Bought a FT-991 for RV and portable, antenna suggestions

Discussion in 'On the Road' started by N6MMA, Aug 29, 2016.

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  1. N6MMA

    N6MMA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Tough decision, buy a new FT 857, or pick up a barely used FT-991. Went with the FT-991, it was local, no sales tax, and no shipping, for $800. Couldn't say no. It also has a marginal ATU good for 3:1, from 150 ohms down to 15 ohms, so no 9:1 unun random wire antenna's wanted here, something that is already resonant preferred.

    I have a 150 ah AGM battery for power on the RV, have a MegaWatt PSU that will make 13.8v and 30 amps, though the FT-991 is only capable of pulling 23 amps. Have a Honda Eu1000i generator too, for the PSU. So I have all of that covered.

    What I am interested in doing is being able to set up some sort of End Fed antenna sloper style off of my 16 ft paint pole mounted in a bar on my receiver hitch, or from a picnic table. I'm looking for suggestions that will be at least 100w capable. I am thinking some NPOTA type of operations from the SUV trailer hitch for antenna mast, with spare battery, 50 feet of rg8x, a lawn chair, etc. 40 and 20 meter, maybe some 10m, this will be day time operations, so 80m would not be happening.

    Thoughts and experiences? Something that if I want to, will work well also in the city without getting nailed all the time by a huge QRM or QRN and a reasonable S value noise floor.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2016
  2. K7WFM

    K7WFM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I used an LNR Precision EF-40 with the UNUN box tied off near the top of the rear ladder. It worked just okay. They now make an EF-QUAD that is good on 40/20/15/10M and handles up to 200W. I switched to a 58 foot wire fed from a Balun Designs 4:1 UNUN with a 58 ft counterpoise which works much better and my small Z11PII LDG auto tuner has no trouble matching on most bands.

    I also use MFJ Hamsticks on 40/30/20M on a mount bolted to a luggage carrier in the hitch receiver when there is noting to tie the end fed wire to. You can see a photo of it on my QRZ page.

    If your RV has a power converter 120VAC to 12VDC that is powered from the shore tie, it is probably an extreme RFI generator. Ours is so bad I open the breaker to it when I'm operating within 10 feet of the RV.
  3. N6MMA

    N6MMA Ham Member QRZ Page

    I dry camp, hence the Honda Eu generator with inverter. I can also power my battery for recharging with my 150w solar panel at 8.5 to 8.9 amps, when the sun is out. That 58 foot with 58 foot counterpoise is a lot of wire to be stringing. What happens if you pair it with a 9:1 unun?
  4. K7WFM

    K7WFM Ham Member QRZ Page

  5. KE0CAA

    KE0CAA Ham Member QRZ Page

    I would have to agree with most of the comments here that a 9:1 unun with ~60 of wire is probably the best option for any semi portable camping/rv type work. You can make your own fairly cheaply even and invest your savings into a wide range tuner that will help you out much more down the road than anything fancy from the store.
  6. KI5WW

    KI5WW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Half wave dipole has been my choice for many many years now. Not very sexy, but it's all I take portable.
  7. W7DKK

    W7DKK Ham Member QRZ Page

    I need to make a note of this thread as I'll be buying an RV within a year or two. Already have the FT-991.

    I've been thinking about an inverted V with a removable pole in the middle of the RV. Might be able to get a 20m dipole up.
  8. WD5IKX

    WD5IKX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I recently made an "all band dipole" fed with 300 ohm balanced line. The antenna is assembled with fishing tackle swivel clips so that the antenna can be taken apart and each section rolled up separately. No more snarled mess of wire and rope. The center insulator is made from a floor tile sample and the antenna is .o3o copper-weld wire which I cut it to 67 ft overall length so it tunes nicely from 40 through 10 meters with my LDG tuner and 4:1 balun. The antenna is very light weight so I us a fiberglass push up pole to support the center. I have been getting good signal reports so far.
    FD-Portable Antenna.JPG
    FD-Center Insulator.JPG
    FD-End Insulator.JPG
    FD-Portable RRSP-2.JPG

    John WD5IKX
    W0SX, W6MYT, K7WFM and 1 other person like this.
  9. W9CMG

    W9CMG Guest

    I have a screwdriver antenna but when I'm parked for awhile I raise my vertical. It's three concentric PVC pipes with a wire in the center. I have a rope strung through pulleys so I can raise it easily. Then I lay ten ground radials down with an ugly balun. Got all the flexible 14ga wire from dissecting a cheap big box store 100ft extension cord.
  10. K7WFM

    K7WFM Ham Member QRZ Page

    DSCN1961sm.jpg I used a 4:1 unun with 58ft wires this past week at a few dry campsites with one wire thrown over a large pine tree. Fed with 25feet of LMR240 from the so-239 connector mounted at the rear of the RV. The setup worked very well.
    Not something you want to deploy in a swanky RV park though. :D
    N6MMA and WD5IKX like this.

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