The antenna system has four basic components. They are the antenna, the coaxial cable, the antenna stud and the mount. In comparison to making a decision regarding the mount, choosing the antenna, stud mount and coax is a simple task. Based upon years of experience, we have found that most of your decision time will involve mount selection.
There was a time when 80% of installations used a mirror/side mount, trunk lip mount, ball mount or a gutter mount. Modern vehicles lack metal rain gutters, and trunk decks either open right at the rear glass or lack the gap needed by a trunk mount. And, side view mirrors, even those on pick-ups, have gone towards the stylish designs making them unfriendly to mirror mounts. To compliment matters further, cars, trucks and SUV's cost more today than the average house cost twenty years ago and owners have a hard time drilling holes in them for antenna mounts (see article on drilling holes). Also, lots of people lease vehicles today and can not drill holes in the exterior for obvious reasons.
Much of our design time is spent working on mounts with universal features. The enormous variety of vehicle designs makes it cost prohibitive to design a mount for each specific vehicle. Unless a large run of parts can be justified, the tooling cost per piece ends up shutting down projects. There are, of course exceptions to this rule. The popularity of the new Dodge Ram trucks and the simplicity of the tooling for the Ram hood mounts allowed us to create a vehicle specific mount. That was also the case with the GM truck mirror mount bracket. The fact is, there are numerous locations to mount an antenna on any vehicle and when multiplied times the number of vehicles, the types of mounts required would be astronomical.
When it comes to choosing a mount for a specific vehicle it is difficult for us to make the decision for you. First of all, it is near impossible for us to know the mechanical features of all active vehicles. Beyond that, we don't know the personal restrictions that you have placed on the installation. Some of these restrictions might involve your reluctance to drill holes in the exterior of the vehicle, appearance decisions rather than performance decision, what you expect from your system, and/or height limitations. It isn't unusual to discuss every mount possibility we have only to have every one rejected for one reason or another.
When we have a vehicle in front of us we are normally able to come up with a suggestion or two. On the other hand, when we are called upon to select a mount over the phone or by mail, it often ends up as a helpless situation. There are just too many variables. Nonetheless, we try to guide you in a positive direction. Even then, it doesn't always work out. On occasion we have customers go away angry because the mount and mounting location they wanted would have caused severe performance problems and/or possible damage to their transceiver or vehicle. We avoid the sale of problems.
So what do you do? If you have some mechanical abilities start out by studying the mounts we have available. We have included quite a bit of information on our web site for each of the mounts we manufacture. Take that knowledge with you to your vehicle and start a process of possibilities and impossibilities thinking. Having the vehicle in front of you gives you a great advantage. You will eventually work your way down to a couple of possibilities of which one will probably make more sense than the other(s). If you are totally at a loss for where to go, it may be best if you could visit a communications store in your area. Chances are good that the staff at these locations have encountered and solved mounting problems like the one you may be facing.
We are, of course, always here to offer suggestions and recommendations
to you. If you find it necessary to use us to assist you, take a few moments
and narrow down your criteria. When you do that you will help us to avoid
discussions on irrelevant points.