Author Topic: Tool box mounted antennas  (Read 12669 times)

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ghrit

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Tool box mounted antennas
« on: December 20, 2014, 10:56:43 AM »
Has anyone any experience with mounting a mobile antenna on an aluminum pickup toolbox?  Assume the tool box (mounted close to the front of the pickup box) is properly grounded to the pickup box.  Will the toolbox behave properly as a ground plane?  What problems are likely to pop up?


Thinking of a whip with spring mount for use with an hf transceiver and tuner.  Will probably trim a 102inch off the shelf whip for 10M, that's yet to be determined.
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junior125

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Re: Tool box mounted antennas
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2014, 02:19:35 PM »
what kind of truck are you looking at doing this on?  I've done it on my F250 and can field whatever questions you've got.  I used a CB mirror antenna mirror mount and drilled and bolted it into the toolbox and ran a ground strap through one of the bolts to the underneath of the cab of my truck.  I've since moved my antennas from there so I have the ability to take my toolbox out and not loose my antenna.  it behaved fine for me, with a 15m hamstick I was able to make a contact about 5500 miles away.

102" whip I wouldn't recommend a spring, they bend over well enough on their own.
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AD

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Re: Tool box mounted antennas
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2014, 02:59:46 PM »
Thx JR.  I thought you had done this. 
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Tevin

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Re: Tool box mounted antennas
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2014, 03:49:02 PM »
I have a truck and long ago resigned myself to having limited antenna options. Right now I'm running a 2-meter 5/8 wave mounted on the post hole right behind the driver. It's not perfect, but it performs better than expected. 

Along those lines, if the tool box is all you have, then go for it. It's not like you have tons of other choices if it does not work out. A metallic box securely fastened to the truck should be as good a ground plane as anything else. 

With vehicles, and especially trucks, it's kind of what you see is what you get.

ghrit

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Re: Tool box mounted antennas
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2014, 04:15:09 PM »
what kind of truck are you looking at doing this on?
08 Ranger extended cab p/u.  TSC full width tool box right behind the cab.

The question remains, what are the radio obstacles I'm apt to find trying for a practical setup?  For sure, this whole deal is going to be laden with compromises and limitations.
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AD

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Re: Tool box mounted antennas
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2014, 04:49:57 PM »
Typically ignition noise but you wont know until you hook it up and give it a try.  The high SWR with compromised mounting/grounding.   The tuner can help but bonding the box to the bed, to the frame........ Using the widest woven grounding strap will help a lot.  .

Here is a good primer on the subject
http://www.k0bg.com/antmount.html

I use a modified version of thos for the UHF/VHR SAR antenna on my Avalanche.
http://www.schlatter.org/Dad/mobile%20rig.htm
« Last Edit: December 20, 2014, 04:57:03 PM by AD »
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ghrit

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Re: Tool box mounted antennas
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2014, 08:22:53 PM »
Thanx, AD.  That looks like there's some good info for digestion.  Will start smoke testing the plastic right after new year.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2014, 08:25:53 PM by ghrit »
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junior125

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Re: Tool box mounted antennas
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2014, 09:01:57 PM »
another thing you might want to look at is CB antenna mounts for your truck in particular, they have ones that will mount between the fender and the hood.

What I did with my truck is put mirror mounts on the mirrors because of how the SD truck mirrors are it allows me to do that.
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Re: Tool box mounted antennas
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2014, 10:25:00 PM »
Just don't do like my pal WB**** and mount on top of the lid.........
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ghrit

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Re: Tool box mounted antennas
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2014, 11:21:21 PM »
Just don't do like my pal WB**** and mount on top of the lid.........
hehehe.  That is actually the plan, that's the idea behind the spring  ---.  (or a hinged mount, haven't made up my alleged mind --)
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junior125

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Re: Tool box mounted antennas
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2014, 11:16:40 AM »
http://www.amazon.com/MIRROR-MOUNT-Aluminum-Antenna-Bracket/dp/B004X84B5K/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1419182164&sr=8-1&keywords=cb+antenna+mount

this is what I have mounted on my mirrors now but as well as what I mounted to the side of my toolbox
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ghrit

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Re: Tool box mounted antennas
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2014, 11:45:53 AM »
AD: That Schlatter link is right up where I need to be.  My 08 Ranger is the same vehicle, essentially.  Particularly useful are the places and tricks he used for cable routing.

Junior:  I might be able to use that type of bracket highly modified if I decide to mount the antenna on the side (or back) of the tool box, won't throw the idea out just yet.  Still thinking the center of the toolbox will work better.  (Now, were I thinking a phased antenna pair like the big rigs used to use ---)
There are two kinds of ships.  Submarines and targets.
KB3ZMF        FN21dy
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AD

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Re: Tool box mounted antennas
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2014, 01:26:25 PM »
Ghrit

Thats what gave me the idea for my antenna mount onnthe avalanche. 


You can see the grab handle just above tail light.   It has 3 screws connect it to the bed where in your case you have a "bed stake hole". 

Since I could not use the same in hole mount, i did this


To get this


Before installing I took a dremel and ground paint to metal, then used a conductive copper paste to help fight corrosion and provide a better ground/connection.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2014, 01:36:59 PM by AD »
The only dumb question is the one that did not get asked!!

ghrit

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Re: Tool box mounted antennas
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2014, 03:18:56 PM »
I'll need to ground the tool box to the pickup box with a strap from the tool box lid (where the antenna will be) to someplace convenient, like maybe one of the cargo tie downs.  That will need the paint removal and dielectric compound.  Getting at the tiedown to clean it up and drill a hole will be tricky, but there well could be a better way thought up.  Might need to follow up with another strap from the pickup box to the chassis if there seems an issue afterwards.
There are two kinds of ships.  Submarines and targets.
KB3ZMF        FN21dy
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www.survivalmonkey.com

AD

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Re: Tool box mounted antennas
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2014, 03:23:03 PM »
If you mount to the lid do you plan on opening the tool box?  Jusy sayin.......

If you mount to the side like JR did, you can open the lid without fussing with the antenna. 

And you wont have stress on the coax when cyclying the lid of the box and have to deal with extra cable to allow the lid to open.
The only dumb question is the one that did not get asked!!