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Old 11-18-2017, 08:37 AM   #1
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Amateur Radio in Airstream

Wanting to set up HF ham station in my AS. Looking for antenna options and pros and cons of each. Not sure where to ask in these forums.
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Old 11-18-2017, 08:46 AM   #2
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Are you looking for something to attach to the AS or string up at a campsite? There’s a lot of material out there on antenna options for small/restricted spaces. For HF if you have a good antenna tuner there’s a lot you can do in a campsite that would work fairly well.
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Old 11-18-2017, 09:25 AM   #3
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Amateur Radio in Airstream

I prefer not to mount on AS. But, many rv parks do not seem to have lots of room for long wire antennas. Also, some have rules in that regard. I have an MFJ949E that I am not using in my QTH, so was thinking of using it in the AS. But, may get an auto tuner like the LDG I hav at the home shack.
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Old 11-18-2017, 10:32 AM   #4
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I keep a Buddypole in the rear compartment. It beats drilling holes in the AS.
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Old 11-18-2017, 10:35 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by frjeff View Post
I prefer not to mount on AS. But, many rv parks do not seem to have lots of room for long wire antennas.
I wouldnít want to mount on th AS either, although that big piece of aluminum would make @ fine ground plane 😀
Depending on which band you want to operate you can look at a folded dipole or something like that. Forget long wire. You just want to make sure your antenna has something to work against (other half of dipole) and that you have a good match at the antenna & rig. Let me look at some of my books for ideas.
Stand by.
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Old 11-18-2017, 11:45 AM   #6
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I keep a Buddypole in the rear compartment. It beats drilling holes in the AS.


Which model did you get and are you pretty pleased with it?
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Old 11-18-2017, 12:05 PM   #7
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Hi

At HF, grounding will be an issue. Unless you run something like a beam or a dipole, you will get RF hot spots. The trailer is a great ground plane ... until somebody has one foot on the wet dirt and another foot on the step Without the trailer as a ground, you will have a tough time getting much efficiency out of a vertical.

A 20 meter dipole is .. errr ... about 30' long Set it up as an inverted V. Fiberglass poles to get it above the usual clutter are not that hard to come by. A "flagpole mount" on the hitch works pretty well for the center. Keeping the ends inside a typical site is normally do-able. Same basic idea works fine for 10, 15, and 20 with simple traps.

Bob
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Old 11-18-2017, 12:19 PM   #8
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Which model did you get and are you pretty pleased with it?
I have the Buddypole deluxe, but if I had to choose again, I might go for the deluxe - long version. You can't have TOO much metal in the sky! The nice thing about the Buddypole is that you can configure it as a vertical or dipole - pending on your QTH.
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Old 11-18-2017, 03:21 PM   #9
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Hi

At HF, grounding will be an issue. Unless you run something like a beam or a dipole, you will get RF hot spots. The trailer is a great ground plane ... until somebody has one foot on the wet dirt and another foot on the step Without the trailer as a ground, you will have a tough time getting much efficiency out of a vertical.

A 20 meter dipole is .. errr ... about 30' long Set it up as an inverted V. Fiberglass poles to get it above the usual clutter are not that hard to come by. A "flagpole mount" on the hitch works pretty well for the center. Keeping the ends inside a typical site is normally do-able. Same basic idea works fine for 10, 15, and 20 with simple traps.


Bob
AS as a ground plane was only a joke😂 but Bob has the right idea. You can also toss a line over a tree branch for a center support. Just make sure itís well camouflaged and removed when you leave.
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Old 11-18-2017, 03:54 PM   #10
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AS as a ground plane was only a joke😂 but Bob has the right idea. You can also toss a line over a tree branch for a center support. Just make sure itís well camouflaged and removed when you leave.
Hi

Actually if you put up one of the screwdriver verticals on the roof of the trailer, it makes a pretty good counterpoise for the antenna. The loss in the trailer operating as a ground is a lot less than the loss in the vertical radiator. I'm still not quite sure how people get around the "hot step" problem ....

One nice thing about an inverted V with a "flagpole" center mount - you can put a VHF vertical on the pole as well. That way you kind of have one structure to deal with each time you set up camp.

Bob
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Old 11-18-2017, 04:03 PM   #11
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https://www.dxengineering.com/search...s?autoview=SKU

Thereís an example of single band dipoles. Like was mentioned before you might also consider a trap dipole for multi band operation. The nice thing about traps is they add to the electrical length of the antenna, making the required physical length of the antenna shorter and more compact. If youíre going to use coax as a feedline make sure you have a balun or youíll end up with the feedline radiating which can have some undesirable side effects.
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Old 11-18-2017, 05:06 PM   #12
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Hi

An "old time" twist on the dipole would be to feed it with ladder line and mount a tuner in the vicinity of the propane tanks. I suspect that the traps / balun / coax would be more practical.

Bob
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Old 11-18-2017, 05:40 PM   #13
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Hi

An "old time" twist on the dipole would be to feed it with ladder line and mount a tuner in the vicinity of the propane tanks. I suspect that the traps / balun / coax would be more practical.

Bob
Actually the ladder line is a very nice way to go in my opinion. Balanced line into the tuner. Very clean.
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Old 11-19-2017, 08:42 AM   #14
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Actually the ladder line is a very nice way to go in my opinion. Balanced line into the tuner. Very clean.
Hi

The issue I see with ladder line is storage and setup. My guess is that it would be a bit of a pain after several "cycles". That might not be as true of the plastic insulated stuff as the open wire / porcelain insulator variety. I had some issues with the plastic variety early on. I tend to avoid it.

Bob
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