Starting the RV Ham Shack Project.

Discussion in 'RV Operating and Camping' started by KL7IEK, Dec 12, 2013.

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  1. KL7IEK

    KL7IEK Ham Member QRZ Page

    KL7AK de KL7IEK - That's a hoot. In 1976 I drove a Winnebago down the Alcan, 1505 miles of dirt road. Having been in the sunny south for over 30-years I do miss the snow now and them, but I go out and lay down in the swimming pool until the feeling goes away. 73s Lyle and keep warm - tell Santa hello from an old sourdough.
     
  2. KL7IEK

    KL7IEK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, took a deep breath and made my first contact via the motor home tonight. Thank you K8AAI, Bob in Granville MI for my first CW contact in 25-years. Yep, the mic is not working so pulled out the old straight key and headed for what used to be the 40 M, Novice CW band. Found a contact that could put up with my awful code and made the contact... Whew I survived it. Thank you Bob for for a good QSO. The MFJ Big Stick antenna is working well and hope if I get the mic in that I ordered I can check in on the 7.191 RV Net. It was like being a Novice again... And , well guess my code proved that. LOL. Cheers, 73's and God bless from George (KL7IEK)
     
  3. KC5NCZ

    KC5NCZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Congrats on the contact!!

    I am full-timing in a Class C Tioga 24D, and feel your pain. I removed the barrel chair behind the front passenger seat, and installed a three drawer desk from K-Mart. It became my operating location. When the 430S finally gave up the ghost, I bought a used Icom 718 for $400, and have been very pleased. I chose the Hy-Gain AV-18VS instead of the MFJ Big Ear, but they are very similar.

    RFI doesn't seem too bad, except from the main converter. Some ferrites and a couple of loops cut the noise in half. I may continue the process of finding a remedy when it warms up a bit.

    Good Luck!

    Bruce
    KC5NCZ
     
  4. KL7IEK

    KL7IEK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks Bruce,

    Since I'm using the ladder as my mobile tower, first I made sure that it was grounded to the chasse, and started mounting antennas. I like the big stick because I can have it up and down in just a coupe minutes. I'm looking forward to getting on the road this spring and head for the mountains. I'll have to find some nice mountain top campgrounds. cheers and hope to run up on you on the band. I normally check into the RVing Service Net on 7191 7 - 9 AM EST. 73's Bruce.
     
  5. W1MIV

    W1MIV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Consider using a J-pole on back ladder of 5th wheel with a foldup antenna. lay it down on roof for travel, rotate up and lock when stationary. use for my KW dual bander and relocate rig in tractor for APRS. Ask if you need pics.
    73,
    Skip
    W1MIV
     
  6. N3AWS

    N3AWS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Nothing really to add but I'll be following this thread.

    I love to contest from my Class C.
     
  7. N9ONJ

    N9ONJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have used hamsticks mounted on rear ladder (must ground ladder) they work very well and inexpensive. I have purchased a Tarheel to use
    but have not had a chance to try it out. We will see how that goes soon. 73's
     
  8. W7KKK

    W7KKK Ham Member QRZ Page

    I don't RV anymore but I used to use a screwdriver mounted near the top of the RV with an FT-897D as late as 2008.
    I made a homebrew bracket to swivel the thing down on the mount so that it would not hit anything on the roads while traveling.
    The only problem I found with that install was if I was fortunate enough to find an area or park with trees then I had to be careful where I parked.
    If there were lots of trees I removed the whip and attached some random lengths of wire and used the screwdriver portion as a tuner. I would throw the Dacron rope up in a tree supporting the flex wire I used.
    Have fun.
    I may even be fortunate enough to get back to RVing myself as I finally had back surgery and I am now doing quite well and looking at those roads again.
     
  9. K4RF

    K4RF Subscriber QRZ Page

    I mounted a Tarheel screwdriver antenna on my towed vehicle, and ran coax and controller cable to the front of the car under the hood. I have coax and control cable from the RV going both out the front and out the back. So when we're parked, I can hook up the antenna no matter which end of the motorhome I have to park the car. If you have the nerve, you can also operate in motion using the antenna on the toad. Works great.
     
  10. K5RCD

    K5RCD XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I frequently operate portable, from my 30 ft. travel trailer at various camping spots and at my fishing
    camp, near Rockport in Aransas County Texas, on the Gulf Coast, about 20 miles NE of Corpus Christi. Grid = EL17

    The setup consists of an Icom 706 MK2 G Transceiver, Ameritron SDA-100 Screwdriver Antenna, MFJ
    1279M Soundcard Interface, MFJ-822 SWR / Wattmeter, and MFJ 4125 Mighty Lite Power Supply. This rig works quite well, and with the screwdriver antenna, I can work 80 through 6 meters without the need for an antenna tuner.
    The screwdriver antenna works pretty well, at least as well as a normal mobile setup. It is on a short pipe
    welded to the trailer frame which serves as a counterpoise. It would probably work better if I laid down some ground radials. I work some SSB, but mostly digital modes from the trailer, and those modes work well, even at low power,
    with a less than ideal antenna. The radio has no built in tuner, but does have a tune button and a tuner chip that goes into low power, CW mode when I push the tune button, allowing me to adjust the power screwdriver for best SWR.

    The whole thing is mounted in one of those metal, 3 tray in/out/hold baskets available at office supply stores. The radio is screw mounted, everything else is Velcro mounted to the tray. I just unplug antenna and power
    connectors, and the entire unit can be just picked up and stuck in a compartment. I have a MFJ interface device, as well as a small SWR/watt meter, small speaker, and a 7 point USB hub mounted in that tray. I have the power
    supply tucked in there too, but could just as easily tap into the RV 12 volt system.

    See photos here: http://k5rcd.org/portable_operation_from_travel_t.htm
     
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