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Author Topic: Scorpion SA-680S Assistance Needed  (Read 3266 times)
KC7NFF
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« on: October 11, 2011, 11:51:12 AM »

Hello this is Adam,
  I have a new Scorpion SA-680s and I am needing some assistance. This Antenna will be installed in my 99 Wrangler that has a soft top.  The radio I am using is an Icom 7000.  I have had my tech license for 16 years and and I am now a General class so HF is new to me.  Below is my list of questions and am hoping for some much needed help.

1. What equipment do I need for my HF Antenna to function?  I am looking at getting the Better RF Tune Control and the Better Rf Antenna control.  Is there any other equipment needed (i.e. Antenna tuner, Amp).

2. My HF antenna will be installed on the front bumper of my Jeep but elevated so that the base of the antenna will be level with the hood.  I am looking for HF Antenna Mounts for this type of installation and Antenna but have not had much luck with my internet search.  Are there plans or designs of HF mounts that will work for my setup?  I have the resources to build my own mount, which I would like to do.  My bumper is the standard bumper for the Jeep Wrangler.

3. The Scorpion antenna already comes as a quick disconnect so that it can be moved from the vehicle to a tripod.  What equipment besides the Tripod do I need to accomplish this.  I will be getting the ground plane antennas but not sure what else that is needed.

4. I live in Hayden, ID which is 2mi south of Coeur d' Alene, Idaho.  I am only about 35mins from Spokane, WA.  I am wondering if there is anyone in my area that can assist me on my mobile hf install and who can do the install properly.  I am a member of KARS (Kootenai Amateur Radio Society) but they were not able to assist me.  So any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you all.
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KF9ZA
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« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2011, 01:49:14 PM »

Hi Adam,

Congratulations on your new IC-7000.  I run one mobile, in my 2004 Blazer, and love it.

I used to have a 1995 Jeep Wrangler.  I did not run HF in the Jeep but did have VHF/UHF.  Great business on your mounting the antenna on the front bumper.  One thing you may want to consider is mounting your antenna on the rear mounted spare tire on the jeep.  I did that with the VHF/UHF antenna on my Wrangler.  The spare time had 5 lug holes, but was held onto the spare mount with three bolts.  I fabricated a bracket out of L shaped aluminum that I mounted onto one of the open bolt holes.  I slit the vinyl tire cover, reinforced the slit by sewing around it.  I then mounted the antenna on the bracket.  I just did a Google search of "Jeep spare tire antenna mount" and found a couple of unique ideas.  It looks like most folks had smaller antennas and mounted between the body and tire.  I had mine on the outside of the tire.  Look also at some of the spare tire bike racks.  That might give you an idea.

I think you might be happier with the antenna in the back.  You won't have to see it while your driving.  Plus, if you ever get in an accident some bad/smart lawyer might say your antenna blocked your vision.  Now if you're going to have it mounted only when you're off road....nevermind.

One other bit of advice with your mobile HF.  Make sure your radio, antenna, and tuner (if you get one) is very well grounded to the body of the jeep.  I used these grounding straps on the radio, tuner, and on the antenna...

http://www.autozone.com/autozone/accessories/Help-15-in-Universal-Ground-Strap/_/N-25ht?itemIdentifier=98830&_requestid=2420054

I found spots on the frame where I scraped the paint off, screwed and souldered the straps to make sure I got a good ground.  Good ground means good HF.  Also, if you are looking for a tuner, I am very happy with my LDG IT-100, works great with the IC-700.
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K0BG
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« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2011, 03:34:47 PM »

Adam, it might behoove you to spend some time on my web site.

Among other things I do, I am the Support Manager for BetterRF company, and its owner, Gerry Smith, W6TER. If you follow the directions which came with the TCSC, especially the motor lead choke, you won't have any problems, period!

Ron Douglass, NI7J, is the owner of Scorpion Antennas, and he is a personal friend. Eventual he'll be the owner of KØBG.COM, although it might not be called that after my passing.

Between the three of us, we'll make sure your installation is correct!
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KC7NFF
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« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2011, 03:38:10 PM »

KF9ZA,
  Thanks for replying to me.  My VHF/UHF antenna has been installed and in use since June.  I fabricated my own hood channel mount on the driver's side, I get really good performance from this location.  I did have this antenna mounted on the rear of the jeep using the spare tire location with a mount from Arizona Rocky Road and I found that I was not so pleased with the performance of the Antenna.  

  Also I have spoken to a really good friend/neighbor of mine concerning the mounting of my HF antenna off the front bumper as he is currently a police officer.  I presented that exact question to him of "If I was to get into an accident with another driver would it be bad for me to have the antenna mounted on the front"?  His response was "No" the reason "They (the Lawyer/Insurance) would literally have to drive the vehicle with the antenna mounted and prove without a doubt that the antenna was indeed blocking the view and caused the accident".

 I even showed him an example picture I had with a vehicle with an HF Antenna (Bigger than the one I have) mounted to the front of the vehicle in the same way.  He said that it would not even be considered in the investigation.

thank you for the link for grounding straps and advising me as to how to install them.  Also thanks for the hint on the Antenna tuner that will be a great help.



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KC7NFF
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« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2011, 03:43:22 PM »

K0BG,
 Thanks for responding.  I have been in contact with Ron since I have bought the Antenna and he has been a great help and I will utilize all three of you so that I may learn and grow with this new HF endeavor. 

A note on a the Better RF equipment for the IC-7000,  Do you think I will need another tuner if I have the Tune Control and the Antenna controller?  For example a LDG IT-100 or something like it?

Also I have spent a lot of  time on your website and it looks like I need to spend a lot more researching on it as well.

Thanks again.
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KC7NFF
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« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2011, 03:44:21 PM »

All of this information is awesome please keep it coming.  Any ideas for Mounts for HF antennas for Front Bumpers?
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WD5GWY
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« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2011, 03:55:20 PM »

K0BG,
 Thanks for responding.  I have been in contact with Ron since I have bought the Antenna and he has been a great help and I will utilize all three of you so that I may learn and grow with this new HF endeavor. 

A note on a the Better RF equipment for the IC-7000,  Do you think I will need another tuner if I have the Tune Control and the Antenna controller?  For example a LDG IT-100 or something like it?

Also I have spent a lot of  time on your website and it looks like I need to spend a lot more researching on it as well.


Thanks again.
No need for an Antenna Tuner in your mobile setup. The Better RF Tune Control and Antenna controller are all you need. What those two devices do, is sense the SWR of your antenna and move it to the correct position for the frequency you are tuned to.
They are different than an Auto Tuner like the LDG Z-11 PRO. The auto tuner does not change the length of your antenna like the controller(s) do. Do a Google search on Antenna Tuners and you will find some things that will explain the differences.
Good luck and enjoy your 7000. It is a great radio.
james
WD5GWY
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K0BG
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« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2011, 08:26:07 AM »

James is correct.

If you properly match the 680S (it does come with a shunt matching coil), there is no need to use an auto coupler to do any matching. And in fact, doing so could cause you to have problems.

Lots of neophyte amateurs end up spending money for devices they don't need. An auto coupler in a mobile is one of those expenses. Yes, you can use one to extend the bandwidth of an 80 meter monoband antenna, but using one to drive a monoband antenna to another band it isn't resonant on, is counterproductive.

Another useless mobile item, is a permanent wattmeter or SWR bridge. Once your antenna matching is finished, it is just another piece of hardware to find room for, and trouble shoot when it fails.
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KC7NFF
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« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2011, 11:34:35 AM »

You guys are great, You have just saved me a load of money.  I will be purchasing the Better RF Tune Control and the Better RF Antenna controller for the IC-7000.  Now I just need to focus on design of the Antenna mount.  Looking for websites or other information on antenna Mounts for heavy antennas that can stand wind loads at highway speeds. Then I just need to find someone to help me install and wire up the antenna properly.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.  For the install help I do not want to have to travel out of state besides to Spokane, WA which is only 35 mins from me.  So if anyone knows of anybody who does good work in my area and can assist me that would be great?
 
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K0BG
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« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2011, 02:34:10 PM »

Well, within the last three weeks, I've has a amateur from northern California, and one from Louisiana, drive to Roswell, for the exact purpose.
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KC7NFF
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« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2011, 05:27:14 PM »

Sorry K0BG, but I will not be driving to Roswell anytime soon even though my brother-in-Law lives there.  I sure appreciate your help and your wealth of knowledge.
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GOLDTR8
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« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2011, 05:59:24 PM »

Look me up on qrz and shoot me an email and I will send u pics of my scorpion on my jeep.

Also I use a turbo tuner with mine.

KD8NNU
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KC7NFF
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« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2011, 09:52:11 AM »

Anybody have any Antenna mount designs for my Scorpion Antenna?  I have already been in contact with REP Designs and they did not quite have what I need to be able to mount this antenna to the front bumper the way Ron at Scorpion Antennas suggested.  Any other Ideas?
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K0BG
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« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2011, 01:40:06 PM »

You're probably going to have to fashion one. It is a pain to be sure, but that is the state of the art at present. There are some specialty mounts like the REP bar that is used with the Honda Ridgeline, but that is an exception, not the rule.

The SA680 weighs in at 18 pounds, so whatever you do, built is stout! The few that I have seen, use the bumper support, which in some models will require that the plastic bumper cover be removed. At least one user used the top of the fender, after buttressing the underside with a braced aluminum plate.

By the way, there are military surplus units like the ones shown on my web site, but they're hard to find.
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KC7NFF
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« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2011, 12:09:55 PM »

Thanks Alan,  I actually bought the SA-680S (Shorty) which weighs in at 13lbs and I have a metal front bumper on my 99.  I will keep looking though and I do have the means to fabricate my own.  Just need a design to follow.  So if anyone has any ideas that would be great.
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