Mobile HF set up

Discussion in 'On the Road' started by K7OYZ, Jul 25, 2017.

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  1. W5LZ

    W5LZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I used to do a lot of HF mobile. Did mostly 80 and 40 meters. Never had VHF/UHF till only several years ago, but lots of that too.
    I think I've tried most mobile antennas, ranging from Kenwood's to T.Bugcatchers to screwdrivers. The screwdriver was the easiest to "tune", the Bug- catcher the hardest. Radios were mostly Kenwood, I like them (built-in tuner!). Those built-in tuners are very handy thingies!
  2. M6KWY

    M6KWY Ham Member QRZ Page

    i have the same rig as you and i can say its worked fine for me as for mobile hf its a little bit more complicated than people think due to sun weather time of day country your in you should just stick to the th-9800 for mobile thats my opinion kindest regards john m6kwy
  3. W5LZ

    W5LZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    More, just because I don't know why I didn't put it in the other post.

    The bigger and uglier the HF antenna the better it works. Unless you drive a 'tank', mounting a good HF mobile antenna is going to be real 'fun', no matter what kind'a mount you come up with. The larger diameter the loading coil the more efficient it will be. It will also get you well into that 'ugly' stage. The longer/taller the antenna the better off you are, loading coil or not. Which corresponds to the next thingy, the less loading coil you use the better the antenna There are limits to that tall part, you can't get around that, but you can 'approach' it, you know? Forget about the McDonald drive through, it won't fit. Never broken a street light or caught a power line yet, but have made a #@## of a racket through those drive throughs. If it becomes a problem, -they- will tell you! And that reminds me, you might want to look into guying that big/ugly antenna.
    WD5IKX likes this.
  4. WD5IKX

    WD5IKX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Kinda like this??? I don't think of them being "ugly"...I think they are "visually interesting" (^8

    WD5IKX Bug Terminator-4-Lbl.jpg
  5. W5LZ

    W5LZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    WD5IKX - Mine was on a buick riviera. I could still reach the coil so it probably wasn't as tall as yours. Depending on who/how the testing is done, a 'BugCatcher' typically out performs most other HF mobile antennas. They are the hardest to tune the first time! Lots and lots of trying before finding the 'sweet spot', at least for me. I think I've gotten more 'DX' from that mobile than at a fixed station (<--SWAG). It did not work well on 6 meters, but then I didn't do much 6 meters anyway, hmph. Had mine guyed, nylon cord through a rear window to the 'coat hook'. Also found that the 'fat' coil made the usable frequency range much larger. Didn't look any 'uglier' than the smaller diameter coil, 'win-win'. I changed frequency fairly often so used a small alligator clip for the coil tap. They corroded out on a regular basis, oh well. Still got it, no it's not for sale...
    WD5IKX likes this.
  6. WD5IKX

    WD5IKX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Tuning a Bug Catcher is much easier now that we have antenna analyzers that allow us to easily determine where the "sweet spot" is. I agree that DX is pretty easy with this antenna and it is also fun to "bust pile-ups" while mobile. This is my previous antenna which has a different coil.

    Antenna rainbow.JPG
  7. PA2DRE

    PA2DRE Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hi I'm also new to this subject we drive a nice RV and its equipped with the Yaesu FT-891 in combination with a Yeasu ATAs-120A antenna. I'm not operating the radio wile driving but when we stay at a campsite somewhere or just park on a nice spot for some time. I was not sure about the ATAS but must say after 3 weeks of holidays at various locations in Spain and France this setup really exceeded my expectations. Had some nice qso's, reached some serious distances with good reports. Only on HF and like I wrote and when we stopped for the night or some days or somewhere nice and not while driving.
    Fun part is I bought a big antenna mount like with 3 big magnets with the connector in the centre, the only thing I forgot was that the roof is made from aluminium, this does not realy magnet so well....
    I did the job when standing still and had some serious wind, everything stayed on the roof so not such a bad investment after all.
    73's PA2DRE
    Schermafbeelding 2019-07-02 om 17.38.39.png
    WD5IKX likes this.
  8. K0UO

    K0UO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    20190214_123211.jpg 20190623_152937.jpg

    IC 7300 and 400 watt amp in Truck
    IC 7000 in airplane. Fun
    2E0ZDX and WD5IKX like this.
  9. N7IBC

    N7IBC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have been operating mobile since I got my license in 1984.
    First was with a Yaesu FT-757GX and an old Webster Bandspanner and on CW in an S-10 Blazer.

    Then I went to a Kenwood TS-50, the same antenna until it died in an ice storm in my POV, and also had a Kenwood TS-440s with an outbacker on my patrol car, (rural Nevada resident deputy).

    Moved to Idaho in 1998, and had a 98 Jeep Wrangler and a Yaesu FT-857D and a hamstick until I moved to a Hi-Q manual tune military antenna.

    In 2010, upgraded to an F-250 Super Duty with dual batteries and replaced the radio with a Kenwood TS-480HX and the same Hi-Q antenna.
    I still have that same truck and radio setup today.

    Even though the band conditions are less then stellar these days, I can still work out to about 1,000 miles on 80M at night and early morning hours, 40M out to about the same in the day and a little further around grayline in the evening.

    Here in Idaho for local, within 500 miles, we use 60M, channel 5.
    It works very, very well.

    If stationary, I toss out a counterpoise wire on the ground. radio photo.jpg

    For mobile, I can't say enough about bonding the parts of your vehicle together with strapping and, "grounding, grounding, grounding!"

    20M is hit and miss, depending-

    We have a couple of state frequencies that are allocated to the counties for SAR on HF in the 5Mhz and 7Mhz range commercial range, but we have to use commercial radios on those.
    For that I have a Sunair RT-2400 setup as portable.

    I guess one could say that I like HF radio!
    K0UO likes this.
  10. N3UML

    N3UML Ham Member QRZ Page

    Just a little insight Jim to Hf if you arent hearing anything this is probally a two fold problem. agreed the hf bands arent as good as they were a bout ten years ago due to sunspot cycle being at its low point but thankfully if you are watching this issue its on its way back up so hang in there. second issue is a major one. dont know what kind of antenna you are running but if its a monoband such as a hustler or hamstick the problem usually is they are resonant at a frequency that may not be right where most of the activity is at for that band. i once thought the way you do also when i was using hustler resonators. but after purchasing a diamond screwdriver and a west mountain target tuner boy what a difference that made. it opened my eyes to the fact that if its not resonant to the frequency that is active you warent going to hear a thing. for instance if i tune the antenna for say 3500 and tune the radio to 3990 if somebody is on 3990 at about 500 miles running 100 watts you may hear them at about s1 to s3 however very seldom is the noise floor below s4-s5 so you hear zilch. now tune the antenna to 3990 and bingo the radio comes to life s7 to s9 signals at 500 to 1500 miles away huge difference. i always thought like you do untill buying the screwdriver. yeah the combination is a little pricey however 700 dollars isnt bad considering all the hustler elements i bought over the years that were resonate at one frequency and they vibrated till i broke one a year for every band. so if you want good results on hf mobiling cough up the money and enjoy working the world. i have worked spain numerous contacts on 20,and 40 and twice on 75 running 80 watts i have worked all over europe in the past 3 months on 20 and 40 and englan sweden spain italy france on 75 so spend the money and enjoy i promise you wont be sorry....73 allan n3uml

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