Aluminum Body Vehicles - Antenna Options?

Discussion in 'On the Road' started by K5KMY, Oct 12, 2020.

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  1. N0IOP

    N0IOP Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have a couple of aluminum vehicles

    No big deal

    For larger antennas use an aluminum backing plate

    Use dielectric grease on ground connections including the NMO mount. Available in the electric department at home centers for use on aluminum wiring

    Drill or punch carefully, easier to end up with an oversize hole than in steel

    For the F150/F250 there are fender mount options that fit between the hood and the front fender. I have one of these because I use the roof for kayaks, and it works OK
  2. KK9W

    KK9W Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is a standard trunk lip mount turned vertical by adjusting the mount on its axis and clamped on the inside lip of the bed of my F-150. Works great and has been there for 3 years. On the other side of the bed is a stake pocket mount from Breedlove. No holes drilled and I paid maybe $25 for the adjustable lip mount.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2020
    N3RYB likes this.
  3. N4WFB

    N4WFB Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've had similar concerns, but mainly because I occasionally drive into parking decks with minimum clearance. With the increased body size of these new trucks, it would be hard to get to the NMO to remove my antenna.

    I bought one of the fender mount brackets, but I'm not impressed. After mounting it solidly, it tends to rotate around the mounting bolt, even with a star washer. I will soon be drilling the front fender for an NMO mount, nearly exactly opposite of the AM/FM radio antenna. It will look balanced and with a VHF/UHF Larsen antenna, will be nearly the same height as the existing AM/FM antenna.
  4. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page


    Just back it up using a Vienna Sausage can.
  5. N0IOP

    N0IOP Ham Member QRZ Page

    I put three 1/8" aluminum rivets through mine into the fender, sideways, just under the lip of the hood, where you can't see them when the hood is closed. Better stability all around and keeps the bracket from rubbing on the hood.
  6. AI7PM

    AI7PM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I installed two in a 2018 F150 SuperCrew yesterday. Used an NMO hole saw. Center middle ridge. Same stuff, different truck, no big deal.

    Attached Files:

  7. K4RUX

    K4RUX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have an aluminum bodied, F-150. I installed a steel toolbox in the bed, and mounted a Sirio Performer 5000 magnetic mount for 10m use.
  8. KC9OO

    KC9OO Ham Member QRZ Page

    The accessory market has come up with an antenna mount that attaches to the brake light on the back of the cab. I have a Ford Ranger and, while I don’t use it, the bracket looks strong enough. Your remove the light, place the mount against the cab and then reinstall the light over it. On the Ranger forum folks have had good luck with this.

    I don’t know what type of truck you’re looking at but I’m sure somebody makes a mount like this for it.
  9. W8CEN

    W8CEN Ham Member QRZ Page

    hey guys.... so, I have a 2018 F250. I have been using the Comet front left fender NMO mount. Looks good, no issues with metal bending or corrosion at all. But, the performance of the antenna is sub par. I am using the same Diamond 2m/440 antenna I have used for years with other vehicles and it has performed extremely well there. Now, it works fairly well on VHF but poorly on UHF. SWR is good.
    1- Do you guys suggest using a grounding wire from the antenna to a grounding point on the truck? If so, where do you attach it to the mount? Would that help performance?
    2- Is anyone concerned with a lot of RF entering the cab during tx? Being that it's only a few feet away and at head level, I am growing more concerned about it.

    Thank you
  10. KC1NMT

    KC1NMT Ham Member QRZ Page

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