HF Self-Tuning Antennas - Fitting

Submitted: Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 11:40
ThreadID: 24103 Views:2843 Replies:3 FollowUps:6
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There has been a number of posts on this topic regarding the legality of fitting HF self-tuning antennas to the bullbars of vehicles.

The requirements vary from state-to-state and some are more specific than others. In Victoria it is clear – it is not acceptable.

The following deals with New South Wales only. After various discussions and views as to what is acceptable I had my local MP ascertain the exact requirements from the Minister for Roads. The guiding document is the RTA Vehicle Inspection Bulletin number 5. It deals with how items are to be fitted and is fairly clear on this point.

What wasn’t as clear is how it is determined that something is obstructing the vision of the driver.

I won’t reproduce the whole response, however the important parts follow.


I’m advised that the principal area of concern with protrusions is the potential to cause injury when a vehicle strikes another road user, for example a pedestrian. The VIB provides guidelines to users to help them determine if their accessories comply with the regulations.

I’m also advised the diagram on page 2 of the VIB shows it is acceptable to have an aerial fitted to a bulbar, providing the mounting bracket is located on the rear of the bulbar. In regard to Para 27(a) driver’s field of view, any accessories (including an aerial) or fitting affixed at the front of a vehicle that may restrict the drivers vision to the extent it will impair his ability to control the vehicle by virtue of being unable to see objects, lights or other road users, for example a pedestrian, is unacceptable.


Whilst there is still some subjectivity in the assessment, providing it does not obstruct your vision it is acceptable. I’d argue it would need to be a very thin pedestrian that could hide behind a self-tuning antenna and not be seen.

I recently obtained a pink slip for my vehicle and the self-tuning antenna, which is permanently fixed to the bulbar, was never raised as an issue.
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Reply By: Footloose - Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 13:37

Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 13:37
Subjectivity is to be avoided, especially when it comes to insurance. If someone commits hari kari on your vehicle, can the insurer decide that the autotune obstructed your vision ? I'd bet they'd have a good go at trying :((((
AnswerID: 117050

Follow Up By: Member - Landie - Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 13:46

Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 13:46

Yes that is true. The problem with the VIB is that it does not define what is an obstruction. this letter does. It defines it assomething you can't see.

That now being the case I am more than comfortable at being challenged on it, as it would be a very skinny person that would be able to stand in front of the antenna and not be seen.

The fact that I have taken this level of due diligence to ensure I comply, along with the fact that an RTA inspection station has issued a pink slip for the vehicle, it would make it very difficult to make a case against me, or anyone else, providing it was not the sole contributing factor to an accident.

FollowupID: 372518

Follow Up By: Footloose - Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 13:52

Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 13:52
Keep an eye on this area. I suspect that legislation wise, things are in the wings. Its easy to forget your aerial for a while. But be assured that the powers that be won't give a hoot in ^ell that it was legal before the legislation was passed.
And should you venture to Vic or WA, what then ? Would a keen copper try one on I wonder ?
FollowupID: 372519

Follow Up By: Member - Landie - Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 14:46

Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 14:46

Your point about other States - you only need to meet the registration requirements for the State you are in. If it is registered in NSW you must comply with regulations enforced in NSW, not Victoria or WA. Any infringement notices from another State could be challenged, most likely successfully.

For this reason alone there is a strong probability that NSW will step into line with Victoria. The RTA is currently reviewing VIB number 5 and they anticipate that a new VIB will be out this year. However, I'll wait until they are out before concerning myself about them, if in fact there is a need to do so.
FollowupID: 372526

Follow Up By: geocacher (djcache) - Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 22:22

Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 22:22
Interesting what you say about complying in the state you live in. I can't tow my trailer into new south wales as all trailers have to be registered there. Providing it meets size constraints I don't have to register in Vic.

Even if it's towed behind a Vic plated vehicle it's still going to get me booked in NSW.

FollowupID: 372613

Follow Up By: Member - Landie - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 08:56

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 08:56
Hi Dave

I can't offer any insight to the trailer issue. Certainly as far as vehicles go, you are (only) required to meet the standards for the State in which you register it, regardless of where you drive it.

Due to the annomalies that occur, and the HF mounting is one of them, it is likely there will be a convergence of the State regulations over time. For instance the NSW RTA is currently reviewing the VIB number 5 which deals with the mounting of fittings on bullbars and there is every likelihood it will move towards the Victorian standard.

FollowupID: 372646

Reply By: lindsay - Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 17:34

Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 17:34
If in victoria have a look at the vicroads site and go to the vehicle standards section it will have V.S.I. No 29 where it deals with the field of vision for vehicles.
Down load it and keep it the vehicle for future use it is quite clear in the requirements.
AnswerID: 117094

Reply By: Niko - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 01:18

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 01:18
If the worse comes to worse then there is always placing the HF antenna at the back of the vehicle. There is no clear gain or loss unless towing a caravan, but even then it is questionable an extra 3 metres is going to make a huge difference in RX/TX.
AnswerID: 117174

Follow Up By: geocacher (djcache) - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 22:07

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 22:07
Bit hard on my dual cab, mate.

That's why it's on the bull bar. Easy for those with wagons.

FollowupID: 372775

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