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Author Topic: DXING MOBILE  (Read 1875 times)

Posts: 72

« on: January 31, 2008, 10:36:58 PM »


Well im thinking of going mobile as it seems hard to get any local ham help to put up even the simpliest antennas....But i have a question.  Is operating mobile good for DX?  What i mean is i love to chase DX and operating mobile will i still get some good DX or will i be very very limited?  I would try and run a mobile amp but...any help in this matter would be great.

Posts: 2280

« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2008, 04:43:51 AM »

Chris, I checked you eham bio and you seems to be extremely active.  What's the deal?  I use to live nearby you in Merchantville and get down there at least once a month to visit my kids.  I'd be happy to come over and give you a hand on one of my trips down, if you require assistance.  If you'd like, drop me a line off the forum with details and what you're looking for, and I'll see what I can do.

Posts: 10248


« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2008, 06:17:54 AM »

You'll hear stories from new mobile operators who'll tell you about all of the DX they worked with their mag mounted ATAS 120. they use phrases like, I can work everything I can hear, etc. The truth is, this only proves the band was open, and how little power it takes to cross the pond.

If you're intending to break the pile ups, and work the rare ones, your installation is going to have to be more than a hamstick, and 100 watts.

As self serving as it may seem, a good place to start is my web site.

Alan, KØBG


Posts: 99

« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2008, 10:23:48 PM »

I have been operating hf mobile for a little over 7 years. At first I was using a Yaesu FT100 and the Atas 100 with a duplexer and operating 440 -40 meters with that set up.                                                                                                           At present, in two different vehicles, I have the Yaesu FT857D and the Atas 120 antennas with duplexers. I only use my Atas antenna and constantly alternate between local repeaters and hf operation depending on hf conditions and who is on the local repeaters.                                                                                                    Since I have been using this setup ,I have worked in the last 7 years over 200 countries on every continent just operating 100 watts mobile.Most of my hf operations from the mobile are on 17 and 20 meters. My usual reports from the mobile with dx average around 5 and 5. Sometimes,but not very often, I am 5 and 9 and DX stations are amazed I am operating mobile. Very often I am mobile in Manhattan in New York City.I have worked while driving in the canyons of Manhattan, amongst the tall skyscrapers,the Falkland Islands(VP8), Australia (VK) and Japan(JA).
                                                                                                       Working DX from the mobile depends on a number of factors including band conditions and location. However working DX mobile also can at times be very frustrating.Often I have heard some far away DX coming through like Australia or India or a DXpedition and their is either a pileup or I give a call and I am not heard. This is because my mobile signal cannot break through the pileup or because I am just not heard. My mobile signal is to weak.When this occurs I wish I was back at my base station where I have a kw amplifier and a directional antenna. Likewise I am often frustrated when I am driving along and I hear a DX station on a DXpedition operating split frequency.I cannot operate split frequency when I am driving.                                                                                                                                                           However if I am able to be heard and break through the pileup or the far away station hears me I am delighted. The thrill and challenge  of working DX is far greater from the mobile than it is from my home station.                                                                                                      A mobile station must be installed properly and the proper grounding of any mobile installation is extremely important.This is especially true of the Atas mobile installation.                                                                                                 I would not be dissuaded from operating hf mobile.Transceivers like the Yaesu FT857D or the Icom 706 series and 7000 do not take up much space. I know there has been criticism of the Atas antennas and their are better hf mobile antennas available. However the Atas has suited me well because with the duplexer I can go between hf and uhf-vhf with only one antenna . I also do not need a turbo tuner device and the antenna tunes automatically with the push of a button.                                                                                                       Thus,depending on conditions and location working DX from a good mobile installation should not be a problem.                                                                                                      73-Alan-K2ACB

Posts: 555

« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2008, 11:50:59 AM »

Yes mobile DX'ing is fun. NO you do not need an amp.

I have a TS480sat in my truck and run a Tarheel Model 75 'Stubby' bolted right to the body. I use a Turbo Tuner to handle the screwdriver and it works fantastic.

Let's look at 60m as a good example. I have worked Africa, Europe and all over the US with this set-up all while mobile. I have a great time on a band limited to 50w from a dipole. It is a modest set up and I put in a modest amount of effort. I have room to make it better someday but for now this is working very well for me. I can break pile-ups at times and I can compete with the big boys. I know a few guys down in the Gulf States who have worked Guam while mobile with equally modest set-ups. I cannot speak to how well the set-up is designed but as Alan noted, it does not take much to work DX when the band is open.

If you like working mobile 17 and 40 will also be good bands to play with. 17 is limited to 200w so you can easily stay on par without an amp and the antenna can be very simple and small for there. 40 will require something a bit larger. On 40 I have no issues with domestic work, but have not tried to run split while driving. I have heard plenty of stuff at the bottom of 40m during the evening hours though.

For the moment with this set up the only band I cannot do much DX on is 75. It is simply too small and inefficient. So if low band DX'ing is your goal spend extra cash and work with Alan's web page to make a rock and roll low band set up.

As far as no help setting up antennas that sounds pretty unusual. Hopefully someone in your area will read this post and swing by with a slingshot to get your base on the air. Look forward to working you soon!

Dan S.

Posts: 0

« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2008, 12:31:49 PM »

Chris - I STRONGLY advise you to carefully peruse K0BG's website.  For the past 18 months I have been mobile exclusively, and I am LOVING it.  I operate far more CW than SSB, in part because I feel that I have a better chance getting through (I work all the DX I can).  But, I also like CW more and more every day.  I have been licensed 50 years this year, reached "top of the honor roll" but can't climb any more, so concentrating on mobile seemed like the way to go.  I opted for a very large antenna... and continue to work on improving it.  I did add an amp a couple of months ago.

I sincerely wish you the very best of luck.

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