New CB/GMRS/HAM Front-Mount Antenna Bracket

CoolTech

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We are excited to announce the availability of our new front-mount antenna bracket. We have configurations so that you can leverage the mount as a CB, GMRS, or Ham radio antenna mount. Because the same mount works equally well on either side of the Jeep, those users who want more than one radio type can have an antenna on each side of the Jeep. Like all of our mounts, the construction is all stainless steel.

We designed the bracket for Midland's MXTA26 6db GMRS antenna (shown in pics), but the mount works very well with our 3' Firestik Firefly CB antennas as well. In the pictures it may look like the mount is touching the paint, but I assure you that it is not. The mount utilize a horizontal foot that inserts into the cowl/fender body gap. The plastic edge-trim keeps the bracket centered in the seam without touching the paint while providing the fore/aft stability that mitigates any twisting forces on the single mounting fastener. Installation time of the bracket will be way less than 5 minutes! (You'll spend more time deciding which side you want it on.)

You can order the mount HERE in 3 different "configurations";

a. The first option is just the mount itself and the attachment hardware. The mount has a 1/2" hole which accommodates just about any CB antenna. We recommend a CB antenna length of 3' - and we really prefer (and have tested with) the lightweight tunable-tip Firestik FireFly CB antenna.

b. The second configuration is for GMRS/HAM antennas. This configuration includes the mount above plus Cool Tech exclusive, 10' MXTA24 antenna cable with an NMO mount. This will allow you to mount any GMRS or HAM antenna that uses the popular NMO-style mount. But, knowing that this is a front-mount antenna bracket, we are providing a coax length of only 10' instead of the more commonly available 20' length. Looping excess antenna cable together will severely compromise the performance of your antenna. Our 10' length provides you enough room to mount your radio anywhere in the dash area of the Jeep.

c. This last configuration is just like b) above but will also include the Midland MXTA26 6db NMO-mount antenna (as shown below).

We're hoping that this new antenna mount will help compel Jeep owners to make the transition to GMRS radios.




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Spank

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Awesome. I've been waiting for something like this for a while. This should still work with the Mopar a-pillar brackets, right?
 

DanW

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Can it be moved back to the other mounting bolt behind it? That puts the antenna out of sight from the driver's seat.
 
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CoolTech

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As for compatibility with the Mopar brackets, I doubt it. We tucked the antenna in as close as possible to the body by intention. Unfortunately, the Mopar brackets have that small kick-out which I thing would be problematic.

The challenge with that rear bolt location is both the door and coax routing. While the antenna *might be* barely visible to some drivers (the A-pillar blocks most of it), there's a very convenient place to route the coax and which is mostly concealed.
 

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Can it be moved back to the other mounting bolt behind it? That puts the antenna out of sight from the driver's seat.
That puts it even closer to your head. Even with the position shown, I wouldn’t want to transmit 50w. RF exposure is a thing.
 

DanW

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That puts it even closer to your head. Even with the position shown, I wouldn’t want to transmit 50w. RF exposure is a thing.
I ask because I have one from Rugged Radios on my JL that is completely hidden by the A pillar. and 2. I want one for my JK but RR is just too expensive after shipping. Besides that, I've got Cooltech antenna mounts on both the JK and JL and they are excellent, so I like this company's products.

This looks like it could actually work as-is in the rear bolt.

As for RF, it would only be about 5" or so closer and completely blocked by the A pillar, which (maybe?) provides some shielding effect? Plus, my GMRS radios are only 15w, not 50. I'd think a 50w toward the front of the hood would make my nose hair glow just as quickly as a 15w in this position. But I'm just guessing about all of ths. I'm no expert on RF or how it moves or if there is or isn't a shielding effect, so I do appreciate you pointing that out.
 
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That puts it even closer to your head. Even with the position shown, I wouldn’t want to transmit 50w. RF exposure is a thing.
While ultra-high RF energy - to the point it can produce heat may be a "thing", 50 watts of RF energy is far, far below that. The following is from the FCC who would be the agency to impose safety standards if/when they were warranted.

"At relatively low levels of exposure to RF radiation, i.e., levels lower than those that would produce significant heating, the evidence for production of harmful biological effects is ambiguous and unproven. Such effects, if they exist, have been referred to as "non-thermal" effects. A number of reports have appeared in the scientific literature describing the observation of a range of biological effects resulting from exposure to low levels of RF energy. However, in most cases, further experimental research has been unable to reproduce these effects. Furthermore, since much of the research is not done on whole bodies (in vivo), there has been no determination that such effects constitute a human health hazard."
 

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While ultra-high RF energy - to the point it can produce heat may be a "thing", 50 watts of RF energy is far, far below that. The following is from the FCC who would be the agency to impose safety standards if/when they were warranted.

"At relatively low levels of exposure to RF radiation, i.e., levels lower than those that would produce significant heating, the evidence for production of harmful biological effects is ambiguous and unproven. Such effects, if they exist, have been referred to as "non-thermal" effects. A number of reports have appeared in the scientific literature describing the observation of a range of biological effects resulting from exposure to low levels of RF energy. However, in most cases, further experimental research has been unable to reproduce these effects. Furthermore, since much of the research is not done on whole bodies (in vivo), there has been no determination that such effects constitute a human health hazard."
For most situations, that is probably the case. However, the same FCC published guidelines for when an operator needs to perform a station evaluation. While not required for mobiles, it can be recommended (see below). For 2M, 50 watts is a suggested threshold for doing an evaluation. Much of the more recent guidance on the FCC site such as posted above is focused on cell phones and related wireless devices which operate at much higher frequencies and much lower power.

For most GMRS installations, it likely is not an issue as they typically are below the UHF (70cm) threshold of 70 watts. As long as people aren't running extra power, should be fine, particularly given that most aren't using the radio constantly (though FM does have a 100% duty cycle).

Different operators weigh their installation criteria differently. Some want to maximize performance, some want to minimize visuals, some want the easiest installation. I add safety into that list. Again, for typical GMRS users likely not much of a worry. But given that GMRS licenses require no technical study, a little more information isn't necessarily a bad thing.

fwiw I run three radios in my JL (2-door). The 2M/440 antenna is furthest away from me (50W radio). The CB is next furthest (running a Cooltech mount in the back) and the GMRS is closest, though still about 5' away and only running 15W.

https://transition.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Engineering_Technology/Documents/bulletins/oet65/oet65b.pdf

"Although not required by the FCC’s rules, it is advisable that mobile stations also be considered for potential exposure before an amateur automatically applies the categorical exemption. As an example, a 500-watt, 10-meter mobile installation with a vehicle mounted antenna would certainly merit a closer look. On VHF, the use of a high-power amplifier could also present problems in some cases. In general, it is recommended that in these higher powered installations, the antenna be located such that the vehicle occupants will be shielded from the antenna during normal use. One good location is in the center of an all-metal roof. Locations to be avoided for high-power operation would be a trunk-mounted antenna, or installation on a vehicle with a fiberglass roof. In general, mobile installations, even higher-powered ones, should not exceed the MPEs if sound installation guidelines are followed. The ARRL Handbook and ARRL antenna books, available from the ARRL, have additional material on mobile installations and antennas (see footnote 9)."
 

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As for RF, it would only be about 5" or so closer and completely blocked by the A pillar, which (maybe?) provides some shielding effect? Plus, my GMRS radios are only 15w, not 50. I'd think a 50w toward the front of the hood would make my nose hair glow just as quickly as a 15w in this position. But I'm just guessing about all of ths. I'm no expert on RF or how it moves or if there is or isn't a shielding effect, so I do appreciate you pointing that out.
I also have a 15W GMRS radio, and I wouldn't worry too much about that. Just don't lick the antenna while transmitting :)

RF is a funny beast. Shielding isn't straight forward as anyone who has suffered with RFI in the shack will tell you. As I said above, in most situations it isn't a factor, but I do consider it when positioning antennas. I'm running 50W on 2M and 70cm so I do fold that into the mix.

But RF is quite fun. Two nights ago I got into a UHF repeater that is 250 miles away. Evidently had an inversion layer as that is crazy distance for UHF and my signal was certainly rough but full copy. Last night I was able to get into a 2M repeater that is 150 miles away - less impressive but still cool, especially since I have a range of mountains in the path about 20 miles from me. HF is another ballgame - when conditions are right no problem talking to Australia and New Zealand from CA on 100W.

From the FCC faq Cooltech quoted:

Transmitting power levels for vehicle-mounted land-mobile antennas are generally less than those used by base-station antennas but higher than those used for hand-held units. Some manufacturers recommend that users and other nearby individuals maintain some minimum distance (e.g., 1 to 2 feet) from a vehicle-mounted antenna during transmission or mount the antenna in such a way as to provide maximum shielding for vehicle occupants. Studies have shown that this is probably a conservative precaution, particularly when the percentage of time an antenna is actually radiating is considered. Unlike cellular telephones, which transmit continuously during a call, two-way radios normally transmit only when the "push-to-talk" button is depressed. This significantly reduces exposure, and there is no evidence that there would be a safety hazard associated with exposure from vehicle-mounted, two-way antennas when the manufacturer's recommendations are followed.
 

DanW

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And all I wanted to do with this thread is to introduce a harmless antenna mount.....
I like the mount, and I like the price compared to the previous one I purchased.

Btw, I have been using my CB's in both Jeeps this week on the Appalachian Byway. They both have Cooltech mounts, JK and JL. They have worked beautifully with, for CB, good range and clarity. I love your products! I look forward to more innovation in the future!
 

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Got my initial setup installed. Still waiting on my antenna to be delivered. Your mounts were easy to use. I ran up through the windshield. I am not good at interior panels, so this might not be optimal. 9’ coax was more than enough this way.
 

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