Magnetic Antenna Location Question

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Steve

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During Amazon's Prime Day sale, I picked up a Midland 75-822 CB and a Wilson Lil Wil magnetic antenna. My 4Runner has a roof basket and sunroof. The basket extends from as far back as I can go without hitting the lifgtgate to just overhanging the sunroof.

That leaves the area of the roof in front of the sunroof or sticking up through the basket to locate the antenna. Thoughts on which might be the better location?

Attempt to show both options:


@Lars ?
 

4xFar Adventures

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I'd say up front. You'll have less antenna cable to route, and if it gets hung up on something, you can look out the sunroof and check on it.

What is your exit strategy for the cable?
 

Steve

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What is your exit strategy for the cable?
I don't know yet. If I was going to mount it at the rear, I'd have come in through the hatch. Up front, probably through the door seal of the least-used door. It won't be a permanent mount; only during traveling.

The last time I had a CB in a vehicle, it was in a 1969 FIAT 124 Wagon, and the door seals were so loose it barely squished the magnetic antenna cable.
 

1Louder

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I leave my mount on 24/7 and just remove the antenna. You can get a screw with a tab end/ thumb screw vs allen to make it easy to remove. Ace hardware, Lowes, Home Depot... sells them.
 
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scubasteve2002

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It's really going to depend on your swr readings. You can adjust it best for the location but may never get down to a good reading. Then if you moved it you can check the swr and adjust it again to make it better (or worse haha)
 

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Back when we ran a mag mount, we stuck it on the spoiler. Worked like a charm as you could route the cable through the side of the hatch. Look out for low hanging trees though, the wife get's tired of hopping out to put the antenna back on... ;)
 
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expeditionnorth

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if you mount it up front you will most likely see better reception from folks behind you & vice versa for the rear
sadly you have the rack in the middle which is the ideal location for the image plane that needed
 

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Mag mount CB antenna are usually 1/4 Wave antenna. This means that you need a good ground plane. Fortunetly the big hunke of rolling steel that you are putting it on can make a mighty fine one. As expositionnorth pointed out, the ideal place would be the center of the roof.

You can also go to a 1/2 Wave antenna. This would be something like an 8 foot whip or maybe some sort of Fire Stick. Neathe of which are ideal with a mag mount.
 
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Steve

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sadly you have the rack in the middle which is the ideal location for the image plane that needed
@expeditionnorth and @KD7WCD I could put it in the middle of the roof, but it would be sticking up between the bars of the roof rack. Would that be horrible? Right now, I'm trying it with it between the basket bars at the very rear of the roof. I'm just temporarily testing it stationary in the drive, with the cable slack to the handheld radio.

Best signal strength I've seen is 4 (out of 30+ range) across the band with the Wilson or the rubber handheld antenna. I'm about 2 miles as the crow flies from the interstate, and can occasionally barely hear someone, but not enough to make out what they are saying. I have not tuned the antenna, and don't know anyone with a CB that might have a meter to adjust. I'll get on the highway and see what happens. Maybe go to the nearest rest area, swap antenna locations, and come back.

Kinda disappointing so far, as the 1970s CB could fairly regularly reach the 8 miles between my home town and the nearby lake, and that was with a short magnetic mount like this one. I checked the shelves of my mom's garage last weekend before ordering the Midland to see if any of the old radios were still there. Must have gotten tossed or traded sometime on the past 40 years...