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My truck is getting a radio in it finally.

Discussion in 'Station & Mobile Pics' started by Captain Kilowatt, Jun 1, 2018.

  1. Captain Kilowatt

    Captain Kilowatt Professional Amateur
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    Well it was a beautiful day today and I felt the urge to be productive. Well not TOO productive mind you but just enough. LOL I spent Tuesday going all over Cathy and my bicycles getting them in road shape after far too many years in storage. It should make for good exercise and is low impact which is just what the doctor ordered. Literally. Today I replaced the rear tires on both bikes which were badly cracked from sitting deflated for so long. They are both ready to go now. After finishing that I decided it was about time I had an amateur radio in my vehicle. I bought the Tundra almost six years ago and never installed one even though I had had both VHF and HF installed in previous vehicles. The new Tundra CrewMax just presented a few problems with antenna placement. It has a large retractable sunroof so that eliminated a thru the roof mount due to clearances. Magmounts are a NO-NO for me and there is still the issue of coax cable entry and paint scratches etc. Someone suggested a glass mount on the rear window. I have used a Larsen glass mount on VHF before and it was not bad however my rear window is a power window and the ENTIRE window goes DOWN not slide sideways from the middle like most. Fender mounts look odd and windshield mount glass mounts look dumb to me anyway. I have a tri-fold tonneau cover so that rules out stake pocket or side rail mounts.I finally decided that today was the day I would make something for the rear corner and dug thru my junk metal pile. Aluminum is by far the easiest to drill, file, ream, bend, etc so naturally I decided to use a piece of 1/8 stainless steel for my bracket. I made a template out of cardboard first to make it easier to layout and cut the steel. this is where a 14 inch metal cut-off saw and a mini-grinder with a super thin cutting disc comes in handy and thankfully I have both along with a bench grinder and pretty much every hand tool known to man. LOL I wanted to use the existing bolts that hold the tailgate latch on so as to not drill any holes. It took a LOT of grinding and bending and a few curse words but I eventually ended up with something that is pretty solid.For now I just have the 2m/70cm antenna mounted and likely will never have HF in this truck unless it is while camping and then I can simply change out the mount from the UHF connector to a 3/8-24 stud mount and replace the antenna while at the campground. Basically VHF/UHF while mobile and possibly HF while parked at the campgrounds etc. There is JUST enough room for the tailgate to clear the mount. After it was finished I used a flapper disc on the mini-grinder to smooth everything out and give it a bit of a shine. No radio installed yet but that may come tomorrow. I may not install it permanently but instead do something that is easy to thrown in whenever I want. I have an older Icom IC-2000H 2m radio but I also have a Yaesu FT-857 HF/VHF/UHF radio which the HF/6m portion does not work but the 2m and 70cm bands work fine. I may install that as it can be remote mounted and just the faceplate mounted on the dash. The antenna is a Comet CA-2x4SR which I have had for many MANY years and it is still going strong. Just looking forward to getting some mobile comms again.

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  2. loosecannon

    loosecannon Sr. Member

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    very cool!
    when can i order one?
    LC
     
    Captain Kilowatt likes this.
  3. Captain Kilowatt

    Captain Kilowatt Professional Amateur
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    BWAAAHAAAHAAA.......You funny man! :ROFLMAO: If I make any more.....and I might make another for the other side or even replace this one, I will use thinner stainless steel. The stuff I used was 1/8 inch and was a real bitch to bend just the right way to get it to clear the tailgate. I wanted to use a piece I had that was only half that thick but it was not wide enough. This was the first attempt and now that I see where the tricky points are I may make another one and use thinner stainless next time. I am sure I have another piece big enough here somewhere. Might even use 1/8 inch aluminum. I have it. I could have used it. but I like doing things the hard way sometimes. LOL
     
    ShadeTreeMechanic likes this.
  4. firerunner

    firerunner Active Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  5. firerunner

    firerunner Active Member

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  6. K3ACZ

    K3ACZ W9WDX Member

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    Comet 2x4SR antennas are great, I run one as a base antenna with my KW TM-v71a. Very wide banded too. Nice bracket, built like a tank for sure.
     
  7. Handy Andy

    Handy Andy Active Member

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    Nice work guys,

    C. KW - when you said Cathy - and the bicycles - I had to pause and re-read that (entertaining) portion of your paragraph. It was hilarious - my mind went to places I can't post here - just hope you meant your Truck - not your XYL...

    Because, after all that effort of bending, shaping, grinding and mounting - I'll bet Cathy has had a rough day...

    :+> Andy <+:
     
    tba02 likes this.
  8. Captain Kilowatt

    Captain Kilowatt Professional Amateur
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    We it should have been obvious I was talking about repairing our bicycles and after that was done decided to work on the antenna mount.
     
  9. Handy Andy

    Handy Andy Active Member

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    (y)
     
  10. Dmans

    Dmans Member

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    Nice Work Captain! Love the custom(not Gawdy) result!
    73's
    David
     
  11. w9cll

    w9cll W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member

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    Nice install. I also have an IC-2000h, nice rig.
     
  12. Tallman

    Tallman W9WDX Amateur Radio Member, KW4YJ EXTRA class

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    I'm sorry I could not resist. Nice job CK.
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Captain Kilowatt

    Captain Kilowatt Professional Amateur
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    Well I found out the the threads on the mount were stripped slightly and the nut would snug up but not tighten up as much as I would like. I ordered a new Comet CK-3M5 coax cable/mount from DX Engineering as well as a Diamond DIA 3/8-24 adapter which arrived yesterday. This will allow me to use the same antenna mount for VHF/UHF while mobile and simply screw the adapter on it to convert from a PL-259 mount to a 3/8-24 stud mount for mounting the HF antenna. the adapter is fairly hefty and I was impressed with the quality.

    https://www.dxengineering.com/parts/cma-ck-3m5

    https://www.dxengineering.com/parts/dmn-d38-24

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    K3ACZ likes this.

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