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Author Topic: Mobile antenna for 10-80M, brands, experience, good & bad info needed  (Read 2479 times)
KB8BAB
Member

Posts: 101




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« on: December 11, 2012, 04:42:41 PM »

I want to go mobile.....
2003 Dodge Grand caravan
Icom-718 w/tuner.
Looks like if I want 10-80M, I'll need a "screwdriver type" of some sort?
There are quite a few antenna manufacturers out there, Tarheel, Hi-Q, Eliminator, Scorpion, High Sierra....all claiming  that their product is the best.
Seen pricing anywhere from $300 on up (sky's the limit). In the end I'm no further ahead after looking at all these brands.
So....
What are you using, the good and bad, customer support, performance and quality...

Any info will be greatly appreciated!

73
Bart
KB8BAB
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M6GOM
Member

Posts: 914




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« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2012, 05:05:45 PM »

Forget 80m...all you'll do is prove QRP works.

My choices would be Scorpion and then Tarheel. High Sierra AFAIK are no longer making them.

I have a Little Tarheel II which works fine for me with a 72" whip. Its not the most efficient but it gets out OK and because I can get it on the roof of my car probably works better than a large screwdriver poorly installed on a tow hitch.
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WA2ONH
Member

Posts: 255




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« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2012, 05:26:42 PM »

Everything about MOBILE operation is at the K0BG site

LINK: http://www.k0bg.com/

This site is dedicated to mobile amateur radio operators, old and new alike. Whether you're into HF, or VHF operation, I trust the information presented will increase your enjoyment of our great hobby.

With safety as a byword, there are articles on amplifiers, antennas, bonding, impedance matching, installing hardware, mobile equipment, noise and RFI abatement, wiring, and much more. I do my best to keep these articles up to date, and easy to follow. Any changes are reflected in the date at the beginning of each article.


Good luck.
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73 de WA2ONH dit dit    ...Charlie
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"No time is ever wasted that is spent LEARNING something!"
WX7G
Member

Posts: 6076




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« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2012, 11:57:51 PM »

Bart, as M6GOM says the roof is the place to mount the antenna. This means a small screwdriver on the roof rather than a large screwdriver on the bumper.

The Little Tarheel II is 54" fully extended. Your Dodge is 69" tall and the total height would be 123" plus the mount. If you can give up 80 meters the Little Tarheel HP would provide better 40 meter performance and about the same performance on 20-10 meters. Like M6GOM you can replace the 56" whip with a 72" whip for better performance. That puts the top of the antenna at 142" plus the mount.

I have a Tarheel 40A (90") mounted on the roof of a Kia Soul and the top of that antenna is 156" and I have no height problems other than I cannot use fast food driveup windows (that's a good thing).

I work CW and DXing while mobile on 40-10 meters is what I enjoy doing.



« Last Edit: December 12, 2012, 12:08:16 AM by WX7G » Logged
K3VAT
Member

Posts: 715




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« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2012, 02:48:31 AM »

I want to go mobile.....
2003 Dodge Grand caravan
Icom-718 w/tuner.
Looks like if I want 10-80M, I'll need a "screwdriver type" of some sort?
There are quite a few antenna manufacturers out there, Tarheel, Hi-Q, Eliminator, Scorpion, High Sierra....all claiming  that their product is the best.
Seen pricing anywhere from $300 on up (sky's the limit). In the end I'm no further ahead after looking at all these brands.
So....
What are you using, the good and bad, customer support, performance and quality...

Any info will be greatly appreciated!

73
Bart
KB8BAB

In addition to the above postings, a good place to start is eham product reviews.  Each of the above mentioned antennas are covered.  There are HUNDREDS of reviews on these.  Suggest that you spend some time and go through and see what folks are experiencing - that's the best way I know to answer your questions.
http://www.eham.net/reviews/products/12 GL, 73, Rich, K3VAT
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KB8BAB
Member

Posts: 101




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« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2012, 04:09:29 AM »

Thanks everyone, some good info to start with.
73
Bart
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WZ2P
Member

Posts: 6




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« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2012, 06:37:55 PM »

I can't comment on the screwdriver type antennas, but I agree with others that 10 through 40 meters is about all you should work towards in a mobile on HF.  The experience I can share is regarding my Chevy Silverado 8 foot bed quad cab truck.  I have an IC-7000 using an Icom AH-4 automatic tuner and a stainless steal 102" whip.  The AH-4 would directly interface to your rig and provide excellent, and I mean excellent mobile operation.  For me it tunes 6 meters to 40 meters very quickly without hassles.  The antenna is cheap, (20 or 30 bucks) the tuner is around $300.  This is likely the same money you'll spend on a decent screwdriver type antenna.  The only thing I don't like about the screw drivers is the overall look on a vehicle, otherwise everything I've heard is good about most the ones you mentioned. 
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K5KNE
Member

Posts: 65




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« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2012, 11:23:29 PM »

Consider this.  You won't be jumping around between bands after the new wears off off of being mobile HF.  Depending on the time of day you ham and conditions you will likely settle down and stay on one band.  Something as simple as the single band hamstick antennas can work well if you get them tuned to your part of each band that you like. You need an antenna analyzer to really do a good job of tuning an antenna.

Keep looking at what other hams are using and ask them about how they like their antennas, what else would they like, and who seems to have a good mobile signal. 

Good Luck  Walter K5KNE
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WN2C
Member

Posts: 451




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« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2012, 03:50:32 AM »

Bart, I am a little prejudiced as I have just installed a Scorpion 680 on my 06' Silverado.  It works great!  Actually I may not be prejudiced but impressed.  It is truly plug n play the way Ron has things set up with it.  Yes they all will work but how well do they actually work? The dummy load on a stick will get get you maybe 40 khz on 40 mtrs and 50 to 60 on 20 mtrs.  A screwdriver lets you tune pretty much the hole band.  As far as proving that qrp works, well it does and 75 mtrs can be a lot of fun mobil too.  Yes you need a lot stronger mount for the Scorpion than the Little Tar Heel II, but it will IMHO work a lot better.
Oh and did I mention that it comes with a lifetime warranty.  Which of the others does that?  One other thing... which antenna do you think will work better?  An antenna with a 3 inch coil or one with a 1.5 inch coil?  It's all about Q.  Well good luck with what ever you decide.   

de wn2c  Rick
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AC4RD
Member

Posts: 1235




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« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2012, 03:50:40 AM »

Look on eham's "Mobile" forum--this has been discussed a lot, including right now in a thread entitled "Hamstick, Hi-Q or Tarheel 40 or 75"

Walter's advice is good, in my opinion.  And I'd suggest that a hamstick is a good way to get your feet wet in HF mobiling--inexpensive and decent performance on 20 through 10.   If you do a good job with the 3/8x24 mount, you'll be able to use it for a screwdriver later if you want.

I'm using a hustler system with a resonator and quick-disconnect tuned for each band on a 54" DXE mast; as Walter said, I know what band I'll be interested in when I get in the car, so it's easy to pop on the resonator for that band.  Inexpensive and easy to experiment with!

73 GL  --ken ac4rd

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