Running a 5 in 1 antenna wire through the roof

levinro

2016 Sprinter 144" 4x4
Hi Folks,

I purchased a 5 in 1 MIMO antenna to mount on the roof for a wifi router. I'm looking for a waterproof solution for running the 5 coax wires through the roof. The antenna itself is designed to be mounted directly on the roof with the wires coming out the bottom of the antenna housing. This would no problem, except I have a roof rack that covers the entire roof, so I need to mount the antenna on the roof rack and feed the wires to & through the roof.

(See pics below)

Things like the Blue Sea Cable Clam look nice but would not work for a 5 wire bundle.

Is there a product line that has flexible conduit with fittings that would connect to the threaded bottom of the antenna housing and another that seals & connects to the hole in the roof?

Any guidance would be appreciated.
 

Attachments

Goofy foot

sliding left...
For me, I would mount it directly in front of your MaxxFan, cut one or two pieces of the flatstock running front to back and mount it directly to the roof via the VHB tape.
 

Cheyenne

UK 2004 T1N 313CDi
I would be inclined to keep the entire area with the wiring and fixing dry.

How about finding or producing something like an inverted 'Plant Pot' or 'Bucket' of a suitable height to clear the rack.

The antenna could be sealed and fixed onto the top from inside and by producing a suitable flange around the base it could be sealed and fixed to the roof. All you would then need is a grommet to protect the wires as they pass through the roof.

Perhaps Hein could produce something for you using his manufacturing skills?

Keith.
 

levinro

2016 Sprinter 144" 4x4
For me, I would mount it directly in front of your MaxxFan, cut one or two pieces of the flatstock running front to back and mount it directly to the roof via the VHB tape.
Thanks for the suggestion. Unfortunately, this would place the antenna at or below the remaining flatstock of the roof rack which would cause signal interference for a good chunk of the 360 degree field. I believe that I will need to have the antenna mounted with the bottom no lower than the flatstock. I expect to mount the antenna a little higher with the bottom even with the top rail of the roof rack. Prior to my final mounting, I will do some semi-scientific field tests to see if it makes a difference. The pic below highlights where I plan to connect the antenna to the roof rack using the provided mounting bracket.


I would be inclined to keep the entire area with the wiring and fixing dry.

How about finding or producing something like an inverted 'Plant Pot' or 'Bucket' of a suitable height to clear the rack.

The antenna could be sealed and fixed onto the top from inside and by producing a suitable flange around the base it could be sealed and fixed to the roof. All you would then need is a grommet to protect the wires as they pass through the roof.

Perhaps Hein could produce something for you using his manufacturing skills?

Keith.
Thanks for this suggestion here as well. I've found this "Liquid tight" electrical conduit product line. It includes a female fitting that should thread onto the antenna stud mount, http://www.delikon.com/YCM.html . I'd connect that to some flexible conduit and then to a 90 degree fitting that connects through the roof. More of the product line here: http://www.cooperindustries.com/con...rces/pdfs/literature/liquidtight-brochure.pdf

So far, this is looking like the best option. I'm concerned about how water tight the "Liquid Tight" conduit connections would really be at 83MPH in the rain.

Then I found this thread, https://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=10364 where a junction box is used to protect the hole in the roof. Unfortunately, it requires additional holes in the roof for connecting it to the roof and needs to be small enough to fit among the ribs in the roof. Is that better?
 

Attachments

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
If you are thinking about using a weatherproof box to the roof surface, move your thinking away from mechanical fasteners. Adhesive sealant alone will bond the box to roof. The stresses aren't that great.

Liquid tight is weatherproof. It comes in all plastic fittings and conduit. I would avoid using steel fittings. The O-ring seal on the NPT threaded fittings is ok for electrical boxes, but I wouldn't trust that alone for mounting to a hole punched through vehicle sheetmetal. That said, sealant around the outside would cure that problem.

Will the antenna unit be subject to damage when the rack is loaded/unloaded or otherwise used?

Have you considered changing the angle of the mount bracket and mounting to the angled front face of the roof? A bit of warmed and formed PVC pipe or other stock could be fabricated to hide cables and dress up the look.

Have fun.

vic
 

levinro

2016 Sprinter 144" 4x4
If you are thinking about using a weatherproof box to the roof surface, move your thinking away from mechanical fasteners. Adhesive sealant alone will bond the box to roof. The stresses aren't that great.

Liquid tight is weatherproof. It comes in all plastic fittings and conduit. I would avoid using steel fittings. The O-ring seal on the NPT threaded fittings is ok for electrical boxes, but I wouldn't trust that alone for mounting to a hole punched through vehicle sheetmetal. That said, sealant around the outside would cure that problem.

Will the antenna unit be subject to damage when the rack is loaded/unloaded or otherwise used?

Have you considered changing the angle of the mount bracket and mounting to the angled front face of the roof? A bit of warmed and formed PVC pipe or other stock could be fabricated to hide cables and dress up the look.

Have fun.

vic
Thanks for the info, Vic.

Since the LTE signals are line of sight, I want the antenna as high as I can reasonably get it. We'll just have to be careful when loading & unloading the roof rack. The bracket I have is pretty sturdy and should take some minor bumping without issue.

I'm also considering relocating the XM antenna which is currently on the front just above the windshield. This works fine here in Colorado, but when we go further north like Oregon & Montana and face north, there is a considerable amount of signal dropout from the satellite. I think moving this antenna to the top of the van will help. I can potentially use the same hole, or at least the same waterproofing mechanism in the roof & wire routing for both antennas.

I think that if I mount the LTE antenna anywhere below the roof rack, it will similarly have signal loss when the best/closest towers are behind us.
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
...

I'm also considering relocating the XM antenna which is currently on the front just above the windshield. ...
Not that you asked...

Thinking about modifications which increase the number of future conductor cables gives a mounted WP electrical box more points. Depending upon the threaded openings, a weatherproof box can accommodate a good number of cables.

:cheers: vic
 
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OrioN

2008 2500 170" EXT
I use these type boxes:

https://www.homedepot.com/p/BELL-2-Gang-Weatherproof-Box-with-Five-1-2-in-Outlets-5337-0B/204208018

with these type connectors:

https://www.heyco.com/Liquid_Tight_Cordgrips/

FROM EXPERIENCE, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO GANG THE WIRES TOUCHING EACH OTHER. WATER WILL SEEP BETWEEN, EVEN IF YOU APPLY SEALANT.

Also, I have used weatherproof pvc boxes, but after a few years in the sun and elements they got brittle and the covers warped and leaked even with sealant goop'd over them.






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