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Anyone have a HAM radio in their TJ?


TJ Enthusiast
Nov 2, 2018
Galt, CA
I’ve had a portable HAM radio for years. Mostly so I can have it in different vehicles or if I happen to be hiking around. KI6TUI

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J.ust E.xplore E.very P.lace
Supporting Member
Sep 11, 2018
Denver, CO
Right now I only have my CB mounted, but carry my Yaesu handheld as well. I’m planning to mount a kenwood eventually since I typically venture solo and would like the added range and APRS (automated packet reporting system) to report location data back home.

I’m not on much, but KD0VTE

801 Driver

Aug 21, 2018
Chouteau, OK
I used the Teraflex tail light bracket mount with a Firestick 2M antenna that is mostly top loaded. Holes worked with the spring mount. I have a 1.7 SWR on 147.06, 1.9 SWR in the 146.55 simplex range. I do not have a console in my TJ so I mounted a used Kenwood TM-271A with the front mounted speaker down beside my drivers seat with a Z bracket I made attached of the flat seat side base. It is kinda hidden there but easy to glance down and read the display driving and easy for me to hear.

For those thinking about getting their license, I highly recommend taking a look at https://www.hamradiolicenseexam.com
I just noticed he is running a special till the end of this month, (12/2018) $20 instead of $30 for the Technician license.

His 5 out of 5 star review is real. He makes it very easy to really learn and understand what you need to know to easily pass the test, not just memorize the answers. You can try quite a bit of it for free to see how it works for you before paying.

Good luck to all of you. You will be welcomed into the ham radio hobby also, it is a lot of fun. WB5Y
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Jerry Bransford

TJ Guru
Supporting Member
Nov 9, 2015
Escondido California
Will the Larsen NMO-K 3/4" mount and Tram 1180 antenna work with this antenna? What is your opinion of these components? (Jerry and others with experience, you too please). I am hoping to mount at drivers tail light as many CB operators do.
Better to go with the more commonly used SO-239 mount which matches the SO-239 connector found on the back of all radios and works with the most commonly used PL-259 plug found on most coax cable assemblies and antenna coax cables.

This is one source for a tail light mounting bracket that accepts the SO-239 mount... https://www.rightchannelradios.com/products/teraflex-jeep-cb-antenna-mount-cj-yj-tj

However, as with any powder coated mount like that you MUST (!) remove the powder coating in a few locations so the antenna's mount can receive its required RF ground. Doing that is critical or the antenna won't tune.

This is what the antenna threads into on the top and the connector screws onto from the bottom. It mounts in the above mounting bracket. https://www.rightchannelradios.com/collections/cb-antenna-mounts/products/cb-antenna-stud-mount-pl-259

I use a Hustler SF-2 2 meter antenna for when longer distances are required, it works well. This one... https://www.wearecb.com/2-meter-136-144-5-8-wave-3.4-db-gain-antenna.html?gclid=CjwKCAiA9efgBRAYEiwAUT-jtN93BAFSP1sObkgAYWk-RYYutpb0Ej3Eca6adSwt4Oi4YJaVULv3pxoCRaMQAvD_BwE. Note this is for a 2 meter ham radio, not CB.

This shows where the powder coating needs to be removed from the bottom of the antenna mounting bracket. Powder coating also needs to be removed from where it bolts against the Wrangler under the tail light, it must be well grounded to the tub.

If the mounting bracket is not grounded well enough, the antenna will have a high SWR and you won't be able to get it tuned so it will work well. A simple ground wire is not adequate for this purpose. The RF ground an antenna needs is far more demanding than something like a light bulb needs, and it requires a large surface connection area for its RF ground needs.

ant-mount grind away location.JPG
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TJ Enthusiast
Sep 23, 2018
Pasadena, CA
I have had a couple of mobile Hams in my rigs in the past but prefer a handheld so I can transfer it between rigs and use it on foot if needed.

Here is what I am using:

The power output is significantly less than a mobile unit, but with an upgraded antenna it works great for trail coms and the occasional need to hit a repeater. I've used it on simplex (no repeater) and talked up to 5+ miles away, with a roof NGO antenna. I'm not a techie type, so the fewer buttons, the easier the install, the better, in my world.

The Wuoxun is a "quality" Chinese unit, great clarity, simple menus and long battery life. The Baofeng is great to buy as a starter radio, then keep as a spare for your buddy. It works fine, but the sound clarity is just ok.

The problem with CBs I found is that someone on a trip invariably has a bad ground or other issue. Most runs I have been on in the last couple of years have used HAMs only.

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TJ Enthusiast
Oct 31, 2018
I got my general license over the summer. I have a Yaesu FT-8900R waiting to be installed one of these days in the Jeep. I carry a handheld CB in the Jeep and 2 UV5R type radios programmed on low with most of the channels on FRS/GMRS.

Yeah these aren't legal. Also these are definitely Chinese and China has a bad record for intellectual theft. With all that said I think I've acquired 5 or 6 of these for the price of 1 legal handheld I own, but don't use.

I've got a Kenwood 281 in my truck and a couple Cobra CBs around. There's no cell service in my area except you can generally send a text on the highest of hills depending on your provider. There's simply no traffic on anything but FRS/GMRS occasionally, but almost exclusively during deer season. I tend to need radios because I'm the only one with vehicles that can access our farm, so family and friends walk in or they use a radio to link up. Of course I'm the only one that will think having a radio with battery power is important so this typically just turns into a complete failure with stuck vehicles and people walking around trying to find me.

My girlfriend who has her Technician license took the radio I got her out of her pack to contact me our last outing and the dead battery seems to have made her think a bit more about the use of radios. I'm still a newb with radios, I get excited about the equipment and then get side tracked before I can actually Tx. I've been wanting to play around with a lot of different coms in the Jeep including NVIS with my home Icom 7200 rig (the dipole antenna is tiny), DMR around work, and whatever else that seems useful/interesting later.

Coms don't seem important until it smacks you in the mouth. A buddy picked up a Sat phone with a very meager monthly bill. It's a bit too much for my tastes, but it does work extremely well.

If you're loaning some out or need something cheap for kids look at the BF888s.