Mobile HF set up

Discussion in 'On the Road' started by KI7OYZ, Jul 25, 2017.

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  1. KD5AUU

    KD5AUU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have been running mobile for over twenty years and only run mobile presently - I echo the general opinions here that the Kenwood 480 - either version - with or without the antenna tuner is a good choice. I ran the 480 HX for a couple of years and liked it. With 200 watts out I worked 40 and 80 meters with no amplifier. Procomm makes monoband (hamstick) antennas for less than 30 bucks a pop and they are rated for 500 watts. You'll probably need to make or buy some kind of matching coil to tune them properly but they work pretty good for someone on a budget. I run bugcatcher antennas and find them to be an unbeatable mobile antenna however they can be a little high maintenance. I run the Icom 7100 and it has the best receiver of anything I've ever run mobile. The Icom 7000 is also a great mobile radio. The radio I would recommend though if you want something to use as a fixed station and mobile is the new Icom 7300. There are a lot of fairly new ones moving around out there right now and this is hands down one of the best bangs for the buck of any radio to come out in the last 10 years.
  2. KI7OYZ

    KI7OYZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am getting some great information. I need to get some money together somehow. Some of these transceivers seem to be on sale right now. I don't know if that is normal or not as I have just begun looking. It will be quite an adventure making decisions.
  3. KI7OYZ

    KI7OYZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    So far it looks like the following transceivers seem to be recommended the most:
    Kenwood TS-480SAT or TS-480HX - the HX seems to be more power (200 vx 100) while the SAT seems to have a built in tuner. Is that correct? Would the built in tuner be good to have? Is 200 watts too much for a truck installation? approx $860 vs $980 with mail in rebates

    ICOM IC 7100 (about $775 with mail in rebate) or IC 7300 ($1250 with mail in rebate) - the 7300 seems more like a base unit, is that correct?

    Yaesu FT-857D (about $860 now with instant rebate) or FT-891 ($650 now with instant rebate) - the 857 seems to have HF /UHF/VHF while 891 is only HF. I currently have a TYT TH-9800 in my truck, but could always move that to my wife's Jeep as she is studying now for her Tech license.

    Any input on any of these? Any others I should be considering? Can I save much by going used? If I go used, how do I know they are in good condition?
    Anything else I should be thinking about?

  4. KD5AUU

    KD5AUU Ham Member QRZ Page

    The Icom 7100 is all mode - HF / UHF /VHF D star capable - everything in one package and in my opinion has a better receiver than the 857 . The 7300 is a small base radio but if you can afford the price tag and have the room it is reported to be an excellent choice for mobile operation and would be the easiest to transition between a home setup and a mobile station. Since the 7300s are all relatively new if you can find a deal on a used one the risk is probably low. As far as your questions about the 480 - the built in tuner is nice to have but the 200 watts is a big plus for mobile operation and no it's not to much - I run 500 watts out of my GMC pick up.
  5. W0MUD

    W0MUD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Aaahhh! The good ol' days. haha. Don't give up yet. I have HF mobile here in the Pacific Northwest and some days on the way home from work 15, 18 and 10 meters are active. I almost uninstalled my HF mobile set up last winter. I am glad I didn't. Hang in there man, you'll be glad you did.
  6. W0MUD

    W0MUD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Great website!!! Thanks for posting the link.
  7. AC4RD

    AC4RD Ham Member QRZ Page

    One great way to get used gear in good condition at a good price is to get to know some of your local hams--if there's a local club, go to some meetings and talk to people. I've never had a bad deal when it was someone I knew. Don't worry about price, too--I've seen nice rigs going for much less than half the price of those new ones, and as long as you get a good working one, you can almost always sell it later without losing much money. :) Hamsticks are also a great way to start inexensively--buy 'em used at hamfests and save a fortune. HAVE FUN! 73! --ken

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