Frontrunner antenna mount

PhulesAU

Explorer
I'd have it in the middle due to nastry branches, but that's a clean looking install. If you have any weird issues keep us posted.
 

PhulesAU

Explorer
I'd have it in the middle due to nastry branches, but that's a clean looking install. If you have any weird issues keep us posted.
 

dreadlocks

Well-known member
I didnt want it to fold over and then have it impact the back door when my son kicks that thing open at mach1.. on the chance that it might turn more than 90 degrees.
 

dreadlocks

Well-known member
Comet CA-2X4SR, nice wide dual bander w/good swr up high towards GMRS freqs.. not that I would ever operate my D710 outside of spec ;)

This was my best option honestly for a good mount on this vehicle, the roof is aluminum, I chicken shitted outta drilling a NMO mount through that, all the seams on the hatch/hood are really thick (probably cuz aluminum) and I found no lip mounts that could deal with it.. I needed a roof basket so I could carry a full sized spare so I changed plans and been sitting on this D710 for months now itching to install it.. FR has a sale on right now, last summer they wanted $1100.. got it now for ~$700, which is what the OEM cross bars cost and they sit so much higher to accommodate mounting hardware and allowing the sunroof to still open.. looks terrible IMO.
 

Billoftt

Active member
Dreadlocks, that is a damn fine idea. I recently purchased what I believe is the same antenna in CaptainChaos's (The midland 5/8 wave GMRS) for my wife's van and it has a very, very stout rod of stainless steel as the whip. Stout enough to maybe act as a can opener on her roof.
 
I forgot about this post. Lol.

It is a midland antenna in the pic, but I have since moved that antenna to a homemade awning mount that I built. The antenna is short enough that I don’t worry much about it.
I moved the Frontrunner mount to the other side and mounted my 2m antenna to it. I then ordered the wrong length coax, and haven’t yet ordered a longer one. You can see how much I use my ham. Lol
I better order that coax while I’m thinking about it....
 

Matto

Observer
I know this is an old thread, but I wanted to add my experience with using the FrontRunner folding UHF Antenna mount.

I bought the antenna mount when I put the FR tub rack on the back of the ute. I had my UHF aerial mounted on the roll bar behind the cab and I liked the spot. Happy to accept that it didn't work as well back there - it was better than having it wobbling around in my field of view on the bullbar or nudge bar, and when I've had aerials on Z-brackets out of the bonnet they always rubbed the paint through and squished the cable. Behind the cab it was protected from most branches and animal strikes, and still worked more than well enough for my purposes.

The mount itself is well-made, and there's really thoughtful design elements like the angled guard underneath to protect the cable entry. The powdercoating is fantastic, and it looks a treat. One of those things that you're really happy to receive and unpack.

When I first fitted up the FR mount, I had a thin stainless Uniden whip aerial. Around town it was OK, and I'd often keep the aerial at the 45-degree position so I can get into my garage / undercover car parks / etc. When I was out on the open road though, and with the aerial positioned vertically, problems started to come in. At 100kph the wind would push the aerial over into it's 45-degree position. On a recent gulf trip with a lot of corrugations, the antenna would fall all the way down and end up pointing to the ground. As you can imagine, it did wonders for my radio reception (and scratched the paint on the body of the tub - no real loss there). Tightening up the tension screw didn't seem to help - even with it quite tight (such that I *almost* wasn't able to rotate it by hand) it would still rattle down. Tightening it up also seemed to make a bit of the problem worse - it would push the outer part of the mount (that the aerial mounts to) away from the body of the mount (that attaches to the car) and put a sideways pressure on the centre pin/bolt such that the two wouldn't sit evenly/parallel against each other.

I've now replaced the aerial with a heavy-duty, metre-long GME fibreglass antenna. The heavier antenna, of course, makes the problem even worse. Even driving around town now makes the antenna fall down - not what you want for an expensive new aerial! I've adjusted the tension screw up even further, but no good - the mount is basically impossible to rotate by hand now, but at the same time it doesn't seem to want to lock into any of the positional detents either. Just driving around town is enough to make the aerial fall down. This is a problem because the car doesn't fit into the garage with the longer aerial on it now, so I can't just fix it in the upright position!

I feel the problem is with the little spring-loaded locking pin/bearing. It just doesn't locate into the positioning holes strongly enough. I'm not sure if I got a bum one, and it doesn't locate properly? I guess it's by design - if the aerial hits a branch you want it to fold over to protect the aerial. However, unfortunately for me, there doesn't seem to be any way to stop it folding itself back from just general wind pressure and bumps and rattles of normal driving. I think they need to redesign it with some sort of positive locking mechanism - a pin that you can remove, tilt the mount, and then re-insert to lock it in that spot (or similar). It'd be no good for avoiding tree strikes then of course, but it would actually let you set the antenna at a position and have it stay there.

I'm not entirely sure what to do about it now, to be honest. I think I'll probably end up pinning it or welding it in the locked upright position. Of course, then I'll have to get a shorter aerial to mount on the spring base for around town, and only fit up the brand new big aerial when we do a trip away. A bit disappointing really, as it's quite an expensive part to start with.

Keen to hear if anyone else has had a similar problem and if you were able to fix it.

Cheers,
Matt
 

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dreadlocks

Well-known member
you do know you can adjust the tension right? holds my 3ft antenna jas fine and dandy.. took a few adjustments tho.

loosen the nut, stab a flathead through the hole in the front, turn it a few times then tighten the nut back up.
 

Matto

Observer
Yeah, I know about the tension adjustment. Like I said, I've got it wound all the way up so that it's basically impossible to turn by hand, yet it still manages to rattle down with just normal driving. When you adjust the tension up, does the spring pin sit nicely in the detent holes? Mine sorta doesn't - extra tension pushes the two halves away from each other so they're not parallel/flat any more, and I think that stops the spring pin from locating in the detent holes.

With your tension adjusted up, are you able to still rotate the mount and sit it into the right position? Or have you found you need it so super tight that it's pretty much locked in the one spot?

If all I've got to do is drill out the holes a bit bigger, then I'm happy to give that a shot.
 

dreadlocks

Well-known member
mine still locks in just fine, it does push the two halves out a lil bit.. but can hear it click in place as it rotates.. Ive had to tweak it a few times as things kinda worked in and it got loose and started tilting from wind but its been holding it upright for a good while now and I can collapse it by hand or with any impact.

Ive got another one to put on my trailer rails w/same antenna, just need to customize the mount a bit.. already broken one antenna off on it, tho I'm not using a rigid fiberglass like yours so probably much less wind resistance.
 
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