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Upgrades (non TDI Engine related) The place of handling, lighting and other upgrades that do not relate to the performance or economy of the TDI engine. In other words upgrades to your TDI that don't fit into TDI Fuel Economy & TDI Engine Enhancements.Please note the Performance Disclaimer

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Old January 20th, 2017, 13:38   #1
Mike_04GolfTDI
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Default Amateur Radio in Mk4 Golf

I put a 2m/70cm band mobile transceiver in my 2004 Golf today.

It's a Leixen VV-898.



For an antenna I just have a little magnetic mount 1/4 wave (on 2m). Eventually I plan to replace that with something on an NMO mount in place of the stock radio antenna. I'm going to hide the FM radio antenna inside the headliner, or maybe in one of the panels beside the rear hatch, and then put the NMO mount in the existing hole (modifying size of hole as needed). That way I'll still only have one antenna on the roof, and I expect FM broadcast radio will still work well enough. I hardly listen to music on the radio anyway, so it's no big loss if reception is poor.
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Old January 25th, 2017, 20:10   #2
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Nice install.
I always dreamed of using the coax from the stock radio, and the antenna base with its guts removed. Then mounting a dual band antenna to the base. It is pretty small coax though and isn't 50 ohms so I didn't bother.
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Old January 26th, 2017, 10:26   #3
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I've got this antenna: https://www.amazon.ca/TRAM-140mhz-17.../dp/B00IDTJ2KE

...and this mount: https://www.amazon.com/Browning-WSPB...ords=nmo+mount

...on the way from Amazon.

I'm probably going to put it in place of the original antenna, but I guess I could also consider mounting it in front of it. I don't really like the idea of drilling an extra hole in my roof though.
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Old February 6th, 2017, 09:24   #4
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Well, I managed to get the original antenna to fit in the space between the headliner and the roof, so it's completely hidden, and still works. Found out the hard way, the base of the antenna needs to be grounded or else you get no AM reception at all. Simple fix. Just run a wire from the base of the antenna to a good ground.

I used a dremel to round out the square hole where the factory antenna mounts, and then put an NMO mount there. Attached my 2m/70cm band NMO antenna to that. It works pretty well. SWR is 1.5:1 or better within the bands, but rises sharply outside of the bands (to be expected).

Here's a photo. Yeah, that's snow on my roof except for the little patch I cleared off before opening the hatch...



Next problem to solve is the whistling sound this makes at highway speeds! Apparently a bit of heat-shrink tubing over the coil helps, so I'll try that.
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Last edited by Mike_04GolfTDI; February 6th, 2017 at 09:36. Reason: Added photo
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Old February 6th, 2017, 13:41   #5
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Yup, a little heat-shrink tubing on the coil quieted down the whistling antenna quite a bit...
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Old February 9th, 2017, 04:02   #6
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Nice! An NMO fit in your factory opening without leaks? Do you recall the dimensions of the hole? On the Mk7, the square opening is ~1.5 inches:



That's a reason why I'm considering a Breedlove mount. Is your factory antenna a sharkfin? I'm not sure mine will fit under the headliner. But I'll certainly try it.

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Old February 9th, 2017, 10:57   #7
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My ham radio is in my Mk4 Golf. (I'm not allowed to do it to the Mk7 )

The antenna hole was slightly smaller than the NMO mount so I made it larger with a dremel. The nut that holds the NMO mount in has an o-ring and the antenna base has a gasket. I don't think it will leak. I sprayed everything with silicone lube before assembling, so that kind of helps repel water as well.

If your photo above is for a Mk7, yeah, that does look like a difficult place to put an NMO mount if that hole is 1.5 inches.

My factory antenna was not a sharkfin, but I was able to jam it in the headliner and you couldn't see it. Unfortunately, I was never able to get acceptable AM reception. As I mentioned in the other amateur radio thread, I'm going to run a long piece of wire under the black trim on the roof of the car. That wire will be connected to the original antenna base, which will be hidden somewhere in the car. So, nothing will be visible to the casual observer, but I'm hoping that will give me back AM reception. I only use the radio for traffic reports, and those are all on AM.

The only other issue I have is the car produces lots of interference on the 2m band. 70cm is okay. I'm not sure I can do much about this as I believe the noise is coming from the ECU. It's not alternator whine. It sounds like typical computer noise and does not change with engine speed. It stops when I shut the engine off. Part of the problem may very well be that I'm using a cheap Chinese radio. The noise is also not coming through the power lines because it doesn't change if I run the radio off an external battery. Unplugging the antenna makes it stop. I probably just need to shell out for a better radio. (This was $59).
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Old February 17th, 2017, 10:33   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_04GolfTDI View Post
I put a 2m/70cm band mobile transceiver in my 2004 Golf today.

It's a Leixen VV-898.


To what is the radio's bracket mounted?
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Old February 17th, 2017, 16:18   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by romad View Post
To what is the radio's bracket mounted?
It is screwed right into the left knee panel. It's surprisingly strong for a piece of plastic.

I'd imagine it wouldn't be hard to get this piece from an auto wrecker should you not want to defile the original.

More photos for your viewing pleasure...





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Old February 17th, 2017, 17:01   #10
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I think I'd still reinforce the back of the panel with a metal strip/plate.
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Old February 17th, 2017, 17:15   #11
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I was originally going to, and I had material ready to do that, but once I put the screws in I was amazed at how sturdy the attachment seems to be. It's really tough plastic.

It's easy enough to add reinforcement later, if any looseness develops.
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