Here is a quick overview of our Jeep Wrangler Ham Radio Mobile Installation
This dual top Jeep is equiped with a Kenwood TM-V7A and an ICOM 706-MKIIG. Although I could have gotten by with just the ICOM radio, I have found that a good dual band radio with cross band repeat is invaluable in ARES and public service operations.
Above is a picture of the overall installation. The dual band Diamond antenna is just visible on the left rear tailight assembly.
The VHF / UHF installation was one of the challenges in this install. With the soft top, and the non metalic hard top, roof mounting this antenna was not an atractive option. After much thought, I purchased a spare rear turn signal assembly, and mounted a stainless steel NMO mount directly on the side of the turn signal assembly. The coax is routed through the inside of the turn signal assembly and alongside the existing cable from the turn signal assembly through the body wall.
A wide piece of copper strapping is bolted to the NMO assembly bolts inside the turn signal assembly, and grounded to the body of the Jeep through the assembly mounting bolts. I chose the Diamond 2 meter / 440 half wave antenna to avoid as much of the ground plane problems as possible. The Diamond antenna also has a pull and tilt feature which comes in very handy when the hard top is installed on the Jeep. The antenna has to be tilted out of the way to open the rear glass window. Otherwise, the antenna would have to be unscrewed to open the window.
This antenna mounting position is a compromise. I use this Jeep off road, in densely wooded envirenments. This mounting location provides some measure of protection to the antenna. The down side of this is that the antenna performs fairly well on VHF, but I have notice a bit of directional behavior on UHF. Due to interaction with the Jeep body, a fair amount of antenna whip had to be trimmed off to obtain a good SWR match.
A much better solution would probably be to install a windshield light bar, and mount the VHF/UHF antenna to this. The pattern might be much better, but the antenna would be pummeled in off road service.
Pictured here is the radio installion in the rear of the Jeep. An aftermarket Olympic trunk has been installed, and the radio brackets have been pop riveted to the underside of the trunk lid. As viewed, the TM-V7A is mounted on the upper left, and the IC-706MKIIG is mounted on the upper right. Also in view is the LDG auto tuner used with the single band HF whips. The top of the trunk assembly is used to store the additional HF whip antennas, and a telescoping aluminum mast that has omni 2 meter and 6 meter horizontal loop antennas. (Shown elsewhere on this web site.)
The HF quick disconnect is mounted directly on the Jeep bumper. The HF antenna must be removed via the quick disconnect before opening the tailgate.
A view of the two remote control heads. A custom bracket was fabricated to to hold the IC-706 head on the dash board. A light colored hat is placed over the assembly to keep the UV off the head when not in use, and remove some obvious temptation when parked. When the soft top is down, I unlatch the assembly and lock it in the trunk.
The TM-V7A control head is seen lower on the dash. Usable speaker installation has been quite a challenge. I have tried powered speakers under the seats, and have switched to two unpowered speakers with decent acoutic enclosures mounted to the rear roll bar. I have purchased a second ash tray assembly, and plan to drill a speaker grill into it, and mount an amplified speaker into the assembly. This should help with highway speed, top down operation.