Roof or Bullbar? Top tips to consider when mounting your antenna.

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Driving around town the majority of antennas we see at the moment are bullbar mounted, and for good reason! This style of mounting is easy to install, does not present any clearance issues when driving through low scrub or around the city, and looks good too!

However, if you’re wondering where to mount a UHF antenna without a bullbar, this might be your answer. If you’re looking for improved signal transmission, don’t look past roof mounting! This location can provide greatly improved range for many styles of antennas. UHF antenna mount location can have a huge effect on your transmission distance and clarity, so its important to get it right.

Some things to consider when deciding where to mount your antenna:

1. Where are you travelling?

As you may know, lower dB antennas can work better in hillier environments, while a higher dB antenna is good for flat terrain. This is because lower gain antennas emit a rounder signal, which is able to reach higher and lower terrain, while high gain antennas ‘push’ the signal further horizontally, at the expense of other directions.

Maintaining line of sight is a good rule of thumb when determining the best place to mount your antenna. The body of a car can interfere with any antenna signal as it acts as a barrier. As lower dB antennas tend to be shorter and stubbier, they can have an even harder time transmitting and receiving with a car blocking their signal.

If you are planning to do a lot of travelling in hilly areas and are relying on a stubby antenna, roof mounting is a great option. Additionally, if you’re looking to get the most out of your high gain antenna, roof mounting can maximise your reach. If you absolutely must mount your antenna on the bullbar, consider an elevated feed antenna, as this raises the radiating element of your aerial to give a slightly better transmission.

roof mounted antenna with laydown bracket

2. What kind of car are you driving, and does it allow you to easily roof mount an antenna?

example of bullbar mounted antenna

If you’re wondering where to mount a UHF antenna without a bullbar, don’t worry, there’s plenty of options. Some of the best options include the antenna bonnet mount, which wedges in the gaps on your bonnet, or roof rail mounted antennas.

If your car has roof racks, you’re in luck! This makes mounting an antenna very easy. We’ve got a range of brackets that can be drilled into the rack, or clamped on. If not, you may need to drill through the roof, which is a larger task, but often worth the effort. If this seems daunting, don’t despair!

Call Electric Bug and we can walk you through the steps, from choosing an antenna to performing the install. We have extremely knowledgeable installers with experience installing antennas on a range of different makes and models. If you’re further away, we can discuss your options with you and post out any brackets, plugs and pieces you might need.

If you’re going to mount your antenna on the fender or bonnet, many companies such as GMF offer both driver and passenger side mounts. GMF brackets are customised to your specific vehicle model. We always recommend passenger side, to reduce driver fatigue due to the antenna wobbling around in your vision constantly.

3. Do you need to drive through low-clearance areas often, or do you use your antenna infrequently?

We all have to come back to the city sometime! Although roof mounting provides the best range, it can make driving under low-hanging trees or into supermarket car parks a pain. Fortunately, we’ve got solutions!

  • Spring Mounted Antennas: a heavy duty spring down by the base means these antennas can bend under trees and other obstacles a fair amount without damage.
  • Fold Down Brackets: allow you to lay your antenna flush with the roof when not in use. Some antennas mounted on the roof are even able to pick up a good signal while laying down!
  • Removable Whips: brands such as GME and RFI make excellent quick removable whips, which can be unscrewed from the base when needed. This is often just as fast as using a lay-down bracket. Some bases even fit multiple antennas, so you can use different antennas on the same mounting position!
  • Magnetic Mount Antennas: There are many options for mounting antennas without drilling through your rood, and magnetic antenna mounting is a great choice for the casual user. Just don’t drive too fast without extra fastening like tape! Check out our mag bases here.
example of roof mounted antenna at Electric Bug

Our staff are extremely experienced, and can help you find the right antenna, bracket, and mount for your vehicle and needs. We have hundreds of different antennas in stock, so we’ll always have options for you! Give us a call, we’d love to give you a hand!

Interested in some of the products mentioned? Check out these products online, or come in store to see our full range!

Fold Down Antenna Mounts

Magnetic Antenna Mounts

Bullbar Antenna Mounts

Fender Antenna Mounts