I want to put my Icom 7000, Little Tarheel 2/Comet CA2x4SR dual band antenna in my 2000 TJ. I've had the radio under the seat in other vehicles and don't really anticipate getting in enough water to make that a problem but it's a Jeep and you never know, right?
I'm thinking about the Arizona Rocky Road windshield mounts for the antennas. Just mainly trying to get ideas and other input from fellow hams. I have too much invested in that rig/antennas to let it sit around.
I've got the body of my Yeasu dual bander on the passenger side kick panel. It's out of the way, not too visible (besides it a black box, draws no interest). That puts it a few inches higher than under the seat.
I don't know about the Tarheel on a window mount. I think that would be better on the rear bumper because of the weight. The Comet, maybe, it's a little tall.
I personally don't like antennas on the front, at least on the driver’s side near the window. They visually distract me when I drive, even if they are just a whip. But, that's me. I use ball mounts with quick disconnects behind both doors. That is really not the best for trail ridding, they can snag vegetation easily there.
A radio like that could be a lot of fun in a Jeep. Mountaintopping, rare grids, or rare counties. Have fun.
My line of thought in the window mount is that by the wind pulling the 90 degree angle sideways it might be more stable than a taillight mount where it wants to pull the angle in the direction of the bend. I'd put the thinner dual band antenna on the driver side as the Tarheel is quite thick and would obscure vision, plus it would minimize interaction with the AM/FM whip. I have a chrome tube rear bumper so that's out. Where did you put the control head?
I like the idea of the passenger kick panel. I might even bend up a piece of sheet metal (an old license plate) to cover it and protect it from my wife & son's feet. It would give me someplace to hide the Turbo Tuner antenna controller too. Deserves investigation. I like it Sparky!
Understand your thinking on the bracket, just wondering about the Tarheels weight.
My control head base is attached to an "L" bracket screwed into the coin tray top center dash. I have it angled towards me for easier viewing. An aux speaker sits in that little tray in front of the shifter. The audio is good.
Lower Mast Size -- 1 1/2"
Lower Mast Length -- 16"
Whip Length -- 32"
Total Length of Antenna in 54 MHz position -- 48"
Total Length of Antenna in 3.5 MHz position -- 54"
Frequency Coverage Continuous -- 3.5 to 54 MHz
Power Rating -- 200 watts P.E.P.
Typical SWR -- 1.5 or less
Weight -- 1.9 lbs.
I just had a thought... Instead of the dash tray maybe attach the control head to the front of one of these. Best of both worlds, retained storage and easy to see & use. Maybe put an external speaker in the OEM dash speaker locations? One on each side perhaps? Smell that burning? I'm thinking....
With the head attached, note the angle. You could attach your head to the tray, hold it up there and see how viewable it is.
Speaker in front of shifter, radio on the kick panel. Those blue switches are battery hot (fused of course) and apply power to the radio. The bracket is for a CB, powered through the switch. The Yeasu has a soft power control on the head, it's never really off if it has power. I did not want the constant load, but wanted to operate with the key off. This way I can without the drain.
Good stuff. The 7000 control head is quite a bit bigger and the display is nice & crisp so I don't think I'll need to angle it but only a power up test will tell for sure. I have the air bag switch where your speaker is so that's out. Mt stock dash speakers are being used by the stereo so Plan B there too. I'm still liking the Daystar dash tray idea and I saw someplace where a guy mounted ta cb radio under the dash near the steering column. I'm gonna investigate that idea as well.
Just saw you're in Philly. Do you know NT3V? Mark Abramawicz (Mark Abrams on 1060 KYW). He's a good friend.
I had my FT-857D mounted in the security add-a-trunk in the back of my TJ for a while. I had it hooked up to an ATAS 120 antenna on a drilled-out Teraflex taillight mount and it worked great. The only problems I had with the setup were due to noise. My '04 inline six is equipped with distributorless ignition and it's next to impossible to quiet down, since there are no plug wires to shield. The only real solution is to build a copper clad box around the ignition rail, but I didn't go that far.
In the TJ, bonding all the body panels together with braid is almost a necessity, and was necessary for my installation for proper operation of the ATAS, which needs a good ground plane to tune correctly. You'll also find that the exhaust system acts like a giant antenna for radiating ignition noise. A braid between the tail pipe and the frame will make a remarkable difference.
Other than that, I built a ferrite choke for the power lead to cut down on the noise. It helped, but really the only thing that made a big difference was the addition of a Hear-IT filtered speaker. It was pretty much the only way to get the ignition hash off of the HF bands and make them usable while the engine was running.
When I started, I had s6-s8 noise showing on my meter with the engine running. When I was finished doing all the bonding and such, it was down to s2-s3. The remaining noise was due to the electric fuel pump to the best of my knowledge. There are fixes for that which involve installing bypass caps in the power lead to the tank, but I didn't mess with it on mine. My DSP speaker took out what was left.
My personal best mobile DX contact was from Ohio to Germany, and this was on the bottom of the last solar cycle.
The Daystar tray might be the way to go. Deffinately sit in the Jeep with it powered up and try different locations, see which feels right visually and ease of reaching the controls. The Yeasu's knobs are small and touchy, when I need to adjst squelch or volume, I steady my hand on the dash. Mic controls help a lot. I tried it up above the mirror, could not do the knobs up there, and seeing it was not easy.
Agree with Jeff, about bonding everything. You need that on HF, it's not as noticable on 2M & 440.
I don't know Mark, but the name is familiar. I'm an active member of Holmesburg club, and know a number of Phil-Mont members.
Are you aware of Alan's site. Lot of good info there.
Good stuff Jeff. Yeah, I'm no stranger to HF mobile and know about bonding everything but every vehicle has it's unique challenges. I have an '07 VW Passat and could not get the Tarheel to tune anywhere. I took it off and put my Yaesu FTM-10 in there. So far my best mobile contact is south Mississippi to McMurdo Station Antarctica on 20 with 100 watts. Icom 706 MkIIG into an Outbacker Perth+. That was in '01 I think.
Yep, Alan's site is a great resource. I got a lot of my fixes from there. Forgot to mention that I installed my radio's faceplate on one of those dashboard gauge-pod things that replaced the change tray on top of the center dash. Didn't angle it or anything, but it was not very say to use while mobile. Also, it was ugly as heck.
Now that my new shocks and soft top installed it's time for the radio. I'll be ordering the ARR windshield mounts and Dayster tray in the next day or so. There appears to be space to mount an external speaker on the shifter console next to the air bag switch. In the meantime I'm gonna peruse that K0BG site some more.