Question for the Early Risers…

k1sah

Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2007
Messages
25
Location
Lynnwood, WA
Why didn’t I think of Light Rail construction… of course!! See? This is why I ask questions of the group. Thanks for the great answer.

Good guess on large wind farm components. The irony is on the west side of the state like we are… the MANY environmentalists love the concept of renewable energy. However those same folks are NIMBY people. They want the cause without the affect. So no large wind farms here… there ARE large ones in Eastern Washington.
 

k1sah

Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2007
Messages
25
Location
Lynnwood, WA
Thanks for the compliments on my truck!

It’s a 2015 Ford 150 Lariat.

The external display is a direct feed from my ICOM 7000. I carry a deployable larg aluminum mast with drive on base. It gets me about 37 feet up so I can run a 135 foot dipole fed with ladder line to a balun and coax. All of that stashes nicely under the back seat. I drive to MUCH quieter places to do HF contesting and such. The Ipad serves as a logging system in this configuration.

The Ipad is also connected via WiFi to control the Uniden 536 scanner which is also connected to GPS and a healthy local programming scheme that took me weeks to properly set up. Now the systems and departments turn on and off within a mile of entering the geofenced coordinates I created, painstakingly, with rectangle based parameters for each city and county.

The Uniden 980 SSB is aligned to an NMO 27, trimmed perfectly via antenna analyzer.
The microphone port is also connected to Uniden’s wireless microphone speaker combo I keep clipped, when not charging, to my overhead sun shade.

The VHF XTL5000 at the top is my ham rig… but doubles as an amazing receiver for local stuff still in VHF: P25 State Patrol for divisions 2 and 7. Airlift NW is also P25. I also monitor certain Marine channels and a Snohomish county S&R repeater that are analog.


The “console” is home brewed out of a piece of lumber. I honestly can’t remember what I used for the wood. It’s thick enough to support the weight of all the radios. The XTL being the heaviest. My neighbor is a Boeing contracted engineer who has a broad array of very cool measuring tools. He could measure every twist and turn to my center console to create a template for me. I’m not much of a woodworker… but I could jigsaw out the shape and the holes for the radios to sit in. Not pretty… but all the nasty cuts are covered by Jotto Desk faceplates. The big issue on this mini rack was the aesthetics… I rattle canned it black and it looked like sh… it looked terrible. So after some head scratching I took it to a local boat shop and they were able to wrap it in a thin vinyl that almost perfectly matches the interior of my rig. I had to sand off juuuuust a little bit all the way around so the additional thickness of the vinyl wouldn’t interfere with a tight fit. It was quite the project from start to finish and I have little to no patience so I worked on it fairly nonstop to get it right.

So… with the radio “guts” sitting inside the center console… heat became a big issue for me. So, where it’s very difficult to see I hole sawed out two holes that are covered by small 12v fans. The IC700 is NOTORIOUS for being susceptible to even low levels of heat and my double fan system seems to work just fine. I don’t rag chew often either in VHF repeaters or on HF so the heat sinks don’t get very hot anyway.

I paid off my truck a few years ago… and because of all these mods I’m not even CLOSE to considering a newer model. I am going to spend the equivalent of a payment or two to fix up some scratched paint. Mainly from my 9 year old and his friend’s bikes. Ugh.

It’s certainly been a labor of love that I’ve gotten a lot of enjoyment from both static at a quiet location or in motion.

A lot of hams ask me why I don’t implement a screwdriver antenna… but HF in motion never really interested me. Too distracting… and with ALL that gear in there already… that’s really saying something.

The best part, really, is.. because of my fan system… I can close the center console and still be able to control radios via the iPad, external screen and, in the case of the XTL and the 7000, via their microphones.
 

RFE01

Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2016
Messages
9
Location
Everett, WA
I work in Bellevue and can say it's very likely going to be the Light Rail project, probably near the BPD station. I'm always seeing semi's carrying large pieces of equipment near there off NE 6th St as well as 110th Ave.
 
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