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Old 03-06-2022, 04:17 PM   #1
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Ham Radio Antenna Installation

Thinkin g about installing a vhf/uhf NMO type antenna on roof of 2014 Palazzo 33.2. Considering top of front cap to right or left of am/fm antenna. Anybody done this? Thoughts, suggestions? Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-06-2022, 06:29 PM   #2
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Make sure it is grounded for a good ground plane. I presume you have a ham license.

Ken
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Old 03-06-2022, 08:32 PM   #3
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Yep, WA7COP and WRAV975 on GMRS to talk with my non-ham friends on trips. Thinking about bonding a sheet metal plate to provide a ground plane. Many years ago when I was a boat cop, we used foil tape in the patrol boats to improve antenna performance. I was hoping someone had already had experience snaking the wire down the windshield pillar.

Thanks,
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Old 03-07-2022, 04:12 PM   #4
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How long of an antenna are you going to use? How will you lay it over if needed?

I installed 2 Diamond motorized layover mounts on my Sunstar, one on each side in the front. I had to modify them to screw them to the side of the eyebrow cap. They Use UHF cables and antennas, and I mounted a pair of Carling DPDT momentary switches on the dash to operate them. The switch models match other dash switches that Winnebago used. I pulled the caps off my A pillars inside to run the cables.
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Old 03-08-2022, 08:14 AM   #5
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If you want VHF and UHF I've had good success with "loaded" whips, which amount to a coil loaded 2M quarter wave and on UHF the coil serves as a choke, turning the whip into a 440 quarter wave. Examples, Comet B-10NMO, Nagoya NMO-72, Diamond NR72BNMOC. Another option is to just use a 2M NMO quarter wave which will also work on 440, not optimally but in either case you have an efficient antenna mounted 12-13' above the ground which gives you a good line of sight in every direction. Many will balk and the idea of running quarter wave antennas but they have the advantage of being mechanically simple and physically small. Without the benefit of a large groundplane the gain of a half or 5/8 wave will not be realized anyway and only offer a larger target for low clearance. For "quick and dirty" I've used sheet metal screws to affix a steel pizza pan or cookie sheet and plopped a mag mount on top of that. For more durable installations you can go with a 24" round or square piece of sheet aluminum glued to the surface with sealant, and poking your NMO hole through that. Copper tape on the inside of the cap will work OK too but that sounds like a lot of work vs just applying a metal sheet to the roof surface. If performance isn't paramount I've had good success just using a hood/fender NMO bracket screwed to any handy structure on the roof like a skylight/vent/solar panel frame or A/C unit.

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Old 03-08-2022, 11:36 AM   #6
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Mark, I have used a large pizza pan with a mag mount dual band antenna setting on top the 5er. Works pretty decent. Also have slapped the mag mount to a metal BBQ grill at the RV site. Works pretty well with a dual band HT.

Ken
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Old 03-14-2022, 02:44 PM   #7
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Thanks to all for the comments. I have used an old street sign before as a ground plate. I will probably use a Browning BR-137 mobile antenna on the pie pan with a NMO mount. It covers both 70cm and GMRS with about 3db gain and a decent match. It is intended for the current crop of multiband public safety radios like the Harris. It is a fairly short antenna and will be barely taller than the AC units and vent rain covers.
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Old 03-15-2022, 11:16 AM   #8
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If you ever get into some serious antennas such as a large HF vertical or something V/U-ish on a mast, Tarheel Antennas makes a nice motorized mount. They also have other less expensive options if you don't mind climbing up onto the roof.
https://www.tarheelantennas.com/mounts
73
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Old 03-15-2022, 03:41 PM   #9
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gmrs/HAM

Going on 3mo rv trip with 2021 Thor Delano, have antennas on ladder. Wonder about GMRS as u cruise about, anyone to talk to?

73 Roger N3RC
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Old 03-15-2022, 03:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockcop View Post
Thinkin g about installing a vhf/uhf NMO type antenna on roof of 2014 Palazzo 33.2. Considering top of front cap to right or left of am/fm antenna. Anybody done this? Thoughts, suggestions? Thanks in advance.
I had an unused satellite cable that I use for military aircraft monitoring. Didnít need to puncture the roof.
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Old 03-15-2022, 03:59 PM   #11
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Some of the areas we visit have had open GMRS repeaters, but we mostly use it to talk between the three or four couples that we travel with. Nice for caravaning and exploring the local sights. I built a nice cantelever mount for the rear ladder that currently carries an Alfa Camp Pro wifi repeater and a cellular antenna to use with our ATT Hotspot that has an external antenna port. It would repurpose nicely as a mount for a mobile HF antenna. I have thought about getting a QRP rig for use in camp as opposed to mobile. There is always something to do.
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Old 03-15-2022, 04:31 PM   #12
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I work 2M and 400 and I have an Antenna Buddy attached to my ladder. It holds a Comet aluminum antenna pole ( expands from 5' to 15') that quickly slips in and out. I have a quick connect dual-band antenna that fastens to the top of the pole. I then have a short length of RG8 Coax from the antenna down to my slide where it connects to a 10' section of SO239 RF Coaxial Coax Cable that easily passes through the slide seals to the interior where I hook it up to my HT. It takes less than 5 minutes to put it up or take it down, and with the approximate 10' extension above the roof, I can easily work both analog repeaters and DMR repeaters pretty much everywhere I go.

I go to RepeaterBook.com, select the type of repeaters that I want to use, go to their Interstate and highway system directory, plan the route for my trip, and then I get a list of all the repeaters along the way. I pick out the ones where we will be spending the night and download them into my radio and everything is then set. If things change then you can update it during your trip.

Good luck with your set-up and 73s to you.
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