Tarheel on Travel Trailer

Discussion in 'On the Road' started by N1SFT, Jul 22, 2019.

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  1. W5LZ

    W5LZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    ... So, did you get an antenna up and working?
  2. KE5XA

    KE5XA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Greetings Craig,

    I have a LittleTarheel II on my RV, and attached it to the top of the ladder on the rear of the motorhome. I used Foil HVAC tape that I got from The local hardware store and cut tuned radials. It works OK. One suggestion, make sure that the adhesive is conductive. I would recommend that you re-consider laying the antenna down pointing aft or to the rear of the trailer. While travelling during rain storms/bad weather, rain will find it's way into the antenna as the bottom sleeve is not sealed. This could be disastrous for the coil and the motor/gearbox. I lived up north for quite a while and the residual salt and from winter and water will not be kind to the inside of the antenna.

    Just some thoughts. Good Luck.

    Milton KE5XA
  3. KB1VP

    KB1VP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have the setup you are considering. I had the mount installed by the dealer on my Airstream then created for counterpoise installed at the base of the antenna. I installed a quick release connection used for trailers to connect the counterpoise. I made the counterpoise 25 ft long and they lay on top of my camper. I need a tall chair which I carrying to connect and deploy the counterpoise. I can work stations. Since a vertical I believe I am restricted to the narrow band and radiation angel of the antenna. I have worked into the Bearring Sea on 6 watts from New England so the antenna does work. But keeping a schedule is harder and does not perform like a dipole in the trees.

    I would suggest when you lay the antenna down you have some type of tennis ball or other soft material at the end of the antenna. I have scrapped off the clear coat of the Airstream under the antenna tip from the antenna ticking the top of my camper. I do not know what permanent damage I've done as the clear coat is applied by Alcoa at the metal factory. I have worked a lot of PSK31 on this setup but as the bands are so bad it is hard whether I have a good working antenna all the time or the band conditions are just bad. I have worked into Europe on QRP. I run QRP when on batteries and 100 watts when on shore power.

    I had problems with water getting into the camper. My cables came into the camper installed into a cable keep. The water was getting into the camper between the cables in the cable keep. I had to put a large blob of sealant at the top of the cable keep to block the rain water. It does not look pretty but it works.

    When I am parked near trees I put up the counterpoise into the trees. That move the wires above the head and less to trip over when walking around the camper. My installation can be up and running in 10 minutes so it is just part of my routine when parking or tearing down. I have a remote in the camper to raise and lower the antenna with the Tarheel folder over. BTW those mounts are built like battleships. You cannot go wrong.

  4. N1SFT

    N1SFT XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hello everyone. Please accept my apologies for not responding to replies sooner. It's been a very busy fall at work.

    I did not follow through with the tarheel yet. Instead - I ended up setting up a ladder-mounted system to support a pushup mast. In the interest of time and my pocket book, I decided to try a rotatable ham-stick dipole at the top of a 30 ft mast. I will figure out how to post a picture of the antenna system in operation.

    I am not giving up on the tarheel all together - I am just letting my wallet heal from some recent snowmobile repair bills! :)

    Sorry for the gargantuan size of the photo, but here's my one ton and the camper:
    the mast support is just a "flagpole" holder, and the mast is only up 3 sections, so we're probably looking at 18 feet give or take off the ground.

    I know its not what I want: I want a multi band and one that doesn't need guying. BUT - this go me on the air, and I was making contacts in Europe that morning.

    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019
  5. N8KIM

    N8KIM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Brian, i am in the same situation. I will leave soon with my tarheel mounted on the aluminum siding near the roof on a quick disconnect hopefully utilizing the siding for a ground plane. Sands this attempt
    i will attach the tarheel to my truck and run coax to the camper. n8kim wayne
  6. WB1CDG

    WB1CDG Ham Member QRZ Page

    I wouldn't worry too much about the ground plane/radials/counterpoise/whatever. Theory and reality don't always match up. Just goof around with different ideas and see what works. I set up a temporary antenna at my home that consisted of an 18' vertical of aluminum tubing, attached to a portable fiberglass mast that was secured (clamped) to the end of my roofline. The vertical antenna starts below my roofline and extends above the house so it's visible from the street (if you're looking for it). I used two radials from the base of the antenna, sloping down about 40 degrees to insulators, and used rope to secure the insulators. Yup, just 2 radials. It was only going to stay up for the weekend, after all. I had just put it up for testing a new QRP radio (FT-818ND) at home. With my MFJ Portable Tuner (MFJ-971), I can tune it up on any band I want. I expected it to act more like a dummy load than an antenna, but it's getting out MUCH better than I expected! I've been working stations all over the country with it, using peanut power, and often get 5/8, 5/9 signal reports. IMHO good band conditions and the right propagation can make a LOT bigger difference than the radio/antenna you're using. This temporary setup was working so well, that I pretty much forgot that it was temporary. It's been up a few months now, though rain, wind, sleet, and snow. I'd suggest you toss theory aside and just experiment a bit with removable radials. Maybe start with start with 2, and add more if you're not happy. Or start with ONE tuned radial (counterpoise) for whatever band you're working, then add another tuned counterpoise for each of your favorite bands. Maybe you can get by with 3-4 counterpoises and no have to worry about it. After you play with it a while, you can better determine what works best FOR YOU and if you're satisfied with the results. Radio equipment is so complex these days, experimenting with antennas is about as far as most of us can get to "homebrewing." Have fun playing with RV antennas! I'm kinda jealous... this sounds like a fun project! :)
    - de WB1CDG
  7. KC9RF

    KC9RF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I had a Tarheel II mounted on my travel trailer with 17ft collapsible whip. It worked great on 10-40 meters. Efficiency went down of course for 80 meters with
    out a capacitive hat. I used several counter poise wires which helped. Still have a pix on QRZ page down 5 or 6 pix of setup.
  8. KD9IPO

    KD9IPO XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I was at one campground where someone had done what you are talking about. He used copper wire and "glued" it down using DiCore roof sealant.

    Just a thought.
  9. W1WWA

    W1WWA Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I am using a Tarheel screwdriver antenna mounted on a 10ft mast via the rear 2'' receiver hitch with a flag pole mount. I have it grounded to the chassis at the bottom of the mast using a short run of 1-1/2 wide ground strap. This setup up runs awesome and tunes without any issues. I run SSB and digital modes and able to check in to my east coast nets while I am on the west coast just about anytime. I run an IC7300 barefoot. I think the screwdriver antenna is the nest bet for muti-band operating while on the road
  10. W5HFI

    W5HFI Ham Member QRZ Page


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