I am currently driving a 2007 Honda Civic EX sedan. For amateur radio use, I have installed an Icom IC-706MkIIG transceiver, an Icom AH-4 antenna tuner, and two vertical antennas on the trunk.
The objective of the installation was to utilize antennas that can remain affixed to the car at all times. Since my car lives in a garage at home, it is important that the antennas clear the garage door entrance. With my previous car, I almost never took the time to pull out of the garage, screw a monoband HF vertical antenna into its threaded mount, using wrenches to keep it from vibrating loose, and get back in the car before going on my way - and of course doing the reverse upon my return. With this installation, the antennas are always available. The HF and six meter antenna is just a whip, cut as long as I could get it to fit under the door of the garage, connected to the antenna tuner. I understand this kind of an antenna for HF is a very serious compromise, and I have appropriately set my expectations regarding its performance, but it is better than no antenna at all, and I still hope it does well on 6 meters and 10 meters at least.
|In mid-October, I had my amateur radio equipment installed in the car. Two antennas on the trunk are relatively inconspicuous. Both antenna mounts are Radiall/Larsen NMO trunk lip mounts.|
|This is the antenna for HF and 50 MHz. It is definitely a compromise antenna on HF, but should be reasonable for 50 MHz. The whip was cut to be as tall as possible while still clearing our garage door. It is about 39" (100 cm) tall.|
|This is the Radiall/Larsen antenna for 146 MHz and 440 MHz. It is resonant on both bands. Because of the curve of the trunk, both antennas lean out a little bit from vertical, which is just as well, as they clear the roof that way when the trunk is open.|
|The Radiall/Larsen 146/440 MHz antenna has a loading coil in the center. Both antennas are black, and not nearly as noticeable as you would think.|
|The center of the dash, including the newly-installed control head for the Icom IC-706MkIIG and the Kenwood SP-50B speaker. The Icom IC-706MkIIG control head is tilted slightly to face the driver.|
|The Icom hand microphone sits comfortably in a compartment between the gear shift and the cup holders.|
|This is the view looking over the right shoulder of the driver.|
|The radio body and antenna tuner are mounted in the trunk. I had a local car stereo shop, Custom Sounds, do this install and route power from the battery. I'm quite happy with the work they did. I mounted the antennas myself, routing the coax inside the plastic covers over the door hinges, which hides them very well.|
|The radio body is the black unit on the left, and the antenna tuner is the white unit on the right. The car stereo shop installed a board against the inside of the top of the trunk in order to have a nice, flat surface upon which to mount the equipment. It barely clears the torsion bars for the trunk lid.|
|To the right of the antenna tuner is a West Mountain Radio RigRunner 4005 DC power distribution panel. It uses Anderson PowerPole connectors and standard ATC blade fuses. I can now easily plug in any 13.8VDC device I might want to in my trunk.|
|Power for the radio and antenna tuner comes straight from the battery. A 10 gauge wire goes from the positive battery terminal, through its own grometted hole through the firewall, to the trunk. The power cable has its own plastic loom sleeve inside the engine compartment, and is fused at the battery with a 25A ATC blade fuse (at the very right of the image).|
Last Updated 1 August 2018