What is the best hf mobile.....

Discussion in 'On the Road' started by KB4MNG, Dec 21, 2016.

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  1. KB4MNG

    KB4MNG Ham Member QRZ Page

    What do you think the best hf mobile radio would be. I would like it to be fairly compact with an on board tuner. It probably will not be mounted permanently and transferred between vehicles. So I guess it does not have to be solely considered a mobile rig. I know many of you has experience in this area, any words of wisdom?
    Thanks Brian kb4mng
  2. KG4NEL

    KG4NEL Ham Member QRZ Page

    KX3 with an outboard amp...
    KU3X, KC6ZKT and K4YND like this.
  3. WD5ABC

    WD5ABC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've been using an FT-857 for many years but since it doesn't have a tuner I use a small LDG Z100 tuner with it. It's also one of the few that has VHF/UHF all in one box. If the built-in tuner is a deal breaker, it's not for you but it's a very small box. It's about the size of an old CB.

    KU3X and W4KSL like this.
  4. W7LPN

    W7LPN Ham Member QRZ Page

    857D 10+ yrs barefoot with a HiQ Piranha 5" 80m with EB6 & whip. Many many reports of "Best mobile signal I've ever heard".

    Attached Files:

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  5. AG4RT

    AG4RT Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    A TS-480SAT meets your requirements. The control head is separate from the main body, so you can mount the main body of the radio under the seat or in the trunk and the small control head anywhere you want. It's not perfect because for some reason Kenwood chose to put the microphone connection on the main body and not on the control head. So you have to run the control head extension cable from the radio body to the control head and you have to run the microphone extension cable from the body to the operating position. To make the swap to another vehicle easier, it would be good to have a set of extension cables for each vehicle. Sounds like a pain, but it's a great radio.

    Also, if you want CW, the key connection is on the main body of the radio.
    KU3X and KK9W like this.
  6. K4KWH

    K4KWH Ham Member QRZ Page

    The "best" tuner is a screwdriver antenna for mobile simply because it is actually "tuned" to the frequency desired. This is more important than what radio you use! Yes, I like the Hi Q products, too, but they don't hold any "secret" formula for "best" performance. The Hi Q performs the way it does because it has a larger (2" or better) loading coil, placed in the center for better current distribution as opposed to thin, "pretty"-to-the-eye antennas such as hamsticks or even the old Webster Bandspanners!:) These stick thingys are mostly dummy loads on a stick, particularly on 40 and 80 Meters. They perform ah..........OK on 20 up.

    And, of course, to each his own. My mobile is a 3" diameter screwdriver of my own design. I used nylon for coil forms wound with #14 wire @ 8 TPI. The nylon allows me to use full 1500 watts, if I wanted to, but that's a waste of effort since my antenna gets me where I need to talk without it. I don't need to be the loudest station alive, so long as I am heard and the traffic gets passed!;)

    So that's my opinion, and I'm a-stickin' to it!+;)
  7. KY5U

    KY5U Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

  8. WA9WVX

    WA9WVX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have a Yaesu FT-857 for mobile use, it comes with a separation kit so you can mounted the Control Head on the dash board and the main transceiver any where in your vehicle but make sure that there is good air flow around the transceiver. These have an optional screwdriver antenna that covers 40 m thru 70 cm. How efficient the Yaesu screwdriver is, is debatable whereas using a Scorpion screwdriver antenna is much better or even a Tarheel screwdriver antenna for the HF Band. Do your research on both screwdriver antennas before purchasing either one. Here's an interesting website to help you decide on a mobile set up http://www.k0bg.com/ Alan provides the needed information on mobile set ups.
  9. NZ5F

    NZ5F Ham Member QRZ Page

    I had a barebones K3/100 with KAT3 and 2.8'khz and 400 kHz filter installed in my Chevy Silverado at one time. It was a great mobile.
  10. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    I would also recommend a look at one of the 480s. I have also used the FT-857, and I like the 480 better, because it brings more common functions out as buttons, rather than menu items. Recently, I have been tinkering with an IC-7100, but the interface so far doesn't seem as natural as the 480. The 7100's touch screen is a neat gadget, but it is still very menu-ish, and you can't just look at the panel and know what button to push to get what you want for many common functions. But I'm still learning the 7100, so I may learn to like it.

    I do know that the 480's receiver specs are also better, anywhere from 3dB to 10dB, according to ARRL. If you use an external tuner with the 480, you can get it in a 200W unit, as well, which is nice.

    Generally speaking, regardless of brand preferences, I like a radio to make common functions more accessible. Menus are not good for in-motion mobile operation. Compact isn't as important as ease of access for me. I'm willing to work around a larger display unit.

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