Temporary car installation - power options

Discussion in 'On the Road' started by KK6DCT, Mar 5, 2014.

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  1. KJ4TX

    KJ4TX Ham Member QRZ Page

    My new Ford Escape has a panorama sliding glass moon/sun roof and a luggage rack. It also has a AC converter outlet behind the front seats. Since it is only a couple months old, I've not done anything yet, but depending on what rig I want to take mobile, I plan on using the luggage rack rails to connect to and run the cable through the roof window (assuming it's not raining). More than likely I'll be parked when I transmitted anyway as i don't even like having my cell phone on when I drive (although the Escape has Blue Tooth and my cell syncs up with the car so I can do everything hands free... hmm, does any of the ham radios work with Blue Tooth?). We keep the back seats down for my wife's service dog and it wouldn't be hard to build a wooden platform that could be secured with the tie down points so the radio would stay put. It's got a lot of possibilities anyway and I may try to do something with mobile 6 meters this summer.

  2. WA4OTD

    WA4OTD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have accessory plug on all of my two meter rigs and have not had problem with accessory outlets in 3 different cars. I do limit to 25 watts or less.
  3. KC2UGV

    KC2UGV Ham Member QRZ Page

    No drilling of holes, no maneuvering through a firewall, or dashboard...

    Check into routing through the cavity in the wheel well. There's usually some empty space inside the bulkhead between your wheel and engine compartment, with lots o' drain holes. Just route a power line through there, and get creative with the moulding inside the passenger compartment.

    I ran power in my van like that, and you can't even see any of it.
  4. KC8VCX

    KC8VCX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Have you considered not even using car power?
    I had a 2m rig that I mounted into a tool box with a pair of 2AH gel cells. Worked great in the campground (with a dipole in a tree) and I just set it on the seat and plugged in the mag antenna when driving. Depending on use, you can get a few hours (or more) on a charge.
  5. W7CLO

    W7CLO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Another method is to use your interior fuse box. Use a spade connector on your radio power lead to connect to the +12v side of an unused circuit. Make sure to use a fuse (the radio lead most likely already has one). Find a solid ground and you're in business. I've done this with several rigs and have never had any noise.
  6. N3AWS

    N3AWS Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have an MFJ unit that is basically a capacitor you plug into your accessory plug (heavy duty cigarette lighter). I've operated up to 50 watts output on SSB with my 706 MKIIG and 756 Pro II and up to 20 watts FM using the 706 (and QRP with a Yaesu FT-817) without issues. It charges the caps during receive and slowly discharges them while transmitting. JUst keep your transmissions short.
  7. KC8QVO

    KC8QVO Ham Member QRZ Page

    KC2UGV has a decent idea. I have done that in a few vehicles. I have also routed wires to the engine compartment by passing them through the joint in the body between the hood and the front quarter panels by the windshield. I have a 2ft jumper I made with battery post clamps, kind of like jumper cables but not quite as heavy duty. I am using 12 gauge wire there and a powerpole connector on the other end. Then I can run the rest of the circuit how I want - put a fuse block in line, the rest of the cable - either the rig cable or extension, depending on the install. It works great. No holes, quick, easy in most cases. The harder ones are running under and through the wheel wells, just because of finding how the wire needs to run and getting it there, but still an easy enough project to consider it "temporary". Right now I am just running off the 12v accessory plug in a rental car with a mobile dual bander and mag mount.
  8. W8ZNX

    W8ZNX Ham Member QRZ Page


    for a few years drove truck
    two of those jobs
    parked tuck at a terminal
    had to remove everything from truck
    might drive the same truck for two or three days
    then not see it again

    boiled down lash up to TR-7400A
    held down on dog house or if day cab
    on passenger seat with bungy cords
    power from cig lighter plug,
    two mounts,
    mag mount does not work on alum cab hi hi
    and a Larson 5/8 wave
    could move set up from truck to truck in less than five min

    have used the same lash up on five different cars
    not once had any problems running twenty to thirty watts
    using a cig lighter power source

    dit dit
  9. KF5FEI

    KF5FEI Ham Member QRZ Page

    I swiped this idea from Gordo on a Hamnation episode:

    Charge an SLA or other battery via the cigarette lighter outlet, using a PWRGate PG40S -- set the charging current "jumpers" according to the battery size / outlet rating (I use 4 A). Connect the radio to the battery, rather than to the radio connector on the PWRGate.

    I'm running a 50-watt VHF/UHF rig this way using a Garbage Freight jump starter pack containing a 17 Ah SLA battery. Works fine and the battery stays well-charged. I added two chassis-mount PowerPole connectors to the battery so I can quickly disconnect things should I need the battery for something else. Been running this for about 3 months, waiting for the weather to cool down so I can do a permanent install.

    I did try the older PWRGate that only has a 1-amp charge rate, as well as the knock-off that is supposed to do 4 amp charge, but neither kept the battery topped up if I got in a lot of talk time.
  10. AG6JU

    AG6JU Guest

    I use suction cup mount. it is easier to remove than magnetic mount. and it does not scratch surface, can also be attach to non magnetic surface.
    to go along with it, there is $150 dual band 10 watts Mobile radio from China, they are more popular in UK, and many dealer sell them in UK.
    there is not much difference in coverage between 50 watts and 10 watts, because VHF it is more of light of sight what matter.
    I did simulation of 10 watts and 50 watts in link below ( scroll down to 10 watts , 50 watts comparison ) http://ag6ju-01.no-ip.co.uk/MyWeb/h...ag6ju/radio_mobile/index.html#10watts-50watts


    $150, 10 watts Dual band radio
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