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Posted: 10/2/2014 2:24:21 PM EST
Just bought a dual band VHF/UHF mobile radio for our family vehicle (2005 Sequoia) and am looking for suggestions on what mount to use. I know the preferred technique is to put a permanent NMO in the middle of the roof, but at this point I'm not willing to do that. That leaves me with a NMO magnet mount in the center of the roof (behind the sunroof) or a NMO clamp on either the OEM luggage rack or a lip style on either the back hatch or the hood.

Either the mag mount on roof, or clamp on one of the crossbars seems like where I'll get the best performance, but then trying to route coax becomes a headache. Hood mount seems like the easiest location for coax managment (just run it through the firewall), but obviously it will not perform as well as a roof location.

Any thoughts?

BTW: I have a virtually brand new Diamond K400C (IIRC the ATAS-120 uses this mount) I'd be willing to sell/trade for the preferred NMO mount, if anyone is interested.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 2:29:23 PM EST
Clamp > magmount
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 3:43:37 PM EST
I "was not willing to do that" for some time.


When I finally went for It, it turned out to be worth doing the NMO mount.

I had a mag mount in hand and messed with the install options. I just didn't like having a damn cable snaking around the outside.

An NMO mount only adds about 10% more trouble for an 'install' but you get a 150% return on clean install and improved reception.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 3:57:36 PM EST
Actually, I've just been reading about how much better permanent NMO installs are, and my resistance is weakening... It would definitely simplify the cable routing, which is where I foresee the biggest trouble.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 9:45:03 PM EST
If you decide to do it and it looks more than you can do, contact a motorola dealer near you. I believe that the local shop does a straight install for $100. The nice thing is if they mess it up they fix it. I have done a ton of NMO installs and they are easy but that first hole is the hardest to drill.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 10:02:17 PM EST
I'm of the opinion that vhf/uhf< drilling a hole. I am on hf 99% of the time. So the vhf/uhf mag mount is great for me. I can hit any repeater I want. If you really enjoy 2m maybe it is worth it to you. But even when I was on 2 m I was fine with a magnet mount.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 10:34:54 PM EST
I have a lip mount on the top edge of the driver's side "suicide door" on my pickup. The coax is routed neatly down inside the lip, over to behind the interior trim of the cab.
Link Posted: 10/3/2014 6:21:52 AM EST
The hole through the roof is really the neatest way to go if you want a full time and full performance install. Set and forget, no worries about passengers tangling with cables going through a door opening, the repeated flexing and pinching of the cable and all of that. The only new car that I didn't take straight home and start drilling was a convertible, had to use trunk lip mounts on that (and they worked fine). Back in the day I always had at least two antennas, 2M and 220, and sometimes I had a 10M antenna as well.

I quit buying new cars when they started costing as much as a house, so drilling is even easier now.
Link Posted: 10/3/2014 7:03:04 AM EST
have you considered a front fender mount?

random google pic

Link Posted: 10/3/2014 8:52:57 AM EST
Clamp! I ran a mag mount for about a year before switching to a Diamond trunk lip mount. What a difference!
Link Posted: 10/3/2014 9:05:21 AM EST
Thanks for all the input. I'm still on the fence about what I'm going to do. My main reason for installing the radio is for emergency comms if I don't have cell coverage. A couple years ago I was the first person on scene at a fatal car accident in the mountains, and neither my wife or I had cell coverage. Thankfully other people stopped that did. That being said, while I like the ease of the fender mount I'm thinking that I'd rather not sacrifice any performance and just mount it on the roof. I've gotten over drilling a hole in the roof, but now feeding the coax underneath the headliner looks a bit daunting....
Link Posted: 10/3/2014 10:07:45 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/3/2014 10:09:11 AM EST by danpass]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By SimpleScout:
Thanks for all the input. I'm still on the fence about what I'm going to do. My main reason for installing the radio is for emergency comms if I don't have cell coverage. A couple years ago I was the first person on scene at a fatal car accident in the mountains, and neither my wife or I had cell coverage. Thankfully other people stopped that did. That being said, while I like the ease of the fender mount I'm thinking that I'd rather not sacrifice any performance and just mount it on the roof. I've gotten over drilling a hole in the roof, but now feeding the coax underneath the headliner looks a bit daunting....
View Quote

there's a 90% chance you would only need to drop part of the headliner (depending on the vehicle)

another way is something that was recommended to me; get a fish tape or similar, attach the end of the coax to the end of the tape, and run it from the NMO hole to the side.
This means the headliner stays in place which would mean using this: http://www.theantennafarm.com/catalog/laird-tech-hs34-1647.html.
It has a step to limit the depth it travels to, basically just enough depth to cut through the typical car sheetmetal thickness without cutting the headliner.


I went with the drop-headliner route for three reasons: I had a step-drill bit which is pretty long, I wanted to see what I was dealing with, and I it was easier to route the coax OVER the side airbags and between the sheetmetal. Mounting under the airbag would just mean constricting it if it went off.


This thread illustrates the whole process pretty well:

http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_10_22/671380__ARCHIVED_THREAD____Toyota_Tacoma_New_Install.html&page=1#i11481665





Link Posted: 10/3/2014 10:08:02 AM EST
Pics of my install teardown





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