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Old 08-28-2019, 04:36 PM #1
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HAM radio antennas and mounts

Ive searched and read many threads on this but still have a few questions on antennas

I bought the Yaesu FTM400xdm during the HRO summer sale and am currently studying for my FCC license. The next step will be installing the radio and antenna. I plan to mount the radio under the drivers rear seat and the face plate will likely mount to a RAM Mount stalk I put in for an ipad on a second xgrip right below the ipad. This is a dual band radio and requires a dual band antenna. Ive seen folks using ditch light brackes up front. Or, lip clamp mounts on hood edge or hatch edge. RAGO also makes a bracket that mounts along side the rear hatch at bottom of tail light. Im not crazy about the clamps...I fear they will eventually cause rusting. The ditch brackets I have read are too thick for the NMO mounts. So...

Has anyone used the rear RAGO mount for HAM successfully? If so, what antennas do you use?

For the ditch brackets, what is the solution to use the NMO mount and what ditch bracket specifically do you use? Several manufactures make these, and what antenna do you run?

For the lip mount crowd, are you experiencing any rust? What antenna? This would need to be located at drivers side on rear hatch to clear the vestibule on my roof top tent when opening the hatch while camping.

Any other advice on HAM antenna/radio install is appreciated.

Last edited by Louisiana Overland; 08-28-2019 at 04:39 PM.
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Old 08-28-2019, 05:03 PM #2
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I sent you the link to the antenna I am using right and the pics?
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Old 08-28-2019, 05:25 PM #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Signal View Post
I sent you the link to the antenna I am using right and the pics?
Yes you answered questions and supplied pics in your build thread. I think a roof mount will interfere with the roof top tent. Ive seen a few who mount to the rack but would rather keep the overall height to minimum. Did you get your shimmy and radio sorted?
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Old 08-28-2019, 05:49 PM #4
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They make thick and very thick NMO mounts. Most of them are 3/8" hole.

My recommendation is always "don't be afraid of the NMO mount hole". Mount that sucker center in the top, allowing room for the tent. Give the antenna a good counterpoise/ground plane and a high point to live off of.

I don't know how they perform out of band, but they probably do fine, we use a lot of the Laird C150/450C dual bands.

Forgot to add I own a commercial two-way shop, that's why I know how the C150/450C do at 460 MHz but not 440 MHz.
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Old 08-28-2019, 05:59 PM #5
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Do not mount the face in an X-grip as it messes with the GPS antenna. Somewhere in my build, I have info on the install and mounting of the same radio.
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Old 08-28-2019, 06:09 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rochmpr View Post
Do not mount the face in an X-grip as it messes with the GPS antenna. Somewhere in my build, I have info on the install and mounting of the same radio.
Maybe a ram ball mounted to the yaesu bracket that shipped with the radio instead?
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Old 08-28-2019, 06:13 PM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hawthornearms View Post
They make thick and very thick NMO mounts. Most of them are 3/8" hole.

My recommendation is always "don't be afraid of the NMO mount hole". Mount that sucker center in the top, allowing room for the tent. Give the antenna a good counterpoise/ground plane and a high point to live off of.

I don't know how they perform out of band, but they probably do fine, we use a lot of the Laird C150/450C dual bands.

Forgot to add I own a commercial two-way shop, that's why I know how the C150/450C do at 460 MHz but not 440 MHz.
With tent mounted there is no room to the rear. To the front I have a sunroof. So mounting to the roof is a no go. I could possibly do a short antenna on a crossbar above the sunroof. Is this advisable? How shortcan i get away with there?
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Old 08-28-2019, 06:59 PM #8
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No issue with the lip mout on the hood with an nmo antenna.

For the rear i skipped the rago a got a firestick jamp mount to use with a cb. The rago will work if you grind the powder coat off and use a good ground strap.

Same for any ditch light bracket, make sure you grind the powdercoat off at the bolt where it kounts, and where the antenna attaches.A few companies have a ditch light braket woth an nmo hole.

As for what antenna, depends on your use. Do.you want dual band, what size could fit in your garage, do you want to hit repeaters 100 miles away? I have a nagoya 30$ 19 inch from amazon as my day to day. I have a longer one if i need it to do quad band repeating.

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Old 08-28-2019, 07:00 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Louisiana Overland View Post
With tent mounted there is no room to the rear. To the front I have a sunroof. So mounting to the roof is a no go. I could possibly do a short antenna on a crossbar above the sunroof. Is this advisable? How shortcan i get away with there?
Yea I get it. Short + VHF doesn't exist. Best short antennas are transit mounts (ETRAB4503 for example) but they're only single band and the VHF ones kind of suck. Ok actually the VHF ones really suck.

How often to you put the tent on? Does the tent have anywhere you can mount the antenna? Stainless Steel L bracket like the Laird LBT8U, stainless screws, some Lexel to water seal everything is always an option.
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Old 08-28-2019, 08:30 PM #10
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Maybe a ram ball mounted to the yaesu bracket that shipped with the radio instead?
I took a metric bolt and welded to an SAE bolt. It's not pretty, but it works well. Has not had any impact on the GPS.



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Old 11-06-2019, 04:48 PM #11
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Now that I am prepared to take the exam, I have no idea where to begin choosing components for my 19 ORP. Where is the best resource to get an idea of what exactly I need to buy?
I am thinking about mounting the face in the console, and I like the idea of the ditch light mount as an antenna mount. pro's/con's/opinions?
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Old 11-06-2019, 05:25 PM #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeltaWhiskey View Post
Now that I am prepared to take the exam, I have no idea where to begin choosing components for my 19 ORP. Where is the best resource to get an idea of what exactly I need to buy?
I am thinking about mounting the face in the console, and I like the idea of the ditch light mount as an antenna mount. pro's/con's/opinions?
assuming you want mobile radio (not handheld), you need:
radio
radio control head remote mount kit if applicable (some radios can do this without a kit, others require you to buy stuff to mount the control head separate from the radio)
antenna
antenna mount
antenna cable if it didn't come with your mount
speaker for the radio (not strictly required, but if you are mounting your radio remotely you'll probably want an external speaker)

I have an FTM-400 which doesn't require anything to mount the head seperate from the radio, but I had to make longer cables for the mic and control head so i could put them where i wanted. easy to make, or you can buy online from n2rga.com

can you get a ditch light mount that will accept an NMO mount?

I use an NMO hood lip mount in the same area:


and a cheap antenna, trails near me are narrow so i use a cheap antenna so i don't need to care about if it gets damaged


antenna mount:
https://www.amazon.com/Tram-1246B-Bl.../dp/B00TSZ9SXS
antenna:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IDTJ2KE..._BMZWDbYQ45G46
radio
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radio install location:
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