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Advice on mobile HAM parts and install

  • 20 Aug 2017 7:48 AM
    Message # 5038777

    Hi guys, I'm continuing the discussion started on Meetup on what to buy for a mobile unit. I'm already way beyond the $250 Emmanuel said I can stay for a good setup - I'm currently bidding on a Kenwood TM-D710A. If this one doesn't pan out I'll probably get the the V1A new, the one you guys recommended.

    For the antenna I was looking at Comet SBB5 PL259, I think that's what one of you had if I remember. What mount bracket should I get for it?

    Would this one work to attach it to the swing out door on my 99 Montero? https://www.amazon.com/RS-720-Medium-Duty-Lip-Mount/dp/B00AR08N9I

    What about the coax cable, would something like this one work? https://www.amazon.com/RG-58A-Coaxial-Cable-Pl-259-Connectors/dp/B001JT0CGI/ref=pd_bxgy_23_3?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B001JT0CGI&pd_rd_r=BMC29A4KA102N9RAFW91&pd_rd_w=wpsKi&pd_rd_wg=cxICE&psc=1&refRID=BMC29A4KA102N9RAFW91

    Do I need a thin, more flexible cable? What other supplies do I need to buy?

    If I win the bid for the D710A, do I need a second antenna for the APRS?

    Thank you guys, I hope I can get a good setup with your help.

  • 21 Aug 2017 1:33 PM
    Reply # 5040526 on 5038777
    Jim Biram (Administrator)

    My recommendation is to get a Diamond K400S Trunk mount lid.  This has the ultra thin 13' cable, and it attaches to the edge of the door and can be adjusted in many ways. Diamond Antenna Mount.

    Also, I highly recommend for dual band the Diamond NR770 HB antenna, which is an extremely good antenna and does not require ground plane.  Diamond NR 770 Link

    I have had really great success with this combination.  They have these at HRO in Anaheim or any HRO. 

    And no, you don't need a second antenna for the APRS.  I believe that you set the APRS on either the A or B side of the radio, and it only broadcasts at the interval you set, and then it will only broadcast if the other side of the radio is not transmitting.

    Don't try to go cheap on a mobile antenna.  I made that mistake with an MFJ antenna that went out after only 6 months.

    Last modified: 21 Aug 2017 2:07 PM | Jim Biram (Administrator)
  • 21 Aug 2017 2:33 PM
    Reply # 5040611 on 5038777
    Chris Doering (Administrator)

    I like the Kenwood TM D710 and I use the antenna Jim mentioned the Diamond NR 770. Are you okay with drilling a hole in your roof? If you look at my Jeep I drill so I don't have to run coax through door jambs.

  • 22 Aug 2017 5:56 AM
    Reply # 5041504 on 5038777

    Thank you Jim, I'll get the Diamond antenna, it's about the same price.

    Chris, I might not need to drill a hole, I already have some holes in the roof from the OEM rack that was replaced - I don't know the diameter, they are plugged but it might work, I'll check if they don't interfere with the new rack I have.

  • 23 Aug 2017 7:43 AM
    Reply # 5043863 on 5038777
    Chris Doering (Administrator)

    That's good. Some people are deathly afraid to drill holes in their roof. When you drill a hole you really make the vehicle "yours". Figure our the right size, drill it carefully, (measure twice drill once), pass the connector and coax and use a grommet and sealer.

  • 23 Aug 2017 8:57 AM
    Reply # 5043985 on 5038777
    Jim Biram (Administrator)

    With the Trunk Lid antenna mount, you should not have to drill a hole.  Mine mounts and the wire is thin enough that it passes between the door and the body.  I fed it into the gasket seal, and then into the vehicle.  Check mine out this Saturday. 

  • 30 Sep 2017 9:28 AM
    Reply # 5288769 on 5038777

    Hello All,

    New to Land Ops (Joined yesterday after stumbling on a video on QRZ.com) but have been Geocaching and off-roading for years and a little over a year ago returned to Ham radio.

    I drive a 2009 Jeep Wrangler and have been meditating on a mobile installation with a Yaesu FT891.  Unlike our Fearless Leader, I'm not ready to drill holes in my fiberglass top.   I am kind of obsessed with ground planes and how to solve the problem with my Jeep's non-conductive roof.

    I operate mobile VHF with a Yaesu VX8-DR hand held fed to a cheap-o mag mount antenna.  I used to place the mag mount on the hood when I hit the trail and it's performed well enough to get to repeaters.

    Lately I've been experimenting with the mag mount on the roof.  Here's how:  A stupid strong 3" round magnet (from Amazon) inside the Jeep's roof.  On top of the roof, a strip of aluminum 1/2 wave length  for 2m long by 4" wide, centered over the inside magnet.

    On top of the aluminum ground plane, the mag mount antenna base is placed.  The two magnets form a very strong bond.  To this I added Gorilla tape to the aluminum strip and the antenna base.  (Yeah, looks RedNeck rigged but nobody but truckers see the top of my Jeep and I'm sure they approve)  The coax runs to the right rear window, open a crack, to my hand held.

    To this I've added two "Tiger Tails" which are each 1/4 wave (again, 2m) wires with ring connectors.  The ring connectors get placed at the base of the antenna where it screws into the mag mount.  The tiger tails run laterally to the roof and the aluminum strip is longitudinal.

    I've been able to do VHF Simplex QSOs with this at about 30 miles on open highway drives.  Am ready to upgrade from the MFJ to a better quality antenna and am shopping.

    Stay tuned for my HF / ground plane scheme in the near future.

    Last modified: 30 Sep 2017 4:26 PM | Keith Gordon
  • 30 Sep 2017 9:55 PM
    Reply # 5289348 on 5288769
    Keith Gordon wrote:

    Hello All,

    New to Land Ops (Joined yesterday after stumbling on a video on QRZ.com) but have been Geocaching and off-roading for years and a little over a year ago returned to Ham radio.

    Welcome, Keith! 

  • 01 Oct 2017 12:41 AM
    Reply # 5289398 on 5288769
    Jim Biram (Administrator)
    Welcome to Land Ops!  It sounds like you will fit in beautifully since figuring out things is part of the Land Ops experience.  I find that trying to make decisions regarding mobile radio installation can be troubling yet rewarding once finished.  I look forward to meeting you!

    Jim Biram


  • 27 Oct 2017 8:53 PM
    Reply # 5403284 on 5038777
    Deleted user

    Welcome Keith,  

    I used to have a 79 Bronco with fiberglass top.  I made a 20 inch diameter sheet metal disc and epoxied it to the inside of the top then drilled a single 1/2 inch hole and mounted the standard 3/8-24 stud mounted used for CB Antennas.  Then I mounted an MFJ 2M/440 vertical on it.  Worked great.  

    I've seen many Jeeps mount an NMO type antenna on top of the rear tire carrier making it and the bumper mount the ground plane.  Also a decent spot for your application.

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