View Full Version : Vehicle Antenna Help
Been out of Ham Radio for a while and just recently got back into it again.. I have been looking at getting a Mobile Antenna for my 2003 Ford Explorer Sport Trac. I used to have a glass mount when my pickup didn't have a back window. Now the Sport Trac has a back window where the middle 70% of the glass rolls all the way down.
So my question is this.. Is it okay to mount it off to the side or does that cause problems? Also anyone have any other ideas for antennas? I would prefer not to drill holes in my vehicles.
For many, many years the only mobile antenna I used was a 19-inch whip on a mag mount. It worked flawlessly on both 2 meters and 70 centimeters, and, as long as you are careful about how you put it on and take it off, it does no damage to the vehicle's finish.
Because I'm in a Jeep Liberty now and I have height problems because of the parking garage I use during the day, I have had to give up the mag mount, and will use a hole-mount on a small metal protrusion from a bolt under the hood. (Note to self: I really must go get an antenna and get the thing mounted once and for all!)
I, too, will not drill a hole in my vehicle for an antenna. After 41 years as a ham, I know all too well that I will change taste in antennas, and that could leave me with a hole on my vehicle that just won't heal.
If you are going to use a glass mount antenna on your rear glass, you should not have any problems. If I recall correctly, the Sport Track has a wide section that retracts down, so either the right or left side should be a usable area to place an antenna. Placing the antenna in the upper right or left corner of the rear glass should work just fine. The big thing to watch is if the rear glass has any type of built in antenna or wires for a defroster. Also, look to make sure that the glass does not have any metalic properties in it. There is a term for this type of glass and I can't recall it at this moment.
I have used the now discontinued Radio Shack on glass dual band antenna on several different vehicles with very good success. I believe that they are the same ones now marketed by MFJ from what I have seen.
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