Ready to Roll

Discussion in 'On the Road' started by W2JKT, Oct 15, 2020.

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  1. W2JKT

    W2JKT Ham Member QRZ Page

    So after nearly two years of deliberation I finally pulled the trigger on a travel trailer.


    From my first trip to Nashville a couple of weekends ago...

    Anyway, almost immediately I knew I needed to outfit the camper for boondocking. That meant both a lot of battery storage and solar.

    Battery storage is easy, as a while ago I built myself a 400Ah portable LiFEPO4 battery for ham radio. It's perfect for the camper:


    I installed the SB-175 connector to make it easy to plug-n-play the battery in the passthrough storage where the inverter is located.

    For solar I bought a couple of 200W, 24V solar panels and a 30A MPPT charge controller. I put the solar panels on yesterday:



    I can tilt those either way, and there's enough room up there for 4 more if I need the extra juice.

    Now, I just need to make a decision on a radio and antenna. I have several HF radios from my collection of Kenwoods, and a spare TM-D710A that can also go in. Several have recommended a 6BTV for portable HF operations as it is easy to set up / take down and performs well for its footprint. I am thinking my TS-590S will be the first radio I try to bring along.

    What suggestions do you all have for an RV-based mobile station? I'm all ears!
    K0UO, AE1N and AC0GV like this.
  2. VK2YQA

    VK2YQA Ham Member QRZ Page

    I had a few problems with solar regulator and other SMPS noise. More or less cured with largish toroid common mode chokes (4-6t) in the lines near the regulator. Might be worth a listen on HF before committing to all the cable runs/terminations.

    In VK too there are some really badly designed RV power supply systems in use. I can often hear them coming down the road from a few hundred yards away.

    I live on the road permanently so HF is always in use. I prefer to run verticals for lower radiation angle.

    Cheers Bob VK2YQA
  3. KC9OO

    KC9OO Ham Member QRZ Page

    To me the key element was getting everything into one box which I could pick up and take with me. A true "go box." In the box (from the top) is a MFJ Memory Keyer, a small MFG antenna tuner, an Icom 706 and a solid state, 20-amp power supply. I drilled holes in the right side of the box and installed two fans, one for the radio and the other for the power supply, to keep them cool in the box (the fans are just visible in the lower left compartment). The compartments hold a keyer, headset, mic and misc cables. Most of the time I'm operating from a picnic table.

    I mounted to solar panels on the roof of our motor home. Worked great -- when it was parked in the sun. Camping in the woods usually meant more shade than sun, making the rooftop panels not such a good idea. Replaced the motor home with a truck/trailer and now have panels that are free standing and which I can move to wherever the sunlight is. View attachment 730079 View attachment 730080

    Attached Files:

    Attached Files:

    W2JKT likes this.

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