Need suggestions on antenna

Discussion in 'On the Road' started by KM4IMF, Feb 4, 2018.

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  1. WD5IKX

    WD5IKX Ham Member QRZ Page

    If money was no object I would go with a Scorpion 680 or a Hi-Q but since my budget was short I spent just over $100 to cobble together this Bug Catcher style antenna. It is tall at just under 14 feet from the ground to the tip and in the HF mobile world...that is a good thing except when it comes to drive throughs and parking garages. I just worked CU2KG breaking the pile-up on the first try even though the band conditions were not too great. The K0BG website has lots of good info to help you get on HF mobile. Antenna rainbow.JPG

    The Icom 706 is a good mobile with HF, VHF and UHF with only one control head on the console which is comfortable to operate.

    WD5IKX-mobile install-01.JPG

    John WD5IKX
    K7TRF likes this.
  2. BG4NNI

    BG4NNI Ham Member QRZ Page

    If you choose between early Icom 706 MKIIG and Yaesu 857D, then Yaesu 857D, if you use VHF, suggest YAESU FT-891, thank you! This is BG4NNI, from China.
  3. WD5IKX

    WD5IKX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am thinking I might get a Yaesu FT891 for the mobile since I have been hearing the receiver is very good.

    John WD5IKX
  4. K7TRF

    K7TRF Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Plus one on a Bugcatcher. I've run one for several years and it has performed very well. I switched to a Little Tarheel HP last spring and ran that for a while but pulled it off and went back to my homebrew Bugcatcher. It just seems to work better but then I've got it installed on my van and the small Tarheel is pretty short on a van, IOW the screwdriver coil and most of the antenna is right next to the metal of the van even with a fairly high antenna mount. With the Bugcatcher the lower mast places the loading coil about a foot and a half above the roof of the van which seems to help a lot. I'll probably throw the Tarheel on my Jeep which doesn't have the same height issues.

    The screwdriver is very convenient if you change bands a lot or QSY a lot on 40m and below. The Bugcatcher covers the higher frequency bands (30m, 20m and up) with a single clip setting for each band but on 40m I have to move the tap if I QSY more than about 50 kHz which sure isn't as convenient as hitting the up down control or auto tuner on a screwdriver.

    You can also homebrew a Bugcatcher for about forty bucks if you start with a center loaded CB antenna (mostly for the loading coil insulator) and don't mind winding your own loading coil. That and either a copper plumbing pipe lower mast or a something commercial and you're on the air.
    WD5IKX likes this.
  5. K7TTV

    K7TTV Ham Member QRZ Page

    FWIW, I only occasionally run mobile HF, I have had decent results for the convenience offered with an Alfa Moto 6-40m mounted on the cargo rack on my Land Cruiser..
  6. WD8RIT

    WD8RIT Ham Member QRZ Page

    First of all, I wouldn't use the 857, I've had very bad luck with that radio in a mobile setting and have now an IC-7000. Works great! Antenna, depends on what you want to do. If you plan on being in your vehicle for a stretch at a time, then yes, invest in a good antenna. I've know HAMS with Hi-Q antenna's and I personally have a Scorpion antenna. Yes, these are expensive, but I've had my Scorpion since 2009 and have not had any issues and received great signal reports for being mobile. I have had this antenna on a 2001 F-150, 2014 Explorer, and now 2016 F-150. My Scorpion antenna is the "Shorty" one, I think Ron calls it the 680S. But don't quote me on that. I operate 80-10m bands.
  7. KF5BCX

    KF5BCX Ham Member QRZ Page

    If you can swing it, I agree on a Hi-Q screwdriver. Mine is now 6 years old, through all kinds of weather, and doing great. You can see it at my QRZ page. The Hi-Q has an internal contact that moves up and down the coil, unlike some others that move the coil. So the HiQ doesn't change physical height and has no moving parts against weather seals. Also, each Ham has their unique needs and I would highly recommend the Kenwood 480HX. It gives 200W for mobile and the control head is very functional and easy to remove is needed with one RJ45 type connector, while the main radio unit can be placed very close to the antenna for short coax run. Good luck and have fun!

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