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Author Topic: Mobile Antenna Advice  (Read 724 times)

Posts: 297

« on: December 05, 2006, 07:57:25 PM »

I am new to HF and need some mobile antenna advice.  I want to use my HF rig, a Yaesu FT-897D with a mobile antenna for long trips.  I also have the LDG AT-897 tuner.  I was wondering if I could get a CB antenna on a mag mount and see how well it'd work.  I'd like to do it cheap and I need to have the antenna removable because the parking garage isn't antenna-friendly.  I was hoping I could just load up 20M or so on a CB antenna with the tuner.  Any advice?

Thanks and 73,

Posts: 70

« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2006, 08:00:53 PM »

I have run a Kenwood TS 50 w/ Hamsticks with great success! You can use a trunk lip mount and just unscreww the antenna to get in the garage. Good Luck...73 de Jerry W7TNS

Posts: 1146

« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2006, 08:49:26 PM »

I have never operated with hamsticks but I have used a CB whip with an auto-tuner (SGC-237).  Worked pretty good on 20 and above but was worthless for the most part on 40 or 80.  Sure, I did have contacts on 40 and 80 but that was mostly luck and exceptional progagation conditions.

I have since replaced the whip with a Hi-Q 4/80 antenna and I ain't looking back.  When I installed this antenna and got everything setup the bands came alive just like the base station performance.  Though, it does cost more money.  When you add up the costs of the Hi-Q 4/80, a tuner (I have the turbo-tuner by N2VZ, and work to mount it up, you're looking at close to $1000.

I have a web page showing my setup and installation work on my Hi-Q at  Just follow the links for the Hi-Q Antenna Setup.

phil, K7PEH

Posts: 9930

« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2006, 11:04:23 PM »

I have done the mag mount and the hamstick route and it is marginal at best, sue to the poor ground and danger of the antenna flying off the car at speed ( it happens with a bigger antenna).

 I use hamsticks on a through the rail mount on the pickup and it did ok, but I finally went to a DK-3 on the truck (mounted in the bed,) and am quite happy with it.

I also have an atas 120 on both cars and they are on a diamond k 400 c mount ( they go on the side of the trunk lip, not on the side by the rear window) and are strong enough that way. They are not the best antenna in the world, but mine fits in the garage, which is my first requirement. 2m/ 440 and 40 - 6 m is fine mobile.

If you are going to use the cb whip you need something that hooks up right next to the mount with a couple inches of wire only.

most all mobile antennas need a good ground and K0BG has some great tips on his site. its easy to do a cheep mobile antenna setup with a good mount and a hamstick, and the screwdriver type makes it much easier to do, but they need a substantial mount for safety.


Posts: 4311


« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2006, 05:24:24 AM »

I used an SG-230 with a CB whip and two foot extension on the bottom to bring the total length to 10.5 feet. Since it was fed two feet off the ground, it was at the 12.5 foot height limit and resonant close to 15m. I got good performance from it 20m-10m. On 40m, it was an S-unit (6dB?) down from my homebrew bugcatcher. In a 75m shootout, it was measured to be 12 dB down (2 S-units?) from the top screwdriver, i.e. pretty bad.

I presently use a 17m hamstick with a small base loading coil for 20m operation. I short out the coil for 17m operation.
73, Cecil,

73, Cecil,

Posts: 1045


« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2006, 05:36:48 AM »

When I first started HF mobiling I used hamsticks and was satisfied with them, but I do alot of off-road tree bashing and they tend to fail at the feedpoint where the wire is soldered onto the base ferrule.  This is easy enough to fix, by stripping off the lower portion of heat shrink, and soldering a spiral wrap of coax braid to the ferrule and the wire coil, so that the joint is flexible and less subject to brittle failure.  Then you apply new heat shrink and seal with Liquid Electrical Tape.  Although hamsticks and clones are cheap enough to throw away when they go bad.

I've had better performance on 40, 60 and 75 meters using the Huster coils and mast, and these are rugged in the tree bashing department.  I adjust for best VSWR for my primary working frequency and let the antenna tuner match for the rest of the band and change coils using quick disconnects.  Cost wise these are modest also.  Which is good because I my mast and 60m coil in the woods of Sleepy Creek Public Hunting Area in West Virginia the last time I was out there, and didn't realize it was missing until I got to the Flying J truck stop at the state line.  My Diamond K-400 3/8 mount snapped off at the pivot point.  Bashed one tree too many I guess.  So new mast and 60m coil go on the shopping list.  At least it wasn't an expensive antenna!  


Posts: 297

« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2006, 07:13:14 AM »

Thanks for all the useful advice!  You guys really helped me out.  Hope to meet you on the air someday.

73 de KB3LSR
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