A New Tarheel screwdriver antenna install on a RV Fifth Wheel

Discussion in 'RV Operating and Camping' started by KB3WFV, Jul 23, 2017.

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  1. W5TWT

    W5TWT Ham Member QRZ Page

    It is the Tarheel 300 model. 10 to 160 i believe but only 250 to 300 watts
  2. KT5P

    KT5P XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Now that is a cool setup! I also have a 5th wheel but did not have much luck with the screwdriver. I'm sure your ground plane makes a huge difference. I have been using a PAR End Fedz wire antenna. I run one end from the top of my flag pole at 25 feet and slope it to another pole at about 6 feet. I am very pleased with how well it matches up on everything from 40 to 10 meters. I have to say yours tops anything I have seen in the RV parks! Enjoy your rig. 73 Dennis WB6PMD Dallas, TX
  3. K4MMB

    K4MMB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for that.
    Of course I would have preferred a long wire because of the expense but could not set any poles in the space.
    And without a doubt the ground plane wires make a huge difference. Now that I have one I’m a true believer in the screwdriver. Add a auto control and it’s a slick rig.
  4. KB3WFV

    KB3WFV Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    My Thanks to everyone who has replied so far. Below are some direct replies to specific post. In general after two years the Tareheel is still performing very well on top of the camper. It really is a pleasure to use.

    Hi N4MU William - No high power... yet. My antenna a Tareheel 200HP it is rated at 1500 watts pep, but for right now the Kenwood TS480HX 200 watt pep is more than enough to out talk the receiver. Camp grounds are really noisy, a lot of interference in the receiver. No sense in having a big signal and not be able to hear

    - Brian KB3WFV

    Hi W5TWT Rolando - You have a very nice setup as well. You have an advantage over me. Operating while in motion. I could but the first bridge I come to would be a problem.

    - Brian KB3WFV

    Hi N6OIL Rory - Yes, the roof repair/replacement was paid for by my insurance. The antenna was paid for out of my pocket. All we did was coordinate the roof repair and antenna install to happen at the same time.

    - Brian KB3WFV

    Hi K4MMB or is it KN4JEV? Paul. Maybe the signature needs to be changed? Anyways you quoted W5TWT William, but addressed me Brian. So. I'm not sure who you are asking, but my antenna is a Tareheel 200 HP 1.8 to 30 MHz rated at 1500 pep. No radials used here. The wire mesh installed under the rubber roof membrane is the ground plane or radials.

    - Brian KB3WFV

    Hi WB6PMD Dennis - Thank you for the kind words. The wire mesh ground plane makes all the difference in the world. In any vertical antenna set up the metal directly below the antenna is the RF return path to the transmitter. I'll have to give that end fed a try someday. Thanks!

    - Brian KB3WFV

    Hi again K4MMB or KN4JEV? Paul - Again I'm not sure who is talking to who, but I agree, the performance of properly installed vertical screwdriver antenna impressed me so much that I am saving up money to install an adjustable resonance beam antenna at my home. Fix that signature Paul. :).

    - Brian KB3WFV
  5. K0UO

    K0UO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Wow guys you all did a beautiful job on your installs. I do a lot of rving and portable operation and use a scorpion antenna but you guys have done a great job mounting both on the hitches and on the roofs.
    I'm hoping, I never have to redo my roof but that is a fabulous idea to use the wire for a ground plane, it can't get any better than that.
    I've seen those Tar Heel mounts used before but never put on the RV rooftop under the membrane like that, good professional work.

    The best antenna is one that is "In The AIR & On The AIR"

    K0UO Rhombic and Vee Beam Antenna Farm. https://www.k0uo.com
  6. W5LZ

    W5LZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    You know, if that trailer is as long as an average car then no 'radials' are really necessary, won't hurt though. Antennas would rather be above metal rather than beside metal, and they don't like being under metal at all. Of course, antennas don't always get what they want, but keeping them happy is a pretty good idea.
    K0UO likes this.
  7. KB3WFV

    KB3WFV Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hi Paul W5LZ

    If the antenna is a typical dipole with equal lengths of wire on each leg. IE shield of coax to one leg and the center conductor of the coax to the other leg, then the above statement is correct. Metal surfaces with in a 1/4 wave length will have a negative impact on the antenna.

    In the case of a vertical antenna's, the metal surface is one half of the antenna. The metal directly beneath the antenna serves as the RF return path. This metal ground plane or radials is typical connected to the shield of the coax and the vertical portion is connected to the center conductor of the coax. This creates the two half of the antenna.

    In a typical RV there is often not enough metal directly below the roof surface to provide the other half of the antenna for a sufficient RF return path. In many cases some sort of ground plane has to be created. In my case, tree damage to the RV roof, presented the opportunity for installation of a wire mesh before replacing the rubber roof. The antenna mount sits on and is attached directly to the wire mesh. The rubber roof is cut around the antenna mount and sealed. This created 280 square feet of ground plane for the other half of the vertical antenna.

    Those who do not have to, or do not want to remove the rubber roof to install a wire mesh have some options. They can install for use while camping a wire mesh or lengths of cooper wire laid out on the roof surface and connected to the base of the antenna. Before traveling, roll up and store the mesh or the wire. Others have suggested that the installation of metal foil tape or adhesive cooper foil could also be installed on the roof surface and attached to the antenna base. This may provide a more permanent installation.

    Regardless of the method temporary or permanent, there needs to be some sort of RF return path directly below a vertical antenna

    - Brian
    K0UO likes this.
  8. W2VW

    W2VW XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I can't wait for the 630 meter version!
    K0UO likes this.
  9. W5LZ

    W5LZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Brian -
    About the only thing you said that I don't 'agree' with is that any metal within a 1/4 wave length is detrimental (a dipole). That's not always true at all. It can and will change a characteristic of that antenna a bit, but it can also change it to the beneficial side.
  10. KB3WFV

    KB3WFV Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hi Paul
    I should of said “metal within a 1/4 wave length has an ‘impact’ on a dipole. After all, a three element beam is basically nothing more than three tuned dipoles spaced properly along a boom in order to get signal gain in one direction.

    Although , a wire dipole hung too close to a metal roof building for example, may result in an antenna that is difficult to tune or perform in a less than desirable way.


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