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Survey Question


Do you have any ham equipment you use or used regularly in a mobile environment? Details, please!

Results (835 answers)

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Survey Comments

VK ham.

Over the years I have travelled a lot in
rural and remote Australia and have a dash
mounted IC-2300 2 meter rig sitting on top of
a GME 80 channel UHF VK/CB band (476.4250 -
477.4125 khz) transceiver in my Ford Ranger
and an Icom V-8000 and another GME UHF in my
Mitsibishi Pajero.
My caravan (travel trailer) has a Kenwood TS-
480 Sat installed and I often take an IC 7200
AH-4 tuner along as well.
I carry a ZS6bkw for stringing up in good
locations otherwise my Terlin Outbacker 80 -
10 tapped whip is a quick connect on top of
my trailer.
I enjoy spending time in a remote location
scanning the bands and rag chewing.
Posted by VK2NZA on 2018-05-30


Kind of a mixture, since the radio is an HT, but the antenna and the cable, along with the pigtail, are more semi-permanent installations. I guess it would be even more permanent if I installed a battery eliminator and a mic/speaker combo handset. Now, plugging and unplugging all those would pretty much render the rig permanent, though, so I might as well install a mobile unit, and keep the HT for handheld use. If you spend more money on accessories than the radio costs...
Posted by ADAMELTETO on 2017-12-28

All in All

I have run mobile/portable since before
become licensed 'ham'
From the days of CB radio mobile and hand
held mobile....
Have run Ten-Tec, Yaesu, Kenwood, Alinco,
Baofeng..... HF, VHF, UHF
Ham-Sticks, Hustler Resonators, short outback
types, to screwdriver antennas... Today Yaesu
FT891 + Tarheel II on the trunk and TYT 9800
with mag-mount dual band antenna on the roof
Posted by KA8UGB on 2017-12-25

I have a very modern dual band (2M/440) radio and a scanner permanently in place, and a 900 MHz radio I can install as I wish. I still use them, though as mentioned there are lots of repeaters and few users found any more. And I sure wish FM simplex got more use.

My dualband radio has D-star, and although D-star repeaters are fewer in number, calls on them almost always yield a contact.

Hams are exempt from the new Oregon 'handheld device' law...
Posted by K7NG on 2017-11-15

The big issue in the Greater Cincinnati area is activity. There are few if any on the air EXCEPT the D-star and DMR systems and even then it is usually on the state wide Talk Group. Cell phones killed the repeaters here. At drive time there were several busy repeaters 20 years ago. The 145.350 repeater was busy nearly 24/7 as was the 145.19 wide area repeaters. 30 years ago the 146.67, 146.70 and the 146.88 were the place to be along with others. Now all I hear are crickets and the occasional ID'er. So sad.

Randy AB9GO
Posted by KB8ASO on 2017-11-13


Columbus Ohio exhibits strange propagation. There are a zillion repeaters to kerchunk and a lot of simplex to listen to. But there are no users! I think Columbus ground must eat RF. You could turn every repeater off and no one would even notice...
Posted by W9PMZ on 2017-11-13


Posted by W7WQ on 2017-11-12

HF from VK4

Had an IC-706 MK II G in a 4WD. Antenna was a HS-1500. At
night it was easy to make contacts as far as Colorado. On one
particular outback trip I got about 1,000 miles west of
Brisbane. Without ham radio there was no way to contact
anyone without driving a very long way.
Posted by K9RJ on 2017-11-12

Full Time Mobile

I became a RVer 20 years ago and always wanted to try
it. There is a myriad of articles on the subject. The more
you study up, the better it goes. My mobile station sits in
a class B Chinook Rv. The rig is an IC 706 Il G. I was
able to install a Ameritron M500 soliid state linear
amplifier for HF which can keep you competitave with
the "Big Guns". The HF antenna is a Tarheel screwdiver
mounted on the rear bumper. I added the TuneMax auto
tuner which takes all the work out of tuning. I use a
Diamond UFH/VHF vertical on a front door mount.
The mobile control head of the IC 706 allows for
operations while driving or back in the coach.
So if you are a condo dweller, this may be the way to go
and is a close to full power base station as you can get.
Feel free to contact me if you are interested in RV
Tom, KE6IB

Posted by KE6IB on 2017-11-10

HF and HT

I have a mobile rig I will use on trips out of town, usually handing out counties on 14.056.5. The antenna is a MFJ 20 meter mini hamstick. For a 3 foot tall antenna it does a fantastic job. I have worked about 35 different countries with it. Sometimes use one on 17m as well.

I have a couple of Baofeng HTs I use for bicycle mobile or walking mobile.
Posted by W5TD on 2017-11-09


Been doing HF mobile for about 18 years.

Started with a FT-817 then installed an IC-706G with a remote controlled LDG tuner about 8" from the antenna.
For antenna have a multiple of Ham/MFJ mono bad whips or just a random length whip. Have worked the world with 100 watts.
VHF, UHF an olds Austin metropolitan on a mag mount.
Posted by N1FDX on 2017-11-07


As an ex Oregonian, I 100% agree with the PO$ Oregon politicians Comments..

Put your gear back in the car.. According to this:

Amateurs are exempt.."Holds a valid amateur radio operator license issued or any other license issued by the Federal Communications Commission and is operating an amateur radio"
Posted by K7LES on 2017-11-06

been mobile a LONG time

Started 2M with a Drake TR-22 and a few xtals in the mid 70s. Started HF mobile with an IC-730 in the mid 80s. Had D-Star for a while the past 8 years. Now have an IC-7000 and am active on 2 and 440 a lot and when out in rural trips I use a 75 or 40 or 20 M hamstick on a mag mount.
Posted by W4FID on 2017-11-05


HF / VHF / UHF FT-897D

VHF / UHF Icom 207H

2m / 222 / 440 QYT China tri-band
just using this one for 222.

Hoping to add 900 Mhz within the next year.

I enjoy operating mobile. I don't spend a
lot of time on HF or 222, but I still like
having the capability. Ditto for 900 Mhz.
Yes, there is not much activity, but it has
to start somewhere, right?

73 all,
Dan, K9ZF
Posted by K9ZF on 2017-11-02


I have HF/VHF/UHF and APRS on 2 radios and 3 antennas.

73, Larry WB8LBZ
El Paso, TX

Posted by WB8LBZ on 2017-11-01


316 confirmed HF mobile.
Currently running K3/KPA500/Scorpion antenna.

Posted by NX7U on 2017-11-01

illegal in Oregon

An update on Oregons illegal distracted driving electronic device felony law.

The Turd lady rep who wrote the Oregon distracted driving law was stopped friday for texting and driving and all she got was a slap on the wrist.

Typical lying, sleazy, disgusting, turd politicians are immune to their own laws that they write while the rest of us law abiding sheep who have been using two way mobile radios while driving without a ticket for 30 plus years are not.

Yes it's very obvious that I hate Turd faced politicians.
Posted by WB8VLC on 2017-10-30

My days of driving around with multiple
radios amps and antennas in and on my car
have been over for years. New hams have
nothing to compare todays Ham Radio to.
For those of us who have been in the hobby
for decades we know what it was to have 2m
440 and 220 machines busy with round table
24/7 we remember 10 meter rag chews by
local hams. The truth is that modern
society has lost the art of conversation,
people prefer texting over chatting. Due
to this the machines and ham bands are
silent worldwide. It is what it is
Posted by N3WVB on 2017-10-29

VHF/UHF Mobile

Several others have made reference to the dearth of folks on
the bands. That is an accurate assessment. Given that many
of us are now retired and many new hams have been coming
on-board, I find it curious that the bands are so dead during
most of the day. Wish it weren't so!
Posted by N6RLG on 2017-10-28

Stored away

I still have a Yaesu 2m HT and Icom 2m mobile that hasn't been powered up in years. Maybe that is my fault and if more of us decided to utilize the bands like we did 25-30 years ago- interest would pick up. The active ops that I have spoken with in person are carrying the load and as newcomers themselves- they haven't been elmered as we were. This in turn has allowed some frustrating habits to be carried over from the CB/freeband era. I don't fault them totally, but SOME refuse to bury bad habits and have dug in their heels. I have listened to some newcomers and instead of embarrassing them on the air- I have sent friendly emails on what they are doing incorrectly. This approach has been received with mixed results and overall positive. It is frustrating to speak with a licensed amateur and observe they have almost no idea of what they are doing. Listening to a repeater is like fingernails on a chalk board. Perhaps it is time for us old timers to man up and get back on the air. It will take patience and these new hams need elmering. I'm blowing the dust from the Icom this weekend.
Posted by KN4RA on 2017-10-28

Mobile radio

I have a Motorola Uhf CM300 that i use mobile
around Chicago area>> Uhf repeaters are more
active here...AE9C
Posted by AE9C on 2017-10-27

Mobile Transceivers

I use an ICOM 2820H with the D-STAR board
installed & a 40 Channel AM/SSB mobile.I
have avoided so much traffic with the CB
Radio & people poor mouth them so badly.They
have a place but I don't keep it on &
monitor all of the time.I get information
there that I can not get from VHF,UHF,or
even HF.I leave one side of the 2820H on
scan as I travel so it scans the VHF/UHF
Simplex frequencies & all of the repeaters I
have programmed into the radio which
includes all D-STAR repeaters between
Florida & Nashville or Knoxville,Tennessee
where we usually travel.Those two radios
take care of my needs for communication on
the highways that I travel.I hear stations
on 2 meter simplex but I have never heard
even one on 440 simplex.Guess it's not very
Posted by W4KVW on 2017-10-26

7K opened up to cover all

Icom 7000 remote, Kenwood TM 221-4, Icom 22a's
Hustler mobile, and mag mount 2/440, High
1800 pro dc-daylight 5btv on the back of the
31ft Airstream Not much activity on the 52
2m road activity...repeaters only... 7K opened
up to also cover CB to listen to the truckers
for road condition. Lots of AS
trailer/motorhome people are starting to use
the ham bands for RV comm.
Posted by BOYSCLUBRADIO on 2017-10-24

Car toys

I am one of those guys that wants it all, and then once I have it I don't use it much... I have a cheap 25W china made VHF/UHF in the Jeep feeding a Comet SBB-5, and a nice home brew rear mount for anything 3/8-24 or 1/2-20 thread. I can run the IC-735 with hamsticks, a 10 meter rig, or a CB for Jeep events. BTW the 1/2-20 is for a full 1/4 wave 20 meter vertical antenna for stationary use. Yes, hilltopping at 10,000 feet in the mountains gets interesting mobile DX.
Posted by AF6AU on 2017-10-23

I only use 2 watt Motorola HT in the mobile.

Never need more than that for great coverage
if the repeater is working right.
Posted by N8EKT on 2017-10-23

2M activity

Over the last few years, it seems like 2M activity has dropped
even further. Last month I drove for a total 30 hours on
interstates through Florida, Georgia, and Alabama. I called
frequently on 146.52 and heard absolutely nothing. I have
thought about upgrading the rig in my car, but now I think it
would be a waste of money.
Posted by N3ZY on 2017-10-23

2 Meter Mobile and activity

My first radio was an FT290 and I used it
for years. But I have to say despite me
having a mobile in the car I can't
remember the last QSO I had. The
activities on the VHF/UHF have diminished
over the last couple of decades here in
the UK which is a pity.
One OM mentioned that HAM radio should be
about community and it may be an aspect we
should focus and build upon in years to
come to stop the art of radio coms from
dying out.
Let's try and build some communities and
support existing NETs and communities.

Posted by G7IDJ on 2017-10-22

Northern Wisconsin

Some repeater sites are government owned so
transmissions are censered. Do to this and other issues
repeated activity is nominal and rare.
Posted by KD6TWC on 2017-10-22

2 Meter and HT DMR

2 meters is getting pretty dead here in
Northern Illinois. Everyone is moving to DMR
except for storm spotting. Will probably
remove the 2 meter mobile soon since it
doesn't get used and sell it for something
nice in the shack.

Posted by W9JTC on 2017-10-21

My how time flies -

First mobile I used was a Gonset II in late 50's. Antenna was a halo. No comparison to a VX-8DR though!
Posted by N9JFG on 2017-10-21

Icom 706 MKIIG

Original Outbacker mounted on my truck
Posted by WD4CHP on 2017-10-20

The first radio I used mobile was an FT101B in
an F-250! Hustler antenna with changeable
single-band elements.

Years later I mounted a small VHF-UHF mobile
rig in another F-250. Nowadays I'm lazy and
just use a VHF handheld on the seat (with
external antenna of course).

Posted by N2MG on 2017-10-20


Mobile > 10 years:
SGC-237 antenna tuner
SGC whip antenna
1/4 wave whip on roof for 2M

Posted by AA4PB on 2017-10-20

Mobile Operation

Don't have wheels anymore,only mobile operation is new Yaesu FT25R on hip walking with Comet RH77CA 16" ant. on top. 73's KB3WGE, Tucson,AZ.
Posted by KB3WGE on 2017-10-19


706MKIIG, AH-4 tuner, Yaesu 8800, Jetstream
220, Motorola GTX 900mhz, Motorola Maxtrac
for APRS, and more Hts than any sane person
should have...with mobile charging cups for
Posted by N0FPE on 2017-10-19

Only VHF/UHF mobile

The only mobile operating I do is VHF/UHF FM.
I had an Icom IC-207H in the car for a long time. In fact, that rig outlasted 3 cars. Now, it's a Yaesu FT-7900R for a mobile radio.

I gave some thought about trying HF in the car. But I decided that might prove too distracting while driving. So I never installed an HF radio in the car.

73 de N8AUC

Posted by N8AUC on 2017-10-19

Useful company

2 meter is fairly active in my area of Va. Fortunate to have some repeaters atop high mountains for large coverage footprint. Radios are mounted on van's ceiling over right shoulder so custom tuning isn't possible while driving but I do have local repeaters and 6.520 in memory.
Posted by KJ4RWH on 2017-10-18


Interesting comments re. the state of mobiling out your
way…but I'm afraid that all I can say, simply, is "Welcome
to my world."

The province of Ontario --- a.k.a. "The Land of No" ---
here in Canada has enacted similar such restrictive
legislation. By letter of the law, even your happy-go-
lucky-free-as-the-wind CB radio trucker operator will be
considered to be little more than an evil & menacing
wanton felon in about one year's time…

Jail all those guys muttering their "10-4's" in "Smokey and
the Bandit" --- they're no better than organized
criminals…! And neither, by default, are Ham radio

"This, too, is progress…"
Posted by VE3CUI on 2017-10-18

IC 7010

IC 7010 replacing the infamous IC 7000 mobile
HF/VHF/UHF rig using SDR and a touchscreen.

Ok, just dreaming...

Hello ICOM?

Posted by AB9TX on 2017-10-18

Not much interest in mobile anymore

I had not used my old Azden PCS-6000 in years
so decided to install it in my Tacoma. I
quickly found I wasn't missing anything; not
much at all on local repeaters. I pick up
some distant repeaters with just enough
strength to break the squelch with noisy
signals. Drove to FL and back, almost 1500
miles monitoring 146.52 and never heard a
thing. My step-son is an EMT so I programmed
some emergency freqs into memory and hear
more activity there than on 15 other 2M
repeaters. I had once entertained the idea
of installing a 2m/440 rig in the car but it
would be a complete waste of money,
especially after hearing some of the
conversations on 2 meters. I did monitor a
nearby 6 meter repeater and there seemed to
be a nice younger group on there, some
medical students, etc.
I agree with KG4RUL; if you are on the road a
lot, a CB is better for traffic info, if you
can put up with the foul mouthed truckers,
Posted by WB4M on 2017-10-17

2M, 220, Occasional HF

Have a BTECH 2m/220/440 in the car all the time but in Nor Cal no use for 440 due to Pave Paws Radar preempting repeaters on that band. Lots of repeaters on 2M and 220 here in Sacramento area. On trips will use either my FT-857 or M0NKA SDR Clone with a Tarheel II to work HF. Back in 1980's, was a USMC Communications Officer and had a Kenwood TS-520 with the DC-DC converter installed in my Dodge Aspen Station Wagon. Rested it on the hump and the front seat and worked lots of DX. Had the Hustler mast with 5 coils for an antenna and a 2M rig with a 5/8 wave also mounted on the roof rack. The General for the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing called me his mobile Direct Air Support Center as he saw me driving around MCAS El Toro ;-).

Chris KJ6ZH
Posted by KJ6ZH on 2017-10-17

I have HF, 2m/440,220. Also have 2m in xyl's car. Very lucky the xyl will let me run the stuff even when she is in the truck (pick up) Radios are alinco Dxsr 8t and Yaesu 7900 Kenwood 321. Long ago ran ht on the Harley. Up here in the pgh pa area their is a lot of activity on the repeaters 2meters mostly then 440 6m and 220 tie for quietest.
Posted by N3GMN on 2017-10-17

illegal in Or

The Dumb a$$, useless, PO$ Oregon politicians with zero help from the useless ARRL made mobile ham radio illegal so I got rid of all my mobiles.

Any type of Mobile electronic device use is now a felony up here and on the same level as drunk driving with the exception being that politicians are exempt.

It won't be long before these turds will make everything illegal in this state except for politicians taking bribes which will always be legal.

I guess from my post it's obvious that I hate the useless turd politicians in this state.
Posted by WB8VLC on 2017-10-17

Mobile shack

I use an Icom-706 for 6-40 mobile. FT-8800 for 2meter/440 and an HT for 220. All antennas are mounted permanently.
Posted by NA5XX on 2017-10-17

Mobile Operating

Not anymore.
Posted by W2UIS on 2017-10-16

Good for NWS

Like others, I have noted the lack of activity on repeaters. Limited activity is especially a problem for me when traveling, mostly because of tone access and the difficulty in setting frequency, offset, AND tone while mobile in motion.
Still, I keep a 2 Meter or 2/440 radio in my vehicles to receive National Weather Service [NWS] broadcasts. They haven't been discontinued . . . yet.
Posted by K3YD on 2017-10-15

Mobile Operating

Many years ago I would travel to nearby states and ran a Heathkit HW-101 mobile mostly on 40 Meters. When driving back and forth to work I had dedicated VHF & UHF radios mounted in my vehicle, we had a group who would chat going and returning from work. In my newer vehicles, I just use a HT for 2 Meters and sometimes 70cm, no real place to mount a portable radio - most repeaters are quite all the time. I do monitor 146.52 MHz when traveling cross country these days.

How times have changed!
Posted by WA0TML on 2017-10-15

And CB

All of the above AND a CB radio! GASP!!!
When I am traveling, I have found that I can
more reliably get road information using the
CB than attempting to access local amateur
repeaters. Of course, the VHF radio is
always tuned to 146.520.
Posted by KG4RUL on 2017-10-14

2-Meter Mobile

I should just say I have 2-meter rigs installed in all my vehicles. Hardly ever use them anymore. No one is on. Repeaters are quiet most of the time.
Posted by K2DFC on 2017-10-14

Same as K2DFC said

As the repeaters in my area (and while
traveling) are dead as door nails I use it
mostly to monitor public service stuff.
Posted by K0CBA on 2017-10-14


I have a dual band 2m/440 with
220 receive mounted in my Civic
and a 10M mounted in my Durango.
Have a 2m/220mhz handheld I take
back and forth.
Posted by N3KBS on 2017-10-14

All of the above

Icom 7000 in the bracket, handheld(s) in the cup holders, APRS buried in the center console.
Posted by N3EG on 2017-10-13