hf aerial location

Submitted: Tuesday, Jul 05, 2005 at 22:23
ThreadID: 24475 Views:1835 Replies:5 FollowUps:4
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g'day all,
we are on our way around oz in w.a at the moment and considering buying a hf radio. we've got a 75 series landcruiser with a canopy on the back, with all sides that open. (hinged at top) a couple of people have told us that you can not install aerial on bullbar, wondering if true and if anybody has any ideas on other locations to fit arial. and is there much differance in brands of radios. thank you
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Reply By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Tuesday, Jul 05, 2005 at 22:39

Tuesday, Jul 05, 2005 at 22:39
G'day mate,
I think the difference between brands is a bit like Toyota v Nissan etc.....both good brands, just people have different preferences. Mine is a Barrett and I am happy with it.
I used to have my auto tune antenna on b/bar but bought a bracket for rear door cos I heard some stories that it was illegal in some states to have anything above the top of your b/bar that is more than 30mm diameter. Having said that, I've never heard of anyone being booked and a lot of cop 4x4s in places like Broken Hill etc have their auto tunes on the b/bar anyway.
However, was also happy to have it down the back for it's own preservation. They look very vulnerable sitting up on top of the b/bar now that I look back on it.
Having said all that, you do not have to go for an auto tune antenna anyway....a tapped whip gives just as good reception, just not as convenient.
Some people say that auto tunes are prone to moisture damage etc, but (touch wood) mine has never let me down.
Roachie (whiskey 622; VKS 737)
AnswerID: 119022

Follow Up By: Member - Landie - Wednesday, Jul 06, 2005 at 10:23

Wednesday, Jul 06, 2005 at 10:23
Hi Roachie

From memory you are in Victoria. In Victoria there is a standard, issued by the State Authority responsible for vehicle registrations, on mounting of antennas on bullbars. You are correct in saying anything over 30mm in diamenter is not acceptable.

NSW is different, it is not expressly prohibited. I've posted a reply on this below.

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Follow Up By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Wednesday, Jul 06, 2005 at 10:47

Wednesday, Jul 06, 2005 at 10:47
Nah mate, I live in SA..........originally from NSW.........have a "whiskey" (ie Western Australia) call-sign courtesy of having purchased my 2nd hand barrett 550 from Outbacker Comms (Terry Clinch) and he set me up with it.
FollowupID: 374223

Reply By: geocacher (djcache) - Tuesday, Jul 05, 2005 at 23:11

Tuesday, Jul 05, 2005 at 23:11
This will sound a bit odd but worth considering.

I have heard of autotunes mounted in the tray and the top of the AT sits out through a sealed hole in the canopy. Protects the autotune and solves mounting problems - so long as you don't end up with a leaky cannopy. There is no signal radiated from the big black pipe so it doesn't matter.

IMHO - my AT is on the bull bar and no one's questioned it yet.

AnswerID: 119029

Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Tuesday, Jul 05, 2005 at 23:58

Tuesday, Jul 05, 2005 at 23:58
Hey Dave, Didn't you just go on a trip?
How was it?

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Reply By: Member - Banjo The First (SA) - Wednesday, Jul 06, 2005 at 08:42

Wednesday, Jul 06, 2005 at 08:42
It just might be that you could put a Barrett 910 AT inside the canopy and have all of the whip outside, via a hole, BUT you must keep all metal objects away from the poly case of the AT - I think the limit is 100mm - arcing can occur inside otherwise, doing damage. Don't know about the Codan black pole, re clearances. I'd be surprised if some of the signal is not coming from the windings on the Codan black pole ...... as with tapped whips, signal is generated overall I'm told, with the tap wire determining the profile of the signal. Cars and radios can be a bugger .....
AnswerID: 119055

Reply By: Member - Landie - Wednesday, Jul 06, 2005 at 10:20

Wednesday, Jul 06, 2005 at 10:20
This is a copy of my post made on 23 June, 2005 (Post ID 24103).

This issue is a bit of an old chestnut and a lot of the information circulating is hearsay. I've researched the issue fully, with respect to NSW and Victoria and the following clarifies it. It is imprtant to remember that you need to (only) meet the regulations for the State in which your vehicle is registered.

Post follows.

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.

AnswerID: 119076

Reply By: KiwiAngler - Wednesday, Jul 06, 2005 at 11:16

Wednesday, Jul 06, 2005 at 11:16
I have an ICOM CF7000 with a Moonraker autotune aerial which I chose to mount on the rear swing out wheel carrier.

The reasons for this decision were:

1) I already have a stick UHF aerial on lhs of front bullbar and a CDMA stick on the rhs of front bullbar and did not want to mount yet another aerial there.

2) I believe the location that I chose offers a bit more protection from the force of the wind created when driving (less strain on the aerial overall) and as it is 'tucked in behind' the spaer wheel carrier it 'might' not get damaged 'as much' should I get hit by another vehicle.

3) I personally dont like the aesthetics of the auto tune on the front of my vehicle even though the Moonraker is a 'low profile' when compared to other autotunes

Hope this all helps

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Follow Up By: KiwiAngler - Wednesday, Jul 06, 2005 at 11:19

Wednesday, Jul 06, 2005 at 11:19

didnt get the image thing sorted did I :-)))

I have apic if you want to see it- might have to e-mail it instaed :-)
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