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Antenna pucks? What are and what are their use?

Slowmover

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Feb 17, 2015
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Where the West Begins.
Some added beef to the underside of the vehicle cab roof is in order. Thanks for “re-inforcing” that, HA!

One is asked questions by another and the choice of words to phrase the response is, as you know, invaluable in ascertaining one’s own level of understanding.

It’s a day with fine weather when one can offer up “answers” from any of a number of potential starts. Do they fit what’s perceived?

Given the screen name CrashRecovery I’m hoping also it means reports on regular use past hobbyist operation (no slight intended). How to Use a CB Radio is a worthy topic in and of itself.

That many of us use CB while roadbound “defines” thinking (actually, feelings) about Citizens Band.

The military has its Format Guidelines to submit effective intelligence via radio (order of precedence),

and regular use of Citizens Band gets one used to ordering ones report to best aid the querent.

A highway is an artifact already understood. Most problems by commercial travelers are time & distance related where information about obstructions to normal flows are valued.

The weaknesses of the commercial rig are on display. Fewer choices in routing than small private vehicles.

The following is how I made answer based on a few assumptions:

1). Antenna Puck: in my home area I may be the most knowledgeable one responding on air. The best omnidirectional TX pattern seems a given, moving or stationary.

Just yesterday I traveled only a little ahead of an OVERSIZED load and pilot car around the south end of the Atlanta metro.

Both had pretty good radio rigs. The man in the tractor needed better.
The woman in the Ford Escape had a 3’ fiberglass top-load on the passenger side edge of a lightbar rack.

She easily was “louder”than nearly every other radio on the highway within three miles.

It’s this repeated experience over the years which lent me assurance about a roof-center NMO.

2). I had a miles-long discussion with another OVERSIZED a little later where big power was on display. Pushing a lot of juice into a less than ideal antenna & mount. Not much better than the pilot car.

Roof Center NMO where details about installation for clean, clear TX & RX are followed up is going to be (nearly) King of the Road.

3). A McKinley with an RM Italy KL203 and West Mountain Radio ClearSpeaker, (plus best microphone adjusted) is going to do everything likely possible with others where their rigs just don’t get out or hear very far.

4). Intelligent order of information (formatting) followed in every request for info keeps inquiries lowest, and others able to repeat same to those inbound to an obstruction.

— Location
— Description
— Traffic Problem
— Avoidance

In these, LOCATION is highway number + direction + mile marker.

DESCRIPTION is time-based. “Just happened”, or, “Tow Truck removing last vehicle”.

TRAFFIC PROBLEM is how flow is altered.

AVOIDANCE is what lanes are getting past, or (and this is the big one) in the event of a major jam what alternate APPROVED truck routes are possible?

The details here are what separate the men from the boys:

A). Exit Number
B). Highway Number
C). Compass Direction
D). Approximate distance & traffic controls.
E). Where to turn BACK to the desired road.
F). At what mile marker does re-entry represent?

(Where guessing is involved, best not to do so. A Commercial Vehicle Road Atlas is invaluable. As is — it’s to be greatly hoped — a local truck driver will fill in details).

This is where the stranger passing thru can decide whether exiting the main road is worth the effort. Even if he can.

— Asking the westbound traffic to report it to eastbound traffic is also including rest area or truck stop EXIT INFO to take some clock time in OFF DUTY while stopped. Pull off early and wait awhile. (More than once I’ve taken a nap this way).

(That last possible truckstop may be 20-miles back. “Hey, westbound, tell eastbound to get of at the X187 Loves to fuel and take a 30”).

— The ideal is to help drivers (private or commercial) to make the choices best for them sufficiently in advance of the encounter. Which may be miles and miles back after but a half-hour on a major Interstate where a serious accident has occurred.

An accident at MM 219 may need an alternate that exists at MM 192. Few may want it. But information that it exists AND WHERE is what settles most drivers anxieties.

5). Where “ultimate” performance is wanted for the pickup (stationary) another taller antenna could be used.

Thus, if the 49” antenna is best for 90% of actual use, then it seemed the NMO was the better choice.

And, last, an easily-remembered CB Handle with fewest syllables means drivers are gonna key up to see if you’re around. Over the years I’ve lost count of his many times I’ve heard drivers in Dallas asking about ol’ JesseJames (a contributor here).

.
 
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Slowmover

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The screen name refers to what I did for 22 years in the military. I was an Airport Firefighter for the USAF. I just recently retired for medical reasons.


Ha! I just left Holloman and am now at Gordon. Live next to Carswell.
Son was a KC130-Jarhead. Now private contractor flying [redacted] at [redacted]. Dad was training on Corsairs the war ended.

Me, am four-eyed. No bueno.
 

Slowmover

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Feb 17, 2015
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Where the West Begins.
I’ve done my best to stick to what Allen Applegate, at www.k0bg.com, has written (and edited) as, IMO, The Mobile Install Bible.

The front-to-back consistency (All bands).

Written. No video (pictures are helpful) as thats too slow and one cannot find phrases, sentences or formulas once past them as delivered.

I “enjoyed” watching it as the personality Is close to a truck driver friend of mine, but to say more means I’m getting into black/white (false/true) constructions Id rather avoid.

Let’s say that, were I younger, some varieties of experiment I’d be more willing to entertain. To act upon.

Others with a good deal better understanding than me can read the same sentences at k0bg and “we” are truly on the same page (per supporting phrases) and less likely to get away from the abstractions (as is mete).

I very much liked the concern for avoiding sheet metal bends in the video AND the process of being methodical in itself. From there my enthusiasm starts to fade (I’m not — today —going to run experiments past clearly stated advice with which I’m already comfortable).

Hope you’ll link his future videos on RF Bonding, Amp Install, etc. Pictures & videos have their place. Agree — or not — it’s fruitful to view the work of another as well as review their results.
 
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CrashRecovery

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Jun 29, 2020
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I'll keep you updated on the install. I figured you would find some use out of the video considering that topic is all that you and I have talked about. I just need to bite the bullet and drill my hole and get mine installed.
 

Slowmover

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Feb 17, 2015
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Where the West Begins.
I'll keep you updated on the install. I figured you would find some use out of the video considering that topic is all that you and I have talked about. I just need to bite the bullet and drill my hole and get mine installed.


I’m glad you posted it. Radio is supposed to be a collegiate undertaking per my understanding. Questions make the day right for new understanding.

His mile-long braid straps concern me, but I’m in favor of making them fat & thick as he shows. Seems good.

The don’t exceed 8”-length on k0bg is about an all-band install. Which — whether my mobile installs ever feature licensed operation or not — I sure don’t want to re-do in the future.

Ceiling-center to frame-rail in my Dodge is close enough to 9’ (quarter-wave) that I’d not do it. A series of bonds doesn’t seem a problem to “do” the same thing.

I’d re-read Applegate on RF Bonds before I took the video approach.

I’ve been mulling the same problem in the Peterbilt last few days as I’ve returned to the starboard door-frame spot-mirror antenna mount (single versus dual antennas). While each door has bonds across the hinges (and I can’t access the Rearview Mirror bolts), I’ve thought of running woven braided strap in the door & cab gap to the upper existing bond. 3-4’. SWR is good, but CM could be better.

I looked at another of his videos where he was doing a high power amp install on a Class 8 tractor. A few things I’ll go back and review per DC tips.

As before, I’m not interested in right/wrong. His Analyzer shows goodness and the 80-mph test seemed good.

My install of the Dodge resumes next trip home to get the rest of the RF Bond work done before hot weather hits. More supply needed.

FWIW, the antenna mount install can be last. My approach. Plenty to keep a guy occupied with DC power & distribution install. Bonding. All the miscellaneous, first.

.
 
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groundwire

Sr. Member
Jul 19, 2014
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As a 3 time buyer of breadlove puck mounts, i do not recommend them, poor build quality. Also i never used any ground strap from my mounts and i have .02w reflect at 6.5kw fwd. Never seen anyone else use ground strap either.
 
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groundwire

Sr. Member
Jul 19, 2014
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I personally from user experience would recommend ica manufacturing (aka fatboy) pucks, they are excellent and come in different styles, thats what i run. Davemade pucks are very good, coily pucks look promising ( i have no experience with those and they are all delrin).
 
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groundwire

Sr. Member
Jul 19, 2014
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If your gonna go fatboy go to the source. Ica manufacturing. Thats who makes fatboy amps, antennas, mounts etc....
Bells, meh
 

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