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Author Topic: MacDonalds drive-up window  (Read 1731 times)
K4GUN
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Posts: 23




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« on: January 10, 2009, 06:33:25 AM »

A few months back, there were some topics about which side of the vehicle was best for a large HF antenna.  The general thought was to put it on the left or driver's side.  This was because trees on the right side of the road were more likely to be lower toward the edge.  That makes sense, but ignores a bigger obstacle.

How many drive-up windows do you visit in a given week?  Most have low overhangs next to the building, but that only extends about half the width of your vehicle.  The right side is open with no cover.  That sign you drive under that says total clearance is only 8.5' is only talking about clearance on the driver's side.  The passenger side is wide open.

This is why I put my least flexible and largest antenna on the right side of the truck.  Yes, its still more exposed to branches on the side of the road, but the overall height is still about 11' and near the top, its pretty flexible.  Branches don't give me much hassle.  Overhangs at the Mickey D's OTOH are a common and real obstacle.  Its better to have the main HF antenna on the outside of this.

As usual, YMMV.
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K5LXP
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« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2009, 06:52:41 AM »

> How many drive-up windows do you visit in a given week?

Looking at most hams, probably every day!

I guess your antenna placement priority is going to be based on your junk food priority...

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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K0BG
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« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2009, 07:19:19 AM »

Hum. The tip of my HF antenna is just over 16 feet in height. Yes, I can't drive under the drive through at the bank, yet it clears the one at the service station where I buy my gas. I avoid the three places in town where the whip smacks low hanging wires. So what's the big deal? If you frequent fast-food drive in windows, it's your waste line! (pun intended).

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
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AA4PB
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« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2009, 09:04:34 AM »

If you are going to eat fast food you might be better off getting the exercise by walking in :-)

You are likely to do a lot more damage to your whip if you smack a tree limb at 35MPH than if you slowly drag it across a drive thru overhang.

One possible solution is to have a removable whip with a quick disconnect so you can take it off if you are headed to a drive thru.
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K4GUN
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Posts: 23




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« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2009, 09:36:22 AM »

By the way... its not just MickeyDees that this happens.  There are a lot of banks and service windows that have overhangs at the window but not all the way across.  The right side is never under cover, thus making it a better bet to have the big antenna on that side.

As for roadside trees... well, I know that can happen.  I lost part of a moxon to a tree while doing a roving contest.  A single whip doesn't take a lot of stress if hit near the tip.

There is actually one other reason I like it in the right corner.  Its a lot easier to see in my rearview mirror.  Even looking back over my shoulder means less twisting.  There are times when you really do need to see what's happening and that can be done easier on the right side.

I guess the bottom line is to examine how and where you drive.  There is not a single answer for all applicaitons.  I gave this a lot of thought when I set up my mobile rig and settled on the right side for the above reasons.  I would not consider a change.
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WX4O
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Posts: 101




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« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2009, 08:12:05 AM »

Agree. I never go to drive-thrus. I hate waiting in line with the engine running. I just park my truck and go inside.A lot of McD's now have two ordering stations, but the same single pick up windows. Dumbest waste of money I ever saw.
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EC158
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« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2009, 11:29:19 AM »

McDonalds food sucks! It will kill you.

Go to Subway...
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NK5G
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Posts: 102




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« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2009, 01:07:36 PM »

Oh but it is so much fun to get up to a drive up window and pump some RFI into the headsets and computers...

...I know it's just wrong, but funny.
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WB6DGN
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Posts: 619




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« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2009, 01:21:43 PM »

"You are likely to do a lot more damage to your whip if you smack a tree limb at 35MPH than if you slowly drag it across a drive thru overhang."

NOT if there are a zillion fluorescents on the ceiling of that overhang!  HI!

This brings up an issue that has confused  me for a long time.  WHY go to a fast food place?  I've found that I can get a nice meal  at a little coffee shop that doesn't cost me any more than what I would spend at a fast food place, even including the tip.  Why eat food(?) that has been sitting around in a warmer for who knows how long when you can get a decent meal at a coffee shop for the same money?  Overhang problem solved!
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KI6LO
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« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2009, 03:00:28 PM »

K0BG writes "The tip of my HF antenna is just over 16 feet in height..."

Alan,

From my readings when setting up my HF mobileering in the Mitsy car, I remember reading somewhere that the DoT limitation on vehicle height was 13 ft 6 inches maximum. Is my recollection in error or did you really mean to say 16 feet?

I have my setup to reach just under 13 feet 6 inches at 40M which is as low in freq as I dare go when moving due to antenna loading coil flexing on the big full size screwdriver antenna I run.

Gene KI6LO
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KE7RFL
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« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2009, 02:17:27 PM »

Why can't you go thru the drive-up window lane in reverse? That would put the antenna away from the overhang.

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W3LK
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Posts: 5639




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« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2009, 05:09:52 PM »

The clearance on my HF antenna is 11.5 feet and I go through drive through lanes all the time. I can find no detectable damage to the whip (mounted on the driver's side).

As for damage to the ceiling of the drive through, that's their problem.

And yes, one of those is McDonalds, about once a week. Smiley

73,

Lon - W3LK
Naugatuck, Connecticut
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A smoking section in a restaurant makes as much sense as a peeing section in a swimming pool.
W4CNG
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Posts: 179




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« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2009, 02:50:29 PM »

Mine is on the right.  My VHF/UHF gain antenna is on a motororized mount to lower for those occasions and to get in the garage.

BTW, Alan (K0BG), the legal height limit for anything sticking up on a Car, Truck or other Vehicle on the USA roadway is 13.6 feet.  Looks like you need to whack a little off of the top...

Steve W4CNG
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KB0USY
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Posts: 32




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« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2009, 10:13:28 AM »

If I it were me Forget the drive thru.Park out side and don't damage your antennas.Somebody said something about Subway.The wish it had meat on it sandwich.Steve
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K5END
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Posts: 1309




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« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2009, 07:39:58 AM »

What we need is a telescoping mast that will shorten the antenna to within the legal height limit.

This would be best done while the State Trooper is watching the traffic to make his U-Turn, with the intent to pull you over.

SRI, couldn't resist.
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