Hi, I am a relatively new ham (general) and have been wanting to set up my car as a mobile station (I travel a lot and live in an apartment, so it's probably my best option). I have a 2012 Rav4 that I will be installing it in. I'm also a grad student, so don't have the biggest budget for equipment.
First off, the transceiver. I'd like to get an all-band transceiver instead of separate VHF/UHF and HF, as this car isn't as spacious as other SUVs. The ones I've been looking at is the Yaesu FT-897D, and the Icom 7000 or 7100. The Icom ones look a bit fancier, but I'm not sure if they are worth the jump in price over the Yaesu. I feel like I would get better performance putting that money in to a good antenna. Thoughts?
Which brings us to antennas. I'm not sure which one is best for 2 meter and 440, so I'd love some recommendations on this. For HF I like the looks of the Little Tarheel II, and the reviews seem to be mostly positive. Though I'm not sure if it would be better to give up 6M and go with the slightly larger Tarheel model 75A. As far as mounting goes, I really like the looks of this mount: http://www.n5bia.info/rav4/rav4.html
I'm a bit apprehensive about cutting holes in the roof of my nice new car, at least for now. Anyone else use this mount or have experience attaching antennas on a Rav4? After reading a bit about ground planes, would it help if I added a metal plate to this mount instead of just the two bars?
As far as electrical wiring goes, will 4 guage wire be enough to run from the battery to the transceiver? I'd probably also be connecting a few other small accessories as well (CB radio, backup camera, dashcam, and maybe radar detector), and it would simplify a lot if I only needed to run the one cable but I also don't want to overload it or cause unneeded interference. Or should I only use the direct cable for my radio and just run the others through the car's fuse box?
Finally, is antenna theft common? I'd hate for my nice expensive antenna to go missing, so should I just keep it in the car if I am not using it? Not sure what the common practice is here, or if there is a way of locking the antenna to the mount.
And advice would be appreciated, thanks!