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Author Topic: Mobile QRP on HF ?  (Read 1627 times)
DL9SBM
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Posts: 2




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« on: January 12, 2002, 09:16:05 AM »

Hi there,

I've got a FT817 and think about using it mobile.
Has anybody ever tried it ? Is it worth the effort of wiring the car for that purpose ? Or is it rather advisable to spend some more time and modify a CB P.A. for use in the car ?

73's de Jens, DL9SBM
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W0AV
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Posts: 10




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« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2002, 10:52:26 AM »

Hello Jens,

Some years ago I used a Heath HW7 mobile on 20 and 40M CW and worked lots of stations, including DX, with a Hustler antenna.

I always used two 6V lantern batteries for power to avoid alternator and sparkplug noise from my vehicle.

The old Heathkit put only about 2W, maximum, but it got out very well.

73 de George/W0AV
Ex D4USA, D4ACD (Frankfurt, 1944-1948)

Hamming since '35
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WB8THR
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Posts: 4




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« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2002, 03:17:53 PM »

I've used my FT-817 in the van driving about town with a MP-1 antenna on a mag mount in the car. Worked a number of stations on 20/15 and 10, no autotuner, and was getting 55-57 reports on SSB. I'm looking to get a good lip mount for the van so I can use the MP-1 at highway speeds (the mag mount is good for maybe up to 45 mph), but I'm certainly happy with it.

Fred WB8THR
Madison, WI
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VE3XJ
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Posts: 2




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« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2002, 11:52:16 AM »

You can see a picture of my set up with the 817 and a Z11 tuner at:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FT817/files/Antennas/VE3XJ%27s%20Z-11/Z-11_set-up.jpg

In the picture, I was using a Radio Shack fibreglass whip, which I have since replaced with an army surplus AT-271 (easier to throw into the car because is breaks down into about 7 hollow tubes that have a mini-bungee cord inserted into the middle, keeping it all together).  

My Z11 is in a Hammond plastic case sealed against the moisture as much as possible.  I also fasten four 3/4 inch rare earth magnets in cup-holders and mar-resisting pads.  These are available from Lee Valley Tools (www.leevalleytools.ca).  From the car, there is a 12 volt line (to power the tuner), a chunk of RG-174 from the 817 to the tuner, and a line that is connected to ground using a momentary ON switch which activates the tune function, after the 817 is set to transmit with a steady carrier type signal (FM, AM or Packet).  

I have had a lot of fun with this set-up, but comms on 40 and 80 are often iffy, but that is just the nature of the beast.  

73 and have fun with your 817
Jim, VE3XJ
ve3xj@rac.ca
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KA1LM
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Posts: 1




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« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2002, 10:49:28 PM »

I recently installed my FT817 into my car (OK, it's squeezed into a handy compartment in the front console). I'm using a slightly-modified MP-1 mounted on a Lakeview Antennas license plate mount.  I also guyed the antenna just below the tuning coil with fishing line.

(The antenna mods consist of a 3' aluminum base rod and a whip salvaged from a 5/8 wave 2M antenna. Coil is the stock MP-1 unit)

I'm having a great deal of fun especially on 12 and 10M when then band is open to Europe from the US East Coast.  You won't bust every pileup and many ops won't hear you, but I've had good QSOs.  And the ops on the other end get a kick when I tell them I am mobile AND qrp! (And I always thank them for listening extra hard)

Give it a try.

73 KA1LM
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N2XE
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Posts: 19


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« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2002, 01:56:55 PM »

I've been mobiling with my Small Wonder Labs DSW 20 for a couple of years now.  2 watts and a hamstick does quite nicely thank you!
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NA4AL
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« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2002, 07:12:36 PM »

I live in Birmingham, AL and quite often visit my parents in Huntsville (about two hours north of here).  I use a mag-mount base and 20m hamstick antenna, and regularly make DX contacts and talk all up and down the eastern coast with no problem.  I do have to work a little harder than everyone else out there running more power, but it can be done and is very exciting when the conditions are good.
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N4EKV
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« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2002, 04:56:29 PM »

I recently took a 1000+ mile road trip through CA and OR with an FT-817 and a mag-mounted 20M Iron Horse whip (like Hamstick).  Plopped on top of my minivan, it had plenty of ground plane (and it whacked plenty of items overhead, none electrified thankfully!)  I operated both day and night, all 20M CW, all at my 'full' 5W.

Yes, I made contacts.. but it was lots of work and took lots of patience.  Good thing I had my memory keyer along with a CQ call programmed into it!  I worked exactly one DX station, a UA0 on 20M at around 10PM local.  US stations were giving me 5x3 to 5x7 during daylight hours, but frequent reports of QSB and QRN were also received, and more than one QSO was curtailed when I QSB'd out and started receiving 'SRI, 73' from the other side.

I think band conditions are probably your biggest factor when doing QRP, esp /M.  20M was not in very good shape during my road trip, and with a declining solar cycle who knows how well I'll fare in the future.

My solution was to relagate the 817 to my office where it connects to a full size dipole at 35'.  For the car I just picked up a used Ten-Tec Scout (50W) and plan on upgrading the whip to a multi-band screwdriver type antenna in the near future.  

Anti-QRP heresy?  Maybe, but I also like doing QRPp /P with 750mw.. with a full-sized wire antenna.  I guess if you're patient enough, and can wait for band condx to be with you, then 5W or less would work /M.  But for me, when I'm on a road trip I want to work stations *then*, regardless of band conditions, which is why I opted for 50W.
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EA1BP
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Posts: 5


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« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2003, 12:41:44 PM »

Hello,
Of Course you can use your QRP transceiver in your car.
I used to do it because I have not a shack. My transceiver is a FT-817 (5 w) and a Pro-Am antenna (10-15-20 meters). I took part in the CQ WW SSB (+/- 300 QSO) and CW (+/- 115 QSO) Contest.  
Oftenly I go to the mountain to use it and I am making nice and Good QSO.
Believe me that you dont need to be 100 w to do anything you want.
Just to say I talk with some part of Europe or the other part of the ocean is silly because I can contact to the whole world. QRP is not a problem...Try it!

Soon I will put some more photos in my web. By now it was my first one...

73
EA1BP

www.qsl.net/ea1bp
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EA1BP
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Posts: 5


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« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2003, 04:32:43 PM »

Hello again,
I went today for a couple of hours with my car and my FT-817. I went to a high a nice place 600 meters over the sea and I contacted VQ9, 7Q7HB and A41AM/p. I had no problems to make them...
From that same place I contacted before TR0A, JA, all South America and Northamerica,...5U,...and a long etc.
The main thing is to use a good antenna and some skills. I am not trying to say that I am good on this, but just you need to use your ears and be pacient to find the best moment to make a call...


Good luck and I hope one day you can tell us your results.


ea1bp@yahoo.es
www.qsl.net/ea1bp
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KU4QD
Member

Posts: 59




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« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2003, 11:42:47 AM »

Yep, mobile QRP works fine, like everyone else said.  I spent an hour chatting with a Latvian engineer on 12m one time running a Kenwood TS-660 (10W out) and he might as well have been next door.  He gave me equally good reports.  10, 12, 15, and 17 meters work especially well QRP amd mobile.  Also, I know it's not HF, but don't rule out 6 meters.  

Nowadays for a long trip I bring my Tokyo Hy-Power HT-750 (6, 15, and 40 meter SSB/CW handheld) and run a whopping 3W mobile.  I make plenty of contacts on 15 and 6.  40 is rough, but not impossible.  Now, if I stop and work CW then 40 at night can be quite good.

72/73,
Caity  
KU4QD
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