Tarheel on the Ladder - Experiences/Comments Please?

Discussion in 'RV Operating and Camping' started by N4MU, Oct 31, 2015.

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  1. N4MU

    N4MU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I want to mount my Tarheel on the RV ladder. I plan on using the MT-1 mount and will also include a #6 solid copper wire and bond to the RV frame underneath. RV is 40' Cedar Creek. My question is whether also installing some radials on the ground (emanating from the copper bonding point) will improve efficiency or would be a waste of time. Base of Tarheel will be aprox. 10 feet elevated. Any ideas and experiences are appreciated. Thanks,N4MU
     
  2. KA0CZW

    KA0CZW Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have tried a manual (electrically) tuned Tarheel on my back ladder mounted with the MT-1. Mounted so that the plastic housing when fully lowered was at the same level as my AC roof units. I would add the steel whip when stopped for the night. With much braided ground strap between the base of the antenna, ladder and frame along with a 4 inch diameter loop of coax as a choke I could contact a friend in Michigan from Tampa with 100 watts on 75 Meter SSB at night in the wintertime. No ground radials although I have heard that it will help just stretching out some wire under/around the RV. Most RV parks would frown on this practice due to children and liability.

    I then tried MFJ Single band Ham-Tenna whips both vertically and in dipole configurations mounted on the ladder. They worked OK but I had to go outside and climb the ladder to change antennas for a band change. I bought an Eagle One 80 thru 6 Meter full legal limit vertical antenna and ladder mounted it. This is a 31 foot, collapsible to roughly 4 feet, bamboo antenna with a #14 wire inside. It is friction based and the joints will partially slide together depending on temps and wind. I tried taping the joints but windy or hot sunny 90 degree days would allow the joints to slip anyhow. The fix for me was to drill 1/8 inch holes through the bamboo, missing the wire inside, and insert small plastic wire ties to pin the joint in place. This antenna with an LDG auto tuner has worked beautifully. It is not mobile operation but it is a very good, easy portable operation. I currently run from QRP up to 400 Watts using this antenna. By the way, I tow a 25+ foot utility/auto trailer that I try to keep connected to the RV and run jumper cables from the base of the antenna to the trailer for added ground image. It is not always possible to leave the trailer hooked up since the combination make my rig 70 feet long.

    Hope this helps. There is a surprising number of hams out there RVing. A silent group, busy having family fun!
     

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