First antenna install
Today I started work on the radio system I will be installing in the truck. So my first and easiest job to tackle was an antenna install.
I had a Comet SBB-7 on a lip mount made by Comet. It was mounted to the top of the rear doors (hinge side).
This was good and I could make it into the repeaters in the area but I always felt as though I wasn't getting good bonding to the door. I had thought about making a jumper from the mount to the door. The idea being I would have a better ground plane under the antenna. But that idea was squashed when my truck was killed.
So on to the present. The new truck has a roof rack, I'm not sure if I like it or not. I'll have to see what it looks like when I get the truck cap on. But for now I will assume that the rack is going to stay.
With that in mind I decided to mount my antenna on the front cross bar. I drilled a 3/4" hole dead center and installed the NMO mount.
I ran the cable through the crossbar. I had a problem with the aforementioned Comet lipmount. I had planned on reusing the cable and NMO mount but somewhere in the process the center conductor was broken from the mount and I had some trouble keeping it tight on the lip mount so it was a bit deformed as well. So I was pissed and didn't take any pictures of the cable routing. But it should be simple enough to imagine a couple holes being drilled. Here is a picture with the cable exiting the cross bar.
I would prefer to keep the cable hidden completely but I'm cutting corners a bit for now. This can all be redone when I get the testes to drill a hole in the roof LOL!
Zip tying the cable to the rack tube and jumping into the door is the second short cut and a very bad idea for routing the cable. It will just have to do for a while.
Here is a picture of the door seal. I jumped over it and then behind the plastic cover of the B-pillar. Also a terrible idea.
Edit: Somehow this picture got really big. I'll re-upload it and replace it at a later date.
I jumped out at the bottom of the pillar and for now left it there. Once the ham radio is installed it will go under the weathertech liner and under the front seat to the radio. For now it is over the liner and to the scanner in the cup holder.
Now the cable was cut to length and the end crimped on. Usually I solder but they had already grabbed me a crimp on connector and I just happen to have a crimper LOL.
Now it's the moment of truth. Time to plug the scanner in and see if I can get a signal this time. Everyone cross you fingers.
Full signal from the weather station! Better than yesterday...
The SBB-7 is very tall, no more going through drive thru's, car washes or side streets with low hanging trees.
All images uploaded with ImageShack.us
Of course I'm used to that. If you stick around you'll see my HI-Q in a later post. It tops out at 13'6".
I'm very happy with the install for now. The signals coming into the scanner appear to have the same quality as the antenna on the roof of my house. But conditions could have just been good at the time of testing.
Once the radio is installed I'm hoping to hit the repeaters better due to the fact that I actually have some metal under it and directly connected. Not the lossy connection the lip mount provided. I am also considering some bonding straps between the cross bar and the tubes to increase the metal under the antenna. We'll just have to see about that.
Next on the list is going to be the stock FM antenna. I plan to replace that with a SBB-224 that I had on the other rear door of the '06. The idea will be to route the cable in the same way the stock cable goes and then have a splitter go to my scanner and to the AM/FM plug on the stereo. Since they are both receive only this will not be a problem.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned!