Screwdriver Antenna Question with Toyota Tacoma

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by KE5PIH, Jan 19, 2009.

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  1. KE5PIH

    KE5PIH QRZ Member

    My new truck has a "all" plastic bed. I have a "Little Tarheel II" screwdriver and was wondering if you all thought this application might work.

    I am limited as to how to mount it. I have no stake-holes and don't really want to use a K400 mount on the lip of door.

    I bought a 30" x 30" piece of 1/8" steel plate to lay in the bed. I have a 3 magnet mount that I can screw the screwdriver antenna into. If I ground that piece of place to the frame of the truck, do you think it might resonate?

    The tip of the whip would be higher than the cab roof.


    Jeff / KE5PIH:confused:
  2. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    That doesn't sound too good to me. I doubt that the mag mount will hold an antenna that big at any speed. I have used a 3-magnet mag mount with the smaller Hustler short mast with OK results, but it won't hold the larger resonators on the freeway at all. That is a real safety issue, so I really recommend not doing it. You will also likely experience difficulty finding a decent ground.

    Your best bet might be to add a mount to your trailer hitch, or if the cab of the truck is metal, putting a ball mount behind the driver's door(s). I would not even consider trunk lip mounts for something that big. You need a solid mount. If you can find a good metal shop, I suspect they could build you something that would attach to the hitch plate and come out the driver's side of the truck, so it would not interfere with the tailgate, while still getting the antenna high enough so most of it clears the truck.
  3. W0LPQ

    W0LPQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    As RGR says, bad idea. Magnets do NOT provide any form of counterpoise for an HF antenna.

    See for more information if you doubt what we say.

    Personally, I use an N9JMX Predator.
  4. NI7I

    NI7I Guest

    I just had a fellow make a mount for my HI Q from a hitch insert with a 4 foot rise. This isnt for my truck but for the back of my Airstream. Havent got it on the air yet but this should certainly work for your screwdriver antenna. The HI Q is, I believe a higher wind load than the screwdriver. If you chose this route remember to bond the insert to the frame..

  5. K4GUN

    K4GUN Ham Member QRZ Page

    First of all, the Little Tarheel II is a pretty small antenna. You've got options. Your solution would likely work because of how small the antenna is and how low you're talking about mounting it. There are other solutions though.

    First, your truck has those bed rails in it. There are two ways you can use that. The first is to make a bracket for the antenna that will slide into it. The other is to buy the "cargo divider" from Toyota. That's a steel gate that slides fore and aft in those channels. Mount the antenna to that.

    Next is the grounding issue. That bed is platic which means you can drill through it at any point you want without fear of weakening it nor causing any rust. You can also use the bolts that are already there that hold the bed on. I would think that the combination of the cargo divider and the bed mounting screws would get you radiating pretty well.
  6. KE5PIH

    KE5PIH QRZ Member

    My antenna issue...

    I do agree with what was said on the safety aspect. The folks over at tarheel suggest the K400 mount on the top of door. I already have one with a much smaller 2m/440 antenna on it.

    If the K400 mount will handle the Little tarheel II at highway speeds, I certainly thought the 3 magnet mount would hold. It takes everything I have to pull it off. I would secure the 1/8" plate to the bed with some bolting. WB0W talked me out of mounting to thier reciever hitch mounting system for fear that I would not be happy with the results due to the antenna height.

    I just don't see using a riser pole from the reciever hitch to gain elevation.

    I am hoping to get my HF into the truck, but I will forego it if I have to do that.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2009
  7. KE5PIH

    KE5PIH QRZ Member

    I would like to hear what other owners have done

    There has to be a Toyota Tacoma owner who uses a Screwdriver antenna lurking out there. Mine is a 2008.

    Jeff / KE5PIH
  8. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I don't know - the Little Tarheel isn't much smaller in terms of windload than the standard 40 meter Hustler with the short mast. And, I can tell you that a 3-magnet mount won't hold it at 70 MPH at least on I-35 in Iowa a year or so ago. It did work with 20 meter resonators. But then, there is the grounding issue, which is absolutely critical to mobile antenna performance on the lower bands.

    I didn't realize that the Tacoma I test-drove recently had a plastic bed. Thanks for the heads up! The car I want to replace won't support a good ball mount because the sheet metal is too thin.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2009
  9. K4GUN

    K4GUN Ham Member QRZ Page

    This picture might be too small to really see, but the cargo divider that is available for the Tacoma is really slick. It slides into the bed rails and is a steel gate that can be adjusted to secure cargo in the bed. It also makes a great hard point to attach an antenna mount.

    You can find them brand new for about $220 on Ebay and they have a lot more uses than just securing your antenna.

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