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Discussion Starter #1
Finally got my Icom ID-4100A 2M/70cm dual band ham radio installed. I agonized over antenna location, bracket solution, head location, mic location, etc. Analysis paralysis at times.

In the end I chose the location that I believed would offer the best performance - on the left front fender. This location places the antenna above the metal hood and away from any other vertical metal. It should radiate well there and have a reasonably good counterpoise. And it may get torn off on the trail.......







The head unit is mounted in the upper left corner of the windshield using a magnetic mount. The separation cable runs down inside the A pillar and through the dash to the chassis which is mounted under the driver's seat.



I found I needed an extension cable for the mic and Icom wants around $75 for one (gulp). Looking at the mic and the chassis Icom is using a standard RJ-45 with an 8 wire cable just like Cat5 cable. So I picked up 3 foot Cat5e cable and joiner for $10 at Home Depot and it works perfectly.

I ran #12AWG wire directly from the battery (with 15A ATC fuse holders in both positive and negative wires) back to the chassis under the driver's seat. I just have to be sure to turn it off when I leave the vehicle.

SWR is good on both bands. I have a learning curve to understand this radio. Being a small faceplate there is an extensive menu of features and functions. It has a built in GPS receiver and operates on Icom's D Star system. We'll see how much I need all of the bells and whistles but I thought having another GPS source would be good when off road.
 

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I have my 2m/70cm antenna in the same spot. No trouble on trails so far. And we have some pretty tight ones here.


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Good to hear. I was on a pretty tight trail today and caught it on a branch once but it did OK. The Wrangler is a tough vehicle to find the ideal antenna location.
 

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That it is. That location is pretty much the only one without making something completely new.


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Or drilling holes in places they shouldn't be drilled in. I installed my antenna in the same location. Happy with it so far.

I'm running a Yaseu FT-1900 and it radiates well.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Two more pics - the mic location and the chassis under the driver's seat. Being a brand new vehicle I was reluctant to mount anything where there would be holes if removed so no holes. The mic hanger came with the radio and is adhesive backed.



 

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I originally had my icom 2730 mounted where you have yours now. I moved it to where you see it now below. It's easier for me to see and control.

 

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The Mic extension cable is 4 twisted pairs, but they map differently to the RJ-45 jack than Cat-5 cable. You may want to make your own cable with a crimper. I think It should be paired like this;

Pin 1&2 8V+ and Freq Cntrl
Pin 5&6 Mic ground and Mic input
Pin 4&7 PTT and PTT ground
Pin 3&8 Data Ground and Data

Cat 5 is paired pins 1&2, 3&6, 4&5, 7&8
 

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While Cat 5 pairs differently, since the extension is a one to one on the pins, it will work are far as making the connections. You do lose the twisted coupling, could be a source of getting interference into the cable, or it might not.

I'd run with it. If there are problems, here is one spot to look. (Remove the extension to see if the issue goes away.)

Looks like a clean install, have fun with it.
 

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In the end I chose the location that I believed would offer the best performance - on the left front fender.
This is an excellent location for an antenna on a Jeep provided you are using a 1/2-wave design antenna. They are much more forgiving than the 1/4-wave and 5/8-wave designs, which require being mounted over a suitable ground plane for proper performance.

And it may get torn off on the trail.......
I make no secret about being a huge fan of the Larsen NMO2/70B antenna. Not only is it a 1/2-wave, but its open coil allows the antenna to flex a lot whenever it comes in contact with trees, brush, rocky overhangs, etc. If you do manage to snap your antenna (and I hope you do not), you may want to switch to the Larsen.

BTW: Arizona, eh? Where, exactly? Depending on your location, we may be able to chat via a linked repeater system.
 
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