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Author Topic: What Car or Truck Would Make the Best Mobile Platform?  (Read 17927 times)
KG4RUL
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« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2012, 09:55:12 AM »

I have a 2010 Suburban with the following: Yaesu FT-7900 VHF/UHF; Yaesu FT-8800 VHF/UHF; Alinco DX-SR8t HF; Midlands CB; Uniden BCD-396XT Scanner; MFJ Programmable Screwdriver Antenna Controller; Ameritron Remote SWR/Power Meter; Gap Hear-It DSP Amplified Speaker; Lil Tarheel II Screwdriver mounted on the tailgate w/Lip mount; VHF/UHF antenna mounted on the tailgate w/Lip mount; CB antenna on magnetic mount in center of roof; Larsen NMO scanner antenna on luggage rack mount over front passenger door; Comet VHF/UHF antenna on luggage rack mount over driver door.  In my case, no kids to worry about, the third seats are removed and all the radio chassis, with the exception of the CB, are in the third seat, foot wells.  I specifically looked for an LS model to get the bench seat.  I removed the cushion and seat back for the middle seating position which left me a nice base to mount the gear on.  The radio control heads, the antenna controller, the control for the SWR meter and the amplified speaker are mounted on a finished piece of Birch plywood cut to fit on top of the console.  A 12VDC distribution box, utilizing PowerPoles, is in the console.  I also included a dual PowerPole assembly in the top panel for accessory connections, as needed.  All connections from the console to the radios exit the console along the transmission tunnel and are covered in a split, woven wire loom (I didn't want to bury them under the carpet and make them difficult to service).  And, yes, this vehicle was bought with Amateur Radio in mind.

So...... Where do you sit?

:-)
In the driver seat if I am driving.
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N6AJR
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« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2012, 11:54:10 AM »

I also removed the base of the small center seat up front for room to mount the stack in my pickup, but left the top part for an arm rest, when it folds over.  its your vehicle, do what you want...Smiley
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K1CJS
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« Reply #17 on: November 14, 2012, 04:39:58 AM »

I have a 2010 Suburban with the following: Yaesu FT-7900 VHF/UHF; Yaesu FT-8800 VHF/UHF; Alinco DX-SR8t HF; Midlands CB; Uniden BCD-396XT Scanner; MFJ Programmable Screwdriver Antenna Controller; Ameritron Remote SWR/Power Meter; Gap Hear-It DSP Amplified Speaker; Lil Tarheel II Screwdriver mounted on the tailgate w/Lip mount; VHF/UHF antenna mounted on the tailgate w/Lip mount; CB antenna on magnetic mount in center of roof; Larsen NMO scanner antenna on luggage rack mount over front passenger door; Comet VHF/UHF antenna on luggage rack mount over driver door.  In my case, no kids to worry about, the third seats are removed and all the radio chassis, with the exception of the CB, are in the third seat, foot wells.  I specifically looked for an LS model to get the bench seat.  I removed the cushion and seat back for the middle seating position which left me a nice base to mount the gear on.  The radio control heads, the antenna controller, the control for the SWR meter and the amplified speaker are mounted on a finished piece of Birch plywood cut to fit on top of the console.  A 12VDC distribution box, utilizing PowerPoles, is in the console.  I also included a dual PowerPole assembly in the top panel for accessory connections, as needed.  All connections from the console to the radios exit the console along the transmission tunnel and are covered in a split, woven wire loom (I didn't want to bury them under the carpet and make them difficult to service).  And, yes, this vehicle was bought with Amateur Radio in mind.

Good for you, Dennis.  You knew what you wanted, you've got the vehicle you want.  You're obviously in an area that you can park and leave a vehicle like that for short periods of time, and you've gotten over worrying about it.   

If you are one of the few people who can afford a setup like Dennis has, then all that can be said is you're lucky.  There aren't many who can--especially people who have a family, aren't retired, and must make their vehicles serve many purposes.  Most people are still working and have years left to go before retirement.  Their family has to come first, and they do not have extra money to use for a setup like that.

There again, in all too many areas of this country, a vehicle like that would disappear in short order, the insurance company would be having fits, and the owner would probably be in the hospital with a heart attack!
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W5LZ
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« Reply #18 on: November 25, 2012, 04:41:55 AM »

I think a Greyhound bus chopped to about 8 feet tall would do very nicely!
 - 'Doc
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N6AJR
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« Reply #19 on: December 17, 2012, 02:18:21 PM »

one more addition I have in my truck with all the radios is an 800 watt power inverter.  this gives me 110 volts for the laptop, coffee pot and and such when I am doing rover style stuff.  Its just bolted to the floor.

  And you can set a car or truck up like this for not so much money.  My friend built my radio rack out of 1/2 inch square aluminum tubing, and most all of the radios were bought over time with the thought of the truck  being built eventually.

I have ab ft 857 d, a tm742 tribander, an ic  2m rig, a spectra for 900 megs , and a alinco for 220 mhz.

The alinco and the icom were both bought used for $100 each, the 857 was in a different car and moved over, the 742 was bought used for 500 bucks with 2m/440 /1.2 g in it. and I think the spectra was around 75 bucks.  most all of the antennas are from swap meets, and cheep.

so buy a little here, and a little there and eventually it all comes together.
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W7MJM
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« Reply #20 on: December 22, 2012, 03:37:23 AM »

Get a diesel vehicle: No spark plugs = No ignition noise

As an added benefit, you can run the engine on biodiesel. Or convert it to run on recycled veggie oil.

Reduce your carbon footprint and help keep those rare island DXCC entities above sea level!

See http://www.biodiesel.org/ for more information on biodiesel.

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NA4IT
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« Reply #21 on: December 22, 2012, 04:43:26 AM »

1) A car or truck your wife hates.
2) One you have no qualms about drilling holes into the body.
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KS4VT
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« Reply #22 on: December 22, 2012, 05:52:51 AM »

If a used vehicle is in the scope of possibility, I have had great luck with the Ford Explorer Sportrac. Plenty of roof space to punch a few holes for NMO's and the tailgate works fine to mount a single band HF whip.  I got 40 meters to resonant without any issues and also used 17 and 20 meters as well.  Also there is a nice area behind the back seat on the drivers side that is deep enough to stack remoted radios.  I currently have a Motorola XTL and a Yaesu 9800 remoted in my 2005 and the RF decks are mounted in there with the heads up front.

You can find some older versions that has a 1/2 center console and the 2001 I had previous I put a radio tree in it that held 2 radios and a scanner nicely.  My current 2005 has a full console, so remote head mounting isn't as clean as the 2001 and I didn't have room for the scanner, but I still love the truck.

73
Mark KS4VT
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G8YMW
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« Reply #23 on: December 22, 2012, 11:29:02 AM »

W7MJM said
"Get a diesel vehicle: No spark plugs = No ignition noise "

Not quite, the engine management unit is a computer and the injectors are fired electrically (and other things) so the modern diesel CAN be as noisy as a petrol engine
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73 de Tony
Sent by WW2 Royal Navy signal lamp
W7MJM
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« Reply #24 on: December 22, 2012, 01:21:00 PM »

..the engine management unit is a computer and the injectors are fired electrically (and other things) so the modern diesel CAN be as noisy as a petrol engine

Good point. That's why I prefer older diesel vehicles, like Mercedes sedans from the 70's and 80's. I forgot to mention that in my original post. And properly maintained, those old Mercedes diesel engines keep going and going.
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W7MJM
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« Reply #25 on: December 22, 2012, 03:22:49 PM »

Wait until about March, and you'll be able to buy a Ford Transit Van equipped with their Eco-Boost V6. Then it will become a real hauler!

Nice to see you're getting one of the best vans from Europe. Shame it'll come with a V6 engine instead of the TDCi diesel which is just about better in every single way - more torque, better fuel economy....

What about the diesel engine Dodge/Mercedes/Freightliner Sprinter Van? Anyone had success using that vehicle as a mobile HF platform? I've seen a lot of them in service as FedEx delivery trucks here in the U.S.A. I understand they're quite popular in Europe. Any hams out there have experience with them?
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K1DA
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« Reply #26 on: December 26, 2012, 08:44:26 AM »

  Yup, the new gee wizz direct injection diesels sure aren't an old Cat dozer engine, that's for sure.  Check  AM radio performance before you buy.   That's a tipoff. 
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M6GOM
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« Reply #27 on: December 26, 2012, 02:44:41 PM »

Get a diesel vehicle: No spark plugs = No ignition noise


If only that were true. Modern diesels use common rail systems so use electronic injectors the same as petrol cars do and therefore suffer from the same possibility of RFI from the injectors.
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M6GOM
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« Reply #28 on: December 26, 2012, 02:45:46 PM »


What about the diesel engine Dodge/Mercedes/Freightliner Sprinter Van? Anyone had success using that vehicle as a mobile HF platform? I've seen a lot of them in service as FedEx delivery trucks here in the U.S.A. I understand they're quite popular in Europe. Any hams out there have experience with them?

My local ham emporium uses a Mercedes Sprinter.
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K1OC
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« Reply #29 on: March 23, 2013, 10:57:24 AM »

Hi all.  I'm the OP with a follow-up question.  I have a line on a 2008 Chevy Tahoe Hybrid.  Anybody have any experience with that make & model, HF-wise or otherwise?

Tnx & 73,
Tony
K1OC
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