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General Discussion of preventative/corrective maintenance and other technical issues regarding your coach that are not covered in other Mechanic's Corner categories (ex. refrigerators, water heaters, and compressors).

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  #1  
Old 08-05-2018
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pairodice pairodice is offline
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Default HAM radio and antenna

Just got my technician’s license (past the test) yesterday and while I am awaiting my license to show up in the FCC database I would like to find a great antenna to put on our coach. Unfortunately we don’t have a nice ladder to mount the antenna to like a Wanderlodge (I miss Mauvelous some times)...
Any suggestions for antennas that would work on the roof (aluminum) or on the fiberglass rear cap? I was looking at some of the motorized rigs but not sure what really works. We want to do Emergency mobile comms for Red Cross disasters and storm chase. What radios do ya’ll recommend please?
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  #2  
Old 08-05-2018
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Randy Dupree Randy Dupree is offline
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If your going to do storm chasing the antenna may need to be on the bottom of the coach.
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  #3  
Old 08-05-2018
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I like my yaesu radios. I believe you'll need a 1/2 wavelength antenna if you plan on attaching it to the fiberglass as they don't require ground planes if I recall correctly. You're best bet is to get as much metal as you can underneath still. http://www.k0bg.com is the holy grail of mobile radio installation.
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Old 08-05-2018
Harold,Cat&Sam Harold,Cat&Sam is offline
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Congratulations . We have a 1/4 wave on the roof that works great. The more metal around it the better. I changed out the mount for the cb antenna to a NMO mount and used the existing cb coax. Our 2 meter radio is a Kenwood tm281a.

Our HF radio is an old Icom Ic-735. I use a couple of different antenna configurations for HF. Last year on the trip to WOG , we talked to a friend in Arkansas on 40 meters the entire trip . Once set up at a campsite , i usually switch the antenna setup to 75 meter where i visit with a group each morning. I ran only 2 meter for 9 years and then got my General license last year . HF radio is great .
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  #5  
Old 08-05-2018
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How do you have your HF antenna set up going down the road?
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  #6  
Old 08-05-2018
Harold,Cat&Sam Harold,Cat&Sam is offline
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Default HF antenna

The best performance while in motion is a dipole running the length of our trailer. I have also used a 102" steel whip with a Wolf River coil , I run this setup daily on my pickup .
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Harold n Cat McMullen
Sam 10 year old min schnauzer
Mooringsport, Louisiana
318-553-4186
1994 BMC 37' "Sold"
2004 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
1986 F150
KE5WCW
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  #7  
Old 08-05-2018
mrkane mrkane is offline
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Congratulations!


The US amateur Technician license allows operating on a small portion of the 10m HF band at reduced power plus the 6m and UHF/VHF bands. You will need a radio/antenna system which covers that spectrum. A full HF setup will only be useful after upgrading your license.

Recommendations will be dependent on the type of operating you want to do. For example, storm chasing typically requires local communications using the VHF/UHF bands---that is, 2 meters. For Red Cross emergency comms, one may want to reach outside the affected area which calls for utilizing HF bands---typically 20m daytime and 40m nighttime.

Will you operate in motion, or only after parking? (I travel alone, therefore for road safety reasons only operate while stationary.) RV park sites generally have very limited extent, which necessitates a small footprint as can be obtained with a screwdriver or vertical antenna. For in motion operations from a tall coach with fiberglass end caps, an antenna mounted on the toad connected to the coach via coax could be subject to fewer constraints.

Other considerations might be how often you change locations and how much set-up time is acceptable.

A multi-band HT connected to an external VHF antenna on the coach and a 10m (CB-type) antenna on the toad might allow you to get started cheaply. My radios are older models, Yaesu VX7R and Yaesu FT8800, but could be a starting point for shopping.


There are mobile operations forums on QRZ and eHam. Alan, K0BG also answers email questions related to topics on his website k0bg.com.



--M.R.Kane, kb1jtb/m
1987 PT40 'Sleipnir'
currently near Elmo, TX



===================
Presently, my focus is almost all DX on HF. I have a Scorpion SA-680 mounted mid-ships on my roof, with a Flex 6500 transceiver and Elecraft KPA-500 amplifier. In my Chevy K3500 pick-up toad is a TenTec Eagle HF transceiver connected to a 20m vertical mounted on the hood hinge. I don't 'chase' storms. I prefer to be parked when they occur, so the VX7R uses an external 5/8 wave 2m whip mag-mounted to the side of the coach or on the roof of the truck.
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  #8  
Old 08-05-2018
konehd konehd is offline
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Check to see if you have a cell phone option. Both the '87 I owned and my current '93 had a smo mount on the roof, with coax and power hidden behind the dash.

That should work out great for VHF.


HTH, Joe
kc6utr
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