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Author Topic: Need Ideas/Rig for Portable Ops from a Parked Car  (Read 1297 times)

Posts: 38

« on: June 28, 2008, 06:20:26 PM »

This web site does not have a Portable Ops forum.

So please bear with this posting on the Mobile forum.

I have operated portable a few times before from inside a relative's house or from inside a hotel room with my very heavy Kenwood TS-930S, Buddipole, and 100 ft of coax.

I would like to try operating portable from inside a parked car say from hotel parking lot (when it would be impossible operating from inside the room) or from an Interstate HIghweay rest area, National Park, etc.

I do not want to permanently mount the rig in the car.  I might operate mobile once a month.

What rig is suggested for such portable ops? Icom 706 MKII, Icom 7000, or a heavier portable rig say Yeasu FT-897D?

I envision the DC power wire and coax passing through a partially open window and the cracked sealed with a towel if cold or rainy outside.

I suppose I will need to start the car frequently to keep the battery charged so that I can actually leave the site when finished operating.

I will appreciate any ideas and advice.

73, de K5RFF Ray

Posts: 101

« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2008, 07:13:36 PM »

-----by K5RFF on June 28, 2008

I suppose I will need to start the car frequently to keep the battery charged so that I can actually leave the site when finished operating.-----

You could always use a second battery (either wired or safely trunk-mounted) to power just your radio gear.  

Many of the emergency communications oriented folks already have some sort of back up battery capacity, so you could find more opinions from them on battery type, capacity, etc.  You can keep it charged at home and be ready for power outages, then take it out on your trips and get double use out of it.  

Posts: 10248


« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2008, 05:25:50 AM »

Just how serious you are dictates what you spend, and on what.

As for the radio, the answer is always the same. Buy the one that suits you, your needs, and perhaps your fancy. Buying someone else's opinion is sure to disappoint.

Vehicles don't make good ground planes, so any antenna you use will be a compromise. Using a buddy pole is a magnitude worse than any decent HF mobile antenna.

If you go QRP you could probably operate for hours with no problems, except for the fact it is difficult to make QRP contacts, and with an abbreviated antenna adding insult, the CW bands are your only good resource.

Visit my web site, and look around for ideas.

Alan, KØBG


Posts: 625

« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2008, 08:40:36 AM »

I have used a K2 with internal auto tuner and internal battery (you can also use the cig lighter).  Ground the rig to the car body.  Run a random piece of wire out thru the window or sunroof to a tree or other support.  Its not great, but its quick and dirty and will make QSOs when bands are decent.

If you want to go with more power, I would suggest an IC-7000 (or similar) with an auto tuner and separate AGM marine battery (gelled electrolyte non spillable).  Use the same random wire approach and ground to car body.

A more complicated approach that I use with my ic-7000 is to use a mobile screw driver antenna.  I have it mounted on my RAV-4 on the spare tire mounting feature.  I take the spare off and put it in the back.  Then mount a mobile antenna.  I have a 12Ft MFJ whip I add to the screw driver when parked.  It makes the total antenna 1/4 wave on 17m.  Of course it is not the best mobile set up, but it works pretty well as a quick to deploy and selfcontained station.

My advice is to start with some simple ideas and experiment until you get a setup you are happy with.  Its part of the fun.

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