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Old 12-17-2008, 09:59 PM   #1
WB4VYH
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Default Where to put the Ham Station

I have only had my Class A Motor Home (a '97 HR Vacationer 32 ft) for a bit over a month, however I go in it about every day in an effort to learn how to ring all the bells and toot all the whistles in a proper manner. So far so good, as everything seems to do what it is supposed to do!

I am also trying to decide where to install the ham station when the time comes! At this point I am considering the dash and also the wall behind the co-pilots seat. I have a choice of 2 transceivers, a Kenwood TS-50 or an ICOM-706 MkIIG. The '706 is in the lead because I can remote the control head, and it is pretty much all bands/all modes! So it would leave more room for a laptop as I enjoy some of the digital modes.

I would appreciate hearing about how you guys did it and why you did it the way you did. I have found hams to be a V E R Y resourceful bunch and I am usually impressed by their ingenuity!

Thanks,
Al
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Old 12-18-2008, 06:55 AM   #2
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There are many places to stick a ham rig.. I do not have a driver's side door so the wall beside the driver's seat features a Kenwood TM-733 (Also a pair of CB's and assorted other stuff) I bolted (Screwed) a finished length of slightly trimmed 2x4 to the wall and that's what I mount the radios on, Very solid.

The rig is a bath & a half model so just now I'm sitting on the throne, in front of the Kenwood TS-2000, listening to the breakfast club on 3973.

There is a spot in the bedroom but wife would not like that.

I did build a "Riser" to mount the radio, basically a plywood box, brings it up so the display is just below eye level as I type. the box's inside dimension is 9 by 12" so it holds, among other things, the OWNERS MANUAL for the TS-2000 cause. trust me, you don't want to be far from that book with all the features that radio has
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Old 10-07-2010, 08:08 PM   #3
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I have not installed my rig yet. In fact I don't actually have my RV yet, but we will be full-timing by the end of the month if all of the stars align correctly! I am planning on mounting a 2m/70cm beam on a push up pole with a rotor on the back bumper. My XYL is also a Ham (extra class too!) So I can get away with mounting the yaesu 7800 in the bedroom. I also plan to remote the face and a speaker all the way to the drivers seat. Will post photos soon.
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Old 10-08-2010, 06:38 AM   #4
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I would suggest that you take a look at the Yeasu FT-857-D, head unit is a bit smaller than the 706 , the display is configurable to match instrument lighting and the 857 doesn't have the "BUGGS" that the 706 seems prone to.
One word of caution with either rig, keep the head unit / display out of direct sun light, U/V radiation can wipe out the display.
Some people don't seem to get along with the 857's "button system" but I have been using mine in my pick-up for several years now and have no trouble at all switching band's / modes on the road at highway speeds, it's like anything else, you just have to get used to how the radio "thinks".
Current set up in the MH is IC-2100 for 2 meters on the dash and a FT-450 hf on the apron next to the instrument cluster , but would not hesitate at all to switch to a 857 if I could find one cheap enough.
73, John
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Old 10-08-2010, 09:12 AM   #5
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Arrgh (Stupid computer holler)

Ok, to topic.. With a small residence where to put the radio is a good question.

Consider many things before you grab screwdrivers and drills... I will list a few.

When I was a young man and never been kissed.. I had what is called an "Efficiency" apartment (Basically one room plus a curtained off bath) I mounted the radio to the night stand next to the bed/couch and that was great.. However somehow I think that now that I live with a wife...... That might not be such a good plan.

The Cockpit area (Driver/passenger seat) makes a lot of sense, very comfortable chairs designed to be sat in for hours on end.. BUT. 1: Driver's side is a bit cluttered already and what's more.. It gets real HOT up there even with the curtains drawn and the A/C on full when parked in full sun.

My rig is a "Bath and a half" model.. the counter in the half turned out to be just right for a Kenwood TS-2000 and that's where it's bolted.. Easy access to the cable runs for running cables. The 12 volt fuse panel is .. Well it's really in the bathroom wall (Bottom of the cabinet no less) so easy access to 12vdc at up to 80 amps continuous (Surge to over 160) I cut a "Vent" (Like the vent for the stove hood) into the wall and that's the feed through for cables (It is a bit more complex than that and may get even more complex later but that's where it is) and it is a room with a built in "Chair"..

Plus if I'm in a net and as you know as the NCS says "Go ahead ____ and stand by YOUR CALL" you suddenly feel the urge to visit another room... Well that's where you are all ready so you don't miss your turn.

Signal sounds crappy?... Just flush.

It is a bit.. close quarter though.
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Old 10-08-2010, 09:36 PM   #6
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We ordered our 5th wheel because of the layout being "radio friendly"

We took out one of the swivel chairs and replaced it with a home made table designed to hold a compact radio station. When not in use the station packs away under the bed without a trace. There is a feed through in the cabinet wall and another inside the cabinet through the floor. The feed through is made of 2" PVC pipe with rubber caps at each end. Any arrangement of any kind of cable will fit through there.

This pic was set up as a "beta test." Because nothing is screwed down the station adapts to any number of needs and positions. Note there aren't any cables in the feed through (round hole near outlet) for this set up. Just seeing if my design is workable here.
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Old 10-08-2010, 10:01 PM   #7
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I installed mine in the bedroom, it's all mine and close to the antenna and power sources.
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Old 10-08-2010, 10:25 PM   #8
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Here's another couple of views of the ham station in action. One on Dauphin Isand, AL. the other at Ft. McAlister State Park, GA
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Old 10-09-2010, 07:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WD8QBQ View Post
I installed mine in the bedroom, it's all mine and close to the antenna and power sources.
That is a beautiful installation! Can you please elaborate on the antenna mount? Is it automatically actuated?
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Old 10-11-2010, 09:34 PM   #10
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The antenna and base are both Tarheel products.

The Lift and Lay base is Stainless steel and I welded additional pieces to it to span the ribs of my coach.

The antenna is tuned up and down with the push of a rocker switch as is the raising and lowering of the base, both 12v. Both are supplied with everything to be functional except for the fastening hardware and sealing compound.

The engraved panel was ordered hastily and was miss labeled. Some day I will have a new one made to read INDOOR RADIO and OUTDOOR RADIO, all my antennas are outdoors, Ha, Ha. I intend to have an outdoor station as well, using the same antenna, thus the label.

The radio is powered by a 30a switching power supply and both are mounted in a vacant space behind finished cabinets. The previously posted picture shows the radio head recessed in a cabinet that can be closed, this did not work well.

I removed the door and pulled the face out to the front at an angle. I like it much better.phpfBLnqUPM.jpg

phpkkTlIlPM.jpg

JIM
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