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Author Topic: First mobile HF rig  (Read 4993 times)
KF7GTU
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Posts: 36




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« on: January 12, 2012, 05:13:07 PM »

Hello folks!

First, I want to say thanks for all who take the time to read this and respond. I appreciate your input.

Let me tell you what I am looking for, and you can tell me how I am being unrealistic. Smiley

I am getting my general and I am interested in moving from my Yaesu FT-8000R into a different mobile unit, something tri-band like 2m/70cm/10m or similar configuration. I would like one radio to work local repeaters and also one band of HF. It doesn't have to be any specific band, just not 6m, if possible.

I don't need the radio to be anew model, to have a detachable faceplate, or any real fancy functionality. DTMF would be nice, and of course PL tones (CTCSS) are required so the mobile can't be too old.

I am really just looking for a way to have HF without getting an expensive all bands rig, or have two radios in the car, which my YL would surely not appreciate. Smiley

Anyhow, any input would be appreciated. I would entertain just about any brands for ideas, but fairly nicely rated units from here on eHam would be truly ideal.

Thanks again for all the ideas, take care!

Jason
Bandon, Oregon
KF7GTU
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KC5CQW
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Posts: 98




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« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2012, 07:15:25 PM »

IC-706, FT-857D etc...
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N2RRA
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« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2012, 10:56:19 PM »

My choices are IC-7000, IC-706MK2G, IC-703+, or YEASU FT-817ND in that order.

There's multiple reasons why I don't like two radios in the car. Clutter, hazardous (accident can occur when attention to multiple radios), as well as leaveing room for a break in when radios are visible. Last but not least!

How often and for how long will you actually handle trying to listen to multiple frequencies or even have multiple conversations? Your either on one or the other. Most times you'll have your HT along with you so if you want you can plug mobile antenna to that or just leave on scan.

Guess all depends what mode you prefer but if your just getting your General then you might catch the HF fever and leave the other alone for a while. All depends what you want to do.

73!

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NEVBEN
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Posts: 43




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« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2012, 11:11:52 PM »

I'm not writing from personal experience but I don't think the HF-featured radios are very feature rich in V/UHF.  If you're looking for a mobile HF radio that can do a few things in VHF, then the HF mobiles will be fine, but they can't match a top-of-the-line dual-bander like the FTM-350AR or Kenwood or IC equivalent.  With two simultaneous bands in either 2m or 70cm, cross-band repeat, APRS, and a lot of automation features that make them easy to use, they can't be beat.  On the other hand, if you hardly use VHF (like me), then you don't need all that anyway.  In that case, I would just concentrate on whatever you're looking for from HF.  Personally I would take a FT-817 and a buddipole for a mobile/portable setup.  I'd run an external amp and 2/70 antenna for mobile and the buddipole for portable/backpacking operations, but then I'm not so busy talking on HF that I can't stop while I'm driving, and I don't drive for long either.  Come to think of it, I think I'd just leave a 2m rig in the car, and keep the 817 in a bag ready to go.
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KF7GTU
Member

Posts: 36




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« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2012, 02:53:24 AM »

My choices are IC-7000, IC-706MK2G, IC-703+, or YEASU FT-817ND in that order.

There's multiple reasons why I don't like two radios in the car. Clutter, hazardous (accident can occur when attention to multiple radios), as well as leaveing room for a break in when radios are visible. Last but not least!

How often and for how long will you actually handle trying to listen to multiple frequencies or even have multiple conversations? Your either on one or the other. Most times you'll have your HT along with you so if you want you can plug mobile antenna to that or just leave on scan.

Guess all depends what mode you prefer but if your just getting your General then you might catch the HF fever and leave the other alone for a while. All depends what you want to do.

73!



Thanks for this... I'll respond to the one below as well, with more... Smiley

Jason
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KF7GTU
Member

Posts: 36




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« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2012, 02:59:35 AM »

I'm not writing from personal experience but I don't think the HF-featured radios are very feature rich in V/UHF.  If you're looking for a mobile HF radio that can do a few things in VHF, then the HF mobiles will be fine, but they can't match a top-of-the-line dual-bander like the FTM-350AR or Kenwood or IC equivalent.  With two simultaneous bands in either 2m or 70cm, cross-band repeat, APRS, and a lot of automation features that make them easy to use, they can't be beat.  On the other hand, if you hardly use VHF (like me), then you don't need all that anyway.  In that case, I would just concentrate on whatever you're looking for from HF.  Personally I would take a FT-817 and a buddipole for a mobile/portable setup.  I'd run an external amp and 2/70 antenna for mobile and the buddipole for portable/backpacking operations, but then I'm not so busy talking on HF that I can't stop while I'm driving, and I don't drive for long either.  Come to think of it, I think I'd just leave a 2m rig in the car, and keep the 817 in a bag ready to go.

Hello!

You know come to think of it, I like a lot of what you and the folks above were providing. It got me thinking a little different way. I really don't intend to work much HF mobile at all, at this point. My motivation was really for an easy radio install to use while traveling, but only while stopped at the end or beginning of the day. I can't imagine myself rolling down the freeway at 75MPH (where acceptable, of course) and working DX QSO's. Not that it hasn't been done, but that it just isn't something I would have to do.

Which, really means I likely need to be in a different forum at this point. Maybe I'll see about a QRP forum, etc. Something that will allow me to carry just a couple things to use while we are in a motel room, or from the kitchen table with regularity. Thanks for getting my head in the right place here. I'll keep in mind the choices if I cannot find a suitable portable setup instead, to throw in a bag.

Take care folks, thanks again!

Jason
Bandon, Oregon
KF7GTU
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N6AJR
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Posts: 9927




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« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2012, 11:34:25 AM »

I have 2 radios in my car, a 2000 dodge intrepid.  for HF and uhf/vhf I use a Yaesu ft 857 d, and  the other rig is a motorola  900 mhz setup.  both are very small and fit well.  the ft 857d runs into a K400C trunk lip mount, most of the time it has a 2m/440 antenna on it but for trips I use the ATAS 120a which autotunes with the ft 857 from 2m/440 through 40 m on hf, and it does cw,ssb, digital, fm and am  lots of modes. easy to use while driving with the atas set up for autotune.

in my truck I usuall have a  ft 857, a dedicated 2m rig a 900 rig a 1.2 g rig and an 800 watt  110 v inverter to plug in my laptop and coffee pot when hill topping.  it all worjks for me
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K5LXP
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« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2012, 07:42:20 AM »

I can't imagine myself rolling down the freeway at 75MPH (where acceptable, of course) and working DX QSO's. Not that it hasn't been done, but that it just isn't something I would have to do.

"Have to", no.  But you sure will want to!

Especially out in the "hinterlands", VHF/UHF FM operation is a no-go.  Even if you happen upon a repeater, at 75mph you won't stay within range of it for very long.   Simplex is nigh impossible unless you happen to catch a guy going the same direction and speed as you are within a few miles of you. 

HF mobile is the way to go on long trips.  Even if all you do is listen, there's no shortage of ham and SWL activity.  My thing is CW, because I can have a QSO without bugging the XYL by talking into a microphone.  I find it relaxing, engaging and just plain fun to do.  HF mobile is in the top five things I like to do in ham radio, and I think you should seriously consider giving it a try at some level.


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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N6AJR
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Posts: 9927




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« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2012, 10:00:01 AM »

well, I know if I am heading south on hiway 99 through central california I can talk on the tulare repeater from south of stockton to visilia, which is a good 3 hours. and on 900 I can talked from the linked repeaters on the NC9RS system from chico to the grape vine, so it justs depends, but I have spent many an hour in a boring trip, chatting on the radio at 70 MPH
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N5UD
Member

Posts: 827




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« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2012, 03:34:25 AM »

Hello folks!

First, I want to say thanks for all who take the time to read this and respond. I appreciate your input.

Let me tell you what I am looking for, and you can tell me how I am being unrealistic. Smiley

I am getting my general and I am interested in moving from my Yaesu FT-8000R into a different mobile unit, something tri-band like 2m/70cm/10m or similar configuration. I would like one radio to work local repeaters and also one band of HF. It doesn't have to be any specific band, just not 6m, if possible.

I don't need the radio to be anew model, to have a detachable faceplate, or any real fancy functionality. DTMF would be nice, and of course PL tones (CTCSS) are required so the mobile can't be too old.

I am really just looking for a way to have HF without getting an expensive all bands rig, or have two radios in the car, which my YL would surely not appreciate. Smiley

Anyhow, any input would be appreciated. I would entertain just about any brands for ideas, but fairly nicely rated units from here on eHam would be truly ideal.

Thanks again for all the ideas, take care!

Jason
Bandon, Oregon
KF7GTU


If size is not that important, then a Kenwood TS-690 or TS-450 works. I had one in my pickup. Receiver is pretty decent, but needs the CW filter for CW operation.

If newer is OK, then as pointed out, the TS-480. This too needs the CW filter. I worked about 244 DXCC countries in 2011 while mobile. This was really February to November. If you can't hear them, you can't work them. I missed some easy ones as I don't computer log mobile. I guess I should.

The TS-480 has detachable head. Mine is mounted on edge of dash. Radio is under fold down seat.

GL and 73 Tony N5UD /M

If you just need to work your friends on 75 or 40m then most anything will do.
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KQ6Q
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Posts: 993




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« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2012, 02:12:56 PM »

Quote
Something that will allow me to carry just a couple things to use while we are in a motel room,
when you're on a trip with your non-ham spouse, and you get to a motel, setting up an HF station while ignoring your spouse is something you'll only do once. After that you'll be traveling alone.
Maybe HF in motion will work, but make sure she's heard it at home, so you know if she thinks it's interesting, or a conversation stopper.
As far as VHF on trips, I've found very few places where, as a transient visitor, I could scare up a QSO on local repeaters - an then mainly during 'drive time'.
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W0FM
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Posts: 2057




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« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2012, 02:58:42 PM »

<when you're on a trip with your non-ham spouse, and you get to a motel, setting up an HF station while ignoring your spouse is something you'll only do once. After that you'll be traveling alone.>

.....or she'll be traveling with a DIFFERENT GUY!   Shocked
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W9PMZ
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Posts: 577


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« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2012, 03:54:16 PM »

mobiles, mobiles, mobiles, all are pretty much the same to a certain degree...

but, before you purchase the rig, decide what kind of antenna you are willing to invest in!  mobile hf is not easy, especially 40m and 80m.  once you have decided to invest in the time to install an antenna then the rig purchase is easy...

73,

carl - w9pmz
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W8JX
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Posts: 6670




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« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2012, 04:45:52 PM »

mobile hf is not easy, especially 40m and 80m. 

It is only as hard as you make it. 40 is not that hard to do well on but 80 can be a challenge and 20 and above a breeze to do. I chatted with a guy in Ireland today for 15 minute while mobile on 17 meters using a Kenwood TS-140 and a HamStick style antenna on a bumper mount with no tuner. I got a 57-8 report and same on my end.  No need to have a expensive antenna to do well HF mobile. You do want a mobile rig with decent noise blankers though as mobile can be noisy at times. The old 140 has pretty decent adjustable noise blankers for a rig of its era.   
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