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Author Topic: Mobil Antennas  (Read 10224 times)
W4JJA
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Posts: 23




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« on: July 24, 2012, 05:57:40 PM »

I am purchasing a FT 450d to use in my Ram 1500 pickup.  The bands I am interested in are 20, 15 and 10 meters. What do I use for an antenna?
I don't want anything large and high.
Thanks,
John
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WX7G
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Posts: 6129




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« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2012, 06:31:30 PM »

For 20-10 you don't need a big antenna to put out a decent signal. I like the ATAS-120 because it's not big and with the FT-450 it autotunes. It's great for following the propagation as you drive. I'll start at 10 meters and work my way down the bands to find the one with the best propagation.

If you don't want to spend that much money and you don't mind being restricted to one band at a time the MFJ Ham Stick like antennas are good.
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W9MMS
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Posts: 121




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« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2012, 06:36:35 PM »

John, I won't tell you what to get as an Antenna. What I'll do, is let you choose your own Poison. pay a visit to Alan's site ......
 www.k0bg.com

I'm hoping that in you visiting Alan's site, you will come away learning more than just about Antennas, and more about Ham Radio in a Mobile.
I've myself and others has gathered so much info from there.
Best of luck, and Happy Trails


(((73))) Milverton
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AD4U
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Posts: 2173




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« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2012, 08:25:57 AM »

John you have been given good advice.  Go to K0BG's web site.  Operating HF mobile in itself is a challenge and a compromise when compared to a "base station".

Typically a HF mobile antenna that "works well" is not small and low.  The really good HF mobile antennas are typically large, high, and ugly.  The REAL Texas Bug Catcher is one example.

That being said, you can get by with smaller antennas on 20-10 meters.  Just don't expect too much and don't get frustrated when other stations occassionally cannot hear you.

Dick  AD4U
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AC4RD
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Posts: 1235




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« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2012, 09:26:56 AM »

One more vote for k0bg.com; it's a fantastic resource for new HF mobilers!

I'm active on 20-10 from the car almost every day.  I've been very pleased with Hustler resonators and DX Engineering masts.  I have homebrewed cap hats on the resonators, and typically use less resonator than standard, for a bit more efficiency--that is, I use an RM-15 on 20m and 17m, an RM-12 on 15m, and an RM-10 on 12M.  And no resonator on 10m, just a whip with a cap hat.  Each resonator is tuned for the band and has a quick-disconnect, so to change bands, I just pop off the resonator that's currently on the mast, and pop on the resonator for the band I want to use.  Many people think that's cumbersome, compared to a screwdriver, but IMO it's cheap and effective. 

GL and have fun! 
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AC4RD
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Posts: 1235




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« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2012, 04:04:23 AM »

John, one other thought:  like so many other people, I started with a simple "Hamstick" antenna on a trunk-lid mount.   Hamsticks and their clones are often available cheap at hamfests, used, and it's a very inexpensive way to try mobile HF.  They aren't very efficient on the lower bands, but for 20-10m, Hamstick-style antennas work pretty well.  They would let you get started on one band, add another band or two as you want, all at fairly low cost.   73 GL!   -ken
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W5DXP
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« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2012, 06:32:05 AM »

http://www.w5dxp.com/bugstick.htm
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73, Cecil, www.w5dxp.com
The purpose of an antenna tuner is to increase the current through the radiation resistance at the antenna to the maximum available magnitude resulting in a radiated power of I2(RRAD) from the antenna.
AC4RD
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Posts: 1235




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« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2012, 10:33:36 AM »


That is just flat-out NEAT, Cecil!  Smiley    I started playing with something like that a year or two ago and never got anywhere with it.  Seeing those photos, I'm real tempted to pull it out of the garage and give it another try! 
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N6AJR
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« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2012, 08:05:32 PM »

I have an ATAS on the car, small enough to get in the garage, and a ATAS on the truck for ease of tuning and a DK 3 also on the truck for 80/160 m ( I have a huge coil for 160. alans site has some great info, and ask your friends too, I love mobile radio.
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W5LZ
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Posts: 477




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« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2012, 05:51:38 AM »

John,
'Practical' antennas for the bands you specified are pretty easy to find.  Of course it depends on what you mean by to 'large' and 'high'.  The possibilities range from a single adjustable antenna to three single band antennas.  So which kind 'fits' your qualifications/limitations?  How about a larger than needed adjustable antenna just in case you wanna do a lower band later?  Your qualifications won't be the same as mine so I won't waste our time making any recommendations.
Have fun!
 - Paul
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G7DIE
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Posts: 65




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« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2012, 03:58:35 AM »

Along similar lines to Cecil's antenna, here is a modified hamstick with 5" diameter coil, along with various tapping points from 20 - 10m:

G7DIE Big Coil mobile antenna

This antenna is good for around 60mph, too much above that and it leads to electrical failure (open circuit) of the antenna mount, of course a very strong headwind leads to the same problem and vehicle speed needs to be adjusted accordingly, the electrical failure is a good indicator I'm over-stressing things, rather that than a complete failure of the mount Shocked
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AC4RD
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Posts: 1235




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« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2012, 09:21:45 AM »

G7DIE Big Coil mobile antenna
This antenna is good for around 60mph, too much above that and ...

That is one SERIOUS coil!  Is that made of copper tubing?

A 60mph limitation wouldn't be acceptable in the USA, y'know.  Not even on roads marked as no faster than 45mph.   Wink   I drive the 65mph speed limit to and from work every day, and get passed by 80% of the other cars on the road, some of them going MUCH faster than the limit.
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G7DIE
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Posts: 65




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« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2012, 01:24:42 AM »


That is one SERIOUS coil!  Is that made of copper tubing?

A 60mph limitation wouldn't be acceptable in the USA, y'know.  Not even on roads marked as no faster than 45mph.   Wink   I drive the 65mph speed limit to and from work every day, and get passed by 80% of the other cars on the road, some of them going MUCH faster than the limit.

It is indeed copper tubing, vehicle brake line tubing Wink The speed limitation is due to the type of mount I use, as you can imagine the coil creates a fair amount of drag at speed and begins to howl at around 65mph (depending on head wind) and it's around this speed where my mount went open circuit. As for motorway / freeway speed, 60mph is about as fast as I drive, I have 120 mile round trip to work, that equates to mucho dinero in a year, so I try to keep the miles per gallon to around 60+, that said, my everyday antenna is a screwdriver with 6' whip, now that's been tested to in excess 0f 100mph (on a closed test track of course Shocked )
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W2RSA
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Posts: 17




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« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2012, 03:43:34 AM »

John, another idea that I plan to play with on my GMC 2500. I have recently aquiered an ATAS 120a however with all the bad I've seen posted here my first attempt will be single band antennas made by opek (I know I know) the most convienent idead that came to mind to accomplish this (with either Antenna) is to install a back rack/pro rack, not using the saddle mount model but the bolt on with the two corner bolts grounded to the frame with braid. 40 meters on one side and 10 on the other as well as a 2/440 on the flat bar over the brake light cut out. No adapters just drill and mount. Good luck in which ever idea suits your needs. 73
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W9MMS
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Posts: 121




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« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2012, 03:52:08 PM »

How many of you guys think you actually answered John Question?
John asked a simple question.
His question is a very genuine question.
However, There are some of us who has choose this opportunity to go off on a tangent , and even sometimes off into the Theory of Relativity.
Let ask ourselves the question? 
Are we helping the OP and his/her question.
Or, is it just an opportunity to TOOT our own Horn?
How many times has the original question Morphed into something else other than what was asked?

Just an observation!


(((73))) Milverton
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