Motorcycle travel: Advice on effective mobile antennas for VHF/UHF and HF

Discussion in 'Antennas, Feedlines, Towers & Rotors' started by MW6WHL, Jan 12, 2020.

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  1. MW6WHL

    MW6WHL Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi All

    I've been away from the forums here and from the bands for a little while, but am finding myself re-enthused with all things amateur radio and so in 2020 I plan to sell my Kenwood TS570D and replace this with (probably) a nice ICOM7300 for my shack, however... as we are the right side of spring/summer I am also considering an additional mobile all-band all-mode radio too. Mind not fully made up about the additional mobile rig just yet as I do have a few VHF/UHF radios that I could use while mobile, but mobile HF is also something I find interesting and am considering.

    Here's what is slightly different to a regular mobile scenario and is what I have no idea about... what might be considered the most effective antennas for my mobile scenario given that I travel around on a motorcycle, getting out and about on that, and not in a car. I am all good with transporting the kit/radio/battery etc as I have boxes on the motorcycle that I can adapt to suit - but of the antenna(s)... I am pretty much clueless.

    My requirement in the main is static mobile rather than being able to talk whilst riding so I don't mind either having to put up an antenna once situated but also would consider one installed on the motorcycle itself if there is such an antenna.

    Pointers, advice, info, suggestions - all very welcome, and I shall then embark on some research.

    Many thanks all

    John
    MW6WHL
     
  2. NH7RO

    NH7RO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Nothing mounted on a motorcycle would be worth the effort for HF, basically. Far better to carry along a wire dipole and plenty of line to toss up in trees when operating out in the field as you propose.

    Another idea is an MFJ-1979 17' telescoping whip mounted on a stake with a few sets of roll-out radials. Quick and easy and collapses to 28" or so.

    73,

    Jeff

    PS: If you want to use 50-100 watts I'd recommend one of the Bioenno LiFePo4 batteries; expensive but lightweight and compact---and very powerful (20-30 amp hour models are available as well as smaller ones for QRP stuff---check out OH8STN's videos on the subject if interested.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2020
    MW6WHL likes this.
  3. KH6AQ

    KH6AQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    For static operation one or more radial wires can be placed on the ground for improved radiation efficiency from the motorcycle mounted antenna. A few wire radials approximating the area of an automobile and it's similar to a standard mobile installation.

    As for the antenna, you might start with a HamTenna (around $20). For all band operation the Little Tarheel II or the Baby Tarheel screwdriver antennas are nice. The Yaesu ATAS-120A screwdriver is okay too (I had one) and will auto-tune with a Yaesu transceiver. It will cover 40-6 meters and with an accessory device covers 144 and 432 MHz.

    The Yaesu FT-891 looks great for motorcycle mobile but covers only 160-6 meters. The FT-857D (I had one) covers 160 meters thru 432 MHz.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2020
  4. W9WQA

    W9WQA Ham Member QRZ Page

    see ka9pgc. does exotic stuff on a bike, and elsewhere...
     
    NH7RO likes this.
  5. NH7RO

    NH7RO Ham Member QRZ Page

    That's a good thought, too---one that I should have mentioned in my previous post. Something as small as a Tarheel could be mounted on the back rack or frame of the bike and tuned to whichever band you're operating quickly---just be sure to carry some radials to roll out once parked. If you can manage a taller whip to carry along on your bike then it would be all the better, too (I've used the MFJ-telescoping whip previously mentioned on top of my Scorpion screwdriver when parked and it can be pretty effective for working dx).

    Park near the seaside and you'll get some saltwater enhancement when using verticals, too.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2020
  6. NH7RO

    NH7RO Ham Member QRZ Page

    That guy is pretty hardcore---riding in the snow and rain with his home-brewed screwdriver---not to mention the giant candy canes on his car!

    Takes the meaning on "all lit up" to a new level:D
     
  7. KI7OQF

    KI7OQF Ham Member QRZ Page

    The bike I want, Ural Gearup. Thinking of puting the antenna on the side car, right in front of the windshield.
    Not the biggest ground plane but better than some bumper mounts on a car.
     

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