SW Transceiver for mobil use

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by DD5RK, Feb 24, 2021.

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  1. DD5RK

    DD5RK Ham Member QRZ Page


    looking for a SW Transceiver 160-10m for mobile use with my car.
    Main use CW.

    Up to now i found:

    Xiegu G90 (I know very well, 20 W, build in ant-tuner)
    Elecraft Kx2 (a lot of options to buy extra, eg. CW-Filter, ant-tuner etc)
    ICOM 705 (no build in ant-tuner)
    Yaesu FT-818ND (options to buy extra, eg. 300Hz CW-Filter, no build in ant-tuner)

    Did I forget some?

    tnx, 73
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2021
  2. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    For mobile work, I wouldn't consider an internal ATU a major requirement because mobile whips can be adjusted for a good match.

    Even my simple Hustler resonators on the standard 54" fold-over mast are very easy to adjust (although you do have to park the vehicle to make an adjustment).

    I used a Ten-Tec SCOUT 555 (hasn't been manufactured in many years, but I bought that "new" back in 1990 or so) for mobile CW work for years. It's 50W output power, has an adjustable IF filter that narrows down to about 200 Hz or something, internal keyer, and was tolerant enough of mismatches (no ATU) that it would transmit normally into a 2:1 or even 3:1 VSWR mismatched load. Downside was, it's only "one band at a time," although I had six band modules and they're so easy to plug-in (no tools, they just plug in and latch in place) I could change them while driving, just "by feel" without even looking at the rig.

    Upside was it could easily be operated without ever looking at it! Very few controls, no menus, big digital frequency display that could be read from several feet away, VFO knob, volume control, keyer speed control/RIT control, IF bandwidth control, on-off switch. Not much else, and really not much else is needed.

    I found that to be a really good mobile CW rig, although today you'd have to find a used one that still works properly.

    I've used the G90 mobile much more recently, and of course it outperforms most of the old stuff; but...you really do have to look at it (as you know!) because it only has three knobs but a zillion buttons, and menus. Not user-friendly for "no look" operation.
    K0UO, M6GYU, DD5RK and 2 others like this.
  3. AA4OO

    AA4OO XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I used a Yaesu FT-857 for many years, along with a Tarheel mobile antenna for HF and Comet multiband antenna for VHF, UHF. It was not the easiest radio to use (lots of button pushing) but the detachable head worked well and it would produce 100w. Given the huge losses in mobile antennas 100w can be useful over operating QRP with mobile antennas.
    DD5RK and N2AMM like this.
  4. DD5RK

    DD5RK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi Steven and Richard,

    thanks for your answers.

    it wasn't precise enough what we want (my wife and I).

    We want to go with the car somewhere in a lonely parking lot or offroad
    and make SW-contact, so standing mobile, not driving while sending.

    We would use a wire antenna or a vertical with a 14.5m / 48ft Gfk pole we ordered already.
    We will fix the vertical antenna with a mast base for vehicles for the wheel of the car.
    We prefer to buy a new transceiver, so the Ten-Tec SCOUT 555 is then out of the question

    But you both gave us a new idea, why not install a whip antenna extra as option for real mobile use?

    Then a 100W radio would be better. The Yaesu FT-857 is not available anymore new.
    This would be a good choice. The successor is the Yaesu FT-891 I think.
    Richard what do you use now?

    The experience with the G90 I described in the thread
    So the problem with the HF on the keyer input must be solved.

    The biggest disadvantage operating the G90 is the little knob for tuning the frequency.
    A lot can be done with the keyboard of the microphone.
    In normal CW operation what do I need?
    Tuning the antenna (extra knob), turning to a free frequency and calling CQ with the key.
    Or turning over the band, zero-beat to a station, answer with the key.
    All other things are one time adjustments.

    Looking for a real mobile antenna would be an extra point.

  5. US7IGN

    US7IGN Ham Member QRZ Page

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  6. DD5RK

    DD5RK Ham Member QRZ Page

  7. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    No, mine is just 3-wire "twisted wires" inside a plastic covering, a few feet long.

    Never had a problem with using it on CW, even when using the G90 to drive my AL-80B amplifier, which produces about 250W output power with 20W drive.

    Never had any kind of problem.

    I'm not wild about having to plug cables into three sides of the rig, though (Left, Right, and Rear)! That's awkward and undesirable, but I guess the rig is so small they didn't have sufficient space on just one surface.
    DD5RK likes this.
  8. VE3HIX

    VE3HIX Ham Member QRZ Page

    For on-the-go mobile operation you likely need a receiver with a decent noise blanker for the low HF bands, to take out the ignition noise. The Yaesu FT-857D works well if you crank the noise blanker all the way up. I would hope their newer offerings would work as well. Some of the newer Chinese rigs have lots of features but no noise fighting capability.

    DD5RK likes this.
  9. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    This article dates back about 28 years, and was actually written a bit before that, but shows my CW/m installation I used for a while...just an "MFJ" 20m CW-only rig that runs 10W or something. At that time, 20m was open about 18 hours a day and there was always activity when I was driving (and commuting 65 miles each way to my office at the time!), so just a 20m whip antenna and that rig always netted lots of contacts.

    That rig doesn't even have a keyer internally, so I used an outboard one attached to a Bencher paddle located on the console between the front seats.

    Super simple rig to operate, mostly a VFO knob and volume control!

    I made typically 5-10 QSOs CW/m from the car each way to work and back.

    Page 1 of the article is here:

    CW mobile.jpg
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  10. WS9K

    WS9K Ham Member QRZ Page

    TS-480HX and TARHEEL II


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