Mounting your CB or Ham antenna on your vehicle is a very important step in the installation process. And when the vehicle is a jeep, things get trickier than ever.There is a lot of information about antenna mounting locations on a jeep scattered all over the Internet but here is a condensed account of which locations on your jeep are the best for mounting your CB Antenna or Ham radio and how you can optimize them for your benefit.
When you are installing your antenna on any vehicle, especially a jeep, the first concern that should be catered to is that your antenna should look good on your vehicle without affecting your system’s performance and by performing all its functions well.
Generally the middle of the roof of a vehicle is preferred for mounting an antenna and it is, no doubt, an ideal spot for this purpose. But there are situations when you can’t mount your antenna there at all. So the best point for antenna mounting is the one that doesn’t require your antenna to be moved whenever your vehicle changes its move.
Guidelines for mounting CB Antenna
For finding the best spot for mounting your CB or Ham antenna on your jeep, following points should be considered during the process:
- Choose the CB antenna that is sufficiently long and its length takes ½ of it above the roof line after being mounted on the jeep. Determine the level of your usage. For heavy usage or constant communication, longer antennas are a must. But for general use, the smaller ones perform great.
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- The point you select should have a wide, metallic ground plane for the antenna to be mounted and grounded on.
- The selected spot should not have any standing or vertical metal surface anywhere nearby your antenna.
- If you have a powerful scanner or any other appliance functioning nearby, it should be kept away from the antenna.
- Least preferable mounting locations are the license plates and the bumper of the jeep.
- Never mount your CB or Ham antenna between the spare tire and the tail gate of your jeep.
Types of Mounting Location of your CB Antenna
On the Roof
This point, as discussed above, is the ideal one so far. It gives the maximum exposure and the field for allowing the antenna to receive and transmit the signals efficiently.
This place is seldom noticed but is the second most effective location for mounting a CB or Ham antenna on the jeep. It makes the mounting of extremely long antennas easier than ever and amazingly, you don’t have to trim your antennas to fit them according to your jeep’s dimensions if you mount them on the cowl. The cowl also provides ready-made spots for antenna mounts so you can avoid drilling holes into your vehicle.
Corner of the Jeep
This is the place to consider if you want to keep your antenna mounted low and out of sight. It is preferable over the bumper mount.
Bumper itself is a possible mounting location that most of the drivers prefer but unfortunately it is the poorest option of all. It should be avoided first of all while considering the location for mounting the antenna but if you are considering this point, then keep it as a last alternative. Bumper mounts are unideal because they keep the antenna quite low and shielded by the body of the vehicle. So antenna is unable to perform optimally and can transmit and receive only in one direction. Such problems can also be attributed to the license plate mounts.
Between the Spare Tire and the Tailgate
This is the least preferred location for mounting your CB Antenna or Ham antennas. It is the one to be avoided at any cost because it not only makes your antenna almost useless but also blocks the window and the tailgate. This is the especially forbidden for mounting the Ham antennas.
Tips for mounting your HAM or CB Antenna right
If you want your CB or Ham antenna to perform at its best, then consider the following tips:
- Keep your antenna exposed as much as you can. The antenna will only give you the best performance when it can propagate its signals well in all the directions.
- When you are selecting the ground plane, make sure that it is not heavily covered with any kind of paint or varnish. If that is the case, then remove the paint to allow the metal to shine through and easily enable your CB Antenna to be grounded with it. Its dimensions should be such that its diameter should be ½ of the frequency wavelength. Also clean the ground plane properly before mounting your antenna on it.
- Also take care of the placement of your coil inside your antenna. This coil is engineered such that it needs to be exposed so that it can propagate its field easily outwards and uniformly in all the directions. As these coils are generally placed at the base in the Ham and Commercial antennas, these antennas should never be placed on the bumper or the license plate because the radiations coming out of the coil will turn back into the radio, hence destroying the internal components of your radio, especially the power amplifier.
- The roof of the jeep is generally made of fiberglass. That is why the cowl and the top rear corner of the jeep is highly preferred for CB Antenna mount as it will ease the propagation of radiation through it. The pillars are not something to be worried about because the signals can easily bend when they hit the pillars.
- Try not to go with the HAM or CB Antenna vendors who sell antenna mounting brackets for tailgate and spare tire. They don’t have the knowledge of the consequences of such an installation and are only focusing on selling a poor product to the customers.
- Keep the antenna whip straight and unbent. For making it flexible, remember to place a spring between the whip and the mount of your CB Antenna.
- Decent colors and designs of antenna should be preferred over the funkier ones because those latter ones are generally quite poor performing.
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