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Old 09-02-2018, 07:46 PM   #1
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Hams: Quad Band with 6/10m? Single DIN

Hi, my Econoline-based Sportsmobile has a single DIN CB in it. I'm considering exchanging it with a quad band transceiver. I'd mainly be interested in 6/10 m for when it "opens up". My favorite is 20m but barring that.


What models do you like for a transceiver that includes 6 and 20m? What antenna do you use? I know it may be ludicrous to ask but ideally I'd like something that routes through the same hole as the CB antenna cable in the driver door and then mounts magnetically on the roof. Are there any models that fit the bill?


I had a nice HF setup at my house using my balcony for a very respectable dipole antenna but would like to keep it simple on here.


The key is that I want to use the existing CB mount (just overhead) so no surgery needed.


Thanks.
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Old 09-11-2018, 12:46 PM   #2
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Nice to see another ham on the forum. Like most hams I have Opinions about this topic.

Any 10m antenna small enough to mag-mount is going to be extremely inefficient, and the lack of a good ground plane will really hurt you on HF. Even shortened quad-band antennas are often four to five feet long, and heavy because of all the traps and loading coils.

I'd consider using one antenna for VHF/UHF and a separate one for 10m. Coax loss on 10m is pretty low so you could put the 10m antenna on the back bumper or something like that if you don't want to drill into the van body.

Mag-mounts always seem to damage the finish eventually, so I'm a strong proponent of through-hole NMO roof mounts. I've put them on four different cars at this point, and never had one leak. When I go to sell the vehicle I just put a rain cap on it. No one's ever complained, some buyers saw it as a plus. That said, there's nothing really *wrong* with a mag-mount on VHF; the performance is acceptable in my experience. I just don't think they're ideal for long-term use.

Consider whether you'll be using 10m while in motion. If not, your antenna options open up a bit, e.g. an 8 foot quarter-wave whip becomes much more practical.

By the way, CB antennas work great on 10m if you shorten them up a bit. Just trim until the SWR is good in the part of the band you like.
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Old 09-11-2018, 03:32 PM   #3
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Very limited knowledge on the specifics, but our offroad group loves the ICOM IC-V8000 2-meter Ham radios. I have one with a tuned NMO mounted antenna in the roof and it works great. Drilling the hole was interesting and required a deep breath, but it works so well I don't mind at all!

Edit- I realize this isn't the correct range you are interested in, but thought the NMO antenna mount pics may be helpful.

Scott
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Old 09-11-2018, 04:38 PM   #4
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Very nice.

In my experience the main things to look out for when drilling the roof are a) check what's underneath, because drilling into a roof support or the headliner will mess up your day; and b) measure carefully. If you get it off center the antenna will work fine but you'll be mad at yourself every time you look at it. ;>

I've always used a Unibit stepped drill bit, after drilling a small pilot hole to make sure it wouldn't wander. I feel like the unibit gives me a bit more control over the process than I'd have with a hole saw. Does require more clearance underneath though.
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Old 09-11-2018, 06:05 PM   #5
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Thanks all. To be fair, it's not like I'll be trying to scan the bands while driving so maybe a mobile but not necessarily permanently installed setup would work.

I didn't know about the NMO antenna option so that's pretty cool.
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Old 09-12-2018, 01:43 PM   #6
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The NMO mounts were originally a Larsen thing, but they’ve become something of a standard, both for ham and commercial gear. (I once bought a surplus police cruiser that already had one installed - very handy.) One nice thing is it’s easy to remove one antenna and thread on another. I usually carry a 1/4 wave for in town and a 5/8 wave for back country use.

Unfortunantely none of this gets back to your original question about what radio to buy. I’m shopping too so I’d be interested in hearing about what you get.
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Old 09-12-2018, 02:05 PM   #7
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This is good. Hearing what others do is useful. I like the idea of switch out antennas. I don't want to look like this guy:

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Old 09-12-2018, 05:14 PM   #8
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I'd run with an all-band all-mode, like a Yaesu FT-857 or an Icom 7000 (actually, that is what I am getting ready to run in my rig, the Yaesu).
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Old 09-12-2018, 06:41 PM   #9
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There is an element of truth to the fact that I'd wish I had more bands if I didn't have at least 20/40.
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Old 09-12-2018, 11:17 PM   #10
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I'm a radio specialist for a company that has well over 10,000 vehicles of all shapes and sizes. For VHF/UHF work as others have noted NMO mounts are all we use. I HIGHLY recommend using a proper antenna hole saw. This will ensure that the hole size exactly matches the NMO mount and it will limit your depth of cut to 1/8" inch to ensure you don't cut into anything you are not supposed to. Be very careful not to interfere with any airbags in the headliner and as someone else noted make sure you are not drilling into a roof support member. Make sure your hole has at least 1/4 wave of ground plane (not too close to the edge or other structures). I recommend using a remote mount head to keep the RF in your coax away from any possible interference with vehicle components.
There are a lot of other gotchas but those are the biggies.
On the amateur end, for HF mobile my favorite is the Yaesu 857-D (run remote head) all band radio (160M- 75cm). HF antennas I would use something like the Outbacker or Bushcomm tapped antennas.

Hope this helps.

Antennex hole saw
https://www.amazon.com/Laird-Technol.../dp/B007950PUY

Bushmaster antenna
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