View Full Version : Permanet (sort of) VHF/UHF install in the 5th Wheel

07-21-2009, 07:10 PM
Well, it's about time. I've had the trailer a year and the Kenwood TM-V7A has been laying around unused for even longer than that. :sleep:

So while I was cleaning out the technology end of the man cave. I came across a nice little dual band mag-mount and the shoebox of TM-V7A stuff. Being nice weather outside and tired of cleaning the man cave, I thought I'd try installing the antenna at least.

So I stuck the antenna right on top of the pinbox, right over the pin. That should help hitching up too, right? Ran the cable up the face of the pinbox and through a little crack I found up there. Then using "C" clamps (that's what I always called them, anyway) ran the cable across the underside, down by the landing gear switch and into the battery vent. (My batteries are sealed so they don't really need a vent.) Note the drip loop!! Sliced into the vent hose, ran the cable through and taped over the slice really good with vinyl tape. Then found some plumbing and other stuff to secure to and almost reached the back of the entertainment center. Found a 15' length of coax and at first was peeved at wasting 8' of cable, but now I can disconnect at that point and run some other kind of fixed antenna, such as a beam, should I ever need to. (I do some ARES stuff. You never know.)

I took the telephone plate off the back of the little box in the entertainment center, ran the extra coax through there along with the power cable. Luck would have it I had a brand new Kenwood power cable laying around. Added more wire and went direct to the batteries. Used several ferrite cores as hash filters.

Plugged everything in, worked great! The radio's speaker sounded awful inside the cabinet so I added an MFJ outside the cabinet. Much better audio. (Also just laying around unused) Hung the mic on one of those "Command Hooks" by 3M, so I could change my mind.

Why didn't I do all this sooner? :hammer:

The radio isn't mounted yet. It's just on rubber feet and anti skid mat. I'll think more about mounting later.

Enjoy the pics.

One Country Boy
07-21-2009, 10:39 PM
OK, neat install Wade. I like the fact that you can quickly change antennas if the need should arise. I have a small 3 element 2-meter beam I have considered packing in the RV.

I was out this afternoon, attaching some 1 inch, tinned copper braid to my antenna mount on the roof ladder. I ran it down the backside of the ladder to a bolt on the frame. I hope it will improve my signal as well as the reception on HF. I found the ladder is not much of a ground. Not much to it but I'll try to get a pic or 2 up.

07-21-2009, 10:55 PM
The thing is, I had all this stuff laying around...never spent a dime on the project.

Sweet Wife likes to put her purse in that little box, so the radio might get mounted to the top of the box. This would put the radio right at my standing eye level. That's probably going to be OK because it will usually just be used to contact the truck or HT when one of us is away from the camper.

Did you know you can make a microphone extension cable out of CAT5 cable and a RJ45 butt connector? (For Kenwoods with this type of microphone, anyway.) Neat, huh?

One Country Boy
07-22-2009, 01:26 PM
I need to do as you were doing, clean out, clean up and organize. I've got radio stuff packed away in several different places I probably need reminding of.:whistle:

I had not thought about the CATV5 cable. I've got a couple of Kenwoods with that type connection. Matter-of-fact, I have an Icom that also uses that type connection. I think. :think:

How did I ever let anyone talk me into buying an Icom ?:hammer:

07-26-2009, 03:20 PM
I have that exact same antenna on my MH, only I eleminated the mag moung and stuck it on the side with an L bracket. My MH is a 1977, so I really don't mind drilling holes :)

08-26-2009, 03:14 PM
Well, in the previous version the radio wasn't screwed down, just sitting on some of that anti-skid stuff you put in your cabinets. So here's the final result, the radio resides at the top of the box, mounted, with external speaker because you just can't hear the thing stuffed in the box.

And the wife can keep her purse in there, again, as well. :whistle:

Also note the blue colored CAT-5 cable. Using that and a RJ45 butt connector, for connecting 2 RJ45 cables, the mic can be extended so that a person napping on the couch doesn't have to get up to answer a call on the radio. The wife likes that, too. :poke:

The other picture shows the minimal overall impact the install had on the entertainment center as a whole. The little green bin is velcro'ed down and that's where the remote controls for the TV and Concertone live.

10-24-2010, 05:34 PM
Did you ever get around to mounting the beam?

10-24-2010, 08:15 PM
Did you ever get around to mounting the beam?

No. If the trailer were ever pressed into use as a mobile comm center for ARES or some such, the beam would be up on some fiberglass army surplus mast sections I have.

It just there is a place in the antenna cable where the beam could be connected in, in under a minute, without having to rip any thing apart.

I have a 7 element 2m beam I paid $15 dollars for about 30 years ago, and I don't think I have used it for the last 25 years.