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Mobile Roof Puck Mount

Discussion in 'CB Antennas' started by Slowmover, Dec 13, 2019.

  1. Slowmover

    Slowmover Elmer

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    Thanks. Your many posts are well-regarded by me. In this instance, my “thinking aloud” served me more than perhaps anyone who reads it through.



    Clarity. (Where are the strong and weak points?)

    But we’ll have to disagree about Radio (primarily) as Entertainment.
    That’s for me a subset of Radio as Tool: sugary icing on bland cake.

    .
     
    undertaker likes this.

  2. Handy Andy

    Handy Andy Do Your Research First, Then Decide...

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    You raise (ahemn...) several good points.

    One the Truck Solo - always the highest point on the vehicle is preferred.

    Several conditions apply...

    The main body of metal - your antenna will sit on, - the most area that has the longest run of distance from your antenna - is where most of your radiated signal will travel - think if it as water - flowing along the path of least resistance.

    Secondly - Resonant of not, the elevation may have issues with feed point impedance - not to worry so much as to the amount of metal it needs to counterpoise with, more like how the truck does respond to becoming the other half of your antennas - antenna - as a SYSTEM. It's floating above the ground - at tire height...

    The type of mount - being permanent is addressed.

    The Truck attached, that is more of a grey area but again the connections used to couple the truck to the frame of the trailer takes the role of how well the RF flows thru into the coupling attachment - but too, in consideration, the aspects of location of contact the RF passes into - may not always agree to your desire to enlarge the radiators. It's isn't that simple. Best to think of this as if you use a 5th wheel type coupler versus a simple rear bumper hitch - you have more to gain from the 5th wheel design in both contact and elevation.

    Trailer, most Floridians as well as the occasional traveler use the Mast to side of the frame - and bear with the crummy reception. Or just suck it up and switch to Satellite (long shot) or use the locals "cable tv" connection so they get the News Weather and the local flavor of Entertainment.

    Your situation is different - if you own a Gulfstream, or Airstream - My Dad offers some of the best advice. IF your head doesn't need any more holes in it, why would your trailer? Best to keep it's seals intact and all rivets in place - any effort to improve grounds may backfire. Best to install an antenna - by not installing an antenna on the trailer or having to puncture any of it's seals.

    Hope this helps get you started - or finished before you began the work...you pick...
     
    Slowmover likes this.
  3. Slowmover

    Slowmover Elmer

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    I haven’t started a thread on, “MOBILE: RV Installation”, as it isn’t yet pertinent. (Here’s the sneak preview, instead). The truck is a permanent part of the below; here are some considerations. (I’ll back into it from an RV’er perspective).

    Glad my working assumptions (what I’ve read as education) are close enough to what you’ve posted. (Glad also I’m still working and can absorb mistakes).

    — I don’t yet know how the truck will react to antenna install, but I know I’ll be damned happy to be at that point.

    — Holes in the trailer roof (Silver Streak brand) aren’t much of a concern as that’s knowing HOW to do it. Boats are harder, but their gear & supply make it easier. Portable antenna on a mast or tripod for now, a lift/lay screwdriver antenna “maybe”. (Few rivets. This is bonded like an airliner).

    Access to underside is panels screwed on/off. Getting underneath this low-slung trailer is the difficulty. Tanks need to be replaced, some plumbing upgrades, second (optional) water tank installed; etc. That’s also the primary electrical access (secondary is in interior walls).

    — under the truck is just, well, being under the truck.
    DC Grounds and abuncha RF Bonds.

    It’s the knowledge that an electrically-common trailer & truck (with the engine alternator powering the trailer), that heightened my awareness of “doing a good job” re DC Grounds then RF Bonds.

    The “effect” of using one vehicle or the other (or both) as part of radiating systems means (to me) do a thorough job.

    I can re-state all of this as: 100-Amp delivery to the trailer via new cabling (4/0 at under 30’) means R&R old grounds plus add new.


    In which, with antennas of various types at various places with various receivers or transceivers, get good RF Bonds installed when access available.

    As in the earlier post, the structural ribs are rubber-isolated from the shell, and not necessarily “bonded” to the frame (are attached to plywood sheet which is itself bolted to the frame); thus adding jumpers from ribs to frame is easily done. Access to the shell skin edge, also. Can be tied together.

    A lay/lift screwdriver antenna on aluminum plate across the roof isn’t new territory. The 105# air conditioners are mounted in a specific method; that’s adaptable here (reinforcement).

    I don’t really expect to expand the radiators (but I’ll sure as hell use that joke of hitching the wagon), yet I’d be wrong in my estimate to ignore the possibility.

    The hitch is a DC Ground, yet the above scenario of high amp delivery will be via dedicated cabling. Still, power to trailer batteries while underway requires a two-way path of 55-60’. Power at the trailer rear is a 125’ circuit with a battery at the halfway point is a way to look at that (what and how much juice without unhitching. Roadside breakdown emergency lighting, etc). So I can’t see where’d it hurt to add an RF Bond jumper between truck & trailer. (Needs more research than I’ve done).

    The trailer needs a new panel during an upgrade to 50A service. The need is for two (2) roof air conditioners plus interior appliance upgrades (also, a genset transfer switch built-in). Already have roof solar, and that needs to be updated & expanded somewhat. As well, a larger battery box.

    When I get to the specifics of Radio Transceiver Installation, I know of a couple of EE’s who are also Amateur Operators owning Airstreams (familiarity with construction TYPE as well as the oddities of RV ELECTRICAL as it’s simply NOT the same as household or automotive).

    I’ll quiz them about what/how on specifics (hoping for congruity) to both improve and avoid that which would best suit transceiver use in an all-aluminum travel trailer. .

    The ideal for the trailer is be able to park — and with four people aboard — go for one month without re-supply of any sort save water (water is two weeks). No trips to a store. Anything.

    The trucks limit is with diesel. As a genset (high idle) consumption is 1.25-1.50 gals/hour. With a nearly-full fuel tank (at present) 15-20 hours of generator time is a maximum (given other factors).

    So, with radios and such:

    Radio Transceiver
    (High amp-draw type down to QRP-specific)

    Radio Receivers & Scanners
    (Short, Medium, Long-wave)

    There’s quite a lot of room for an antenna farm atop the trailer itself. (Leaving aside for the moment portable or truck-mounted gear). Operating on bands considered difficult is a problem where I don’t want to have to re-do access or electrical-control gear to solve RFI. Work already planned.

    Radio is an addition to a plan laid-out long ago.

    Will I live another ten years? Fifteen? Twenty? For the most part I can ready this trailer to serve over those periods with some luck and minimized expenses by doing bigger jobs now. While still working and capable.


    This post is about goals. The biggest picture. I may not use it that way above (would want more propane tanks as that’s the real energy source), but I DO want to test this proposition of TIME vs SUPPLY over weeks as workable . As that’ll show up what other concerns I’ve missed.

    I think anyone could see, that, take a vacation somewhere (or several somewheres) for a few weeks and NOT spend anything past some diesel for the return is attractive.

    This is something I could do now (given repairs and some other work). Keep my spot at this park and return afterwards.

    Were I to move somewhere new, not needing utility hookups for several weeks GREATLY reduces daily expense until a new location to park is secured. (Moving to a new truck stop, rest area, or other every day or few days is an example). $45/night and up, otherwise (most parks are $500/month and up).

    These sentences have taken me fairly far from the thread topic and associated sub-topics, but an RV is neither “car” nor “house” as we generally think of them.

    Every day is FIELD DAY.

    But, you’ve an old mans infirmities and the shallow wallet of retirement.
    Do now that with which fixed-income has difficulty.

    .

    .
     
    #93 Slowmover, Nov 6, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2020
  4. Handy Andy

    Handy Andy Do Your Research First, Then Decide...

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    And hence the cautionary tales of "Please be careful." and all that jazz...

    The noise factors are yet to be tested.

    I await your results!
     
    Slowmover likes this.
  5. Slowmover

    Slowmover Elmer

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    More great weather.

    Far rear of the truck close to done.

    — I (somewhere) have a schematic of factory DC Grounds; found a few. Plenty of now-ancient wiring. Still works so replacing it waits till another day. New Grounds for rear lamps took most of my time.

    — I didn’t test voltage at the lamps to try to confirm that an improvement was made. When I re-wire for the trailer harness (7-way) I’ll go back over that then.

    — Tied all other things together via RF Bonds. Didn’t venture as far forward as the spare tire, much less the drive axle. Just the bumper, it’s brackets, the rear bed corners, hitch receiver and the tail end of the frame on both sides. (Duplicate side-to-side).

    — Used only one RF Bond with the CURT hitch receiver, suspect it may need another. But got it tied to the factory rear-most crossmember (which is really a part of their hitch receiver which we cut off many years ago). That Class V hitch is pretty wide.

    — Took a few tries to settle on what size drill bit (11/64) in thicker metal and how to run nine (9) Grounds & Bonds, but I think it a decent second day.

    I’m at the end of these days off with other chores yet to do.

    — Count from a couple of days ago was fourteen (14), so now at nineteen (19) RF Bonds. I figure that (guesstimate) to be about one-third of the total (if I leave out exhaust and drive axle).

    Sux getting tired as fast as I do, so organization of supplies beforehand (pre-assembly) has been the life-saver.

    I haven’t gotten anything done to speak of on the pickup this last year besides making notes and reading around, so I’m pleased to have had some progress on the actual installation.

    Living alone is one thing. Falling behind on what’s necessary (but knowing how to make it fun despite necessity) makes one lonelier those many, many miles from home.

    There’s only so much — in the end — to the basics of a Mobile Radio Installation. Despite our tendencies to fiddle & faddle with what already works, nevertheless, it works!

    I’ve had Ol’ Lightnin’ a long time. Did a fair install many years ago to accommodate a triple mag mount with power from the battery. But nothing to write home about.

    Was looking at the ruin of the roof paint and thought, “man, that just doesn’t matter to me very much”, not the way it once would have. I talked to the folks at Breedlove Mounts today, and, yes, the 4.5” puck mount (6x6 back plate) is going to look really great once installed.

    Being naught else but a truck driver full-time since divorce nine years ago leaves me uneasy without a good radio at hand while going down the road. There’s a comfort in it that shouldn’t be hard to explain.

    90% of Americans go 90% of the same places 90% of the time according to DHS. .The bubble of existence. Rarely pierced.

    Will it work to wave an arm at all and sundry OUTSIDE that bubble? As I’m old enough to remember it was a common thing where at a stop sign, a gas station or a crossroads, one expected that help asked or offered was part of driving.

    This still exists on AM-19 (I almost wrote, “among truck drivers”, but it’s not a relevant to the truth, what one experiences with the radio always on)

    I got this venture started (this thread) because I wanted to be able to be on Sideband. A more demanding set of physical requirements (and that’s getting done).

    But the truth is just wanting the company of my fellow Americans as we all of us go about our day. And parts of our day we are on the road, be it as commuter or maybe student or retiree. Truck driver. Cabbie. And so forth.

    There’s NOT a substitute while driving for having a Citizen Band Radio. Understand that it’s comforting.

    So do your darnedest.
    .
     
    #95 Slowmover, Nov 7, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2020
    undertaker likes this.
  6. Slowmover

    Slowmover Elmer

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    3E5FDA32-92E9-4B2D-8461-7653907BF5BA.jpeg

    Okay, the picture composition is goofy. One goes to war with known unknowns.

    How many posts was it to get to the actual mount? (95?)

    A Breedlove Machine Shop Puck Mount.
    The big one.

    The 6x6 backing plate was included in my order. As well as a fold-over adapter (I may have to upgrade the trucks front coil springs).

    Have a 15-bead CMC choke bought from Palomar Engineers a couple of years ago. That’ll lose a PL-259 to be the antenna ring terminal connection. (And it’ll all fit under the headliner). Some RG-213 from there, probably.

    May change mount to CB BALL and S0-239 end depending on what I best like to run. But for the foreseeable future I’m not limited by antenna type. Just overhead clearance.

    1). Signal Engineering Golden Rod 45
    Five feet in height. About 10+ travel height clearance.
    (See recent thread additions).

    2). President Texas
    Seven feet in height. About 12’ THC
    (See also threads under that).

    3). 102” whip (without riser)
    Nine feet in height. Close to 15’ THC
    (The default 11-Meter Standard).

    4). Skipshooter 5’ & 7’ top load whips
    as spares on board.

    I’ve also looked the ALPHA MOTO 6-40 as a future upgrade. Swap whips for travel versus stationary (antenna used with tuner).

    Having a box to contain tuner or other somewhat below headliner height in the backseat isn’t a concern.

    .
     
    #96 Slowmover, Nov 25, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2020
    Handy Andy likes this.
  7. Slowmover

    Slowmover Elmer

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    Of threads I have running:

    — I’m pleased that the end is in sight on the 579 Peterbilt (begun two years ago).

    — I’m pleased that this installation is in the same way (how to mount radio gear still tentative); the ending is seen (begun a year ago).

    — I’m at a natural stopping point on the Eleven Meter Scanner (begun last summer).

    Still have the travel trailer to do, and sons SUV + home. Getting quite close on the latter, and still reading on the former.

    So, Thanksgiving it is!

    Best to all!

    .
     
    #97 Slowmover, Nov 26, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2020
    undertaker and ForestRunner98 like this.
  8. ForestRunner98

    ForestRunner98 917 SoCal

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    Nice!! That’s the 4” puck non NMO?
     
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  9. Slowmover

    Slowmover Elmer

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    I think it’s 4.5”. And weighs 19#.
    (3/8-24; screw terminals)

    Weather was right today to get that part of the install going, instead,

    it was a story of a boy and his dog . .
    a Bubba with a Dremel inletting rifle parts.

    Happy T-Day!!

    .

    .
     
    #99 Slowmover, Nov 27, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2020
  10. ForestRunner98

    ForestRunner98 917 SoCal

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    Holy cow...19lbs!!!!

    Take plenty of pics during install. I need to pull the trigger after the holidays.
     
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  11. Slowmover

    Slowmover Elmer

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    I’m kidding about weight. But it’s a big ol’ heavy chunk of goodness.

    Pics of holes to come along.

    If it doesn’t disintegrate, I’ll be loosening the headliner from the starboard rear door assembly and inwards to center. If it does disintegrate (same).

    “Where” to mount the 6x6 plate looks like the worst of the work. We’ll see.

    .
     
    #101 Slowmover, Nov 27, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2020
    ForestRunner98 likes this.
  12. Slowmover

    Slowmover Elmer

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    As reference:

    Order received from Breedlove Mounts:

    (1) ea; Pedestal Puck Mount #601

    (1) ea; Fold Over Coupling #200

    (1) ea; Puck Mount 6x6 Backing Plate for 4.5”
     
  13. ForestRunner98

    ForestRunner98 917 SoCal

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    You need to drill 5 holes in the roof for that mount yes?
     
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  14. Slowmover

    Slowmover Elmer

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    Yes. The top plate has four (4) thru-bolts besides the antenna connection thru the pair of plates.

    Very nice hardware.

    As others have said, it’s good enough as an artwork for your desk. Like one of those hand-guided machined engine cylinder valves from a 4360.

    .
     
    ForestRunner98 likes this.
  15. Slowmover

    Slowmover Elmer

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    The CB Ball might be the more useful alternative mount. I rolled the dice and this one is first.

    An NMO mount with adaptor might be the way to go with a SIRIO 4000/5000 or PRESIDENT Iowa (and then other radio types which use NMO antennas).

    Frankly, the idea of ONE OF EVERY SELECTION is hard to keep at bay.

    .
     
    #105 Slowmover, Dec 5, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2020
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