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Home Get a Grip Suction as a Temp Vehicle Antenna Mount

Moleculo

Ham Radio Nerd
Apr 14, 2002
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One of my good friends owns an auto detail and paintless dent repair shop. I stop by regularly after work to have a beer with him and am always amazed at all the neat tools he has to do this work. I spotted one on the bench the other day and immediately thought of an application for ham radio: The Get a Grip Suction Umbrella. This device has a really strong suction and a very strong adjustable grip that allows you to put a large umbrella on a vehicle to provide shade while working on it outdoors. I figured that if it was strong enough to hold a large umbrella in a stiff breeze, it could certainly hold a light weight HF antenna. This weekend, I got to try it out.

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My wife's cousin showed up for the holiday weekend in his overland van. This thing is outfitted to go anywhere, but has no antenna mounts. It made a perfect excuse to drive down by the marina to get some fresh ocean air and try out this suction as an antenna mount. The version my friend has is the large 6" inch suction version. The arm articulates every which way and has two large cams to tighten it once you get it in place. The grip opens up to 1.5" at the narrowest point, which is large enough to fit the Chameleon mini Unun base, or any antenna mast. The claw is some type of tough non-metal ABS, which means you can attach it directly to any part of an antenna.

I attached the mount to my Chameleon vertical antenna as seen here:

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This antenna is about 18 feet tall (or so). The clamp isn't quite strong enough to hold an antenna of this size at an angle - and I'm not sure why you would want to do this - but it holds just fine vertically.

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Here's a pic of the antenna on the overlander:

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I ran the coax up through the middle of the van to the cab where I placed the Elecraft KX3:

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This setup worked pretty well. It took me longer to take pics of the whole thing than actually set it up. I had the antenna in the air and radio online in less than 10 minutes.

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Here's a link to this suction mount: https://getagripnow.com/collections/grips-umbrellas/products/6-inch-grip-only-w-o-umbrella. Incidentally, they also have a lot of articulating arms that could be put to use in a ham radio application.

If interested, here's a link to the RG316 coax used in the pictures: https://amzn.to/4eS4sLT
 

Neat idea, I am wondering if the antenna can use the vehicle body as a ground plane with the plastic clamp?

No it cannot, which is why I chose this antenna for my test. If you need do that, you'll have to make other arrangements on where you mount the suction cup and attach the coax to both the antenna or vehicle. For a temporary install, which is what this mount is more appropriate for, using something like a Buddipole dipole or a Buddistick with a wire strung out for counterpoise could work. The antenna shown here is an end fed vertical with an UNUN, so you don't really need to use the vehicle as counterpoise.
 
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I could see a lightweight VHF or UHF Yagi or Moxon on one (or two) of those clamps. Would be a handy and quick portable set-up along with a few sections of low-weight push-up. On light wind days of course. Sounds like fun to me.

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