New mobile installation

Discussion in 'On the Road' started by N2SUB, Jun 6, 2017.

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  1. KD5AUU

    KD5AUU Ham Member QRZ Page

    If you want to be heard running mobile go with the 200 watt rig - I ran the 480 HX for a couple of years and worked 40 and even 80 meters on 200 watts - it's a pretty good rig - It comes with 2 power cords - both are connected to one battery. Even if you are running a second battery you still connect both to one. And no you don't want to talk on this radio without the vehicle running. However one battery will run this radio to it's 200 watt potential all day long as long as the engine is running and the alternator is working . And 200 watts won't bother the electronics in most vehicles these days if your station is installed correctly - equipment grounded - antenna properly installed and tuned and power leads and ground installed correctly. Also most mobile antennas can handle 200 watts - even the cheapest of hamsticks are rated for 250. To many guys don't have the patience to do a proper installation when they build a mobile station and then when things start screwing up they blame the vehicle or the radio - Half the fun is the building part. Anyway just my 2 cents - I run an Icom 7100 now. It has a better receiver than the 480 - only a hundred watts but I run an amp so no problem. Bugcatchers rule...
    KK6USY and N2SUB like this.
  2. AC4RD

    AC4RD Ham Member QRZ Page

    One more opinion: I've used a few different rigs from the car over the years. The TS-480 is a good mobile rig, nice performance, good noise reduction, pretty easy to operate while driving. (I actually just replaced it with another rig in my car but that's another story.) Good noise reduction is very handy to have when you're in the car. Apart from that, you can have FUN with any rig you can get into your car. I once rode to Dayton with a pal in a very tiny Toyota, with a big Yaesu tube rig taking up most of the back seat. :)

    Mostly I'm replying to strongly endorse (a.k.a "Darned RIGHT!") the hams who mentioned using a resonant antenna. Use as much antenna as you can get conveniently on your car--bigger is more efficient, all other things being equal. And then make sure the antennas are resonant.

    I use a DXE 54" mast with a quick disconnect on top, and then a different Hustler resonator for each band. Homebrewed capacity hats let me use, for instance, an RM-12 on 15 meters, an RM-15 on 20 meters, and so on. That buys a bit more efficiency, too.

    Each resonator is also on a quick disconnect, and I carefully tune each one to be as close to resonant as I can get it at whatever point in the band I want: I just retuned my 12M resonator/stinger to 24.960. The 20M one is tuned for 14.200. All of them can be used off the frequency they're tuned for, but I try to stay near the tuned frequency for maximum efficiency.

    I have the SAT version, and if I want to go, say, up to 14.350 for some reason, the SWR is a bit higher there, so I'll pop the tuner button. But efficiency is lower that far off the tuned frequency, so I won't stay there long.

    I also run about 70 watts on HF most of the time. The difference between loafing at 70 watts and redlining it at 100 watts is not very much at all, and I like loafing myself, so I let my radio do it, too. :) The screwdriver boys will point out that I have to stop the car to change bands, and that's entirely true. I've never been bothered by that; your mileage may vary. :) Also, this sort of setup is inexpensive; most of the parts (resonators, QDs, etc.) I've bought used for cheap at hamfests.

    The thread is a month old; have you put together a mobile HF setup yet? Having fun? What did you pick for a rig and for antenna(s)? 73! --ken ac4rd

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