Current antenna/ future mobile Install (2011 Camry)

Discussion in 'Mobile Radio Systems' started by KE7LEY, Dec 10, 2019.

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  1. KE7LEY

    KE7LEY Ham Member QRZ Page

    In the near future I'd like to buy a FTM-400xdr but cant at the moment with a baby on the way. In the mean time I'd like to buy an antenna and mount so I can use my HT Baofeng UV5X3 more effectively in the car.

    Partial parts list before mobile install:
    Comet SBB5 antenna (NMO)
    Diamond K400 (assume SNMO) 13 ft so no further cable needed
    missing anything else? adapters, bnc?
    I have no local store to visit so I'll take future recommendations for possible parts for current and mobile install

    With all my reading/research (new HAM for 2 months now), I am left with a couple of questions:
    1. where should I mount including the front hood if needed? if I do drill (understand its optimal), where is ideal for a 2011 Camry?
    2. best to approach to ground this trunk mount? set screws only?
    3. Best place to mount the body unit of ftm 400, trunk or under a seat? my concern under seat is heater/ac vents and causing overheated, dirt, dust build up.

    Any and all layman response welcomed including anything I'm not foreseeing with an install. Thank you.

  2. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I've been installing and using VHF-UHF whips on automobiles since the late 1960s and although today's cars are way more sophisticated, the rule still applies that for "best performance" and also "least likely to be tampered with by people who like to tamper" the center of the vehicle roof (through hole mount) is always best. If you use an NMO mount antenna and a through-hole NMO mount (second best place is the center of the trunk lid), you don't need the K400 and can save a lot of money by not using that, and just using a regular Pulse/Larsen NMO mount which comes with 17' of cable and your choice of any kind of installed connector, or my favorite one (which is also cheapest) is just 17' of coax with no connector installed at all -- this makes it easier to snake the cable under the headliner and down a pillar to the radio, and then install the connector after the cable is run. These all cost in the $20 range, instead of >$70 and are better than the K400.

    An NMO mount antenna can be unscrewed (by you) any time you need to do that, such as going through a car wash. Takes ten seconds.

    The only issues with such mounts are what might be "in the way." If you have a sunroof, you have to avoid interfering with that. If the trunk lid has structural welded supports underneath (and they all do, somewhere), you have to avoid those and pick a place where you're going through only the sheet metal of the roof or the trunk lid.

    The NMO through-hole mounts "bite" into the sheet metal on the underside (only) and get a very good ground there. Nothing else to add.

    I've installed through-hole NMO mounts on every vehicle I've owned or even leased since 1977. Even in the toughest installs, they don't take more than an hour or so, and most of that is figuring out how to route the coax and then doing it.:p

    As for where to put the rig "body," under a seat is usually fine if there's space there to do that. You can use a vacuum to suck out dirt and dust any time you wish; I'd usually do that at the car wash, where they already have vacuum hoses that are long enough to reach anywhere in the vehicle, and powerful suction.
    KE7LEY likes this.
  3. KF5FEI

    KF5FEI Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have a similar mount to the K400 on my Yaris hatchback, and it has held up well and I've had no issues. Beats having to get a ladder out to take an antenna off on the roof, or deal with dodging air bags and wiring to route the cable. In past cars I've put velcro on the radio mounting bracket and mounted the radio heat-sink up -- the velcro kept it stuck to the carpet under the seat pretty well.
  4. KD4UPL

    KD4UPL Ham Member QRZ Page

    I recently had an NMO mount installed in the roof of my wife's Chevy Impala. I took it to a local commercial radio shop. They supplied the NMO mount, drilled the hole in the roof, installed the mount, ran the coax, and attached the PL-259 to the coax. The total cost was $32. To me, it's not worth doing it myself for that price.
  5. VE7VTC

    VE7VTC Ham Member QRZ Page


    Attached Files:

  6. KC9ONY

    KC9ONY Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've got a Yaris with the antenna on the hatchback, too. :)
    Don't see many Yaris around.
  7. KE7LEY

    KE7LEY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thank you all for your response. After an install of the Lip mount I dont see any reason not to just punch a hole and go with it on my truck. I think the NMO thru hole is probably going to be best long term.

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