Another NMO Thru Aluminum Thread

Discussion in 'Mobile Radio Systems' started by N4LBL, Aug 26, 2018.

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  1. N4LBL

    N4LBL Ham Member QRZ Page

    My '11 Ford F-250 was destroyed by hail. It looks like I'll have a new '17 F-350 with aluminum sheet metal soon. I intend to drill a hole in the roof for an NMO mount and my basic question is, do I do anything different since the sheet metal is aluminum?

    On my steel roofed '11 I always wondered if I should have had any reinforcement under the roof sheet metal. My concern was that the steel sheet metal seemed thin and it had little curvature to provide stiffness. I never had a problem but I still wondered if a stiffener might be a good practice. Any thoughts??

    Since I don't have the F-350 yet I haven't looked between the headliner and the roof. Is there anything I should know? On the old F-250 I hired a radio shop to install the mount as I was scared of the airbags. Since I've seen (on the '11) how the airbags are installed I am no longer intimidated and am willing to dive in. Is there anything I should be scared of??

  2. KV6O

    KV6O Ham Member QRZ Page

    More hail?

    I have friends in Fountain that had their vehicle destroyed in the July storm, only to have the brand new replacement destroyed in the August storm. Nuts!
    WA7PRC likes this.
  3. N4LBL

    N4LBL Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've got friends in Fountain too. They really got the double whammy.

    I was entering my ~400 foot driveway when the storm hit. By the time I stopped I was covered with glass shards. I had very few very small cuts. I was fortunate. I felt like I was in a timpani. I was OK but some people at the zoo were injured.
  4. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have noted that some install shops disconnect the airbag ststem, when working on headliners of latest vehicles. You see this on the Automotive/Truck shows (Velocity channel, others), as a precaution to avoid injury (safety).

    PCTEL : Mobile Antenna Catalog

    Miscellaneous Mobile Accessories

    K332 : Ground Plane Disk.
    Provides ground plane for fiberglass/composite body panels.
  5. N4LBL

    N4LBL Ham Member QRZ Page


    Thanks for the references. I will be using the Larsen 2M ΒΌ wave vertical that I've been using for years.
  6. KV6O

    KV6O Ham Member QRZ Page

    I manage radio equipment at the site at the top of the old "Ski Broadmoor" site, and after seeing what happened to the Zoo, we figured we would have extensive damage to radomes on the 6' dishes, fiberglass antennas, shelter roof, etc. It's only 1km away...

    Nothing. Zero damage.

    That was a very selective storm!

    Good luck with the new truck!
  7. N4LBL

    N4LBL Ham Member QRZ Page


    I'm 2.3 miles from the TV antennas on Cheyenne Mountain (and >3,000 feet lower) and I have difficulty with over-the-air TV. You can be too close! IIRC 5 people who were at the zoo were hospitalized. Scary.
  8. N4LBL

    N4LBL Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for the response. I've put in a query for the K332.
  9. K0BG

    K0BG Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    They may indeed disconnect the airbags from their control modules, but that fact alone will not insure they won't deploy if mishandled. The reason is, most of the modules have their own power supply for obvious reasons.
  10. KF5FEI

    KF5FEI Ham Member QRZ Page

    There was a video circulating that showed a carwash brush ripping the AM/FM antenna off an aluminum Ford truck -- tore a ragged hole in the fender. I'd be inclined to get one of the NMOs for thicker material and install a 2-2.5" backing washer. Might have to work out the grounding tho. Old commercial NMO mounts used to have a set screw on them for grounding.

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