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Author Topic: New to HF antennas... Which one....  (Read 5513 times)
AE5KH
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Posts: 29




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« on: January 25, 2013, 09:45:46 PM »

I have been an Extra class since 2008 but I received my Novice back in 1998. I have stayed with the VHF/UHF bands and now I am selling my FT8800R and I want to buy a ICOM IC-706mkiig or a IC-7000 both to put in my truck since I spend an hour each way to and from work. I will set up a 2M/70CM antenna for VHF/UHF and I have a LDG IT-100 tuner for the HF bands. To get to my question, I want to get another antenna to use with either of these radios that is not huge. Preferably under 5ft. Does anyone know what antenna I can build or buy that is not huge and ugly that I can use with either of these radios with the antenna tuner to get either all HF bands or maybe 80M,40M and 10M?

Thank you, 73
AE5KH
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AC4RD
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« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2013, 05:07:12 AM »

Your first stop should be  www.k0bg.com    It's "HF mobile for newbies" all in one package!

Five feet is going to be tough, but it's possible--though the shorter the antenna, the lower the efficiency.  I'm limited to 7.5 feet for a mobile antenna by my own situation, and still manage to have a lot of fun with mobile HF!   This discussion forum is also a great resource, as you'll see.

73 GL!  --ken
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NK7Z
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« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2013, 06:38:39 AM »

Your first stop should be  www.k0bg.com    It's "HF mobile for newbies" all in one package!

Hi,

AC4RD is correct, K0BG's site is very helpful.  When I went mobile I read it, and discovered a number of things I was unaware of...  As an aside, I just solved a HUGE RFI problem in my Tahoe...  If you have a Tahoe disconnect the rear window defroster as a test.  Most of your induced RFI in the truck should go away...  I will be bypassing them later this year when the weather gets better...  The HF antenna is mounted on the trailer hitch, and runs about 2 feet from the rear window defogger.  The Tahoe would die when transmitting!  Yes, I did have RFI suppression torrids on EVERYTHING, and a very good ground...  Yet the RF still killed the rig, and reset the stereo...  It occurred to me that it must be getting into the power buss for the car, so I started thinking about bypassing all DC power to ground...  I looked at the rear wondow, and spotted the defogger...  Discoed it and poof all RFI gone...  

Oh yes, to stay on topic...  I bought a used screwdriver antenna, and it works wonderfully!  I came from a hustler stick, with the screw on resonators, which worked OK...

73's
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Thanks,
Dave
For reviews and setups see: http://www.nk7z.net
AA4PB
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Posts: 12907




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« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2013, 08:40:09 AM »

80/40M and small, unobtrusive antennas don't go together. A 5-foot whip on 80/40M is really inefficent (probably less than 5% of your 80M signal gets radiated - the rest goes up as heat in the matching losses). A short whip is much more effective on 10M or even 15M.

I question whether the IT100 will directly match a 5 foot whip on the lower bands. I'd suggest that you might want to look into Hamsticks which have built in loading coils. They seem to be reasonably efficient on 20M and up and "work" on 40M and 80M with a good deal of loss.
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AE5KH
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Posts: 29




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« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2013, 09:47:23 AM »

I don't know, I may be ok with an antenna with a whip that extends up to 6' or 6'6". I plan on mounting it on the top of the bed of a F250 truck. This is the main reason for not wanting a large antenna. Also the XYL issue... What about a CHAMELEON V2? or V2L? Any comments on these antennas?
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WD5GWY
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Posts: 405




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« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2013, 10:38:28 AM »

I'm using a Tarheel 100a HP, mounted in the left rear corner of the bed of a 1997
Dodge 2500 diesel pickup. (long wide bed) The radio is an ICOM 706 MKIIG.
For VHF & UHF I have a dual band antenna mounted in the middle of the roof.
I have tried about every combination of antennas in the past, and so far, this has
proven to be the best of the lot. (with good bonding too)
If height is a problem with a screwdriver antenna for you, you can always add a capacity hat
to help reduce the need for a taller whip. BUT, you get more windloading that way too.
(there's no free ride or lunch with HF antennas  Cheesy )
 If you normally park your pickup outside, and don't have a lot of low overhanging tree limbs
to contend with during your daily drive, a large antenna is really not a problem. Just stay out
of the drive thru at Micky D's !!! My antenna does scrap the overhead at my bank but, not enough
to cause them or me problems.
  As for the wife, well, mine just looks at the pickup and shakes her head. But, she's glad I got
it as I can haul stuff for her when she needs it!  Besides that, she does not drive it except on
very rare occasions. So, in my opinion, (and it's just that, my opinion) if YOU want to have a
large antenna on YOUR pickup.......then you should do it. Now, if on the other hand you are
mounting it on her pickup.........well you know the rest of that story!!!
Oh, and once it's on the pickup, and she gets used to it (and she will) you will find you are glad
you went with a larger antenna. Smaller will work, but, not near as well. Especially if you plan
to operate on the lower HF bands at all.
james
WD5GWY
 
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WN2C
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Posts: 471




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« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2013, 06:51:26 PM »

Scorpion SA 680 or SA 680s(shorty).  They look good and perform even better than a dummy load on a stick.

Rick  wn2c
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KI4DYA
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Posts: 13




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« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2013, 09:12:04 PM »

I've been extremely happy with my IC-7000 and the Little Tarheel II on my Tahoe.
Sure, the antenna is a bit of a tradeoff with size/performance, but I don't expect my mobile station to compare with a good home setup, I get great signal reports and it works well enough to keep my plenty busy when I'm in the truck.

Plus, the antenna is made well and if you spring for the auto-tuning package it's dead simple to install and operate.
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NZ5E
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Posts: 75




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« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2013, 07:07:47 AM »

I am using an electric linear actuator to lay an HF mobile antenna down and stand it up.  I located the switch to operate my fold-over mount in the cab of the pickup.  I can stand the antenna up or lay it down, even while going down the highway, in about 6 seconds.  Other pictures and description about half way down the biography of my QRZ page.

http://i1297.photobucket.com/albums/ag21/toposolutions/Amateur%20Radio/ZoomedInCollage_zps3d884d35.jpg

With a small lift and bigger tires on my pickup, the feedpoint of the antenna is about 4'3" above the ground.  This fold-over mount allows me to use a mobile HF antenna that is 8' or so and still be able to fit under the carport.

I think you will find that length of a mobile antenna is going to make as much difference as the type of antenna, as will the mounting configuration to take advantage of what little groundplane a vehicle has available.  I am going to access my internet remote base from within my pickup to use in testing several antennas.  As time permits, I will try to post my "real world" results.  I don't expect to see any significant difference in any of the antennas, assuming the same physical length, on 10 through 17 meters.

Terry, NZ5E

« Last Edit: January 27, 2013, 07:46:51 AM by NZ5E » Logged
WD5GWY
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Posts: 405




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« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2013, 09:07:50 AM »

I've been extremely happy with my IC-7000 and the Little Tarheel II on my Tahoe.
Sure, the antenna is a bit of a tradeoff with size/performance, but I don't expect my mobile station to compare with a good home setup, I get great signal reports and it works well enough to keep my plenty busy when I'm in the truck.

Plus, the antenna is made well and if you spring for the auto-tuning package it's dead simple to install and operate.

I have the same setup(IC-7000 & Little Tarheel II) in a 2007 Kenworth diesel rig. (day cab)
Works pretty good given the small size of the antenna. But, since I work in the oilfield, it is
probably the best setup for that situation. I have the antenna mounted on the driver's side
mirror and it works pretty good. I am on 40 meters quite a bit and do not have any problems
checking into a net every morning and during the day 7.195 where a lot of trucker hams hang
out.  That setup is a good option if a larger screwdriver antenna is out of the question.
james
WD5GWY
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W4KVW
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Posts: 503




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« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2013, 01:33:53 PM »

TARHEEL II is an AWESOME & compact antenna.I use one with my ICOM 7000 & it's AMAZING how well it works.Not a plug but Gigaparts has them on SALE for $369 shipped & that's a STEAL any day of the week.  Grin

Clayton
W4KVW
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AE5KH
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Posts: 29




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« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2013, 08:13:27 PM »

W4KVW,

    I see that the Tarheel II antenna is just about 4" taller at highest setting than the V2 but I have some questions. I should not need to get a auto tuner for this, right? How does this work, I have never used this type of antenna? Do I have to manually tune it every time? I want to use a standard stake hole mount and mount it on the top of the trucked. Will this antenna handle the wind load? If I don't need a tuner it would be right in my budget.

Kenny
AE5KH
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AE5KH
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Posts: 29




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« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2013, 08:31:13 PM »

Do you think or know if the Little Tarheel II will be ok on this stake hole truck mount?


http://www.westcoastmall.net/firestik-ss-294a-pickup-truck-stake-hole-mount-p-310.html?osCsid=830d6205d66822f507db58492d249f85


AE5KH
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WD5GWY
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Posts: 405




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« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2013, 02:08:16 PM »

I've seen people using the stake hole mount with the Little Tarheel II . It should work. I would not
recommend that you mount it in one of the stake holes directly behind the cab. It would be too close to the cab and cause problems. Putting it in the middle stake hole would probably be best using that mount.
  The Little Tarheel II comes with tuning instructions. It is really not that hard to use. You would have to manually retune it when changing bands. The antenna comes with a rocker switch for up and down. I tune mine pretty quickly. First, I tune it for loudest background noise for the band I am on and then, I switch to AM ( having first set AM output on the 7000 to a low setting) and key up (unused frequency) and bump the rocker switch up and down slightly till I get the lowest possible SWR reading. It really doesn't take that much time. There are auto controllers for screwdriver antennas that do all the work for you. (the two fully automated controllers are no longer in production but you might be able to find one used) Tarheel offers a controller that has presets that you can program for each band and once set up, you can hit a button on the controller and the antenna will return to the setting for that band. You might have to tweak it a bit, but, not much. MFJ also offers a similar programmable controller too. I only use the rocker switch that comes with the Little Tarheel and my 100a HP. I have a Turbo Tuner for my 7000, but, I never have installed it. Also had one for my 706, but, it turned out to be defective. So, I have been keeping it simple and using the rocker switches.
james
WD5GWY


Forgot, No, you will not need an auto tuner. The antenna moves a coil up and down and gives you a resonate antenna for the band you are wanting to use. No tuner required.

  
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AE5KH
Member

Posts: 29




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« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2013, 03:01:03 PM »

what issues would you see if I use the stake hole behind the cab? with interferance, feedback or ?tuning ?
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