Lets hope....

Discussion in 'Mobile Radio' started by K0BG, Aug 8, 2013.

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  1. K0BG

    K0BG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Let's hope this thread becomes a very popular place for all of us who really enjoy mobile (and portable) operation.

    I have been operating mobile since 1972, and I have enjoyed it beyond belief. I have gone through more installation iterations, antennas, wiring, transceivers, you name it, than no one could have ever imagined. While I have learned a lot, the one theme which keeps coming to the forefront, is installing your gear, especially antennas, correctly! While just about anything works, died-in-the-wool operators will soon discover that haphazard installations, abbreviated antennas, clip mounts, poor wiring, no bonding, no RFI suppression, and about a dozen other prerequisites, just won't cut the mustard. Bragging about DX exploits, notwithstanding!
  2. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I think with the increasing antenna restrictions for many hams, having an effective mobile station is a great alternative. And even if you do have unrestricted home capabilities (like me) you can still have a blast with H.F. mobile. (The state of Alaska STILL gives us free vehicle registration if we have ham plates).

    By the way, more than one ham has earned DXCC entirely mobile! (Alas, I'm not one of them).

  3. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I want to reiterate and enforce what you've said. The best mobile installation is a "radio with a car built around it." Unfortunately, this used to be a lot easier to accomplish with old technology cars....but with enough determination it can be done, and well worth it.

    One reason I love Dayton is the countless number of SERIOUS mobile operators that show up....big ugly, gnarly wind-grabbing antennas. As I've said in the Opus.....as a mobile operator, your goal is to make radio....not a vehicular fashion statement. :)
  4. W3MMM

    W3MMM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Concur - that describes me. No antennas outside my house...so out to my car I go.

    I'd note that while the "best" mobile setup might be a challenge, a ham can get on the air cheaply and easily. I took my home-based TS-2000 and bought only 3 things:
    - a deep cycle battery from Walmart ($99 for the biggest one)
    - a $30 mag mount
    - a $15 whip.

    THAT'S IT.

    Now, I can't operate with the engine running - and the biggish TS-2000 just sits on the dash. But with this set-up, I've worked the opposite side of the world on SSB.
  5. W3MMM

    W3MMM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'll note that I'm starting in mobile operating. I'm making the point that there aren't high barriers to "get in"

    Now that I'm in - I can see trying new things, improving performance, adding flexibility and making things permanent. I look forward to learning from you folks with experience and having more (and better) fun.

    My comment above was in no way meant to contradict K0BG's post.
  6. K0BG

    K0BG Ham Member QRZ Page

    The least expensive mobile setup I know of, cost almost nothing. Someone gave the youngster an old FT101. No final tubes to be found. He converted it to 6146s, for a total cost of just the tube sockets. The two antennas are hamsticks removed from a dumpster at the Duke City hamfest. Once repaired, he's on the air on 20 and 40. They're mounted on an old AS ballmount I gave him, along with the coax cable he needed.

    I know of one where the operator spent over $5,000, replete with amp, and Scorpion antenna.

    The question remains, who is having more fun?

    For me, it is in the description on the index page of my mobile-based web site: Best Foot Forward!
  7. W3MMM

    W3MMM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Oh hey - YOU'RE K0BG!

    Very cool - your site is awesome and a godsend. I'm not sure the answer to your question - I'd like to think the guy who spent nothing is having more fun...but maybe the engine interference makes it frustrating.

    I see your site as the best bet to having fun...the more fun you have, the more you'll want that installation to perform. And the more you want performance, the more valuable your site is. A person could spend $$$ but doesn't have to. Yet, with careful investment (of time, expertise and (maybe) some money) they can get even more.
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