My HF mobile.

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k9rzz

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About a month ago, I bought an Icom IC-706 because I've been spending more and more time in the car and less time at home, so I never get to turn a radio on anymore. I gotta tell you, after 30 years in ham radio, doing just about everything in the hobby ... this is really fun!


Here I have the control head mounted just above the CD player in my '04 Subaru Outback Sport:



There is a slot for sunglasses right there, so I carved a piece of wood to fit and mounted the head on it. Piece of cake! (i.e. I got lucky
).

Initially, I just had a 2m 5/8 wave mag mount and listened to the repeaters and some fire/police, but that quickly got boring, so I bought a Workman Hamstick antenna for 20 meters and found a place on the hatchback to mount it.

The antenna is only $20

http://www.aaradio.com/cartfile/Catalog_Site/HF_mobile.html

and I use the Comet CP-5 3/8-24 trunk lip mount which is about $60 (but worth it):



Now, some webpages say that this antenna is no good, but it gets good reviews on eHam:

http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/4754

This past two weeks I finally got it all together and have worked a few guys on 20 ssb while driving around and actually worked the 9X0R Rwanda DXpedition on 20 cw after going cross country skiing ... I was still parked at the ski trail! Whoa!

Hmmmm ... I wonder if I can work 100 countries and qualify for DXCC?? There isn't a special endorsement for mobile, but I'm game anyway, so this weekend was the CQ World Wide WPX contest for SSB and I tried to see what kind of DX I could work on this crowded band.

Saturday I worked a bunch of South Americans and a few in the Carribbean while driving to the grocery store, or the post office, but it was a struggle. I wanted to see if going by the great big Lake Michigan would help me nab some Europeans.



Yeah, I've still got my snow tires on.

From this spot, I could hear the guys in Europe well enough, but they just couldn't quite hear me.

I moved up the hill, so now I'm about 100 feet above the lake and maybe 1/4 mile inland:



This was better ... I could get the guys in the states ... but those pesky Europeans were still not copying my peanut whistle signal.

http://hometown.aol.com/J999w/too+weak.wav



I drove on ...



This is about 2 miles north of the last spot, and now I'm pointed downhill ... towards Europe. I'm hoping that tilting the antenna towards the horizon will improve my signal by a db or two. I'm not exactly making their ears ring over there now, but at least they can hear me (barely):

http://hometown.aol.com/J999w/S50K.wav


At the end of the month is the CW weekend of this contest ... I should have no problem working them then with the narrower filters used (less QRM). CW ROCKS !

So that's my mobile set up. The only police action is them wondering what the heck kind of CB antenna that is and the only trunking going on is in the antenna mount.

CQ DX !!
 

KB9E

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Lisle, IL
Awesome!

Awesome install...very clever on the mounting of the IC-706. It looks VERY clean!

73,
Gregg/KB9DBC
 

zz0468

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Are you running 20 meters only? I use a Hamstick 20 meter antenna also, but it's fed by an SGC237 auto tuner. It works great on 40 meters and up, and half decent on 80.
 

k9rzz

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With the exception of this past weekend, I haven't heard any propagation on 15 meters or above to warrant worrying about those bands. I have listened to stuff below 14 mhz and it hears ok as is. In fact, on my way to work each night at 1030pm CT, I listen to New York weather radio on 3485khz with the top whip removed so I can get into the parking structure. I can still hear them fine.

 

k9rzz

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While driving around town yesterday at 2100z, I had All India Radio comming in at S9+20db with good copy in English. Listening to India, direct, while cruising around town ... how cool is THAT? Looking forward to more sunspots.

 

k9rzz

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MrRevesz said:
Oh I like that a lot! Very nice... what do you have the radio hooked up to power wise?
Too embarasing to photograph.

I put that radio in when it was below zero, so the cable comes from the battery, under the hood, and through the passenger door.

Yikes!!

It works and I frequently check it to make sure that the insulation isn't being rubbed through. Will fix that when it warms up above 45 degrees.

 

nexus

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Kilo 9 Radio Zebra Zebra....

That's a nice setup you got there. I have an Yaesu FT-100D that I would like to install in my Impala some day. Run some 20 meter mobile stuff. Regarding your question about DXCC, as long as you remain within 50 NM of your home QTH you're ok. But if you travel beyond that, the stations you work won't count for ARRL DXCC.

Have you given any consideration on how to hide the control cable, and the microphone cord? I was thinking a small RJ-11 with thin modular telco cord and you could slip it under the radio and through the crack and then relocate the microphone somewhere down the console. I'm not sure on the control cable though.

Otherwise, for a quick and dirty install, hey, if it works what the hey! Sounds like you were hearing the Spain and Slovenia station just fine.
 

n9mxq

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Ohhhhhhhhh Another antenna to consider...and in my price range too... I'm running the 703+ for a mobile.. for now... Like what you've done with it...I'm curious as to where the body of the radio resides....If even temporarily....
 

k9rzz

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The radio itself sits on the floor, behind the passenger seat. It gets plenty of air to keep it cool, and it doesn't slide around in corners. I can hear the built in speaker just fine, no need for an outboard speaker.

The microphone can be plugged into the back of the rig, and the stock cord is plenty long to reach from the floor, so that one is easy to hide ... I dunno ... I don't mind a wire or two in view myself. The CW paddles (rig has built in keyer) , when I want to use them , I put on the passenger seat. It's easy enough to reach over and plug/unplug them when needed.

I mentioned that I use the Workman Hamstick antenna on 20 meters. It worked 'ok' stock, but the coax that comes with it is _real_ tiny, has a goofy coax connector (SMA/PL259 combo??) and I didn't have much confidence in it. I mean, I could work guys in 3 or 4 calls, but it didn't seem right. So, I swapped it for some RG58 with a _real_ PL259 and it seems to work better. Instead of getting USA contest stations in 2 or 3 calls, I get 'em first call. (20 meters).

It's a lot of fun though. If the ham bands are boring, I've got plenty of shortwave broadcasters to listen to. Comming home from work in the morning I've got Radio Australia or Radio Japan. In the afternoons, there's Nigeria on 15,120 or if conditions are good, All India Radio (in English) on 11,620. Even with the 20 meter antenna, I can listen to the 75 meter chat nets in the late afternoon. I like the U.P. net on 3921 or the Teenager's Net on 3945khz. Not sure the car clock is correct? Tune in WWV and set it exactly!

All that, and I'm not stuck in the basement!

 
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rcvmo

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Romulus, Mi.
Saweeet!!
I have one question, how is the resolution of the screen affected when you have the control head facing directly out? I had to angle mine slightly toward the driver's side to get a good res. Same when for the ATV RX Video Monitor and 2m/70cm mobile.
rcvmo
 

k9rzz

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The only problem I have reading the monitor is with polarized sun glasses. A tilt of the head is required at times, no trouble otherwise. Of course, I have that same problem with my digital camera (but worse).
 
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n9mxq

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k9rzz said:
The only problem I have reading the monitor is with polarized sun glasses. A tilt of the head is required at times, no trouble otherwise. Of course, I have that same problem with my digital camera (but worse).
I have the same with the 703.. There might be a way around it, but I haven't gotten the nerve to tear the head unit apart.

On some polarized devices there's a sheet of polarized material over the screen. Rotating this 180 degrees changes the polarity and may make it work with sunglasses. Then there's the removing it altogether.. Like I said, I haven't been brazen enough to tear into my new toy.
 

n9mxq

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Did you do any extra grounding to the antenna mount?

I ordered an 80m stick similar to yours, put it on a Diamond mount on the lift gate of my van (not the best place) and my 703 won't tune it ANYWHERE.. Not even on 80 meters.. However, it will tune my K40 10m mag mount. I worked Canada the other night on 40 meters this way.
 

af5rn

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n9mxq said:
I ordered an 80m stick similar to yours, put it on a Diamond mount on the lift gate of my van (not the best place) and my 703 won't tune it ANYWHERE.. Not even on 80 meters.. However, it will tune my K40 10m mag mount. I worked Canada the other night on 40 meters this way.
Wait... you're working 40 meters on an 11 meter antenna? This is something I have actually been wondering about myself. I have wondered what HF range I could expect to work reasonably well with a quality, well ground-planed, 11 meter antenna, utilising an antenna tuner. Anybody else have experience with this? I'm just not sure if even the automatic antenna tuner is capable of safely pulling that off for transmission.
 

n9mxq

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The 703plus has a built in tuner.. I pushed the button, and it said the antenna would make muster.. Keep in mind the 703plus is a 10 watt rig.. I don't think I'd try it with my 706MKIIG and AT-180 setup...

I worked VA3CCO during the Ontario QSO party, 10 watts from just south of my house. Was my first contact HF mobile, and surprise the snot out of me that he heard me. I haven't had much opportunity to work alot of HF mobile yet.. A 3 minute drive home from work kinda limits time...

Could we get a mod or admin to split AF5RNs post and my reply to a new thread? I don't want to hijack the original thread. Thanks!
 
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