With Magnetic base
Antennas with Magnetic Base
Antenna Stands with magnetic base for antennas with RP-SMA connectors and N-type connectors. Mounts have cables to RP-SMA-male. Can be used with our L-mount brackets, to mount antenna on a wall or pole.
Optimize your Wireless Signal with a Magnetic Antenna Base - A simple practical solution for connectivity on the go.
Magnetic mounts are a simple solution for optimal positioning of your antenna. Enjoy the very best in signal strength by simply attaching your magnetic mount where ever needed on your vehicle and connecting your antenna. With a mag mount you have no additional installation and can readily re-position or remove your aerial leaving no marks. The powerful magnetic retention means that your antenna is securely held in place while on the move.
Magnetic mounts are ideal for rugged and road-ready radio, GPS, telecommunication, line-of-sight and WiFi internet set-ups. Magnetic mobile antenna mounts are used widely on commercial, industrial and emergency vehicles where secure and reliable communication is critical.
Location is Key
For optimal positioning on your vehicle, locate your magnetic mount in the center of your metal roof, avoiding, edges, curving or pieces of metal which may cause signal disruption. Of course mag mounts will not work with aluminium or fiberglass surfaces.
Magnetic-Mount Antenna Base / Stand
A magnetic antenna base, also known as a mag-mount, or magnetic mount is a type of antenna mount that uses magnetism to attach itself securely to a metal surface. The attachment is non-permanent making it a flexible mounting solution for a range of applications. Most mag mounts consist of a radio frequency connector which is embedded in a plastic housing that holds the magnets and attached to an antenna cable for connection to the downstream device. They may also have a rubber boot for added protection for both the mount and the vehicle.
Magnetic mounts can vary in size (diameter), the strength of the magnet, and the length of the coaxial cable attached to the mount connector. Heavy-duty mag mounts may comprise three magnet bases and are used for large antennas. They also need to be matched to the antenna connector or used with a suitable adapter. The strength of magnetic mounts should not be underestimated; the attraction can cause the mount to snap-on and injure your fingertips!
The antenna is secured to the mount via its complementary threaded connector which provides the mechanical and electrical connection. Alternatively, the antenna is pre-attached to a magnetic mount as a single unit known as a magnetic antenna.
Mag-mounts are a key type of antenna mount for vehicles.
The mag-mount is particularly useful for deploying antennas quickly and conveniently on top of metal-roofed vehicles. Magnetic mounts also make an advantageous mounting solution for a custom rig. Understandably, they will not work with fiberglass, aluminum, or soft-top vehicle roofs. The magnetic mount is simply placed wherever needed, the antenna is then screwed in and the coax plugged into the radio device. The mount can also be removed or adjusted when needed (e.g. at night to protect the antenna from theft or vandalism) without structural damage to the surface it is mounted on. They may be used for rapid deployment by the emergency services and military, or by Amateur Radio enthusiasts who need an easy mobile antenna solution for CB radio.
Magnetic antenna base for monopole or dipole antennas
This class of antenna is frequently used with a magnetic mount. The long rod conductor of monopole antennas can be readily screwed into a mag-mount for a secure hold, with the feedline at the base of the antenna for transmitted or received signals. Many magnetic antennas use base-loading with a coil at the bottom of the antenna that increases flexibility and resilience and the whip length projecting upward for height.
Mag-mounts can be used with:
- Whip antennas
- Rubber ducky antennas
- Helical antennas
- Umbrella antennas
- Mushroom antennas
Why are magnetic antenna bases important?
Magnetic mounts are popular and are used for a broad range of applications, particularly where there is mobility. Mobile antennas are specifically designed to operate competently while in motion. Vertically oriented antennas for land-mobile radio operation are omnidirectional and magnetic mounts enable them to be positioned so that they have unobstructed coverage all round, and at height. Here are some common applications where a magnetic antenna base proves useful.
Magnetic mounts for GPS antennas
The Global Positioning System is the world's foremost radio navigation system. It is relied on globally for precision navigation using the US Government's proprietary constellation of 24 satellites. These satellites occupy a Mid Earth Orbit and continuously broadcast a signal that includes identification, time, and positional data that can be acquired and used for GPS navigation or tracking by drivers using GPS devices in their vehicles. The satellite signal is massively reduced in strength by its journey through the layers of the earth’s atmosphere. The GPS antenna used by vehicles, therefore, has to have good exposure to the open sky to make the acquisition of the GPS signal timely enough to be usable.
Mag-mounts are advantageous as a GPS antenna can be mounted on a vehicle in a position that provides maximum exposure to the sky, while the cable can be run through the window to the GPS receiver within the vehicle.
Magnetic mounts for emergency service vehicles
Antennas are vital for mission-critical communications in emergencies. Public service and utility vehicles may need to have specific types of antenna temporarily installed on them. VHF and UHF antennas operating in the Public Safety Spectrum may also be being deployed by non-technical personnel who may be handling the antenna in a time-sensitive situation. A key advantage of magnetic mount antennas is that they are quick to set up and do not require specialist tools or accessories (no drilling) for secure mounting.
Magnetic antenna base for CB radio
Magnetic mount antenna bases are a staple for Citizens Band Radio, a popular license-free method of communication. They are not only used for recreation but also weather reports, emergencies and business communications.
This Land Mobile Radio System often involves the installation of two-way radios in vehicles with the installation of a suitable antenna on the roof. As transceiver power is limited to a maximum of 4 Watts and range, depending on terrain is up to 20 miles, using CB radio in a car offers greater opportunity to communicate in different locations, though it should not be used while driving.
Mag-mounts for storm chasing
Storm chasing is a pastime that involves active pursuit of severe weather phenomena. Storm chasers use a variety of vehicle-mounted instrumentation for meteorological and navigation purposes. In particular, GPS and a range of Amateur Radio frequencies may be used to track the storms and communicate via radio with other storm chasers in their locality. Magnetic mounts may also be used for wind sensors (anemometers) and cellular antennas if the location visited is likely to be remote.
Frequently asked questions for magnetic antenna base
Can a mag-mount come loose or fall off a vehicle while driving?
Magnets can fall off a vehicle. This is often when a particularly tall antenna is mounted via a magnetic mount that is too small, especially if the vehicle is traveling at speed. The quality and size of magnet will determine the degree of hold on the roof. Choose a large mag-mount if you are mounting a large antenna to prevent this.
Magnets can become demagnetized, but the physical and electromagnetic forces that would be able to achieve this are unlikely to be encountered. Most mag-mounts are replaced before they fail due to the effects of outdoor exposure and corrosion, which deteriorate both the mount and the antenna. Their prolonged outdoor exposure means that the connector and coax will deteriorate in function, leading to loss of signal. They should be replaced promptly when they start to fail.
If a mag-mount comes loose, the cable that is attached to it may hold it in place, or prevent it from becoming a projectile. The main damage is usually to windows or scratch damage to the roof. If it is safe, stop the vehicle and retrieve the antenna, if you are on a freeway, you may need to notify law enforcement to assist in retrieval.
What is the proper placement of a magnetic mount antenna on a vehicle roof?
A specific position of a magnetic mount on a vehicle roof won’t have a significant impact on antenna performance. The priority with mounting antennas is height, as due to line of sight, it is the key determinant of the range that can be achieved. Centering the mag-mount on a slight convex roof maximizes height and also means that there is an adequate radius of the ground plane on all sides of the antenna.
Do mag-mount antennas need a ground plane?
Whip and other monopole antennas are mounted perpendicularly over a ground plane. This is a grounded electrically conductive surface that serves as a reflector for radio waves and determines key characteristics of the antenna’s function. It is not necessarily grounded.
The magnetic mount performs a capacitive function and couples the antenna to the roof of the vehicle, which becomes the ground plane in this arrangement. This is adequate for most VHF and UHF antennas. The ground plane is required for the antenna to function optimally and the magnetic mount it is attached to must have direct contact with the metal surface. A thin layer of paint does not affect the electrical performance of the contact to the underlying steel.
If there isn't contact between the mount and the metal, perhaps because a cloth or shammy is placed over the mag mount to protect the car finish, there will be an improper ground and the antenna will not operate properly.
Mobile Amateur Radio enthusiasts may find that at HF frequency the capacitive coupling of the mag mount antenna may not be adequate for the grounding needed and additional grounding is required.
Can a mag-mount be mounted anywhere?
If you are using a magnetic mount antenna for Amateur radio or other personal use that does not involve a vehicle, you may find it difficult to source a suitable magnetic surface to attach the mount to.
You can use any suitable metal surface for attaching a mag-mount. Amateur Radio enthusiasts use mag mount antennas with all sorts of metal surfaces, from realtor signs to cookie sheets and pizza pans.
Ideally, the metal base should cover as broad an area as possible to ensure that your antennas ground plane has a decent footprint. The ground plane should have a radius of at least ¼ of the wavelength of the antenna’s frequency. Smaller metal surfaces will diminish the performance of the antenna as a ground plane is a functional part of the antenna.
Does the magnetism of a magnetic antenna base affect the performance of the antenna?
Magnetism will not affect the performance of a magnetic mount antenna. Its magnetic field is not strong enough to affect transmitting or receiving signals. The magnet serves only to securely hold the antenna mount to the metal surface.
What are the alternatives to using a mag-mount?
A through-hole or through-roof antenna mount is the main alternative for providing convenient and secure mounting for vehicle antennas. It means making a permanent hole in the vehicle roof.
A notable alternative is the NMO or new Motorola mount which is a common alternative for mounting mobile antennas. Specific designs vary but they all provide a standard threaded connector to which the mobile antenna is screwed on via its complementary connector.
An NMO mount will not only provide a mechanical connection for the antenna but an electrical one also as the antenna cable comes out of the mount. To install this mount, a 3/8 to ¾ inch (9.53 to 19.05 millimeter) hole is drilled through the vehicle roof, which allows the mounted connector to protrude.
Another alternative is to hatch or trunk mount the antenna, though you do not achieve the height of mounting that is possible with a roof mount. Boot or trunk mounts sit outside of a closed vehicle boot. Gutter mounts utilize the gutter on a vehicles roof edge as the position for a clamp.
Can the vehicle paint finish be protected under a mag-mount antenna?
One of the unwanted effects of using a mag-mount is the scratching and damage that they can do to paintwork which is often unavoidable over time. Strategies to protect the paint must not impair the capacitive coupling of the mag mount that provides functional grounding of the antenna or reduce the hold of the magnet on the vehicle roof. Contact papers and paint protective films may be used, but these can attract dust, grime and grit which can further scratch paintwork. Another option is to remove the magnetic mount to clean and wax polish the roof regularly. Lifting the mag-mount straight off by holding the antenna, rather than prying it off from one side also minimizes scratching.
Magnetic antenna bases are a practical and easy to install solution for secure mobile antenna mounting on a metal vehicle roof. The strength of these magnetic mounts means that they retain a good hold to suitable surfaces. As they are easily repositioned, both technicians and amateurs are able to achieve optimal placement adjusting as needed to optimize performance.