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Railfan Technology > antenna on aluminum toolbox?

Date: 12/01/20 07:59
antenna on aluminum toolbox?
Author: holiwood

I want to get a new toolbox for my truck and most new ones are aluminum. If I put an antenna on the aluminum box will it work good?
I can mount a piece of steel for a magnet mount to stick to  

Date: 12/01/20 16:36
Re: antenna on aluminum toolbox?
Author: ycsfsoya

Aluminum is a very good ground plane material, better than steel. Think of copper and aluminum electrical wiring. Placing a antenna behind the higher cab portion of the truck may not be optimal for receiving signals in front of the truck but reception should be OK to the rear and good to the sides based on the shape of the tool box. The optimal placement is usually in the center of the highest flatest surface area, the cab roof. A good educational website on antennas can be found at KOBG(dot)com. Check out the section on antenna mounts. Your mileage may vary but as a HAM operator I have found it a very good yet simple presentation of alot of info.Thanks to Alan Applegate for that nice website. I have found using the NOAA radio stations as good reference channels in testing antenna placement. Move that antenna around and see which place gives the best reception fo your needs. They are good, steady signal sources in the channels adjacent to the RR band.

Be safe!

Johnny Green
Loganville, GA

Date: 12/01/20 19:24
Re: antenna on aluminum toolbox?
Author: TCnR

A friend used silicon caulk to adhere a steel plate to an aluminum truck camper roof, so he could use a magentic mount antenna.

Agree, aluminum ground plane should work fine.

Date: 12/02/20 04:16
Re: antenna on aluminum toolbox?
Author: Arved

Steel in contact with aluminum will create a battery. A low power battery (~0.3 volts), but never the less, still an active battery that will cause galvanic corrosion.

If you must use a magnetic mount, consider a second large magnet on the other side of the aluminum. The two magnets will attract each other through the aluminum. 

Arved Grass
Fleming Island, FL
Arved Grass

Date: 12/02/20 09:03
Re: antenna on aluminum toolbox?
Author: holiwood

Thanks for all the information.  If I get an aluminum toolbox I will use a magnet insidethe lid  to avoid corrosion 
Not sure what I will end up with but wanted to find out options

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