Discussion in 'On the Road' started by KB8FGC, Jan 10, 2019.
20 and then 40.
If you ask for opinions on the Forum you'll get a thousand different answers!!!!!
Mine is 40 Meters, with the way conditions are right now 40 behaves a lot like 20 used to. And your at least going to have somebody to talk to day and night.
I wouldn't lock myself into just one band even with ham sticks you can get on several bands inexpensively, they might not be the most efficient for 40 and 75 but they will at least get you on. If you can pick up a low cost used screwdriver antenna at a hamfest then you can work all bands.
The worst problem you might have is RFI from the HF radio getting into your car's electronics or the cars electronics getting into your HF rig. Spent a lot of time on grounding, you will be well rewarded with lower interference on both receive and transmit. You would hate to key down a hundred watt HF rig and kill your car's computer, I know I've done it!!!
The best HF rig is one that is being used and the best antenna is one that is "In The AIR & On The AIR" K0UO Rhombic and Vee Beam Antenna Farm. https://www.k0uo.com
Or you can run a beat up old truck like mine without a computer!
The Band (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Band).
RIP Levon Helm.
Given current conditions, my one band would be 40m. I can still manage the antenna size; and 20m is not only dead at night, but less busy that 40m during the day.
...If I had a choice of 1 band....it would positively absolutely be 20 meters.
First off, it is the most populated with DXing. Hands down. Just check any of the DX hotspot webs (the ones with the maps showing contact locations and bands in the most use) and you will see what I am talking about.
Secondly, chances are you will be using a vertical of some sort. 20 meters is very easy to use off a vertical (and inexpensive....see below in my follow up). It will have a low take-off angle that will easily throw you into another country. I have hit TONS of contacts in Europe on 20 meters. It's my favorite band in fact.
Also, don't forget, 20 meters is the least affected by sunlight. 75 and 40 are better during the night. 10,12 and 15 are better by day. 20 is the all around best pick at any time during the day or night.
Now, I have a question for YOU. Why do you need a particular band? I have a Kenwood TS-50 that I use on 10 through 80. Granted, it IS an older transceiver, BUT, it works just fine. I picked it up for $300 at a hamfest last spring and have had a ball with it since. With a simple MFJ-1620T hamstick (for about $16.95) and the NMO base (about $24.00) I have a 100 watt signal plastering the European continent.
With the base just switch out the antennas (for $16.95 for each band). It works awesome as a field radio for temporary setups. Now, on the OTHER hand....if you are looking for a "mobile" radio for using while driving, I would simply cut down a CB antenna and use it for 10 meters. The hamsticks are great, but, they are flimsy and break easily. I had to replace mine after just 2 weeks simply because I held the hamstick as a handle while prying the mag mount off my roof. It was enough to break the coil internally. Luckily, the store replaced it when I explained the problem. Since then, my friend, KC3GJY, who is a mechanic, designed me a handle that screws into the 3/8"-24 female thread. Now I just unscrew the antenna coil and thread in the new handle to pry the magnet off.
If you had a stronger 10 meter whip, then you could drive and talk on 10 meters while on the road. Only problem is...you know how 10 meters can be. If the band isn't open the static will make for a long trip...
Hope this helps.
Here is the "reported" DX hits on 20 meters as of the time of this reply....
Thanks for the link to the map page I found it very interesting.
I would pick 40 meters, but it's a very close race.
I've used single band hamsticks on both 20 + 40 with success. Get out the bonding/grounding straps and you'll have a better mobile station, especially on 40 meters.
75 meters, the most reliable 24 hour comms out to 500 miles or so.