Open Roads Radio a forum for Ham / Amateur Radio and RV camping

Go Back   Open Roads Radio a forum for Ham / Amateur Radio and RV camping > Amateur Radios > Antenna Solutions

Antenna Solutions portable dipoles, verticals, multiband antennas for life on the road.



Recommend Open Roads Radio to your friends on Google
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-26-2011, 10:01 PM
N7ULC N7ULC is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 3
Default Cameleon Antenna on RV

I recently purchased a V2 Cameleon brand antenna and have it mounted to a pole about 20 feet off the ground and attached to my ladder for support. I've run ground braid from inside in back of the radio out to a gas line pipe but haven't as yet grounded the antenna it's self. Seems to hear pretty well but swr is not as good as I would like. I run an 857 with a y100 tuner just barefoot. Any ideas as to how to improve the out put performance?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 08-26-2011, 10:09 PM
W6ZKH's Avatar
W6ZKH W6ZKH is offline
ex-K6YDW
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Tulare, CA
Posts: 62
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by N7ULC View Post
I've run ground braid from inside in back of the radio out to a gas line pipe but haven't as yet grounded the antenna it's self.
I do hope you a 'joshing' about connecting it to a gas line......I cant tell you how many codes I believe would be in violation with that setup. I believe that gas line (Propane?) if on an RV is isolated from the chassis via rubber mounts, at least everyone I ever owned did, which doesnt provide any method of ground, RF or electrical.. Run that ground strap to the frame or chassis, which is at least going to some sort of ground via the Shore Power line, even though marginal, sure better than an 'explosive' ground...

73 de John W6ZKH
__________________
Head Wrangler John W6ZKH
Chief Cook/housekeeper Connie
Mess makers Bailey & Gretchen (dogs)
2002 Dodge 3500 Diesel-Dually
2011 Forest River Wildcat 313 5th wheel
Icom IC-2800 Dual-bander in truck
Yaesu FT-1900R 2M Xcvr in RV
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-27-2011, 06:53 AM
W5DOK's Avatar
W5DOK W5DOK is offline
Old Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: In Gods country
Posts: 221
Default

I have my antenna on a short pole that just clears the roof line of the motor home, attached to the rear ladder for support. Both antenna and pole are grounded to the frame of the coach. The radio (Icom 736) is not grounded. My SWR is flat across all bands without using the on board tuner in the radio. The antenna that is up today is a Tarheel 200 screwdriver, and it talks to whatever it hears. Output from the Icom is a flat 100 watts. When I'm where I have a little more room, I mount my Comet CHA 250 to the pole with the same results. This setup works well for me.
Doc
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-27-2011, 07:06 AM
W9WLS's Avatar
W9WLS W9WLS is offline
Senior Blame Catcher
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Oakland City Ind.
Posts: 222
Send a message via Yahoo to W9WLS
Default

The Cameleon V2 IS a "COMPROMISE" at best antenna, do'es it work...... well sort of .
A good ground is the key factor with this antenna , another factor is the tuner used with it .
There is only so much you can do (or expect to do ) with a 102" radiator no mater what the tuning system.
IMHO you would be much better off with a long wire (43 foot or better) than this antenna, I wouldn't exactly call it an "AIR COOLED DUMMY LOAD" but close.
There is no one "PERFECT ANTENNA" especially where mobile operation is involved, but you can do a lot better with a lot less $$ involved.
__________________
DE: John W9WLS
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-27-2011, 10:43 AM
Radio's Avatar
Radio Radio is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Fayetteville, GA, USA
Posts: 2,101
Default

N7ULC...

Welcome to ORR.net. Feel free to jump right in and join the ruckus.
__________________

KU4OJ "Wade" Ships Captain, CFO, Chief Engineer
KG4DQQ "Kathy" 1st Officer, Navigator, Best Friend
2007 F-150 SuperCab - 2008 (or 2009??) Rockwood 8280SS!!
Lot's of mostly Kenwood stuff
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-27-2011, 07:01 PM
N7ULC N7ULC is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 3
Default Cameleon Antenna

Well today I took the ground and connected it to the frame of the RV, didn't improve SWR but probably a better ground. Also grounded the antenna it's self to this same braid. I'll try disconnecting grounds from the radio etc. and see what if anything that does for me. Last resort I have another antenna to try out that is more or less a folded diapole type.

Thanks for the info and feedback so far at least has given me some options to try.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-28-2011, 07:13 AM
W9WLS's Avatar
W9WLS W9WLS is offline
Senior Blame Catcher
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Oakland City Ind.
Posts: 222
Send a message via Yahoo to W9WLS
Default

I guess in all fairness I should say, these antennas do work too some degree.
They don't do too bad on 70cm- about 12 meters , but for the rest of HF are very finicky and narrow banded when you can get them to tune.
I have had 3 people locally ( within a 50 mile radius ) that have bought these things, followed the instructions to the letter and been very unhappy with the end result and fought them to the point of nearly making a pretzel out of them .
I have had "HANDS-ON" experience with all three and cannot say that I would buy one for for anything beyond a single band antenna (a little pricey for that).
__________________
DE: John W9WLS
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-28-2011, 11:41 AM
W5DOK's Avatar
W5DOK W5DOK is offline
Old Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: In Gods country
Posts: 221
Default

The problem that we have as RVing hams is space. At the home QTH, I have a Thunderbird TH7, a SteppIR, a 640, and various and sundry other antennas that cover a lot of geography. Unfortunately, I don't know of a single RV park that would allow me to put up one of these antennas, so I'm stuck with trying to make do with something small and portable. At the last field day that I attended, one of the guys brought in a tower in the back of a trailer and erected it. Worked great, but not very practical in a RV situation. The very best that we can do, for the most part, is to assemble a compromise antenna that will allow us to communicate. As always, I'm very appreciative of all the suggestions and ideas that you guys furnish. BTW, last night, I talked to Southern Italy off my screwdriver on 40 meters. Not too shabby for a glorified dummy load.
Happy travels.
Doc
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-29-2011, 06:16 AM
W9WLS's Avatar
W9WLS W9WLS is offline
Senior Blame Catcher
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Oakland City Ind.
Posts: 222
Send a message via Yahoo to W9WLS
Default

Nothing wrong with a "screwdriver", I use a TH-2 on the pick-up behind the 857 and it work's fine.
The good thing about screwdrivers is that they are easily tuned , and if worked against a good ground they do a fair job.
I'd like to try one on the house (all steel) just foe the sake of doing it.
__________________
DE: John W9WLS
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-29-2011, 04:52 PM
KE5ZRT's Avatar
KE5ZRT KE5ZRT is offline
Super Swell Guy
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Amarillo
Posts: 273
Send a message via Yahoo to KE5ZRT
Default

As a full time RVer I am using a set of Homebrew hamstick ripple antennas. They take up very little space and the MFJ HamTennas only cost about $15 each. Of course the shortened dipoles are a compromise but the the advantages are:

No ground plane issues
No real estate required
Can be used without a tuner
rotatable for directionality (I rotate mine manually)
Simple push up pole will do fine
Super low noise

The disadvantages:

Will not perform as well as a full length dipole
Manual antenna changes to change bands
Not a good idea for mobile use (keep your screwdriver or 102" whip for that)
__________________
Extra Class Amateur (Ham) Radio Operator, VE, SKYWARN Storm Spotter, ARES Volunteer, TSA Security Officer, Full-time RV dweller (Amarillo TX for now), webmaster www.PanhandleARES.org, Married to ke5zru!

Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:21 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Content of this site is property of the author of each post.