Help with mobile rig

Discussion in 'Mobile Radio Systems' started by KF7MKV, Jan 23, 2011.

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  1. KF7MKV

    KF7MKV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi All,
    My name is Brad, I'm relatively new to the hobby. I recently purchased a Yaesu FT-100D and am looking to get a mobile rig going in the SUV. I was hoping someone(s) might be able to answer some rookie questions I have.

    1. With regard to getting power to the radio. Do they sell a kit? Maybe something that has all of the power cable and appropriate fuse holders?

    2. Any suggestions on a tuner? There is a Yaesu FC-20 on craigslist. I just want to be sure it will work w/the antenna I am using

    3. Antenna switching. I plan to use a Diamond antenna for 70cm 2meter and 6m, use a 102 in whip for 10-15 meters, and use hamsticks for 20 and 40, so a total of 4 antenna's. I'll sure get some looks w/that setup for sure.

    So you can see the problem here. I need some kind of automatic (preferred) or manual switch to change antennas when I change bands. Do they make this? Also will that tuner tune a 102 in whip to 15 meters?

    Any input would be welcomed. Again I am new to this so if you have suggestions or input on how to improve this setup please let me know.

    Thanks 73
  2. NY3V

    NY3V Ham Member QRZ Page

    1. You can use a car audio amp power kit.

    2. You can use a Trap Or, a Screwdriver & Controller type multi band mobile vertical antenna.

    Just Goggle amateur radio multi band mobile antennas or, go to one of the Ham Radio equipment vendor sites and look at their catalogs. You can then search under the antenna model number to find out comments and reviews of their performance.

    Good Luck
  3. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Brad, your radio comes with two coax connectors, one for HF+6meters, and the other for VHF/UHF. If you're looking at using a triband Diamond for 6, 2, and UHF, that's going to get a bit complicated, because the rig isn't set up well for that. You could install a duplexer like the Diamond MX610M in the HF+6 meter line to split off the 6 meters from the HF, then use an MX62 to combine the 6 meters with the VHF and UHF from the other radio port, to feed your triband Diamond. That's putting a lot of duplexers (actually 'diplexers') in line, but it should work, and eliminates the need for switches there. Then, if you intend to install two HF antennas, a simple coax switch between the two should work fine. There are some inexpensive ones out there - Radio City has them - and I can't see the difference between the cheap ones and the expensive Daiwas, but I also haven't lab tested any of them.

    Of course, if you can find an antenna you like that covers HF and 6 meters, I'd go for that and a nice dualbander for VHF/UHF, eliminating all the switches and/or duplexers.
  4. WD5GWY

    WD5GWY Ham Member QRZ Page

    1.Your radio should come with a fairly long power cable. If you need more, get cable that is larger than what comes with the radio. Run it to the battery
    and not to the fuse block. Make sure that the wires from the battery are fused before going thru the firewall of your car. (extra work but worth the effort)
    2. I have used an LDG Z-11 PRO auto tuner and 102" steel whip on my big truck (18 wheeler) and it works, OK on 20-10 meters but, only fair on 40 meters.
    ( I plan to change that one to either a screwdriver or bugcatcher antenna)
    3.Switching between 4 antennas with a switch while mobile can be done. But, you can spend a little extra money and effort and be much happier with the results.
    (unless of course you are going for the forest of antennas look on your SUV) :)
    I would suggest looking at a screwdriver antenna. Depending on your budget you can pick up a decent one starting around $200 (Alpine antennas) or spend
    a bit more and get a Tarheel antenna, such as the Little Tarheel II which is not as big physically as some of the larger screwdriver antennas and works reasonably
    well from 40 to 10 meters. (it will work on 80 meters too, but, not as well) It comes with a manual controller (up/down switch) and everything you need less the
    mobile mount for about $379.00 . Mounting can be fairly inexpensive, depending on where you mount it. Magnet mounts (multiple magnets not single) work OK
    since it is a light antenna but, are a harder to bond to the frame for a good RF ground.(but can be done) Properly installed this antenna works pretty good.
    One thing for sure, good bonding of your vehicle is needed to have the best overall experience.
    Check out this website:
    You will find answers to a lot of your questions there.
    It all depends on how much you are willing to spend and what level of satisfaction/ease of use you are wanting. Personally, I like having only two antennas on my
    pickup. One for 2m/440 and a screwdriver antenna for 80-6 meters. (I am running an ICOM 706 MKIIG in my pickup) I use a manual controller I built and a
    two position switch. I have the antenna attached to one port and an old MFJ 207 SWR antenna analyzer to the other. That way, I can stop, using the analyzer's
    signal tune the antenna to the band I want. Only takes a few seconds and I'm done and back on the air on another band. I also have a Little Tarheel II and an
    auto controller (N2VZ) that I plan to use in another setup with an ICOM 7000. That way, I can just hit the tune button on the radio after switching bands and
    retuning of the antenna is automatic.
    Anyway, lots of things to think about.
  5. KF7MKV

    KF7MKV Ham Member QRZ Page

    thanks for the help

    WOW! Thanks for the awesome reply's guys. I checked out the Alpine antenna. Looks nice, I'm just not crazy about the switch. What would work better for 20 meters, a 102inch whip w/a tuner or a 20M hamstick? I'm trying to minimize clutter in the front of the truck. Are there any automatic adjusting screwdriver type antennas for $300'ish?
  6. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Theoretically, the Hamstick should have an advantage because it raises the maximum current point higher. But, reality and theory are often different, and I suspect that a long whip with an efficient tuner at the base would be at least as good. ICOM and SGC have sold similar systems for many years. The screwdriver would beat both. A HiQ screwdriver would be about your best option in a remotely tuned antenna. I believe HiQ has a new model that's in your price range, too. THeir 3/80 model for $295 also covers 6 meters!
  7. KB6M

    KB6M Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi Brad,
    I run a Yaesu FT-857D in my truck. I have a magnet mount 144/440 antenna on the cab and an old school ball mount on the rear fender of the truck. I have an assortment of the MFJ hamsticks behind the back seat (40,20,10,6 meters). All are pre-tuned. Not the easiest setup, and I am limited to one HF band at a time. It only takes about 1 minute to change out the antennas. Plus, the antennas are less than $20 each. If one gets stolen or broke, it's no big deal. I use the mfj because they can easily be separated into two pieces.

  8. K0BG

    K0BG Ham Member QRZ Page

  9. NO6O

    NO6O Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    You have an awesome web site, Alan. I spent a lot of time there, while setting up my mobile station. Because it's usually the only way I get on the air, I wanted to ensure it worked well, and it does. I still visit your site for reference. Thank you for the great work!
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2011
  10. KF7MKV

    KF7MKV Ham Member QRZ Page

    great website

    What an awesome resource. I'm going to spend a ton of time on this site. Thanks for putting it together. Many thanks.
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