View Full Version : Power and Antenna Suggestions for new Rig

07-06-2013, 11:55 PM
We just bought a new trailer(Passport 238ML) and are getting ready to go on our first trip. I want to take my Kenwood TS-480SAT with us so I can setup to use it when we go camping.

I do not want to drill any holes anywhere in the trailer or hassle with any kind of re-wiring. I am thinking the power supply and radio will sit somewhere in the trailer plugged into the 110(we will have shore power available where we are going). I am ok with running co-ax under the trailer door or down through a storage opening to the outside.

So...here's the question: Anybody have any recommendations for a decent mobile HF antenna that is easy to setup and take down? 10 to 40 meter is prob ok. It would be nice if it also did uhf/vhf although that is not necessary. I am ok if the solution includes my class IV hitch on the truck. I do not want to string wire in trees and do a long wire.

Also, any recommendations for a good inexpensive power supply that can stay in the trailer? I do not want/need to hook anything to trailer battery as we do not do dry camping.

07-07-2013, 05:30 AM
Given the parameters you've laid out, the MFJ-1662 is the first thing that comes to mind , possibly on a "clamp on" Mount either on the hitch or off the rear frame / bumper .
I would also recommend taking along a ground rod and some #10 stranded wire to help the antenna and a SWR Bridge of known repute .
As to power supply's, It won't hurt to connect to the house battery with a good trickle charger to keep it topped off , but most of the HAM type PSU's will do well as long as what you get is rated to carry the TS-480 ( check E-BUCK and Craigs List in your area, sometimes you can get a good deal there) .
The above is pretty basic (quick & dirty) and low cost, you will just have to decide for your self how you want to modify (refine) the operation from this point , there is no "one size fit's all" here , every install is a bit different according to taste / operating parameters but you will just have to play with it to see what fit's your stile.
I will suggest that you try it out at home quite a bit before taking the system on the road (campground) so that you can see just what needs to be changed or tweaked and you have tools and or parts available to do so.
73, John

07-07-2013, 07:10 AM
Many RV converter/chargers and battery maintainers are noisy (electrically) that maybe some thing you might want to try at home first even if you use a quiet supply for the radio you still might pickup noise from some switching supplies. My converter is noisy on the higher bands so if I'm plugged in I switch off the converter while I play radio and run on the battery till I'm done. I have used my screwdriver antenna still mounted on the truck with coax from the camper with reasonable results.

07-07-2013, 07:39 AM
Hi ???. Welcome aboard. I use a Tarheel screwdriver attached to the rear ladder on my RV. Ground it to the frame. Can't go down the road with it hooked up but you probably wouldn't want to do that anyway. I also use a Comet CHA 250 occasionally. Same hook up.

07-07-2013, 10:37 AM
I have a bunch of the military fiberglass mast....i am starting to think some kind of tripod and maybe an Ultimax-100 http://www.ultimax-antennas.com/services.html

I am really looking for something easy to setup, tear down and that I can store in the trailer......I have a roof mount dual bander on the truck for the UHF/VHF....I am just looking for something easy to do 10/12/17/20M with.....

I appreciate any and all input.......

07-07-2013, 05:08 PM
I use the fiberglass masts when I have the room I made a rotatable dipole that I can use on 10,12,15 and 17 to change bands I do have to take it down and change the element length but its a full have wave on all the bands. 40 and 75 I have a dual band wire I made with ladder line that goes at the top of the poles (26') in place of the rotatable dipole in an inverted V but then I need 120+ feet!