Breedlove front bed bracket RF grounding

Discussion in 'Mobile Radio Systems' started by KB7FSC, Jul 21, 2018.

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  1. KB7FSC

    KB7FSC XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Sorry if this has been asked before, but I didn’t turn anything up specifically on grounding a Breedlove front bed bracket. I am looking to add this clamp style front bed bracket (not the stake pocket mount) to the front of the box on my 2016 Ram for a HF setup. It is designed to clamp to the front bed rail without needing any holes drilled, thus no direct electrical connection to the bed because of the clamping action over the paint. The website describes the fact that the mount has a grounding screw. My understanding is that braided strap between the Breedlove mount and the pickup bed isn’t the best practice nor a substitution for an RF ground plane. Am I correct in this understanding? Would I be better to add some holes in the bracket and use some star washers & screws between the bracket and my bed for improved grounding so that the mount actually contacts the metal of the bed? Or, should I use a very short section of 1 inch braid between the bracket and the box? Or something else?

    Thanks for any good advice here!

    Wane - KB7FSC
  2. K0BG

    K0BG Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    You are correct. The only issue about the mount is the fact it can lessen over time. Just check it once in a while, to make sure it isn't loose.

    I don't know what antenna you're planning to use with the mount, but anything much more than a hamstick is too heavy.
  3. KB7FSC

    KB7FSC XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Good morning Alan and thanks for the advice. I will keep an eye on the mount. I am planning on using Hamsticks to start with because I already have a set of them.

    However, I was giving some consideration of maybe purchasing a Tarheel M40a or M75a to put on the mount at some point. To this end, I purchased a Breedlove 1 1/2 inch pedestal mount with 3/8 - 24 top thread so I can mount my Hamsticks or a smaller Tarheel. My thought here was that the spacing of the front bed bracket will keep the extended coil of either model Tarheel just above the roof to minimize coupling to the metal on the roof, but still give me clearance to park in my garage if I take off the top whip. This should also minimize the amount of aero push on the Tarheel antenna because only the top portion of the coil and whip will be above the cab, and the larger diameter mast on bottom of the coil will be shrouded by the cab.

    Would you offer any advice on the diameter of star washer/ screw to use to get a better connection to my bed? Would I be better off with a single, large diameter connection, or two smaller diameter connections? Also, my understanding is to stay away from a 1 inch ground strap if I screw the bracket to my bed to avoid any possible ground loops. Is this sound thinking?

    I am planning on bonding my bed, hood, exhaust and doors as outlined on your website as well. Thanks for your advice and all the information on your website!

    Wane - KB7FSC
  4. K0BG

    K0BG Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Star washers are what the are, and if they fit, use them.

    I like the ones with cleats both inside and outside, but sometimes they're just too big for the job.
  5. KB7FSC

    KB7FSC XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks again Alan. I acquired the requisite hardware that I needed this weekend and will be starting on my installation when time allows. With harvest around the corner, my installation might be a bit delayed, but I will report back here with my outcomes. 73,

    Wane - KB7FSC

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