Open Roads Radio forum for Ham, Amateur Radio and RV camping


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Old 11-21-2007, 10:43 AM   #1
KEJF
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Default What antenna(s) do you use?

The title says it all.
I am experimenting with a screwdriver, but use HamStixs most of the time.
When camped for a while, I often use a random length of wire thrown over a tree and a tuner. Boy I can't wait for the Solar cycle to start swinging up!
I also want to hear from any users of verticals, tilt-up, or what have you?
My current mobile rig is an Icom 706Mk II G. I plan to some day go full-time and then move the base rig, Kenwood TS2000, to the RV.

73 de Jerry,
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Old 11-21-2007, 11:22 AM   #2
radiow6lar
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Default What I'm using now.

We have an 2006 Aljo 225LT for our present RV. I set about to get the usual stuff put together for mobile ham radio ops when we first bought it. I settled on a High Sierra 1800 for the antenna system. As I certainly don't operate while in motion I placed the mount at the top of the rear ladder. When we are stopped I just climb the ladder and drop the 1800 in place.

I ran the coax and power out through the refer cabinet. So far its working really well.

On this issue I got to tell you I have one very understanding and supportive XYL. She's a Ham too but thats another story. The control cable and coax connector are mounted on the lower face of the bench seat for our dining area. The radio/laptop/etc. goes right on the table and the radio connects to the bulkhead coax connector. Its really nice to "tune" the antenna when its 30 degrees outside or raining from the comfort of a nice warm RV.

Performance wise so far its been pretty good. I did have to add some capacitance to the base of the antenna mount when operating on 80M.

I run an IC-718 in the RV and have an IC-706 MKII with a High Sierra SideKick on my TV. Also use VHF/UHF and 6M so I do have two smaller antennas on the TV along with the SideKick.
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Old 11-21-2007, 12:07 PM   #3
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I am running an Astatic AST 6BTV HF Portable Antenna 4 band (10, 15, 20 & 40 or 80 meter). I picked it up at our local Hamfest. It is not very flat on each band so basically you have to pick a frequency, tune the antenna to that frequency and you are stuck with it. Not very good for contesting but I don't do that anyway. I also use the TS-2000.

I intend to come up with some other antenna solution in the future and I look forward to the ideas that show up on this thread.
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Old 11-21-2007, 02:08 PM   #4
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When I do island hopping I use a homemade 20m bazooka and a beat up old Butternut vertical someone gave me. The Butternut breaks down pretty well and that bazooka will work the world at 30 feet up!

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Old 11-21-2007, 04:50 PM   #5
Richard Stouffer
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I've rigged an MFJ fiberglass mast to the ladder. It tops out around 35 feet. I run about 38 feet of 16 guage wrapped around the mast. An Icom AH-4 tuner is at the base of the mast. I get decent results with an Icom 7000. It is a bit of a fuss to set up, but it does get me on the air. It also attracks a lot of attention.

I set up the radio in the main cabin slide at the dining table and had the dealer run the cables through the raceway under the slide. I'm using 213 coax and it took them almost 8 hours to install it. Now my problem is grounding, both DC and RF. My motorhome is fiberglass on an aluminum frame. I've popped the GFI a couple of times running the 7000 barefoot. I'll probalby have to take a copper rod along and stick it in the ground and run a braided cable to it. Next trip will be to Florida at Christmas and I'll try doing that when I'm there.

Richard, WU5K
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Old 11-22-2007, 06:07 AM   #6
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While in motoin I use hamsticks. While parked for a few days I use a Hustler 5 band
verticle mounted to ball hitch and slid into the receiver of the MH. I have rigged up
a ground from the frame to the ball hitch, works very well.

Ben
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Old 11-22-2007, 08:13 PM   #7
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I am still Experimenting (I like playing with antennas) In Motion I am currently not using anything I can not drive and work HF at the same time. (VHF I have a Diamond dual band)
Parked I have a hustler 40-10 Trap Vertical I've never used, plan on installing it when next time I go camping, I have a CB whip which the KAT-1 will load on 80 meters, I have about 25 feet of copper pipe with a CB whip on top (around 35 electrical feet) again the KAT-1 Tuner loves it. I have a few lengths of wire (25-100 foot) and can even string them together (And the KAT again feed them)

I plan on putting a six meter vertical INSIDE the rear cap (Fiberglass cap) and possibly using it mobile.

I plan on putting a railing along the side of the roof.. (Copper pipe to the KAT)
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Old 11-25-2007, 12:55 PM   #8
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On the road I use a 2 meter radio on 146.52. Next time I go out I am gonna start calling CQ on 52, I think we are all listening instead of talking.. On the TT I use a Outbacker Outpost with a Outbacker Outreach on it. It does okay. If we are at a place were I can get a wire up, I carry 3 wire antennas, a G5RV, an 80 meter dipole, and a 40 meter dipole, they work great. I had my dealer run 2 coax cables to a panel on the outside of the TT before we brought it home. I made the cables up and he installed them for me, did a real nice job. So now I have on the side of the trailer, cable tv/sat tv hook up and 2 antenna hook ups, looks real good.
Alan
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Old 11-25-2007, 07:04 PM   #9
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I put one of the standard stove vent hood vents in the side of my motor home next to where I mounted my TS-2000, I'm planing on doing a machined aluminum insert for it next summer (When I finish paying my body and metal man) with feed through fittings for at least half a dozen coax cables. 70-cm, (May use bnc for this one) 2-mtr (bnc or Pl-259) 6-mtr (PL-259) and "Other" (Have not decided what I'm going to hook to those, likely a G5RV JR to one of them) and a six position coax switch on ANT-2 inside, ANT-1 is the KAT-1 Random wire tuner on the back of the ride.

IF you notice that this is more switch positions than I'll have coax (The 2 mtr and 70cm antennas are different outputs on the TS-2000 you are right, the remaining 2 Switch positoins are 1: 6mtr verticle that's going UNDER the rear cap (False rear) and 2: Cantenna (A good old heath cantenna, Need to get me a gallon of oil though)

The cantenna is going in a box under the rig coax up through the floor to the switch, Same hole will carry the cable to the 6-mtr whip mounted on the frame at the rear. I have the antenna, just need to hook-'er up.
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Old 11-27-2007, 09:02 PM   #10
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This will be helpful as I'm looking at ways to go mobile with the RV. I have seen a few that string up a G5RV and go. others with screwdrivers and all sorts of portable rigs.
Ken
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Old 11-27-2007, 09:46 PM   #11
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When I'm mobile I use a 102" whip tuned with Icom AH-4 tuner and a IC-706mkiig. While camping I have a work in progress, I bought a Buddipole and use the IC706mkiig.

I first used the Buddipole on Field day while camping in the mountains without trying it out first, bad idea, old Murphy had his field day. I set up and fired up the radio just before field day started. I had a s9 noise level coming form the Generator, so turned it off, I then found out that the Computer to radio interface USB also caused noise on parts of the band so I disconnected it, man I wanted to use that logging program. I then had a lot of RF feedback that was giving me a false SWR reading and I adjusted the Buddipole to short. Needless to say I heard a lot of stations but had a hard time working a dozen of so stations all day.

On my next camping trip I fixed some of the problems, I bought a MFJ-269 antenna analyzer and found out it was RF feed back causing my problems with SWR, I coiled up half the coax into a 5" to 6" coil and then everything loaded up ok. On the radio interface I added some ferrite beads to the cable and now it is quite. I have bought the parts I need to filter the Generator just need time to get it done. I have also bought parts to build a balun/unun for the antenna. Work in progress, but I will get a good portable station soon. On my last camping trip I made contacts all over the US and had no problems getting operators to answer my CQ and got good signal reports. Can't wait until this new sunspot cycle kicks in.
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Old 11-28-2007, 05:24 AM   #12
Richard Stouffer
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By the way, I found a flag pole mount on the internet that you bolt to the ladder. I cannot remember the name of the outfit, but you should be able to find it through Google. It's two peice. The lower portion is for the bottom of your mast and the top is a slotted sleeve with the slot at 45 degrees or so. You simply place the mast in the top and then pivot to the vertical and insert the bottom of the mast into the base. It makes raising my 33 foot mast a snap. I think it cost around $60 and I'm sure most of that is in marketing expenses.
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Old 12-28-2007, 11:42 PM   #13
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Default Antenna for my RV

Okay

I value the opinion of you folks and would like to get a few clues.

I upgraded to General in July....really didn't do much in HF. A little 10m, and a little 40m....not much of anything else.
I my house I have a IC706MKIIG hooked to a At-100Pro.
I think it is RFing back to it's self. A friend put the antenna wire in the attic. But I haven't been up there to look at it.

I would like to get a good screwdriver to use in the RV or maybe get another ah4 Icom tunner like I have in my pick up and use the 706 in the RV.
I live in a Condo so the HOA Nazi's frown on antennas. But I do have a UHF/VHF antenna up. and they don't say anything about it.
I was looking at the High Sierra Trailblazer set up. But that's a lot of bucks to shell out.
For what that would cost I could almost buy 2 of their Sidekick antennas. Mount one to the RV and mount the other to the pole my uhf/vhf antenna is on. and then just move the 706 between the RV and the house.

Any suggestions.
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Old 12-13-2015, 10:51 AM   #14
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I am old school and build my own antennas. My favorite bands are 40 and 75, I am getting ready to build a very long vertical which will be a full 1/4 wave on 40. It will have a very large home made coil in the center for use on 75, optimized for the highest Q possible. It is made of .250 copper tubing and is 5" inner diameter and about 5" long. When using 75 it will also have a large capacity hat to reduce needed inductance in the coil. The base will be 2" aluminum tubing from old 2 meter beams, about 15 feet long. The part above the coil is an old CB 5/8 vertical, telescoping aluminum, around 17 feet long. The mount will be on the pinbox of my 36' fifth wheel. There is no metal in the body or roof of the trailer. It is going to be VERY narrow banded with the high Q, but highly efficient (for an RV).
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