Radio installation into my 2013 Ford F-150 STX

Discussion in 'Mobile Radio Systems' started by W6VMX, Jan 24, 2015.

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  1. KK4YDR

    KK4YDR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ahh besides the airbag, I wouldn't worry about that at all, is burning alive in your car-b-que grill before assistance can pull you out.
  2. KD4MOJ

    KD4MOJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Seen that... nasty.

  3. K0BG

    K0BG Ham Member QRZ Page

    There are several dangerous practices I get a lot of pushback on, and airbag interference is just one of them. This said, if someone whats to drive around with a possibility of injury due to poor equipment mounting or placement, well, sobeit!
    AK5B and KD5BVX like this.
  4. W6VMX

    W6VMX Ham Member QRZ Page

    The topic of this thread is how I installed MY radio(s) into MY 2013 Ford F150 STX. Again, it is how I did my installation. Please allow me to keep this thread on topic, without any more of these distracting and off topic comments. Thank you for your consideration......
  5. W6VMX

    W6VMX Ham Member QRZ Page

    As I gain more familiarity with my FTM-400DR, I am enjoying using C4FM more and more. Have found that the radio works great for APRS too, and enjoy seeing where I, and others are traveling around San Diego at any given time. More to come soon on how the current installation is doing too.....
  6. KB1CKT

    KB1CKT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I get defeated when I get told I need to do it "as good as possible". It winds up being not worth doing at all. I've given up on mobile radio and all but given up on 160m (at my house not in the car!) because "it won't be good enough".

    Makes no sense to spend hours doing an antenna project for but a few minutes of operating pleasure. At least not to me.

    I have turned off my radios a couple of times over the last few years; one time was because I realized I could not put up a tower. Even today it irks me. I mean, the "proper" way to do 20m is with a monoband beam at 100'. Which I don't have. Why bother at all then?


    To the OP, good luck; look clean, although I would just zip the hole and be done with it. Trucks are too tall to see an NMO mount up on top for it to impact resale.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2015
  7. KK4YDR

    KK4YDR Ham Member QRZ Page

    As good as possible literally means ...... Do it as good as you possibly can, and if your possibly can is only as far as your good with then you have done just as it said.

    I think you are going about wrongly in a sense. Amateur radio is a hobby. With all hobbies you can be a perfectionist or a just good enoughist (made that one up whew). My comment about trying to squeeze everything out of what I have maximizing potential is a basic character trait that I carry along with me in my daily life. It doesn't cost extra money in many regards to squeezing the most out of things you own. For instance chopping 13 feet of excess coax out of your cabling makes a HUGE difference in power loss reduction for UHF and a big gain in power that was lost for VHF. For instance choosing RG8X over RG-58au for V/Uhf makes a difference in velocity and signal degradation. Properly mounting your antenna, includes running the god forsaken drill bit on your vehicle. Selecting the proper antenna the first time. These things make massive gains in performance and cost little extra money.

    The problem with this hobby is all the people that will tell you that things like its ok to use a magmount permanently or an improperly designed antenna that use SO239 mounts, which is a cheap way of saying we don't want to do it the right way and use an NMO mount because we have to pay royalties to Motorola. Things like that. I have seen people post questions here about why their glass mount VHF antenna isn't working to find out they didn't do basic research and placed it on new model glass that has metal particulate suspended within the glass to block UV radiation not knowing that it also blocks RF radiation. I have seen many HF operators complain about this or that, one of the biggest things almost all HF operators are unaware of is one of the most basic requirements and that being the use of a common mode choke. I mean the list goes on and on and on. There are Amateur operators that have went through great effort to consolidate information into friendly websites like and others.

    If 99% of amateur radio operators would just measure twice cut once there would be far more happier operators overall.
  8. KB1CKT

    KB1CKT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think I am headed towards "do it right, or don't do it at all". Good enough "feels good" but is an easy target. Right is harder, but best.
  9. KK4YDR

    KK4YDR Ham Member QRZ Page

    If that is the metric you want to aim for then by all means, PLEASE HAVE FUN DOING IT! Its a hobby. Nothing more.
  10. NM9K

    NM9K Ham Member QRZ Page

    A fender mount is always an option for those who don't want to drill a hole in the roof. I have a bunch of vehicles and I have done both, depending. My 2000 Ford Ranger has an NMO in the middle of the roof, while my 2005 Dodge Ram has a fender mount. Yes, there's several DB difference but despite the anal types, FM is really not a mode where you're ever going to be at the ragged edge of signal, and even if so, the terrain is going to dictate whether you can hear that repeater way more than your install.

    I do not use magnetic mounts. I'd much rather just use a fender mount where you can hide the screw holes and have a secure installation.

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