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Truck install of High Sierra Sidekick - opinions?

Discussion in 'Mobile Radio Systems' started by KB8YVC, Apr 29, 2012.

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  1. KB8YVC

    KB8YVC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have obtained a High Sierra Sidekick. I want to mount it on my truck. I've came up with 2 options. I do have an over the rail tonneau cover and plastic bed liner.

    Option 1: I already possess a Hustler MO-4, 22" mast. It's just long enough to get the base of the coil above the bed. I found this pic (thanks n5hii!!) that emulates what I want to achieve. Imagine the Sidekick mounted where his coupler transitions to the antenna.

    Would a ball mount have enough strength as the base? Or would a bee-hive/gumdrop style mount be strong enough? Or would I need to step up to a pedestal stud mount from Breedlove? And will the Hustler mast be strong enough? I could add a brace of some kind at the top of the bed to steady it, but I'd rather it be strong enough to stand on its own.

    Option 2: The Breedlove flush stake pocket mount with pedestal stud mount under the tonneau cover rail. This would require removal of one side of my tonneau cover rail and modification of my bed liner to allow me to get the flush fit needed to allow me to reinstall the tonneau cover rail.

    I am partial to option 1, as everything is contained inside the dimensions of the truck, nothing hanging out to catch or hit, and no modification needed to the bed liner.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2012
  2. KC7YRA

    KC7YRA Ham Member Volunteer Moderator QRZ Page

    I am extremely partial to over engineering the hell out of mobile HF antenna mounts. So keep that in mind.

    I really do not like option 1. The Hustler masts are stout, but I don't think they could handle the eccentric load that the Sidekick creates. Just too much weight up too high.

    You could easily get by with a ball mount from Breedlove or a pocket mount from GeoTool. That would be my recommendation.

    Also, it has been done to death but I'm going to suggest it again. Go visit K0BGs website and look at his tons of install photos. Get some ideas.
  3. KO6WB

    KO6WB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    It might be sacrilege but if you can it is best to mount it in the center of the cab. Yup, a big honking hole on your truck. The antenna will perform better up there, but keep in mind that mobile operations can be tricky at times.
    Also like Brad suggested go to;
    Loads of information and it's all free to boot.
    Hope this helps
  4. K7MH

    K7MH Ham Member QRZ Page

    That might be pretty tough to achieve in the best of situations. I use a BB3 Screwdriver antenna. It is mounted inside the bed back in the left rear corner. The base of the antenna is just a few inches above the bed of the truck (2005 Silverado) and on a really heavy duty homemade L bracket. It still needs a support at the top of the bed rail. I cut a piece of Plexiglas and mounted it at the top of the bed rail so that the antenna can be dropped through it to screw onto the mount below. There is just enough clearance between the Plexiglas and the antenna to drop it through without binding. I cut some notches in the Plexiglas so the screws that hold the antenna together at the bottom clear it as well. It has always worked well this way. The part that goes up and down is all above the Plexiglas support.

    Without the Plexiglas support, I don't think the antenna would last as long and the 3/8 24 bolt it screws onto may eventually break from all the lateral movement.
    The screwdriver antennas are pretty big, heavy, and expensive. You want to have a real solid mount for them.

    The Sidekick looks a lot shorter so if it is mounted right at a decent mount with no extra extension, it looks like it may be pretty solid.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2012
  5. K0BG

    K0BG Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    It is true that a picture is worth a thousand words. The mounting arrangement in the photo is a very poor choice. The ground plane needs to be as close to the bottom of the antenna as you can make it. Anything you add between the two adds ground loss.

    You might want to look at the Breedlove mounts. He has one that can slip under a tonneau cover.
  6. KB8YVC

    KB8YVC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Okay, Here's my mach up using a mag mount as the base for a picture.

    However, reading everones responses, I need to go with one of these:

    Thanks to all for your insight!

  7. KE5PPH

    KE5PPH Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have a 1500HS , useing a gum drop style mount. my concern was the need to brace the fender, more then the mount holding up. I added a couple giant fender washers, and the fender hasn't come off yet!
  8. KO6WB

    KO6WB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Haven't run into anybody that has said your mounting method is a good one. That's a big clue. Your results will not be as good. You will make some contacts. That doesn't mean you are doing well though. If you get a chance try comparing someones installation, that used the information contained here, with your installation. It should be very clear that you are not doing as good as you should be.
    You asked for others opinions and some very knowledgeable postings were made on how you would do better. If you already had your mind made up, then why bother with the posting?
    Have fun
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