New RV setup

Discussion in 'On the Road' started by KO4NFQ, Mar 2, 2021.

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  1. KO4NFQ

    KO4NFQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes I am aware. But driving an RV as it is i am always looking at bridges and heights as driving anyway so I don't mind.
    K6EEN likes this.
  2. KK4OBI

    KK4OBI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Golly, you sound like me when I first got my ticket during our RV years. My dream was like yours, to talk to people on UHF/VHF on the road and work HF when camped. The first summer no contacts on UHF. HF was great. Second summer still zero UHF contacts other than “what are you doing on my repeater”. Third summer nothing. Absolutely nobody would answer my calls. I still used CB for traffic information. The handy talkies were only used for rally’s, hamfests, local nets/QSO’s and for parking at camp sites.

    Mounting the HF antenna was by climbing the roof ladder and attaching it to the luggage rack. Later I used the slick Flagpole Buddy system on the ladder so did not need to climb.
  3. AI4IJ

    AI4IJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Congratulations on the new license!

    Just a couple of thoughts I'd like to share from my experience with portable operation:

    1 - 2M/70cm are great bands for rag chewing with other hams over repeaters while driving down the road. And, since the repeaters are going to be doing the heavy lifting for your QSO's, the antenna you use for those bands doesn't have to be anything special. Of course, SSB DX on 2M is an entirely different matter and is going to require better antennas horizontally polarized and more attention paid to installation height, feedline length, etc.

    2 - HF is going to primarily provide you with contacts with other hams in nearby states on the lower bands and DX on the higher bands. As a portable station, your antennas are going to likely be at lower installation heights above ground. And, depending on your goals, that's not necessarily going to matter much. A low dipole on 40m/80m is going to get you contacts with hams in other nearby states. DX is going to be a bit more of a challenge with a low dipole - although, it is still quite possible. For DX, your best antenna is likely to be a 1/4 wave vertical mounted either on the ground or slightly elevated with radials. A vertical is going to give you a lower angle of radiation that will provide you with plenty of DX contacts - but, probably, not as many contacts with hams in neighboring states. And, for HF, full length antennas are ALWAYS going to be superior to loaded/shortened antennas. So, wherever possible, get a full length wire antenna up in a tree using a slingshot or fishing pole, rather than using ham stick antennas and the like.

    My favorite portable HF antenna overall is a fan dipole mounted on a 30 foot portable mast (or pulled up in a tree) in an inverted V configuration. It requires only one main support, no antenna tuner, it is coax fed, is full length on all of the bands of operation, is easily and inexpensively constructed, requires no radials, will get you some decent DX on 20m, and above, and it's quick to get in the air. If I could only have one HF antenna, this would be the one.

  4. KT1F

    KT1F Ham Member QRZ Page

    I agree that drilling holes in the roof is something to avoid if possible but if necessary, do with great care and planning. I put about a 1 inch diameter hole in mine that comes down into a kitchen cabinet. I put a box over it it so I can now add more cables without more holes in the roof. I've added more sealant than when I took this photo.

    Currently it's only used for my LTE MIMO cellular and Wi-Fi antenna. Getting good internet on the road has so far taken priority over ham radio but I'm looking forward to doing some QRP CW or digital operating while camping. I don't think I'm going to put anything up front to use while mobile. Installing anything seems difficult, the Winnebago class C with a 6.8L V10 engine is quite noisy and I certainly don't need any distractions while driving this thing.
  5. KN6KDT

    KN6KDT Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Cant comment on HF but I have a Wolf River telescoping antenna clamped to my ladder. I have a winnebago Navion. I used the ground strap that came with the antenna to connect to the frame
    /chassis. It telescopes to 30' I believe. It is designed for 10-80 and I get great reception/transmission on 20 and 40 meters. This is for when I am parked, I do not "radio" while driving. My radio choice was a 991a and it is great for this set up.

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