Radio information guide

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Milwaukee Area, WI USA
#84
So, Rago has a nice antenna mount for the 5G Runner, but it attaches to trim plastic.

https://www.ragofabrication.com/products/2010-2017-5th-gen-toyota-4runner-antenna-mount

As such, that means no ground plane. They recommend a bonding strap, which is fine, but it looks like that powder coated bracket would require a fair amount of finish removal to get it grounded to the body. Would a non-grounded antenna be an option, or are there more cons with that compared to figuring a good way to ground the antenna? I don’t want to have stupid ground wires and whatnot looking like spaghetti out back.
 

kasnerd

never a mile from a good burrito
Joined
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Inland Armpit, SoCal
#85
So, Rago has a nice antenna mount for the 5G Runner, but it attaches to trim plastic.

https://www.ragofabrication.com/products/2010-2017-5th-gen-toyota-4runner-antenna-mount

As such, that means no ground plane. They recommend a bonding strap, which is fine, but it looks like that powder coated bracket would require a fair amount of finish removal to get it grounded to the body. Would a non-grounded antenna be an option, or are there more cons with that compared to figuring a good way to ground the antenna? I don’t want to have stupid ground wires and whatnot looking like spaghetti out back.
How tall is your antennae? Also, mounting higher (hood, pillars) would put less of the truck in the way of the signal path. Rago says its stainless steel underneath so that powder would be purely aesthetic. My concern is door gap and that wire at risk when you are loading/unloading or if the door gap closes under stress.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Age
53
Location
Milwaukee Area, WI USA
#86
How tall is your antennae? Also, mounting higher (hood, pillars) would put less of the truck in the way of the signal path. Rago says its stainless steel underneath so that powder would be purely aesthetic. My concern is door gap and that wire at risk when you are loading/unloading or if the door gap closes under stress.
Assuming your average 4-5 foot fiberglass CB antenna (ham coming later) with coil at the top. Since this is connected to the bumper cover, I presume I’d run the cable through the plastic as well (Via grommet) , keeping it away from the door opening. I’d not be happy with the coax in the door opening either.

if I was a desert dweller like many of you, I’d consider something on the roof. But given we’re mainly woods and forest over here, something attached lower is probably a better option. Several of the guys I was out with recently spent a lot of time reattaching their mag mounts because the trees kept knocking them off.

Since Rago’s mount is stainless, grinding/filing off some of the finish to provide a ground path isn’t the end of the world. But I’m sure the finish is part of the expense. Be kinda nice to leave it intact where possible. But if it means performance suffers, I’d make it work. Wondered if a non-grounded system would be a reasonable compromise to that.
 
Joined
Oct 4, 2018
Messages
2,617
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Chandler, AZ
#87
I used to run a 1/2 wavelength 2m antenna with only a tiny ground plane. Did it work? Yes. Did i run out of range before everyone else in the group? Yep, everytime.

It worked ok for trail comms, but put some real distance between us and the guys with a mag mount of the roof would trounce me. Personally I’m not willing to drill the roof.
 
Joined
May 2, 2019
Messages
506
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SI NY
#88
Hey all, back here with more question/s. I have an aluminum roof rack on top of my turd gen. Typical mall crawler bs mounted on it, including a knock off light bar (I'll come back to it later). At this moment I'm using a GMRS antenna installed on the hood mount, but I want to remove it, and I want to install a new wave antenna on the roof rack. I'm looking for a short spring loaded antenna. This is pretty much the only one I've seen thus far, a 5/8 wave Browning.
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IDTJ2EA/ref=pe_3703560_565211370_em_1p_0_lm
Screen Shot 2021-01-15 at 6.49.51 PM.png
And I'm planning on installing it on one of those mounts https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LMHGW8O/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1.

Like I've mentioned before, it will be mounted on aluminum roof rack a few inches over the roof of the car. Unfortunately not in the middle, because of other things already the, I'm forced to install it on passenger side, over the metal roof somewhere between a sunroof and the door.
How bad of an idea is that?? I'm kinda worried about ground plane, should I? Or should that be OK enough not to screw up the radio? For whatever reason, I'd rather Install one of those ^, than one of ghost/phantom like this one (but it isn't completely out of the question)
https://www.amazon.com/Midland-MXTA...1&keywords=gmrs+antenna&qid=1610755746&sr=8-4
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Messages
1,510
#90
Hey all, back here with more question/s. I have an aluminum roof rack on top of my turd gen. Typical mall crawler bs mounted on it, including a knock off light bar (I'll come back to it later). At this moment I'm using a GMRS antenna installed on the hood mount, but I want to remove it, and I want to install a new wave antenna on the roof rack. I'm looking for a short spring loaded antenna. This is pretty much the only one I've seen thus far, a 5/8 wave Browning.
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IDTJ2EA/ref=pe_3703560_565211370_em_1p_0_lm
View attachment 32513
And I'm planning on installing it on one of those mounts https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LMHGW8O/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1.

Like I've mentioned before, it will be mounted on aluminum roof rack a few inches over the roof of the car. Unfortunately not in the middle, because of other things already the, I'm forced to install it on passenger side, over the metal roof somewhere between a sunroof and the door.
How bad of an idea is that?? I'm kinda worried about ground plane, should I? Or should that be OK enough not to screw up the radio? For whatever reason, I'd rather Install one of those ^, than one of ghost/phantom like this one (but it isn't completely out of the question)
https://www.amazon.com/Midland-MXTA...1&keywords=gmrs+antenna&qid=1610755746&sr=8-4
You shouldn't have to worry about the ground plane. The only thing that will realistically be affected is the RF "coverage" pattern. You are correct, the middle of the vehicle is the most ideal spot for coverage pattern, but does not really affect "ground plane". Think of your vehicle chassis as a mirror. Your antenna RF "bounces", more or less, the signal off of that mirror.

Something like this is what I'm getting at...
RFCoverageAndAntennaplacement.jpg

Anyways, you shouldn't have any issue. BUT... just make SURE that you have a good contact to your vehicle chassis "ground", if you will. Some people, not talking about you, but some people make the mistake of connecting their antennas to a "metal" part of the vehicle, but ultimately that metal piece is mounted to some plastic piece and THEN to the "vehicle chassis". Thus, that metal piece is now insulated from the vehicle ground itself, if that makes any sense?

Finally, I don't care how many people tell me that "stubby antennas work"... BS!!! Don't get me wrong, they work, just NOT as effective as your more typical antenna. It's the TX that is going to be affected the most.

Anyways, I hope this helps a little bit?

Oh, and btw, it is always still good to check your SWR with a meter in either case to make sure that you're within reason. Don't assume that everything is "peachy" after setup. You don't need to get a super expensive meter as they all work, more or less, the same when it comes to just checking the SWR. Just make sure to get a meter that is within the frequency range you are and/or going to operate in. The meters have a frequency range, just to let you know. :thumbsup:
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Messages
1,510
#92
I used to run a 1/2 wavelength 2m antenna with only a tiny ground plane. Did it work? Yes. Did i run out of range before everyone else in the group? Yep, everytime.

It worked ok for trail comms, but put some real distance between us and the guys with a mag mount of the roof would trounce me. Personally I’m not willing to drill the roof.
Theoretically, a 5/8wave antenna is a better option as it keeps the RF pattern "closer to the ground". When you are "on the ground" and typically communicate more through repeater type setups that are typically high up in the hills/mountain tops, then a 1/4wave antenna is more better suited for that. You can still use a 5/8wave antenna though.
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Messages
1,510
#93
Assuming your average 4-5 foot fiberglass CB antenna (ham coming later) with coil at the top. Since this is connected to the bumper cover, I presume I’d run the cable through the plastic as well (Via grommet) , keeping it away from the door opening. I’d not be happy with the coax in the door opening either.

if I was a desert dweller like many of you, I’d consider something on the roof. But given we’re mainly woods and forest over here, something attached lower is probably a better option. Several of the guys I was out with recently spent a lot of time reattaching their mag mounts because the trees kept knocking them off.

Since Rago’s mount is stainless, grinding/filing off some of the finish to provide a ground path isn’t the end of the world. But I’m sure the finish is part of the expense. Be kinda nice to leave it intact where possible. But if it means performance suffers, I’d make it work. Wondered if a non-grounded system would be a reasonable compromise to that.
You can actually, believe it or not, close the door on the cable as there is enough "room" so as not to actually damage the cable. It will "kink" a little bit, but NOT enough to really affect anything. For a door jam, I would run something like an RG-58A/U size cable. A little smaller than say a RG-8X, but you should NOT see any real significant difference when it comes down to it.
 
Joined
May 2, 2019
Messages
506
Location
SI NY
#96
You shouldn't have to worry about the ground plane. The only thing that will realistically be affected is the RF "coverage" pattern. You are correct, the middle of the vehicle is the most ideal spot for coverage pattern, but does not really affect "ground plane". Think of your vehicle chassis as a mirror. Your antenna RF "bounces", more or less, the signal off of that mirror.

Something like this is what I'm getting at...
View attachment 32546

Anyways, you shouldn't have any issue. BUT... just make SURE that you have a good contact to your vehicle chassis "ground", if you will. Some people, not talking about you, but some people make the mistake of connecting their antennas to a "metal" part of the vehicle, but ultimately that metal piece is mounted to some plastic piece and THEN to the "vehicle chassis". Thus, that metal piece is now insulated from the vehicle ground itself, if that makes any sense?

Finally, I don't care how many people tell me that "stubby antennas work"... BS!!! Don't get me wrong, they work, just NOT as effective as your more typical antenna. It's the TX that is going to be affected the most.

Anyways, I hope this helps a little bit?

Oh, and btw, it is always still good to check your SWR with a meter in either case to make sure that you're within reason. Don't assume that everything is "peachy" after setup. You don't need to get a super expensive meter as they all work, more or less, the same when it comes to just checking the SWR. Just make sure to get a meter that is within the frequency range you are and/or going to operate in. The meters have a frequency range, just to let you know. :thumbsup:
Thanks for your response. I'll definitely look into grounding the antenna to vehicle body.
And I'll have to inquire locally about swr meter or antenna analyzer. Owning one would be great, but so far a haven't seen an inexpensive option like the ones for CB frequencies


Edit.
I think I found a cheap meter that should cover 2m 70cm and maybe gmrs
https://www.amazon.com/Mcbazel-Surecom-Digital-125-525Mhz-Antenna/dp/B01D86IKIQ
 
Last edited:
Joined
May 2, 2019
Messages
506
Location
SI NY
#97
Anyways, you shouldn't have any issue. BUT... just make SURE that you have a good contact to your vehicle chassis "ground", if you will. Some people, not talking about you, but some people make the mistake of connecting their antennas to a "metal" part of the vehicle, but ultimately that metal piece is mounted to some plastic piece and THEN to the "vehicle chassis". Thus, that metal piece is now insulated from the vehicle ground itself, if that makes any sense?
Hmm. I know you said "chassis" a few times, just want to make sure that your definition includes vehicle body/cab. Well, I guess it should, since you didn't say anything about frame... :flipoff:
Jokes aside.
I was planing on using a copper ground strap between antenna mount and roof rack mounting bolt. So I just checked, there is a solid continuity between said bolt and door latch striker. Then I also checked existing ham antenna bracket (I swear I meant to properly ground it with a strap, just never got around to it) that's installed on a crossbar, and I'm getting solid continuity there as well!! I have a feeling I still should use a proper ground strap on it anyways, just find it interesting that it's "grounding" itself via aluminum rack.
 
Joined
Apr 22, 2019
Messages
1,286
#98
Hmm. I know you said "chassis" a few times, just want to make sure that your definition includes vehicle body/cab. Well, I guess it should, since you didn't say anything about frame... :flipoff:
Jokes aside.
I was planing on using a copper ground strap between antenna mount and roof rack mounting bolt. So I just checked, there is a solid continuity between said bolt and door latch striker. Then I also checked existing ham antenna bracket (I swear I meant to properly ground it with a strap, just never got around to it) that's installed on a crossbar, and I'm getting solid continuity there as well!! I have a feeling I still should use a proper ground strap on it anyways, just find it interesting that it's "grounding" itself via aluminum rack.
Ground everything...
 

4runner DOA

Hold my beer
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This reminds me that I need a new antenna for the 4runner still. The one I have for the Tacoma doesn't have a long enough cable.
 
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