Any amateur radios in a Model S yet?

Any amateur radios in a Model S yet?

After having installed and used amateur (ham) radios for many years in several cars, I miss not being able to chat with friends and other amateurs around the world. Planning a low-profile installation in my Model S so would like to share experience and ideas with other hams. Thanks!

wcalvin | 19 luglio 2013

The Model S is a better Faraday cage than most, as only the checkered area to the right of the rear-view mirror is free enough from metallic content.

Still, cell phones get through. Might require you to stick to VHF and UHF bands on a handheld.

The roof has attachment points under flip-up panels on the roof for rooftop carriers. Might mount a low-band antenna there.

RickT | 19 luglio 2013

I installed a tiny vertical (about 3" high) for 2m, 440 and 1.2 GHz on a Comet multi-axis mount on the trunk lid near the left side hinge. I used a manufactured feedline with about 18" of tiny coax connected to about 10' of 1/4" stuff, both unlabeled. Got all the parts at HRO. The tiny coax fits nicely through the weather molding although I take care to make sure it slips into the notch between the rear windshield and the trunk lid frame as I close the trunk. One time when I didn't pay attention, it got pinched in the hinge and almost ruined. I plan to tack it down with Velcro tape Real Soon Now.

I have a much larger tri-band antenna that I can put on the same N-connector mount when not in motion. It's a pretty sturdy mount but I haven't even considered an HF antenna. I think anything useful would be too big and might bend aluminum.

The large coax goes neatly between the left rear seat and the left door frame, then along the floor into the junk carrier between the front seats. I built a steeply tilted shelf with scrap wood onto which I attached a Kenwood mounting bracket. That presently holds a pair of FM xcvrs for 2m and 1.2 fed through 2/3 of a triplexer. The triplexer fits invisibly behind the tilted shelf (under the Tesla gadget shelf) and I power the rigs from the accessory socket through a small Y-cable. Eventually I hope to repair my TM-741 triband xcvr which will replace the pair on the same shelf and have only one mic.

All in all, a pretty clean, no holes installation.

GL & 73,
Rick N6XI

jonesxander | 19 luglio 2013

Pictures please!!!!!!

Someone knowledgeable, please give your email in case this person isn't particularly HTML savvy.

jonesxander | 19 luglio 2013

^^^ above post was for Rick.

RickT | 19 luglio 2013

I'll take some pix when I make some time. No rocket science here, though!

/Rick N6XI (email via ARRL forwarding)

mcx-sea | 19 luglio 2013


When I installed my compact all band, all mode mobile rig I used a small glass mount with a removable whip for 2 and 440. This will work well on the small window behind the driver's side passenger door. Made a small bracket to slightly extend beyond the side of the SUV's lift gate opening, above the left tailight housing, with a SA-259. Mostly use an ATAS-100 with a PL-259 base; on and off with a few turns. Also have a 1/4 wave whip for 50 MHz. Radio body is behind a door in a rear trim panel where the factory had space for a first aid kit. Mic is concealed in the ash tray, speaker on the B pillar behind the driver's ear, and the faceplate is a perfect fit in the second DIN slot on the dash. All done by a factory trained mechanic. Unless the radio was on, no passenger has ever noticed this stealth installation.

I could likely order a new separation kit and move things to the Tesla. And put the radio, mic and speaker in the glove box. I would much prefer not to use the glove box if there is some way to share the Tesla mic and speaker. I could make an aluminum plate to fit the pano roof opening when it is open the minimum amount and attach the fitting for the PL-259 to that.

Lots of ideas. Lots of choices. Lots of your suggestions welcome. Will be great to see your pictures. Thanks!

Kit-60kWh now 85D | 19 luglio 2013

I was planning to post tonight to ask for ideas. Holding my 2m/440 through the open pano roof gave very poor reception when parked--very noisy. I'll follow this with great interest. Thanks for getting this started. Kit KC7KIT

Alligator | 18 febbraio 2014

I need more details! I'm also considering adding a low profile radio to my Model S, but I don't want to destroy the nice look. If I could hide the antenna, I would. Any ideas are welcome!