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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wanted an antenna for my fire radio somewhere inconspicuous. My SC limited has a sliding rear window. The bottom track spans both directions from the window, even though the window only moves one way. Maybe for symmetry?
That track slot is about 14mm, or about 0.55 inches. Cut a small block of wood to friction fit there and painted it black. Made a UHF 6" quarter wave antenna from a piece of coax. Drilled holes to ty-wrap it to the block. Covered antenna with black shrink wrap. Pushed it in the slot. Works great. Virtually invisible from the outside; you really need to look closely to see it.

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I'll use a small 6" magnetic mount coil loaded antenna on the roof. I've found that inside the vehicle acts as a faraday cage and really reduces the range and clarity when using an antenna inside.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'll use a small 6" magnetic mount coil loaded antenna on the roof. I've found that inside the vehicle acts as a faraday cage and really reduces the range and clarity when using an antenna inside.
I agree that roof mounted should always have the best range. But I wanted nothing visible, and no wires through the door seals.
I compared signal strength using a handheld radio. Inside on rear floor was awful. Inside in cup holder (seat level) was marginally better, but still pretty bad. Inside at window level was a lot better. Inside with my rear window antenna was even better. Outside was only slightly better than rear window.
 

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I agree that roof mounted should always have the best range. But I wanted nothing visible, and no wires through the door seals.
I compared signal strength using a handheld radio. Inside on rear floor was awful. Inside in cup holder (seat level) was marginally better, but still pretty bad. Inside at window level was a lot better. Inside with my rear window antenna was even better. Outside was only slightly better than rear window.
I get that you don't want to go through the door seals. I am curious about the antenna you made out of coax I would have thought that the shielding in the wire would make it inefficient as an antenna?? Have you used an SWR meter to check your signal to noise ratio? If it is over 2 you could eventually damage your radio. If it is over 5 you definitely will. I bought a cheap one on amazon to check mine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I get that you don't want to go through the door seals. I am curious about the antenna you made out of coax I would have thought that the shielding in the wire would make it inefficient as an antenna?? Have you used an SWR meter to check your signal to noise ratio? If it is over 2 you could eventually damage your radio. If it is over 5 you definitely will. I bought a cheap one on amazon to check mine.
For UHF...
Strip off the outer jacket about 8 to 9 inches. Fold the shield backwards over top of the jacket. Trim the folded back shield to 6". Remove the insulation on the exposed center conductor. Trim the center conductor to 6". Heat shrink over everything. Works best in a totally vertical position.
I did not measure the VSWR on this one, but I have made many others like it and they all are good. Typ 1.2 at tuned freq. Used a bird 43 to do it.
This specific one is intended for receive only, so I skipped the folding over of the shield. For receive, RG6 works fine. Added benefit is that it is very low loss and has a solid center conductor.
If I wanted to transmit, I would want the ground plane. Since space is small vertically, the folded shield would still work, but would have a slightly worse VSWR (about 1.5 depending upon position) because it has a bend. You could, instead of the folded shield, use two 6" radials. Both horizontal, parallel to the track. One to the right, one to the left. Build that out of a BNC chassis mount connector.
 
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