Enjoying Going Mobile

Discussion in 'Mobile Radio' started by G0VKT, Aug 19, 2013.

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  1. G0VKT

    G0VKT Ham Member QRZ Page

    My personal circumstances means it is difficult for me to have a station where I am living. Rather than give up I decided to put the radios in the car.

    MK III Ford Mondeo
    IC-706 MK1
    Alinco DR-135 for 2M

    I know the 706 will do 2M, but the Alinco has 50W. Besides it is something that I had. The main unit of the 706 is in the boot and the Alinco is mounted close to the transmission tunnel.
    The head of the 706 is on a goose neck style mount bolted to the front passenger seat. Dedicated and properly fused 12V power lines have been connected directly to the battery. I am using the Aux input of the CD player for audio from the 706

    At the moment I am using a 1/4 for 2M and a selection of hamsticks for 20m-6m. There are two 3/8 mounts drilled through the hatch, one each side. The car is more than 8 years old so I have no problems in getting the drill out!

    I wanted to see the effect of bonding the the hatch, bonnet and doors for myself so the first tests were done without any straps being added. I found that when using SSB I could hear my voice over the CD player, some electrical noise could be heard on 6m and 2m would sometimes desense the FM BC radio. The SWR on the HF antennas was also a bit erratic. I added two straps to the hatch, one for each door, two for the bonnet and a ground strap for the 706 (using braid from some RG213). All the issues went away. I don't know what had the biggest effect as I added all the straps at the same time.

    So I have ended up with the beginning of a mobile station. On Friday I left the office for a 75 mile trip to see my girlfriend. This involved the M25 that loops around London. A horrible motorway that often has delays. Due to a big accident west of London my trip took more than 3 hours. I was able to amuse myself by working 20m (that was the antenna fixed at the time). No great DX, but I made some interesting contacts across Europe and into north Africa. I could hear a couple of station in India and one in Jakarta, but there was no way I would be heard over the pile ups so I didn't bother to try.

    Next to do is to improve the HF antennas. I would like to include 40m as well. I plan to sacrifice one of the hamsticks to make a centre loaded antenna or antennas (no budget for commercial antennas, besides I like making stuff). I also hope to borrow an antenna analyser to make the set up a bit easier. I will probably add some more bonding straps to see what effect that has. In particular the rear hatch. It is only bonded in two places close by the hinges, but I have a couple of ideas to try and bond it where the latch is as well. I have a home-brew common mode choke to try at the feed point of the HF mount. It is something that worked well when I was experimenting with verticals last year. I will know from any SWR changes if there is any common mode still present.

    For portable operation from the car I have a couple of 9m extendable fishing poles (not carbon fibre). I want to make up a base plate that will fit under one of the wheels and support the poles so I can put up some bigger and more efficient antennas when parked up. I can weld so that is not a problem.

    All in all a lot of fun and I am continuing to expand my knowledge and experience. And I still get to play radio!


    Paul G0VKT/M
  2. K0BG

    K0BG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Where there is a will, there is always a way! Actually, you might think there wasn't any DX on, but you were no doubt heard this side of the pond! At about 15:30 GMT, I could hear two ZS stations, a DJ, and and one G, all within 20 kHz of one another. What's odd, we typically don't hear EU stations, much less African ones, that late in the morning (Mountain time zone).

    Good luck with the mobile antenna build!
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