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Yeah, another Jeep Wrangler Antenna thread with options and questions

krokus

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Slight change of plans after I picked up my new Jeep Mojave and looked over antenna options. I'm not comfortable screwing in the NMO angle brackets mentioned in the last post into the sides of the plastic cowl pieces. I found the back edge of the steel hood should take a clamp on trunk lid mount just fine so I ordered two Laird trunk lid mounts in black like these. TMB8U - Trunk Lid Mount, No Connector - 17' RG58U - Laird Technologies 56237 729198562373 | eBay I'll also line the underside of the top and side plastic cowl pieces with wide aluminum tape then bond that and the metal body to the hood with a short wide piece of flat braid near each hood hinge.

The picture below shows the rough location of the antenna and the hood gap is plenty wide for the mount and coax to pass when opening the hood. The only slight drawback will be the whip visible from the drivers location, but what's more important, radios that work good or your view? I mean, who really needs to look out the front window when driving and talking on the radio?

View attachment 102713
FWIW, I had K40 mounted in about the same location, on my XJ, and it was never really a sight line issue. (The A pillars in my WK give me many more problems with sight lines.)
 

prcguy

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Got my Laird trunk lip NMO mounts in today and tried them on for size on the new Jeep Gladiator. After crawling around the entire vehicle and looking at all the antenna mounts, I think the hood is the best place for performance. There are some mounts that stick out to the side or go sideways and upward, moving the antenna feedpoint far away from any ground plane which looses efficiency.

I also removed some plastic cowl pieces and lined them with conductive tape so it grounds to the vehicle and adds to the ground plane for these specific mounts. I'll also bond across the hood hinges with wide flat braid.

The only slight drawback is the antennas tilt slightly outwards and whatever antennas end up on this vehicle will be tweaked a little so they stand up straight. Here are some pictures of the front of the vehicle with two NMO mounts and various combinations of antennas.

Larsen NMO 2/70 open coil on the left, Larsen tri-band on the right
1619736649402.png

Laird CW27 broad band CB/10m on the left, Comet 2m/220/440 on the right
1619736783012.png

COMPACTenna 2m/220/440 on the left, COMPACTenna original scanner version on the right
1619736889227.png

Close up of Austin Spectra and mount
1619737211737.png

Plastic cowl part lined with aluminum tape
cowl part.JPG
 

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kb2ztx

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Looks good. I've had no issues with my Larsen on the A Pillar mount, but may pop the plastic off and add some aluminum tape also just to help it. I rarely TX on VHF, but be nice to get a bit better if I decide to.
 

prcguy

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I finally got some radios installed in my Jeep JT, its not easy finding a suitable spot but this one is working well for me. Both radios have remote heads so I used a RAM ball swivel mount on the front of the center console for the control heads and the radio guts are mounted under the seat where I ran 4ga wire and a distribution box with a number of aircraft circuit breakers.

The wiring to the back was not fun and I had to run the wires inside the tubular frame under the vehicle. Here is a picture of the radio control heads and with a few turns of a wing nut the RAM extension arm comes off with the heads and can store in the center console leaving the vehicle free of any visible radios.

This week I hope to get some Rivnuts in the upper bed wall for the military antenna mount that will hold various HF, VHF and UHF antennas.

heads.JPG
 

prcguy

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Finally got my military mount on the rear truck bed wall, just need a few adapter cables and this Jeep Gladiator install is done. I doubled up on the number of bolts to hold the mount on due to a large screwdriver antenna I sometimes use and the first pic is all the Rivnuts and bolts in the bed wall with the coax and control cable run and the next pic is a Shakespeare 30-512MHz whip.


11.JPG

12.JPG

Then the adapter plate for 3/8-24 and an Outbacker HF whip.

14.JPG

Then the NMO adapter plate and a GMRS antenna.

13.JPG

Then an adapter plate with huge quick disconnect for a big HF screwdriver antenna.

15.JPG

The mount will also hold a matching transformer I often use with HF whips giving a 25 and 12.5 ohm output.

16.JPG

The military mount had a hole pattern that matches an Icom AH-4 HF auto tuner, so what the heck, we'll run that too!

17.JPG

Here are all the adapter plates lined up.

18.JPG

The military mount has a removable cover plate on the side to protect the connectors and matching transformer. Now I can use this truck as a test bed for just about any kind of antenna and if something new comes up I'll just make a new adapter plate.
 

slowmover

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Thx for detailing install. One sees rigs on-road and wonders at the “structure” to hold antennas at highway speeds.

The Gladiator seems more toy than truck, still; how does one keep payload from damaging itself or the antenna? Sufficient tie-downs (weight-rating) to accomplish this?

.
 

prcguy

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I bought my Gladiator as a toy for amusement but its a very capable truck within its limits. If I need to carry something that needs the entire bed area the antenna mount comes off in a minute with a 1/4" ratchet and extension. The bed on this truck has tie down rails on three sides with movable rings so keeping the payload in place should not be a problem.

Thx for detailing install. One sees rigs on-road and wonders at the “structure” to hold antennas at highway speeds.

The Gladiator seems more toy than truck, still; how does one keep payload from damaging itself or the antenna? Sufficient tie-downs (weight-rating) to accomplish this?

.
 

slowmover

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Sorry, wrong way to have put it. Jeep’s are fine, but they’re still not pickups re payload size & weight. The Gladiator weighs as much as my 2001 Quadcab Dodge, (etc).

What are the limits on the tie-downs (the rhetorical question; not asked that you answer it)? Removing the antenna shouldn’t be a requirement NO MATTER the vehicle (is how I see it) given a mini-pallet of (6) automotive-size batteries.

The 400-lb pallet NOT shifting around. Is the thing.

This is also NOT about the location of the antenna mount.
 

prcguy

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I think the Jeep tie down limits are around 400lbs. In the 13yrs I had a full size pickup, an extended cab Tundra, I never carried all that much. A few times I had a couple of cubic yards of garden bark or camping supplies or occasionally a few full size sheets of plywood. That's a lot of truck sitting around to haul something every few years. I did have a 42ft pneumatic antenna mast in the Tundra for awhile but that was more of a novelty item and I recently sold the mast. I think going forward a mid sized Jeep pickup is right for me and now its all decked out with radios and antennas.

Sorry, wrong way to have put it. Jeep’s are fine, but they’re still not pickups re payload size & weight. The Gladiator weighs as much as my 2001 Quadcab Dodge, (etc).

What are the limits on the tie-downs (the rhetorical question; not asked that you answer it)? Removing the antenna shouldn’t be a requirement NO MATTER the vehicle (is how I see it) given a mini-pallet of (6) automotive-size batteries.

The 400-lb pallet NOT shifting around. Is the thing.

This is also NOT about the location of the antenna mount.
 

slowmover

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I think the Jeep tie down limits are around 400lbs. In the 13yrs I had a full size pickup, an extended cab Tundra, I never carried all that much. A few times I had a couple of cubic yards of garden bark or camping supplies or occasionally a few full size sheets of plywood. That's a lot of truck sitting around to haul something every few years. I did have a 42ft pneumatic antenna mast in the Tundra for awhile but that was more of a novelty item and I recently sold the mast. I think going forward a mid sized Jeep pickup is right for me and now its all decked out with radios and antennas.
How you see it is the thing. My truck runs around with 1,100-lbs in the bed constantly. Then I add another 500# of work gear to hit the road with travel trailer in tow. I figure you’ll always know more than me re this subject, so I was looking at your install thinking how to make it work for me if I ditched the topper.

.
 

prcguy

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Today for the first time I ran my new truck with a 500 watt SGC amplifier and Tarheel 100HP HF screwdriver antenna. I made everything modular so the equipment can go in and out of the truck and leave it near stock looking when its removed. The antenna and amp performed perfectly 80 through 10m with antenna VSWR below 1.3:1 on every band.

I have a home made peak reading wattmeter and SWR meter that gives instantaneous SWR readout at any power level and that helps fine tune the motorized antenna. Otherwise I have a 10 position memory controller for this antenna that gets it on any band right away. The amp was doing about 550 watts with the engine off and I was using a matching transformer at the base of the antenna providing a 50 to 25 ohm match, which this antenna needs on the lower bands and it doesn't seem to be affecting the higher bands like 10m.

I can't quite drive around with this huge antenna on at the moment and I have to make an insulated brace arm that will eliminate most of the movement at the mount. The only problem I found is with the amp on my distorted voice was coming out of the Federal 100W PA/Siren in the truck when its turned off and I'll have to add some ferrites to the cables on that.

In the second picture you can see all the ferrite at the base of the antenna to decouple the motor leads.

1624403304811.pngtarheel close up.jpg
 

prcguy

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After all that work on the multi use antenna mount I got a bed rack to carry some Kayaks and long antennas to repeater sites, etc. After I got the bed rack assembled and put in I find it hangs over the antenna mount making it completely useless. F me!

About all I could do is stick a ball mount on the bed rack and it actually worked out ok. The bad rack has continuity all through its parts but it gets insulated from the truck bed and chassis due to some rubber mounts and thick power coating. With only one braided ground strap from the ball mount to the truck bed all my HF mobile whips tune and work just fine 80 through 10m. This is one of those Motorola MOBAT HF ball mounts with machined Delrin insulators, its really well made.

The black wire coming off one of the ball mount bolts is rubber coated braid used as a ground lead for an old Outbaker HF whip. I think for most owners of a Jeep Wrangler or Gladiator or whatever, if you want to go CB or HF just drill the hole and put a ball mount on that sucker.


IMG_3890.JPG

IMG_3889.JPG
 

prcguy

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So far no problems. I can't drive around with my Hi-Q or Tarheel HF screwdriver on a simple ball mount and would use my light weight Outbacker HF or Hamsticks or 9ft whip when on the road. I can use the big screwdrivers when parked if I make an extension for the motor/control cable from the other mount.

I put the ball mount at the base of the bed rack instead of the top because kayaks or other things on top of the bed rack can overhang a bit and since the bed rack tapers as it goes up, any antenna on the low ball mount will be clear of the cargo on top. Plus a 9ft whip starting at the top of the bed rack would be nearly 15ft tall and would hit some fwy overpasses.

Any issues with the whips (especially the longer ones) flopping around against the side of the rack?
 
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