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Old 11-12-2015, 12:30 PM   #15
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Steve

I didn't read your entire post before I responded to Jestal. Your modification is consistent with my logic and think it is working better for the exact reason that I was guessing. However, I am further wondering if we could not achieve the same thing from using the Girard housings and or the aluminum roof trusses to accomplish the same thing. I was just hoping that someone had already tried this and found that it was a fantastic solution and save me the effort in prototyping

Nice design. I may try the other things before I try the big aluminum plate, but that is not beyond possibilities.

Gary
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Old 11-12-2015, 12:53 PM   #16
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Gary,

Way back when i kept a home made (stripped coax unit) base station antennae in the trunk of my car for when we were way off in the boonies hunting or fishing. It worked best when it was hauled up into a tree by the attached 1/8" rope and weight that was thrown up into the highest tree around. That turned the car into a base station for the rest of the vehicles bombing about the bush. I wonder how effective that would be if one was strung fore and aft along the top of the coach?
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Old 11-12-2015, 06:40 PM   #17
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First> Roof mounting sounds good, I mean assorted reasons if you want a true "omni" pattern the center of the roof is best (On a Motor home it will still oval favoring front/back but hey, that's even better).

BUT.. My MH is 12.5 Feet high, Max allowed height is 13.5 (13'6") and long around 14/15 food there is a real good chance a tall antenna is going to be "Shortened" somewhat.. Very fast (First marked bridge) I've gone under 12'6" bridges with mine (A considerable need for clean undies after a passage like that).

So you end using some little thing say 18" long,, Great for an FM radio antenna, but not so good for CB. not good at all in fact.

The longer (up to 9 feet, or around 20 feet in another mode) the longer the antenna the better the antenna but the longer antennas won't fit on the roof.

You can get NGP (no Ground Plane Needed) antennas in teh 3-4 foot range (FireStick) and I mounted mine on the "A" pillar. the tip of the antenna is about 12'8" above the ground (So i can creep on an overpass and if it hits.. STOP before damage sets in.

There are many other places I could park it, but the A Pillar, I popped the inner cover,m Driled in and routed the cable in nothing flat. Sealed the hole and job done. Other places I'd have had to dismantle major chunks of Motor home to do a neat routing.
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Old 11-12-2015, 07:06 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary.Jones View Post
Steve



I didn't read your entire post before I responded to Jestal. Your modification is consistent with my logic and think it is working better for the exact reason that I was guessing. However, I am further wondering if we could not achieve the same thing from using the Girard housings and or the aluminum roof trusses to accomplish the same thing. I was just hoping that someone had already tried this and found that it was a fantastic solution and save me the effort in prototyping



Nice design. I may try the other things before I try the big aluminum plate, but that is not beyond possibilities.



Gary

Gary,
Don't know for sure as it has been many years since I had a 2 KW ham station and ran all bands from a 90 ft Rohn 45 tower (along with a repeater on a 200 ft microwave tower) but it should be the area of the ground plane and the actual dimensions that will affect the pattern. So if the area is large enough the effective radiated pattern should be fore and aft of the coach which should be good. In my case no Girards so the plate.


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Old 11-13-2015, 11:46 PM   #19
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Something occurred to me while driving along the interstate. I was looking at Big Rigs as I was passing them. I saw that some had side (90 degree) antenna mounts on them. Looked pretty nice. I will have to see if I can catch up with one and find out more from them. Seems to me the newer body styles are fiberglass, I could be wrong.
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Old 11-14-2015, 11:49 AM   #20
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rdm1465

Thrucker's modern fiberglass bodies are just like our fiberglass bodies..... terrible ground planes. But their ground is to the chassis in the cab and to their steel frames and engine/transmission (all of that should be at a common ground). Their groundplane is not perfect, and their ground is not right below their antenna, but it is a LOT BETTER than we are coming up with, where our ground-mass/counterpoise (sufficiently long to be at least a 1/4 wavelength electrically) is ~ 10 feet away from the base of the antenna. I am, going to try the easiest thing first. I am going to run shielded copper wire from a metal plate (maybe 1' square) where the current antenna screws on to its mount, and tap and run two or three wires (~ maybe #12) at least a 1/4 wavelength long (109" at 27 MHz) down the Girard awnings on both sides of the coach. I will try to anchor the wire groundplane counterpoise wires to the Girard mounts (without tying the Girards together initially) and see what that does. A third wire might be able to be run down the center of the roof around the AC units. That would give a very lop-sided antenna radiation pattern but I think that it would make the antenna much better. I will report the results of my experiments. I'd be happy to hear what others do.

I also have a Hustler interchangeable ham-band mobile antenna which has a loading coil for the CB band, which I may try mounting on the hitch for some tests. Using that antenna on a car about 30 years ago, while driving across the Pennsylvania Turnpike, I made a contact with Johannesburg, South Africa with 100W, but that was at a time that propagation on 10 meters (very, very close to the CB band) was really good. That antenna used the frame of my car as the counterpoise groundplane. However, a Hustler antenna is much too long for roof mounting but might work well on a hitch mount.

Gary
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Old 11-15-2015, 08:18 PM   #21
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Gary, I talked to one of the tech guys at Firestik and went thru all the permutations of what has been tried and what doesn't work and such. Since it seems like their experience is that their NGP products work reasonably well on most "motor homes" with fiberglass roofs the problem we all have seems related to Entegra installations and his guess was that the Girard rails on both sides of the roof are the likely issue. He felt like the tip of the antennae had to be WELL above the Girard rails which obviously presents a clearance issue......or, even more difficult, would be to put the base of the antennae above the Girard rails.

He was surprised that the 90 degree NGP mount on the side of the cabin above the drivers head with the 3 foot Firestik would not work even considering the Girard rails. maybe I'll try more at that location with an added spring or something to get a little more height.

He offered to analyze the problem on my coach if I would drive to their facility in Phoenix so anyone near there might have a chance for some factory Firestick help.

I noticed the trucker 90 degree side mounts on their fiberglass cabs but I was told by a local CB shop those are normal ground plane systems that work because of all the metal in the chassis and trailer..??

The local shop refused to even look at my NGP system because they said that "those will not work so we won't waste the time..."

BTW, I knew the small ground plane I added was probably too small but I thought I might at least see a difference and I wanted to try something out of frustration.

I still have the old 23 channel CB I used to drive cross country with 50 years ago using one of those long whip antenaes on a trailer hitch. It even worked well with the most raggedy of the magnetic base antenaes on the roof.

Maybe I'll get it out and just put a magnetic base antennae on the roof of the toad and tape the coax to the side of the coach back to the toad...
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Old 11-16-2015, 12:16 AM   #22
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My son wondered if I got a 40' length of RG 8X with connectors and hooked the Dash CB up to the Magnet mount on the Toad if that would work?
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Old 11-16-2015, 11:46 AM   #23
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I will work as well as it would in the car alone.

The length of coax of that length is minor. RG -58 (small diameter) (50 ohms) or 8X (small diameter but much better than RG-58) is the right impedance for a properly tuned vertical. Not RG-6 (common for TV uses). RG-58 has more loss that RG-8 (larger diameter) or RG-213 (same size as RG-8 but more modern cable).

The amount of power loss for any of those cables at 27 MHz would be negligible over 50-60 feet. I would use high quality RG-213 with high quality coax connectors, but it should work as well as in the car alone. How to easily run the coax from front to back of the coach would be the primary question.

Gary
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Old 11-16-2015, 07:05 PM   #24
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I will work as well as it would in the car alone.

The length of coax of that length is minor. RG -58 (small diameter) (50 ohms) or 8X (small diameter but much better than RG-58) is the right impedance for a properly tuned vertical. Not RG-6 (common for TV uses). RG-58 has more loss that RG-8 (larger diameter) or RG-213 (same size as RG-8 but more modern cable).

The amount of power loss for any of those cables at 27 MHz would be negligible over 50-60 feet. I would use high quality RG-213 with high quality coax connectors, but it should work as well as in the car alone. How to easily run the coax from front to back of the coach would be the primary question.

Gary
I have already run a cable under the motorhome inside a PVC pipe for the rear view camera and monitor I have installed for toad watching. I could easily slip another cable inside that PVC again. The toad has a CB so I will have to add a two ended connector to join the two cable ends. I am also still toying with the homemade antennae I mentioned earlier.
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