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Looking for suggestions for HF mobile rig

Discussion in 'Mobile Radio' started by WB5YIW, Aug 1, 2014.

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  1. WD5GWY

    WD5GWY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I understand completely!!
  2. WB5YIW

    WB5YIW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Finally made it home and can use a real keyboard. Trying to reply in this forum on my phone was a pain. Tablet was better but didn't always have wifi available.

    At any rate, a regular mirror mount won't work on a Cascadia. Freightliner started using single cast aluminum arms that sweep up from below the window to hold the mirrors. They are more or less rectangular in shape so there's no bolting anything on to them. They get smaller as they go up toward the mirror. They are attached to the door with another big casting that has a hinge to allow the mirrors to fold in against the cab. Wilson makes a bracket that attaches to this big square casting with the bolts that hold it to the door. You can then clamp the mirror mount to this bracket. Its kinda ugly when you get it all assembled, but it works. You can see it here:

    Says it will support a 5 foot antenna, but wasn't sure it would hold a screwdriver.

    The hamsticks I talked about using were only when parked. Never was silly enough to drive around with those 8 foot whips sticking up that high LOL.

    This is the rig i drive by the way: truck.JPG
  3. WD5GWY

    WD5GWY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yep, see plenty of those on the road every day! I think you can mount a Little Tarheel II to the vertical portion of that
    mount ,using the LMT-1 mount that Tarheel sells for the Little Tarheel II. If you have a decent ground thru that, you
    should be Ok. On the 2007 KW I used to drive, I added some very wide braid from the base of the mirror bracket
    down between the cab and hood and attached it to a bolt on the frame rail. Plus, I put braided jumpers from the exhaust
    pipe clamps to the frame as well. The biggest problem I had was noise(pulsing) from the electronic fuel injectors on the
    CAT engine. I put several ferrite beads on the leads from the module to the injectors and that knocked the noise down
    pretty good. The Noise Blanker on the ICOM 7000 I was using then, took it down even more.
    Some of the other brands of engines do not have the same noise issues as the Caterpillar engines do. So, you might not
    have issues with that.
    Nice looking rig! Look my call up here on and you can see the 2004 Western Star I drive.
  4. WB5YIW

    WB5YIW Ham Member QRZ Page

    I don't have any injector noise, but the computer that does the electronic logging and messaging radiates more rf than a television transmitter!

    Fine looking rig you got too. I see WesternStars all the time but have never been inside one.
    I'll let you know what I finally wind up doing. Gonna sell some stuff I dont use any more to raise some capital for the new mobile rig. I'llput some pics up when it all gets arranged. Started this project a year ago, then got a daycab job. Didnt really need it then so it all fell to the back burner. Besides, that old bucket of bolts was so noisy you couldnt hear the broadcast radio, let alone try to transmit. It was a 1999 International model 8100 doing local delivery. Couldn't hear yourself think whileit was running. But it brought me back home every day, so i put up with it. Even though the President got on tv and said that "the private sector is doing fine", business got so slow that i wasnt getting a full week in a lot of the time so now i'm back out on the road, and glad to have a job that pays the bills. Because of that, my mobile hf project is underway once again.
  5. WD5GWY

    WD5GWY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    That's the same reason I'm on the road again! I worked local (oilfield) for the last 6 years and then things slowed down so bad that
    we were not even making $150 take home, some weeks! (everything moved to West Texas, where I did NOT want to go) So, I ran
    into a friend that was driving for a local company that hauls landscaping rock (actually he buys and sells to distributors) and gets it
    from 11 states. (Mostly in the South and Southwest) Leave on Monday morning (early) and back on Friday evening. And to top
    it off, I am averaging taking home as much, or slightly more, than I did when drilling was booming around here!
    I had HF in the daycab I was driving and it was fun. But, since almost all of our work was out in the boonies, antennas and radios
    all took a beating from the rough roads and drill sites.
    Driving like I do now, is a world of difference. And having HF to keep me company, (and SirusXM too) helps pass the time.
    Hope you find a rig you like.
  6. K3CAV

    K3CAV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have used two different radios while mobile for HF, Icom 706 MKIIG and a Yaesu FT-857D. The Icom was mounted on a shelf over the sunvisors on my 99 Jeep Cherokee. The display was the easiest to read while mobile but still stopped to make major changes. This worked very well for me with a Lil Tarheel compact screwdriver antenna.

    Changed vehicles to a 2003 Jeep Liberty and changed radio setup. On this one I installed a Yaesu FT-857D with radio under rear driver side seat and control head mounted on an adjustable mount under one of the passenger seat bolts. This worked really well with my removable computer desk sitting on the passenger seat. Have tried a couple of different antennas and will be going back to the Lil Tarheel. Either of these radios will require stopping when you want to make changes to be safe. Menu driven radios are great for detachable faceplates but size limits how many buttons you can use for changing things. My choice is the Yaesu but I am a Yaesu guy with just about everything I have.

    I just picked up an Alinco DX70T to put into my RV hauler and use while camping for digital modes. Just got it today so don't have any experience with it yet. Size wise looks good and not sure what hidden adjustments are on it yet.

    I agree with another responder to the thread to forget the auto tuner and go to a compact screwdriver antenna with a controller. Good luck with whatever you decide to use.
  7. NI7I

    NI7I Guest

    I loved my AN/URC-32. Good from 2 to 32 mhz. this and the coupler that it shipped with and the 32 foot whip served us well.
    I believe it was good for 500 watts and was damn near bulletproof.

  8. K6VOR

    K6VOR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Kenwood TS-480HX into a Little Tarheel II has been a great set up. Good power and the screw driver takes out the need for a tuner or changing whips (Pain :mad:). As with all mobile HF installs, bonding and chasing noises of your vehicle is just the name of the game. Makes the drive a hella lot shorter...


  9. KD0WGB

    KD0WGB Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I drive otr as well and the rig i run for hf is an alinco dx sr8. Works great
  10. WB5YIW

    WB5YIW Ham Member QRZ Page

    UPDATE: assuming it works as described in the ad, my mobile rig will be a ts-140s. No autotuner, but oh well. Got it at a decent price on ebay, should be here sometime next week. gonna try a couple of homebrew ideas for antennas, and i'll let you know how that works out. got some experimenting to do. in the meantime, i'll start saving up again for screwdriver or something similar. hadn't looked at those in a while...little on the pricey side. I knnow they work well, but $300+ for a mobile antenna is hard to swallow.
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