Craig Miller, W8CR
Mobile Mount Merriment
Mobile Mount Merriment
Last year I bit the bullet and bought a Ford F250 pickup. It’s a great vehicle, I love it. After a
year I figured it’s time I install a mobile rig for 2 meters and 440 mhz. One major
requirement I set for myself is not to drill any holes in the aluminum body to run cable or
affix an antenna mount - I don’t want to jeopardize the corrosion protection built into the
As mentioned, the body is 100% aluminum, so magnetic mounts are out of the question.
This also prevents sticking on other accessories like mag-mount flashing lights for
emergency use. Gary, KE8O, suggested looking into a slick antenna mount manufactured by
Larson Electronics that installs where the third brake-light is located on the back of the cab.
The bracket is also made out of aluminum but for a few bucks more, they provide a powder-
coated steel plate bolted with stainless steel hardware. This option is perfect, I get a high
profile antenna mount which allows me to run the coax through the brake-light opening as
well as a future location for mag-mount accessories.
I had an old Comet mount I used on the rear hatch of my Expedition and hoped I could
repurpose both it and the Diamond dual-band antenna that has served me well for years.
Looking over the Comet mount, I found to my dismay the coax shield broke free from it’s
strain relief. Crap! Will I have to buy a new one?
Grinding my teeth, I notice a screwdriver slot on the bottom of the mount, hmmmm, what is
that for? To my surprise, it accesses the solder lug of the SO239 coax connector:
This mount was designed to be repaired! Who ever heard of such a thing in this one-shot
disposable, planned obsolescence society. I was able to retrim the coax and booger-up a
solder job and repair the connection:
Following the instructions from Larson to install the bracket, I am able to snake the cable
through the foam gasket of the brake-light and run the coax above the interior headliner
down to the future location of the transceiver chassis. The only heat-shrink tubing I had on
hand to fit the coax was red, so I wrapped the wire with good-old 3M Scotch Super 33+
electrical tape to make it black and give an extra layer of vinyl to keep those crazy RF signals
going the right direction.
Now, the onto the hard part: run power and install the rig under the back seat and find a
good location for the head and microphone up by the dash. This is turning into a project!
The things we hams do to play on the radio.