Here is the solution we came up with to remotely fold up and down an antenna on the roof of our campervan. It allows us to tilt our WeBoost antenna up or down (90 degrees) by the press of a button inside our van, neat! This electric motorized system would also work with HAM radio antennas (or any Series-C coax cable antenna) and on pretty much any vehicle (Van, Jeep, Car, etc.). Let’s get to work!
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|K9000 Motorized Antenna Tilt
|To remotely fold the antenna up or down.
|Mounting Plate for Roof Rack (Optional)
|Simplifies and speeds up the K9000 installation. Clean and low profile. Compatible with any roof rack that utilizes 10-series or 15-series aluminum extrusion crossbars (80/20 T-Slot profiles).
|Cable Entry Pad
(or Cable Seal)
|No-Drill / No-Screw Cable Entry Pad for Ford Transit.
(Scanstrut Cable Seal)
|WeBoost Drive Reach RV
|(Or any antenna with Series-C coax Cable Assembly).
- 5/32 Allen Key
- Plastic Scraper
- Clothe & Isopropyl Alcohol
Good To Know
About Roof Racks
We didn’t opt for a roof rack on our 2016 Transit and we installed the solar panels with VHB tape (still holding strong since 2016!). As such we have to say that a roof rack is not mandatory, but it’s definitely a nice upgrade and provides a more secure and easy way to attach accessories such as solar panels, antenna, LED lights, storage box, etc. We went with a Flatline Van Co Low Pro roof rack on our 2021 Transit and we have a detailed write-up about it:
Back Torque Limiter Mechanism
The K9000 motorized mount features a “back torque limiter”. This internal mechanism acts as a spring and allows the antenna to fold down to absorb any impact (roof, branches, etc). Be aware that the spring only works in one direction:
1. Install the mounting plate to the k9000
NOTE: The K9000 comes with universal mounting brackets. These can do the job, but we wanted a cleaner and simpler installation. So we made an Aluminum mounting plate that’s compatible with roof racks that utilize 10-Series or 15-Series extrusion crossbars (such as FlatLine Van Co Low Pro Roof Rack):
The K9000 Motorized Antenna Tilt comes with a universal base fitment bracket. Remove the four screws and discard the old bracket:
Install the new mounting plate to the K9000 Motorized Mount (reuse the screws from previous step):
2. Mount your antenna to the k9000
Route the antenna through the antenna mount and fasten with the hardware provided with the WeBoost:
3. Install to your roof rack
Loosely install the t-nut(s) and the screws (provided with our mounting plate) so it’s ready to load into the crossbar:
Remove the crossbar, load the t-nut(s) from the crossbar end, reinstall the crossbar:
Fastened the screws to secure the mounting plate to the desired position into the crossbar:
4. Adjust the tilt motion operating angle
Power the K9000 into a cigar plug. Set the antenna to be fully raised by pressing and holding “UP” on the remote:
If the antenna is not vertical, loosen the nut and adjust the antenna’s angle to your liking:
Then, adjust the tilt lower limit (0-45°) to your liking (e.g. to clear solar panel or such) by rotating the grey knob on the body of the K9000:
6. Pass the Cables Through The Roof
Most cable entry glands and cable seals require either drilling or screwing into the roof. That’s OK, but we try to avoid it when we can. So we came up with our very own No-Drill/No-Screw Cable Entry Pad that takes advantage of the factory pass-through holes that are hidden under some of the roof plugs (#2 in the image below):
* NOTE: We don’t recommend using the last row of pass-trough holes located at the very back of the Transit with our Cable Entry Pad, because there is not enough space to install the lock nut from inside the van (see On Second Thought).
Remove the roof plug. You can start with a plastic scraper, it’s a bit easier to get the plug to go at first:
Pull slowly to remove the plug completely, then clean the sealant left behind with isopropyl alcohol:
All clean! The Cable Entry Pad will cover the primed surface:
Unscrew the lock nut from underneath the pad and put aside:
Peel off the release film from the VHB tape:
Make sure the surface is still clean and apply pressure for 5-10 seconds:
Install the lock nut inside the van, hand-tight firmly with your fingers then use a 24mm or 15/16″ socket to add about one extra turn (do not use tools and overtorque, this will damage the plastic threads) :
Unscrew the sealing nut from the gland (without removing it) and route the K9000’s powercord through the gland (one connector at the time):
Route the weBoost antenna extension cable through the gland and connect it to the weBoost outside antenna:
Glands are waterproof when using a single round cable. Here we cheated a bit and routed two cables, which may compromise the waterproofness. To mitigate that, we added Silicone inside the gland (between and around the two cables) and then we screwed the sealing nut:
7. Connect the K9000 Power Cord
Our van conversion is still a work-in-progress at the time of writing these lines, so we’re temporarily powering the K9000 via the factory 12V socket at the back of the van. We’ll update this page when we hardwire it to our electrical system!
8. Complete the WeBoost Signal Booster Installation
Remember that it is crucial to maximize the distance between the outside antenna and inside antenna. If the antennas are located too close together they will pick up each other’s signals and create a feedback loop – you won’t get any boost… That’s why we installed the outside antenna far back on the roof of our van.
More info: What is Antenna Separation and Why it’s Important | weBoost
8.1. Connect the Outside Antenna to the Booster
8.2. Connect the Inside Antenna to the Booster
8.3. Connect the Power Supply to the Booster
Our van conversion is still a work-in-progress at the time of writing these lines, so we’re temporarily powering the booster via the factory 120V outlet on the side of the passenger seat. We’ll update this page when we hardwire it to our electrical system!
On Second Thought…
We initially used the pass-through hole located at the very back end of the van. Turns out the interior is “hollow” at this location (two layers of sheet metal) and making a nice installation was very difficult (no room to tighten the lock nut). We decided to plug the hole (we 3D printed a plug that holds with VHB tape and a bead of Silicone) and use the one a few inches forward.
After a short while we decided to add the Spring Base that’s provided with the weBoost, just for our peace of mind. We also removed the mast extension to reduce the total height of the antenna. With this setup, there is much less freeplay when the antenna is down (less leverage). We can always put the mast extension back if we feel we would benefit from it:
Long Term Review
Wait for it!