HF operation from a Motor Home

Discussion in 'On the Road' started by K6PIJ, Feb 16, 2021.

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  1. WW2PT

    WW2PT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Absolutely. More is better than fewer, shorter is better than longer, elevated with tuned radials better than ground-mounted, etc.—all the same rules apply as with any vertical. Ham sticks are a lot cheaper than a good screwdriver antenna, just not as flexible, but at least you can see if your setup works for you without dropping a lot of money on a screwdriver at first. If the radial system works to your satisfaction with the ham sticks, you can always upgrade and be assured performance and convenience can only improve. :)
    WA8FOZ and KO4ESA like this.
  2. WW2PT

    WW2PT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for the tip. I’ve been wondering how I would solve that problem.
    My other idea was to tow a small Airstream behind the Class C just to use as a ground plane. :D
    N8RKD and KO4ESA like this.
  3. N6TDG

    N6TDG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Radials I have--Just take the ones from my DX Commander and there you go. Should work just fine....Now I need to figure out where to attach the radials with the mounting system I have.
    KO4ESA likes this.
  4. KC7JNJ

    KC7JNJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I had a friend that is now a SK. He was a full timer in a 32ft class A. He ran a ultimax DX 100 up a jackite pole that he mounted on top of his rear ladder. He took it all down when moving, it also served as a pennant pole. That is where I learned about the ultimax antenna. It worked well.
    PIXN and KO4ESA like this.
  5. US7IGN

    US7IGN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Are you talking about 16xx? My most useless acquisition in 15 years. They are just lying around now. You can make counterweights, but they won't get much better from this.

    As for 80 meters. My main antenna for the field is the 84 meter vertical loop with tuner. It is necessary to accept the fact that it is summer now and there is simply no propagation on this band. Even in IARU yesterday I did not hear a single DX.
    KO4ESA likes this.
  6. N6TDG

    N6TDG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yup, the 16XX--price was right. But I am wondering if I will ever get them tuned to anywhere near usable...
  7. US7IGN

    US7IGN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes, but I bought for all bands at once (

    I didn’t succeed, so I also had to buy a tuner)
  8. PC1RZ

    PC1RZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I use them in a pair, as a rotary dipole on a 7m lightstand. Works pretty well.
    I have the 20 and 40m versions.

    Had to shorten the whip parts (with my leatherman wave pliers) about 10cm ! That was a lengthy process, measure, pull down the whole thing, shorten a piece by like a cm, get it up and measure again. And repeat until it was in the right range.
  9. AA5ET

    AA5ET Ham Member QRZ Page

    Most mobile antennas are a compromise, especially on the low bands. If you're parked you'll get much better performance from a full size wire antenna as long as you have a way to support it. Maybe consider an end fed half wave (EFHW) with the end up in a tree or something. An EFHW requires a 49:1 balun and probably a current choke/line isolator on the coax near the rig. Easy to deploy - wire end up in a tree or other support, 49:1 balun between the wire and coax, and connect your coax to the rig (with a current choke at the rig end). A 66 ft (20m) or so (trim to low SWR) wire will get you 40, 20, 15 and 10 without a tuner. Good luck
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2021
  10. K4HEW

    K4HEW Ham Member QRZ Page

    We live in a 40' motorhome - Holiday Rambler Endeavor - and use the Eagle-1 antenna which is a quarter wave vertical for 40meters. I mounted it onto the aluminum ladder such that when collapsed, the top is just flush with the top of the roof. I run RG-8X coax to it from the Icom 7300 and have a braided wire running from the ladder (which is mounted to the frame of the RV) to a section of the framework in the rear. I have an MFJ Versa Tuner II at the radio but frankly the radio will tune things internally in the 7300. SWR is flat across 40m and I've been asked how much power I'm running - just flat-footed @ 100w with the stock mike. We park the rig in an RV Park near Raleigh, NC and live in it full time. I figure the bus has an aluminum framework all around the structure under the fiberglass exterior. They are acting like the ground radials you would think you need. A friend had the Tar Heel antenna mounted just like mine but he laid out several copper tape sections along the length of his RV but performance was not as good as mine was. The Eagle-1 is an effective antenna for 40m.

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