Next it was time to install the
FireStik antenna mount in the bracket. This mount
has the SO-239 RF connector built into the bottom of the antenna stud. The
stud is placed through the hole in the mounting bracket and the remaining
components are stacked onto the stud (shoulder washer, flat washer, lock washer)
before the coupling nut is tightened in place. It is important to assemble
the antenna mount in the order indicated.
The shoulder washer has a ridge around it that must be positioned downward and into
the hole in the mounting bracket. This properly positions and insulates
the "RF hot" portion of the antenna from the grounded antenna mounting bracket.
Here is the mounting bracket with the antenna mount properly assembled (but not
yet tightened). Again, be sure the small ridge, the "shoulder", on the
white insulated shoulder washer is placed ridge down into the hole on the
bracket. I have troubleshot many antenna mount problems and the majority
of them were the result of the installer not assembling the mount in the proper
With the antenna stud tightened, we installed the Wilson Flex antenna into the top of the coupling nut and snugged everything tight. One end of the the FireStik coax cable was attached to the SO-239 RF connector on the mount. We checked for proper clearance between the tail gate's weather gasket and the body and there was sufficient room, right at the corner, to run the cable into the Jeep's interior. You NEVER want to crush or deform the coax cable. Doing so will cause an increase in the SWR and poor (no?) performance in the radio. Also, never route the cable under the bottom of the bumper....doing so will most certainly allow it to be cut in two should the bumper come down on a rock with the cable between it and the rock.
Let me also mention here that the selected location for the mount puts it in harms
way, to some degree. It is possible that Bob might back the TJ's bumper in
to a rock and thus flatten (destroy) the antenna mount. It is also
possible that he might slide off of a ledge and scrape the mount off the face of the
bumper. He is fully aware of this and doesn't anticipate running trails
where this will occur, at least for now. As I mentioned earlier, this is somewhat of a
temporary installation until the new bumper/tire carrier combo unit is installed
and the antenna/mount is transfered to it.
With the coax cable now inside the TJ, we routed the coax up and over the fender well area (beneath the carpet). This allow for a "snag free" cable path and kept it out of reach of Bob's kids who routinely inhabit the TJ's back seat. Kids being kids, snagging, stepping on, squishing, etc. the coax cable is NOT a good thing. The path chosen for the coax will do a good job of keeping it in good condition.
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