and possible scratching and pitting of the paint. You don't need a mark you'll have to compound out or worse, rust.

Then the coax tends to deform the weather stripping permanently if you leave it in place for long. The last thing you need is water streaming down the cable and into the vehicle but that'll probably happen anyway, then when you remove the coax it seals IF you don't leave it there, ignore it and you're screwed even when you do remove the coax. That can get worse too, the rubber can crack and there goes the seal altogether leading to costly replacement.

Oh and any who may disagree can argue with my soaking wet right arm and a friend who also happened to discover a nasty black circle on the roof of his white Beretta that wouldn't wash off.

"I'm such a buff!"
Please keep your clothes on, thank you. (;->)
 

ScannerSky

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Thanks! I took some pictures of my antenna just now, here they are...how does it look? :) I ended up running the coax through the back door rather than the front door since I use the back door less. I think that makes the most sense.
 

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ScannerSky

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Enough with the whackermobiles already!

Now if you want suggestions here's the best I can give you. Put the antenna on the vehicle only when you're using it, a "permanent" installation leads to two complications. First dirt tends to accumulate under the mount which leads to leaving a mark and possible scratching and pitting of the paint. You don't need a mark you'll have to compound out or worse, rust.

Then the coax tends to deform the weather stripping permanently if you leave it in place for long. The last thing you need is water streaming down the cable and into the vehicle but that'll probably happen anyway, then when you remove the coax it seals IF you don't leave it there, ignore it and you're screwed even when you do remove the coax. That can get worse too, the rubber can crack and there goes the seal altogether leading to costly replacement.

Oh and any who may disagree can argue with my soaking wet right arm and a friend who also happened to discover a nasty black circle on the roof of his white Beretta that wouldn't wash off.

"I'm such a buff!"
Please keep your clothes on, thank you. (;->)
The antenna I installed is not a permanent install, it is a mag mount.......
 

SCPD

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The antenna I installed is not a permanent install, it is a mag mount.......
That's what he was talking about. Some people use a mag mount and never take it off, leaving marks as he described. I think too, thats why he had the word permenant in quote marks.
 

ScannerSky

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That's what he was talking about. Some people use a mag mount and never take it off, leaving marks as he described. I think too, thats why he had the word permenant in quote marks.
Need your help guys! The antenna seems to be getting loose way too often when I drive with it and I lost the little lugnut tightener that came with it so I have no way of tightening it back up. I am getting sick of tightening it over and over again. Can you guys reccommend a good mag mount antenna for my Jeep? I need something that will last - RadioShack doesn't seem to be high quality. Maybe something from Universal? What is a REALLY good mag mount antenna that isn't going to break my bank but has good reception for all bands?

Does it make sense for my to get a truck lip antenna instead? That way I wouldn't need to worry about the antenna hitting any branches...but is it hard to install?
 
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737mech

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rs mag mount

Need your help guys! The antenna seems to be getting loose way too often when I drive with it and I lost the little lugnut tightener that came with it so I have no way of tightening it back up. I am getting sick of tightening it over and over again. Can you guys reccommend a good mag mount antenna for my Jeep? I need something that will last - RadioShack doesn't seem to be high quality. Maybe something from Universal? What is a REALLY good mag mount antenna that isn't going to break my bank but has good reception for all bands?

Does it make sense for my to get a truck lip antenna instead? That way I wouldn't need to worry about the antenna hitting any branches...but is it hard to install?
Loose where? Between the chrome cone base and the black plastic base? Unscrew it and use a dab of locktite on the threads. You should have luck with that, but yes you may need a better antenna. The RS mag mount is a very weak magnet. I don't know from experience but I've heard the Larsen tri band is a good antenna. NMO150/450/800
Larsen NMO150/450/800 Tri-Band NMO Antenna
 

RadioDaze

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Vibration CAN cause something to unscrew itself gradually, "walking" it counterclockwise. If you looked at a time-lapse video of it, you'd see it apparently unscrewing itself as if by magic. +1 on 737mech's suggestion: use some locktite, or look for a lock washer that will fit between the 2 pieces that are getting usncrewed. But don't inadvertently insulate anything if you use locktite. The lock washer will keep it tight by applying separating pressure to the joint.

737mech: do you really work on planes?
 

N0IU

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What is a REALLY good mag mount antenna that isn't going to break my bank but has good reception for all bands?

Does it make sense for my to get a truck lip antenna instead? That way I wouldn't need to worry about the antenna hitting any branches...but is it hard to install?
I just stumbled upon this link in another thread: http://forums.radioreference.com/amateur-radio-equipment/167689-just-got-yaesu-ft7800r.html

This is for permanent mounting behind the spare tire...

ARIZONA ROCKY ROAD ANTENNA MOUNTS FOR JEEP WRANGLER, UNLIMITED AND LIBERTY

Scroll down to the Liberty mount. It doesn't include the actual antenna, but the mount is only $35.00. The guy also sells antennas so he might have some suggestions for a good scanner antenna for this application.
 
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ScannerSky

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Thanks guys! I think I am looking to get another good mag mount antenna...any good kinds? From experience, what is a really good mag mount antenna for all bands? I want it to have a strong magnet and I don't want to deal with it getting loose all the time.

Thanks!
 

737mech

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RS Mag mount

Vibration CAN cause something to unscrew itself gradually, "walking" it counterclockwise. If you looked at a time-lapse video of it, you'd see it apparently unscrewing itself as if by magic. +1 on 737mech's suggestion: use some locktite, or look for a lock washer that will fit between the 2 pieces that are getting usncrewed. But don't inadvertently insulate anything if you use locktite. The lock washer will keep it tight by applying separating pressure to the joint.

737mech: do you really work on planes?
PM me, this forum is not the place for my resume'. Acft mech for 22 years.
 

ScannerSky

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Hey guys,

I ended up getting a new RadioShack mag mount (I exchanged it so I could get one that was not malfunctioning) and I got a good one I think this time! If it loosens every once in awhile I could just check it and tighten it back up, right? Seems like that would work ok. I check it often to make sure it is ok. Thanks!
 

SCPD

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Hey guys,

I ended up getting a new RadioShack mag mount (I exchanged it so I could get one that was not malfunctioning) and I got a good one I think this time! If it loosens every once in awhile I could just check it and tighten it back up, right? Seems like that would work ok. I check it often to make sure it is ok. Thanks!
As was suggested, try some loc-tite on the threads of the allen head bolt (if you can call it that). I have a Harley and use it on lots of stuff. It comes in two colors, blue which is easier to crack if you need to remove the nut, or red, which is a real tough to loosen.

Also, note as said, the magnet is not that strong on that RS mag mount, and has been known to fall off at speeds greater than 50mph.
 

ScannerSky

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As was suggested, try some loc-tite on the threads of the allen head bolt (if you can call it that). I have a Harley and use it on lots of stuff. It comes in two colors, blue which is easier to crack if you need to remove the nut, or red, which is a real tough to loosen.

Also, note as said, the magnet is not that strong on that RS mag mount, and has been known to fall off at speeds greater than 50mph.
I have heard different people say different things about the RS mag mount staying on at speeds of 70 MPH + with wind, other people say it doesn't stay on. Anyway, I exchanged the antenna with another one from RadioShack today and so far all is good. I put it on in the center of my roof and I drove around today quite a bit and it is still nice and tight. I am planning on keeping it on my car all the time - is it okay in the snow? I am parking my car outside so if it snows overnight am I going to have a problem?

Thanks! :)
 

N0IU

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I am planning on keeping it on my car all the time - is it okay in the snow? I am parking my car outside so if it snows overnight am I going to have a problem?

Thanks! :)
If you do get a scratch on the roof... wait, let me correct that... WHEN you get a scratch on the roof under the antenna, water that collects under the magnet, from rain or snow, could possibly cause further damage to the finish.

I know you have already spent the money on a mag mount, but for honest-to-goodness permanent use, using something like the one in the link I posted above really would be a better solution for not a whole lot more money. But hey, its your Jeep! My Cherokee is 10 years old with almost 250,000 miles on it so I am probably a lot less worried about the finish on mine than you are on yours.
 

ScannerSky

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If you do get a scratch on the roof... wait, let me correct that... WHEN you get a scratch on the roof under the antenna, water that collects under the magnet, from rain or snow, could possibly cause further damage to the finish.

I know you have already spent the money on a mag mount, but for honest-to-goodness permanent use, using something like the one in the link I posted above really would be a better solution for not a whole lot more money. But hey, its your Jeep! My Cherokee is 10 years old with almost 250,000 miles on it so I am probably a lot less worried about the finish on mine than you are on yours.
I did see that link, but you think that is the best option for my Jeep? Scratches on the top or discoloration would be on the roof, so is that a huge issue? What would you do? I am looking for all the options, but the mag mount is cool! :) lol

One of the guys at RadioShack told me that I could cut out a circle of paper towel (the exact size of the antenna base) and but that under the base on the car to prevent scratches/marks. Is this a good idea?
 
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N0IU

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I did see that link, but you think that is the best option for my Jeep? Scratches on the top or discoloration would be on the roof, so is that a huge issue? What would you do? I am looking for all the options, but the mag mount is cool! :) lol
It is cool because...
a) It could come off at high speeds
b) Even if it doesn't come off, it could slide around on the roof and scratch the paint
c) ???
d) None of the above

If the finish is compromised, over time it could cause the roof to rust. No, its probably not a huge deal and you are not in any danger of the roof collapsing, but if it was me, I wouldn't do it.

One of the guys at RadioShack told me that I could cut out a circle of paper towel (the exact size of the antenna base) and but that under the base on the car to prevent scratches/marks. Is this a good idea?
I looked at the calendar. Its December 23, not April 1. A paper towel? Is this a good idea?? Seriously??? You're kidding, right?

What I have done is to use the plastic lid of a coffee can, but you have to cut out the little thingie in the middle of the lid so the antenna sits flat agains the plastic. I used it on smaller antennas with no real problems. In your case, you are already dealing with a magnet that is barely strong enough to hold the antenna to a metal roof as it is and the plastic could cause it to slide around but probably cause less damage to the roof.

If you stick with the mag mount, you should still take it off periodically and clean off the roof. I think you really will be surprised to see what it does to the finish. Of course, YMMV!
 
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