Discussion in 'Antennas, Feedlines, Towers & Rotors' started by WA6MHZ, Jan 4, 2012.
Not true. I suggest you look at your TC's manual.
The trailer hitches bolt on using the bumber mounts and other holes that are in the chassis.
Since when did trailer hitch installation companies start welding trailer hitches to vehicles? Last time I had one installed on a Ford product it was BOLTED on, not welded on.
If someone told you they would weld a hitch on for $300 then they saw "SUCKER" written on your forehead Pat. Go look at a hitch designed for your TC and I am pretty sure you will see bolt holes in the hitch frame. Those holes will match up with holes on the frame of the TC.
Oh and if you want to pull a trailer with your TC you just add a tranny cooler and down the road you go. In fact your TC likely has a tranny cooler factory installed.
The K0BG website is the foremost authority of Mobile antennas on the web, and I have read it intensely.
Unfortunately, I find that just about everything I have done is WRONG! What I DON'T find on this great website is WHICH mobile antenna is the BEST to use. And which mounting method is the best. It seems that everything has it's issues.
I have gone for Trunk Lip mounting as I can have 6 antennas around the lip of the trunk and all seem to work (somewhat). I have run a ground bonding strap from the trunk lid to the frame. (inside the trunk). If I drilled holes for all these antennas, the trunk would be SWISS CHEESED! I have found that seperate antennas for different bands seems to work better than a "one antenna does all" type. High performance 2 & 450 antennas just can't be done with a Screwdriver affair. The main issue I have is NON-STOP bandchanging. On my trips to Dayton, I don't want to get out and Change antennas when I want to change bands. I looked into the Little Tarheel antenna, and from what I can discern from the website, it is a marginal performer. It seems that the best antennas are the screwdriver types for HF, but they have their problems too. The main being the mounting. The site doesn't like the trailer hitch type mounts, or trunk lip mounts or ball mounts. It seems to do Ham Radio MOBILE right, you really need a TRUCK, where U have plenty of space in the Truck Bed to put up a good antenna. But Cars are tough. There really is no GOOD PLACE to mount a big antenna without BUTCHERING the car.
My trunklip mounts are set up so I can remove them without damage to the metal or paint. Well, after 7 years on there, I am sure it might need some paint touchup, but not severe bodywork like a big HOLE would require. I keep seeing that DRILLING HOLES in the car does NOT devalue the car at trade-in time, but I can't believe a swiss cheesed trunk would cost less to repair than one with a few paint blemishes but no metal distress or warping. That is another reason why the biggest antenna I put on the trunklip mount is a Hamstick. It has a Spring on it which takes the blow if I hit a tree instead of bending up the trunk metal.
So what I was looking for on the site is which antenna is the absolute BEST for HF mobile. Which one is?
I drilled holes because I wasn't worried about ever having to "touch" them up at all. Resale value on something with 216k miles isn't something that's going to keep me up at night.
Really, you have to ask yourself what you want out of it, and that determines the tradeoffs you can live with.
Not interested in bands lower than 20 meters? A 102" whip with an autotuner could do the job nicely.
Don't need to QSY a lot, or don't mind going outside to change coil taps? One of those big open-air coil antennas may be all you need.
If you don't want a trailer hitch, per se, get a local welding shop to weld a 2" piece of square steel tubing stock across the frame rails. Probably cheaper than a hitch if you don't want to tow anything. Then get one of those "slider" mounts that looks like an upside down "F". It will slide INTO the end of the tubing (less than 2") and support about ANY kind of HF antenna you can think of. The whole thing can be removed in a jiffy using a "linch" pin. A big, honkin' screwdriver with about a 3" loading coil will pretty well get you able to talk most anywhere with a really noticable signal! Barefoot. The advantage of this is, you can look out your driver's rearview mirror and see where your antenna coil is resonant (frequency). Always mount HF antennas on the LEFT side of the vehicle if possible to minimize strikes by trees, etc. You can get creative with this steel tube, and if you don't LIKE the antenna on the side, you can weld an extention to the bar to extend out left of the trunk lid and behind the bumper. That way, you can still open your trunk. Hamsticks are about the worst kind of HF antenna, and I won't use them. They are extremely "lossy" and dissipate heat thru the long, skinny loading coil. A large coil of at least #14 wire, or better, widely spaced, is your best bet. Of course, if you CAN'T run a Bugcatcher or screwdriver, a hamstick is a cheap way to get on the air------------on the HIGHER bands. On 75, I wouldn't even waste my time with one.
Hamsticks are little more than a CB fiberglass whip with a lot more wire attached . . .
I'll stick with Hustler Super Resonators and the non-bendable mast. Heftier wire in the loads (higher Q and efficiency), and the one-piece mast isn't prone to invisible breakage.
If one reads the antenna manuals, about mobile antennas, they'd know that large diameter coils, with heavier gauge wire, are more efficient that small wire & small diameter loads. When you're starting with efficency in the single digit range, every bit helps.
I'd rather radiate my power than use it to heat up the antenna.
For many years I used, and still have, the Hustler system, rigid 52" mast on a quick disconnect base, and all those masive coils. Loved it! Back then I had spent a couple days under my truck, scraping, and drilling holes and screwing in self tappers on braid, to make the whole frame a 'ground system'.
When I bought my Ford Explorer ten years ago, I bought 30' of braid, a couple dozen self tappers and washers, and a wire brush, scraper, and a couple cans of undercoat spray. crawled under the truck in my best dirty clothes, and came right out again....Modern vehicles are already properly grounded for RF. Don't know why...?? Maybe with all the 'puter stuff, they need to keep RF out of the AM radio.
ANYhow,l I bought a metal mount (flat piece of steel with holes on either end, mounted it under my trailer hitch ball, and put a threaded mount and coax on the other side, bought a bunch of ham sticks, and have been a happy camper ever since, other than pulling over to switch antennas when changing bands, I love my Hamsticks. I don't use a tuner, just my FT100D barefoot and the Hamsticks, work CW only from the mobile, absolute simplicity, no tricky tuning or stray RF problems. No special care wireing either, just a good ground wire to a floor bolt (on the seat), and the 12 volt wires to the cigar lighter connector. Thats it.
Just who bestowed that title upon the website?
Looking at your pictures it looks like your big on quantity but short on quality!