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Thread: Solution for amateur radio operators? Impossible to use magmount antennas in a Tesla

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    Solution for amateur radio operators? Impossible to use magmount antennas in a Tesla

    For obvious reasons, the mostly-aluminum roof on the Model S makes it unsuitable for using a mag mount antenna for Ham radio use. I suspect this problem presents itself in other cars that are built similarly.

    We'd like to replace our Buick Enclave with the Model X when it comes out, but seeing as I can't use radios very successfully in the Model S, I'm not sure we want to have two cars with this problem.

    Anyone tried any innovative methods I might not have though of to circumvent this problem?
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    Member Bearman's Avatar
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    Suction cup like gopro cameras maybe?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bearman View Post
    Suction cup like gopro cameras maybe?
    The issue is not just in attaching it, but in having a large conductive surface to aid in reception.

    Edit: To clarify, suction cups would interrupt the connection to the ground plane negating the usefulness of the antenna.
    Last edited by wts13; 10-21-2013 at 02:43 AM.
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    I am guessing you did not opt for the panoramic roof option? Maybe drilling a hole in the roof or how about placing it on the back glass?

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    Drilling holes is a bit scary :P

    It would be interesting to know which if any areas of the car are some steel alloy as opposed to largely aluminum. The roof clearly isn't one of them. Haven't yet tried the rear deck - routing wires might be tricky but it could be done.

    Putting it on glass is pointless as it's not conductive. Aluminum is, but it's not magnetic. Hence the predicament
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    Sig S#118; R#770 (ret.) stevezzzz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wts13 View Post
    The issue is not just in attaching it, but in having a large conductive surface to aid in reception.

    Edit: To clarify, suction cups would interrupt the connection to the ground plane negating the usefulness of the antenna.
    I'm not an antenna designer, but there's an apparent contradiction in this: using a magnet to stick the antenna to a steel roof wouldn't seem to make an electrical connection through the paint any more than using suction cups to stick one to an aluminum roof...or does it?
    PLEASE NOTE: These musings are the copyrighted intellectual property of the author, and are intended as part of a conversation among the Tesla Motors Clubs membership. My words may not be quoted by any third party outside the Tesla Motors Clubs forums, without my expressed consent.

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    2013 P85+, X seq 2,318 andrewket's Avatar
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    Give up ham radio? I'm only half kidding. I've been licensed since I was 17, but gave up the hobby about 10 years ago. It's slowly dying.

    On the MS with the pano roof there are mounts for a roof carrier. You could use those as a base. Perhaps a small metal bar across the roof to act as a ground plane.

    A
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    I've used a Comet trunk lip mount for years. With my current SUV (Toyota Highlander) I have it mounted on the side of the tailgate and it works well. I believe this is what I use, though mine is about 20 years old: Comet-NCG RS-520 | SMALL HVY DUTY TRUNK MOUNT

    I never liked mag mounts as they tend to scratch the paint.

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    Senior Member scaesare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wts13 View Post

    Putting it on glass is pointless as it's not conductive.
    Other replies have already suggested a trunk lip type of mount... but I just wanted point out that in regard to the above point: there are lots of glass-mount options out there.

    They aren't as efficient as a thru-the-roof mounts if you have a ground-plane available, but given that you don't anyway due to the aluminum, this may be a good option for you.

    My buddy uses one for his 2M rig and it works well for him.
    -sc

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    Quote Originally Posted by andrewket View Post
    Give up ham radio? I'm only half kidding. I've been licensed since I was 17, but gave up the hobby about 10 years ago. It's slowly dying.

    On the MS with the pano roof there are mounts for a roof carrier. You could use those as a base. Perhaps a small metal bar across the roof to act as a ground plane.

    A
    Hate to add to the debbie downer; Like Andrew and you, I've been a licensed ARO for 20 years. Not used it in 10. Slowly may be an understatement.

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