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HF Mobile Rig?

Discussion in 'On the Road' started by WB2INY, May 24, 2021.

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  1. WB2INY

    WB2INY Ham Member QRZ Page

    An y recommendations on a good mobile HF rig for a Subaru Forester?
  2. G8FXC

    G8FXC XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Speaking personally, I would insist on a removable control head - which rather limits the options. If you really want just HF, then I would probably suggest the Kenwood TS-480SAT. The ICOM IC-7100 is also a decent radio and gives you VHF/UHF in the same package at a similar price, but it is looking a bit long in the tooth these days. The 7100 does not have a built-in ATU which can be a bit limiting in a mobile context where antennae will be narrow band and their tuning influenced by surroundings.

    Martin (G8FXC)
  3. K0ACS

    K0ACS Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've always wanted an 857d paired with the atas120. But since the 857's are bringing more than their weight in gold for some reason, I'm going with the 891. All the icoms with colored screens I like are discontinued, plus they are bringing more than what they cost new as well.
    US7IGN likes this.
  4. KD4UPL

    KD4UPL Ham Member QRZ Page

    I had an ATAS120 hooked to a Yaesu FT-100D. I was super unimpressed with that antenna; don't waste your time. A "real" screwdriver antenna like a Tar Heal or High Sierra would be way better.
    Nice profile picture!! Is that you're car? I'm blessed to live near Cooter's in Luray, VA so I get to quite a few of his gatherings.
    K0UO likes this.
  5. NG1H

    NG1H XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    My experience is the biggest factor for the radio is how easy it is to use. You don't want to be fiddling with an arcane menu system while going down the road (*cough*Yeasu*cough*). Other than that all you really care about is that it works. Far more important is your antenna and installation. When your radiation efficiency is only 3% each 1% improvement matters. For me ICOM's radios were easier to use mobile on HF. Whichever way you go spend some time practicing in the driveway first.

    Also if planning both V/UHF and HF look at how easy it is to switch modes with the radio. Some radios maintain all of the mode settings for each band. Others don't and require digging into the menu each time.

    Lastly think about which bands you want to use. If you are staying with the higher frequencies you may be happy with a cheapo hamstick. Moving down the frequencies the advantages of a good screwdriver become more apparent.
    US7IGN and K0UO like this.
  6. N8ZL

    N8ZL Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ts480hx. I have had several popular hf mobile radios. The 480hx beats them hands down.
    K0UO likes this.
  7. K0UO

    K0UO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Good question and do something like a mobile install it's wise to get Technical information from others/ the above information for the most part is right on target.

    Icom or TS480 which are easier to use and the BEST
    screwdriver antenna you can find (not the Atas 120).
    Otherwise you'll be totally frustrated.

    Don't worry about an antenna tuner/ buy a GOOD screwdriver antenna first.
    (not the Atas 120)

    Then do a good job on the install/ including proper grounding.

    READ all of this (two times)

    Many of us (over the last 50+ years) have made countless mistakes on mobile installs/ don't be like us!

    Fortunately there's plenty of products available now that will help you have success. Do it right the 1st time, you'll end up spinning less money and actually enjoying and using your mobile HF install.

    You'll be happy and "we'll" have a great QSO with you shortly when you get on the air.

    73 from,
    The K0UO " Rhombic Antenna Farm" 2 miles of wire in the Air & On the AIR daily
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2021
    AG5AB likes this.
  8. US7IGN

    US7IGN Ham Member QRZ Page

    AG5AB, K8PG, WD5IKX and 2 others like this.
  9. WS9K

    WS9K Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've been running HF mobile since 1993. I've tried most of them, TS-50, IC-706, FT-857. By a wide margin I prefer the TS-480HX. Excellent design, and simple to use ergonomics, instead of menus that a difficult while mobile.

    I LOVE my Kenwood TS-480HX and TARHEEL II

    this is the 200 watt version, no tuner needed because the TARHEEL II dips SWR from 3.5-54mhz.


    NT9W, K8PG, W7TCT and 2 others like this.
  10. US7IGN

    US7IGN Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have never seen such a mount before. Thank you for showing the photo!

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