New Vehicle, Antenna Placement & Known Noise sources Advise ???
Good evening all,
Just got back from picking up a new to me used 2000 S10 Blazer. Going to start working on transferring radios/antennas over from the ole Crown Vic to the SUV and hope to complete the transfer to be on the air for the New England QSO Party this weekend. I have plenty of ground braid and ring connectors, just looking to see if anyone here has had any experience with this model/year on particular noise (or RFI) issues with this model and what worked good for you on antenna/radio placement & mounting.
I am planning on re-using Diamond Trunk mount on the tail gate for the VHF/UHF SuperGainer and a ball mount for the Chameleon V1. Haven't decided yet whether to remote mount the IC7000 somewhere and just bring the head up to the dash, or try to mount the whole radio on the dash somewhere. I can probably figure that all out, more interested in what others have found for noise/rfi problems beyond the normal expected. I already plan on replacing the existing ground braid to the hood, have the clamps/braid laid out for the exhaust and tail gate. I had an '89 S15 Jimmy with an FT-100D with no issues for VHF/UHF SSB, but that was when I was still a Tech and wasn't doing any HF work. I don't expect any issues with this one, just kind of want a heads up to any issues anyone else ran into.
Thanks, and 73
Some very good information here; www.k0bg.com/.
With some fear of sounding condescending..... A 13 model year old vehicle, and you're going to use a clip mount? There is a lot of real-estate on the top of that S10, and you should use it. If it were mine, I get something better than the V1 for HF. Even a hamstick would work better.
Alan, I respect your knowledge and expertise and I have gained a lot of general information from your website over the years, but I started this thread to get away from the "General" info and get some model/year specific information as to what others have experienced and any problems they were able to overcome so that I can address them before I need to chase them down.
Originally Posted by K0BG
I've been down the HamStick road before and the Chameleon outperforms and has worked extremely well for me on the ole Crown Vic pictured on my QRZ page, I'm hoping it will work just as well on the Blazer, as I am getting closer to mobile DXCC every day with the end in sight and only a 16 mile commute to work. As far as I can tell, most of the Chameleon 'bashing' that goes on out here on the inter-webs is from people that have never actually spent the time to use one, or if they had, didn't follow directions on a proper install. 79 countries and 48 states worked so far since installing it in April of last year and not having to stop and change antenna's on the side of the road when conditions changed trumps any advantage you think a Hamstick has over the Chameleon.
As far as the 'Real Estate' available goes, it will be used, just not by a vertical dual-band antenna for repeater work/FM that I barely use anymore since upgrading. I do still check in with old friends on the repeaters once in awhile, and after making the investment, I'd rather not beat that SuperGainer against every canopy/roof I drive under to access drive in services that I would be doing if it were roof mounted instead of slightly lower on the lift-gate. Even though my concentration is on HF lately, I do still enjoy VHF/UHF SSB work and have taken #1 Rover in the New England division for the CQ VHF contest for 2006, 2009 & 2010 and now I have the Real Estate to permanently mount those horizontal antennas on this vehicle that I did not have on the Crown.
Everything in a mobile setup is a compromise, as you well know, and that compromise is made to appease what each individual operator considers important to them. Yes, this is a 12-13 year old car(depending on actual manufacture date), but it's new to me and the first car I've been able to afford since the divorce in '00 that's actually younger than any of my children.
Sorry if I sound a little T-ed... but, as they say, "There's more to the Story", and for some reason unknown to either of us, you seem to have 'hit a nerve'.
Last edited by N1KPW; 05-01-2012 at 11:29 PM.
To date the Chameleon V1 has not been shown in any test to be superior to any antenna. It also wasn't been shown to be inferior either. The reason, no body has actually compared it against other antennas. I wonder why that is? You would think if someone thought they had a good performing antenna then a comparison would be something to look forward to. Hamsticks are not considered to be the top of the heap either and there have been test comparing the Hamstick against other antennas. Considering how low the bar was set by Hamstick it shouldn't be a difficult task to exceed it's performance.
Any piece of metal can be an antenna. There is no magic antenna method that defies the laws of physics. However, if you're happy with the V1 that's what really matters. It has given you the performance that you like.
Recently installed a 38" 2M/70CM dual band Diamond antenna on my 2011 Chevy 2500HD Crew Cab. I used an NMO mount through the center of the roof with 11' of LMR-240 UF coax. Installation was simple and allowed me to minimize the coax length by routing down the right front post and under the dash. Dropping the headliner was my biggest concern, but was fairly simple and when back in place with no issues. With nearly perfect VSWR at the center of the bands and less than .4db loss, excellent recieve and transmit, and amazingly NO engine or alternator noise, I wouldn't hesitate to use an NMO mount on any vehicle.
Good luck with your install!
Chameleon V1 has, in a way, been tested. One was entered in an antenna shootout a couple of years ago, and ended up at the bottom of the list below two hamsticks. Interesting enough, the FS difference between the top and the bottom of that specific shootout—just 18.9 dB according to the judges. You can draw several conclusions from the data, and pick the one that suits you. However...
If we assume that every other installation factor was the same (never the case), then we're talking about the proverbial 3 S units! If band conditions are good, then the difference is insignificant. When they're bad, even 1 dB FS difference can be significant.
After I wrote this, I went and found my notes on the V1. I though I had given away the V1, but I discover I still have it! It is similar to the Comet CHA250, in that it uses a 9:1 voltage balun in the base section. Unlike the CHA250, it does have some linear loading along its radiating element. Due to losses in the balun, and the low Q of the linear loading coil, the antenna presents a low SWR. Based on my notes, I suspect on some bands it might be superior to a hamstick, as it is about 1 foot longer.
The V1 is not the first, nor is it the only HF mobile antenna which incorporates a 9:1 voltage balun at the base. The Comet version is no longer made. It was somewhat shorter than the V1, and much lossier in terms of the balun.
In the same ilk, the old Maxx-Comm received rave reviews, and the overall rating was 4.9 out of 5. Yet, the Maxx-Comm was nothing more than a 50 ohm resistor, with the radiating element (a CB whip) attached to the center of the coax.
All of this just proves, that any antenna is better than no antenna, but some antennas are much better than others.
Last edited by K0BG; 05-02-2012 at 02:22 PM.