20 meter ham radio for Jeep JK

Discussion in 'On the Road' started by KD0SVJ, Mar 6, 2014.

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  1. KD0SVJ

    KD0SVJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Greetings! I'm new to qrz and recently received my general class license. I drive a Jeep Wrangler JK and I'm hoping to get some advice about a mobile tranceiver for 20 meters. I should take a step back and let everyone know that I'm learning as I go, so I'm not even sure 20 meters in a mobile environment is possible. Or if reception would be all that great.

    I was hoping to buy one of these antennas and mount it on the Jeep:
    - http://www.radioinc.com/oscmax/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=22_30&products_id=3271

    But my big question is is: what mobile transceiver I should buy? I'd like one with a detachable face if possible because the Jeep doesn't have a lot of space well... anywhere. Right now I talk on 2 meters and I have a radio that sits under the passenger seat. The detachable face sits on the dash.

    My own research led me to these two radios (which don't have the detachable face, but it's what I've found so far):
    - http://www.amazon.com/Yaesu-FT-817N...=UTF8&qid=1394092505&sr=8-1&keywords=FT-817ND
    - http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/hamhf/1817.html

    Both are a little out of my price range. If possible, I'd like to stick around the $300 range. But if those are the recommended ones, then I'll just keep saving up.

    Thanks for any advice anyone has!
  2. KG5RZ

    KG5RZ Ham Member QRZ Page

  3. KD0SVJ

    KD0SVJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks N5SY! That radio looks pretty nice. It sounds like people like it a lot too. I may have to consider that for home use. As for the Jeep though, I think you're right, $300 just isn't enough. I ran across this last night:

    - http://www.icomamerica.com/en/products/amateur/hf/7100/default.aspx

    It's way out of my price range, but it sounds like I just need to save up for a while and get the right radio for the job.

    Thanks again for the reply!
  4. M3KXZ

    M3KXZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    20m is great in a mobile environment, as are the other HF bands! I use a Kenwood TS480 which is excellent in my Jeep, but you won't get one for $300. Here in England I paid £400 for mine, second hand, which was a fantastic bargain for a barely used rig in excellent condition. You might want to look at Yaesu FT857 for something a bit cheaper. I'd pass on the MFJ and save more...
    WD4FYK likes this.
  5. KD0SVJ

    KD0SVJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks M3KXZ! That was very helpful! I'm very excited to start talking on 20 meters. My neighbor says it's very active. Plus it's fun to find unique ways to make radios fit in the Jeep. I'll keep the Yaesu you mentioned in mind. I'll also look around at hamfests and see if I can pick up anything on sale.
  6. K0BG

    K0BG Ham Member QRZ Page

    You might take a peek at my web site while you're looking around for ideas.
  7. AA1PR

    AA1PR Ham Member QRZ Page

    if you look at my qrz profile you will see that I run a 54" mast & 102" SS whip (12.5') with an automatic antenna tuner it will tune from 20M-6m with little to no loss

    keep the antenna at least one foot from all metal vehicle parts & preferably as high as possible

    the larger the antenna diameter &/or wire used in its construction will yield more S units in TX signal

    you are creating an image plane

    remember use lots of ground, ground everything, grounding is key

    also use the best quality low loss coax you can I recommend ABR (have no affliation)

    this is where I'd start & welcome to HF mobile

    my favorite HF mobile band has to be 17M
  8. K1NEW

    K1NEW Ham Member QRZ Page

    I would echo the advice about the 857. Great radio with a separation cable to the control head. It could be mounted very easily on a variety of mounts. I would suggest a screwdriver antenna. I used an ATAS-120 gets very poor ratings by just about everyone. I worked Europe very easily on a regular basis from my SUV. 20 in 17 m terrific for mobile HF.
  9. AF7LP

    AF7LP Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ditto on the 857. I have one and I love it. I don't have a 20m antenna on the car, but I do have it set up for 440/2/6/10m with a Comet UHV-4. I have an at-100 tuner tucked under the seat and the rig attached to the side of the center console with strong velcro. It works well enough although I don't take my car off road on purpose. I chose that option because my 857 is my main rig so I like being able to put it in and take it out easily.

    I've worked the East Coast, South and Midwest on 10m from my car while driving home from work. Also, this puts the local repeaters in range. On 6m local is relative. I hit repeaters about 50 miles out with no major issues.
  10. N0JKU

    N0JKU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Save the cash up, ft-857...
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