Installation

The installation of the model known as the Outbacker Perth is typical and will be reviewed at this time.

The Perth antenna is constructed of a very tough yet flexible fiberglass core. This core is then helically wound with copper wire, which is hand tuned to the various "tap" points. A coating of a clear epoxy resin is then applied. Finally a layer of colored polyurethane is applied as a protection against the elements. All the fittings on the antenna are solid brass and nickel plated. The 3/8 X 24 stud is made of tough, high strength stainless steel.

Correct mounting of your Perth is of utmost importance to obtain successful antenna performance. The Perth can be used with any standard 3/8 X 24 mount. When mounting with trunk lip or hatch mount configurations, mount the antenna as far from the roof line of your vehicle as possible. Be sure that the surface of the trunk lip and underneath the lip is clean and that there is solid electrical contact from the mount to the trunk lip. To do this, fit the mount in place and tighten its set screws, then "back out" set screws and remove mount. Look at indentation points left by set screws. Use your pocketknife to scrape off paint at those points. Then reinstall mount.


For bumper mounting, avoid mounting antenna directly beside large areas of vehicle metal like a door on the rear of a van. Be sure the antennas' mount is electrically grounded to the frame of the vehicle by the use of a wide metal strap. More help about mounting f ollows in the installation instructions.

The Perth can be installed on cars, trucks, RV's, and for fixed operations such as condos or apartments. Here are some helpful suggestions.

  • 1. Mount as high as possible and as faraway from other vertical metal areas as possible. If mounting in a condo, mount to a metal balcony rail or use 20 feet of 3 inch wide copper foil for the counterpoise or ground plane
  • 2. Mount your antenna on the driver's side trunk of the vehicle to avoid tree limbs and roadside objects
  • 3. Use high-grade 50 ohm coax cable with at least 95% shield. Do not use foam coax as it will deform in heat and absorb moisture. Avoid solid center conductor coax as it breaks easily.
  • 4. A solid electrical ground is an absolute necessity for proper and successful antenna performance. This is the most important yet overlooked step in all mobile installations. Do not ignore this step and do not assume the negative lead of a battery cable gives an adequate ground connection. It does not.
    Install a 1 to 3 inch wide ground strap between a bolt connected to your auto's frame and the ground lug on your radio. A ground/frame bolt is usually located behind your auto's dash. Another ground/f rame bolt is also used to secure front seats in place. (Look under seat for shiny bolt.) A large alligator clip on this ground strap will permit quick connection to the rig and easy removal.
    If you are using a trunk lip mount, a I to 3 inch wide ground strap should also be added from the trunk lip or from the mount's ground connection to a ground/f rame bolt inside the truck area. If you are using a bumper mount adding a similar ground strap is encouraged since their crash absorbers insulate many bumpers.
  • 5. It is recommended that you run your coax as f ar away f rom the engine control module and existing vehicle electrical systems as possible.
  • 6. You should use an ohmmeter to check your work. This can be accomplished by removing the PL-259 plug from your radio and measuring between the connector shell and a vehicle ground point. If you have made good connections the resistance should measure 0.7 ohms or less. Good grounding will ensure you radiate a killer signal.
  • 7. Install the mobile antenna on your mount and tune it according to the instructions provided with the antenna.
  • 8. Outbacker antennas are shortened HI Q designs and therefore, have a narrow SWR bandwidth, particularly on the low bands such as 160 and 75 meters. The normal bandwidth on 160 meters is 15-20 kilohertz and on 75 meters 50-60 kilohertz. Users report that they often miss finding these resonant areas when they turn their transceiver dials too fast. It is always a good practice to make an SWR "run" across a band by turning the dial slowly--no more than 5 kilohertz at a time.

Troubleshooting

Check all connections for opens, shorts and good grounds. Make sure the antenna is not unusually close to any vertical metal such as the trunk or the side or back of a RV or pick-up truck. (Users report that a distance of at least 14 to 16 inches will provide the proper spacing from the nearest vertical metal objects.) Remember that a mobile whip antenna needs a large span of metal beneath it to act as a counterpoise or ground plane. Therefore, installing an antenna on side mirror mounts will not provide an adequate ground plane and performance will suffer.

Outbacker North America, Inc.
214 Second Street
Manchester, KY 40962