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Old 09-07-2013, 06:07 PM   #351
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just saw that after i posted new to AS forums didn't realize new post were on p 25
I have AirForums set up to display newest post first on my computer (reverse order) just so I don't do the same. Can't remember exactly how I did that.
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Old 03-30-2014, 12:57 PM   #352
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N7LHK - Setting up remote head-unit in back table area for an ICOM IC-901A with modules for 2m/440/1.2/10m in our 27' International FB. Would like to use small Kenwood TH-28A handhelds to keep in touch with XYL.

May even wire in one of my dual band Kenwood mobiles for cross-band repeater operation to extend the range of two handie talkies; one on 2m and the other on 440.

This way, I could be fly fishing down the river and my wife could be anywhere in the campground or just outside the AS and pick up my calls on her 440 handheld while I come in on 2m. She would not have to be inside the AS to hear me and to communicate.

73,
Rick
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Old 03-30-2014, 02:31 PM   #353
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N7LHK - Setting up remote head-unit in back table area for an ICOM IC-901A with modules for 2m/440/1.2/10m in our 27' International FB. Would like to use small Kenwood TH-28A handhelds to keep in touch with XYL.

May even wire in one of my dual band Kenwood mobiles for cross-band repeater operation to extend the range of two handie talkies; one on 2m and the other on 440.

This way, I could be fly fishing down the river and my wife could be anywhere in the campground or just outside the AS and pick up my calls on her 440 handheld while I come in on 2m. She would not have to be inside the AS to hear me and to communicate.

73,
Rick
That sounds like a good setup. Maybe we'll be the same place at the same time sometime.

73,
Ken W7TS - I spent the first 50 years of my life in King County
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Old 03-30-2014, 11:07 PM   #354
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Thanks for the reply. I've got all of these nice radios and it seems nobody is into Ham Radio anymore. Oh well, I like all this stuff and all the rest of my fly fishing and camping stuff and soon we are going to just pull up stakes and head out.
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Old 04-05-2014, 02:25 AM   #355
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Thumbs up

Hey, there are LOTS of us out here into ham radio--and not just when camping. We have a complete Yeasu setup in our Silver HamShack plus a ton of radios both fixed and portable. We live in earthquake country, so I am always ready to communicate after a shake...

Just need more time for casual operating...

KE4GNK/AE
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Old 04-05-2014, 11:35 PM   #356
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Ford F350 King Ranch Ham Project Just Completed

Finally installed my Kenwood TS-480SAT and Chameleon antenna on my new Ford F350 King Ranch. Installation ideas if you need them. My Weatherguard tool box is grounded to the truck fame and body. RF choke mounted just below antenna.







































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Old 04-06-2014, 01:41 AM   #357
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Old 04-06-2014, 07:05 AM   #358
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Ham Radio in AS

Hello fellow Streamers. There is a blog where a couple built ham radio into their Airstream. Google "dream stream odyssey...chasing 75 degrees" and they have lots of neat ways of mounting and utilizing the radios in their Airstream.
Happy camping nm1oqrz
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Old 04-06-2014, 11:14 AM   #359
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Finally installed my Kenwood TS-480SAT and Chameleon antenna on my new Ford F350 King Ranch. Installation ideas if you need them. My Weatherguard tool box is grounded to the truck fame and body. RF choke mounted just below antenna.


Alex,


Very nicely done. I'll drop my truck off next weekend. Can you have it done by Wednesday of the following week?


Ken W7TS
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Old 04-06-2014, 12:41 PM   #360
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Thank You!

Yes! Just leave a very big tip please!

My original post indicated grounded to truck fame... It should be to truck frame...
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Old 04-06-2014, 01:39 PM   #361
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Yes! Just leave a very big tip please!

My original post indicated grounded to truck fame... It should be to truck frame...

I was unfortunately taught to skim read. I usually see what my brain expects to be there, so I didn't notice a thing. On top of that, it looks like a truck deserving of fame.


Ken
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Old 04-06-2014, 03:01 PM   #362
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Thank you!

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I was unfortunately taught to skim read. I usually see what my brain expects to be there, so I didn't notice a thing. On top of that, it looks like a truck deserving of fame.


Ken
Thank you Sir!
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Old 04-06-2014, 11:51 PM   #363
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Alex, very clean. The antenna placement will yield a very directional pattern toward the left rear quarter and potentially a lot of induced RF to the cab and interior gadgets, but such is often life with mobile HF.

I'll have to post the mini-album of my 6-radio install in a similar truck. No interior holes, leveraged a lot of tool box and side-rail real-estate. My Silverado does not have the interior 'well' so I created one otherwise. Anything 150 MHz or below needs a LOT more counter-poise than most imagine.

A VERY VERY important aspect to any and all but especially HF installations is strap-bonding "everything to everything". Even with years of commercial and ham installs from low-band VHF to UHF I had HF challenges of all sorts, then the unique opportunity to meet Don Johnson (sk), author of "HF Mobileering" and obtain his last personal copy (even autographed.)

The wisdom and practice imparted is priceless. A mobile install provides a worst-case counterpoise to an already challenged vertical whip installation. You can't tell on an SWR bridge or ohmmeter - but on-air performance and in-cabin electronics can tell you a lot between un-bonded and fully bonded. From Don's experience and illustrations, my old Trooper, GMC Sierra and now Silverado got an endless treatment of cross-strapping. Truck beds float, most cabs float, the frame is not 'ground', exhaust pipes and bumpers 'float', tailgate, doors and hoods 'float'. Every metal surface needs to find a low-impedance path to and through each other. When I hitch up an additional frame-to-frame braided strap is added between truck and trailer - can't count on the greased-ball and lighting connection to help with the RF.

I may be a bit fanatical but an hour with a roll of braid strap and screws is nothing - considering. I have at least two straps on the lid of the tool box (where three NMO mounts live) and four from the box to the bed and one leads to the frame on each side. The hood and front fenders are also double-bonded as I have inside-fender NMOs up front as well. All of the antennas are fed with RG-223 double-shielded, Cramolin-treated silver connectors. The HF feedline and the motor control line for the TarHeel are ferrite-bead-treated at the antenna. (and I've not even punched a single hole for antennas in the roof, yet.)

In addition to the FT-857 I have an FT-8900, APRS-brapping rig, camping-requisite CB, scanner and high power VHF public safety TK-790. Never a quiet radio moment in my truck! DC power and filtering is a separate critical item - and though I transmit on only one radio at a time I am overdue to replace my #8 main feed with #6. Before juice hits the radios it goes through a big-a** iron core choke and meets a 100,000 ufd cap. What alternator whine?

I really need to find out if it would be possible to reproduce Don's work in PDF/electronic format since it is no longer available, and augment it with some additional pictures and tips about DC power. I think a lot of people just coming into mobile operations could benefit - 100 watts and the amazing high-voltage at the coil and end of whip are something to take seriously and better enjoy that 5-9 contact with Europe!

Thanks for sharing... (now I have to go back and clean up my wiring!)
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Old 04-07-2014, 10:03 AM   #364
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6 Rig Mobile Install

2009 Silverado 2500HD de NO1PC

Objective
---------
'stealth' or at least NO visible holes in cab (not like you can be stealth with 7 antennas!)
- this also meant no sticky stuff
- cupholders and controls must be accessible

Six radios - seven antennas
---------------------------
FT-857 - TarHeel H100 and VHF/UHF dual-band left side of tool box
FT-8900 - Comet UHV-4 (the Diamond CR-8900A didn't work well)
TM-261A - 5/8 front left - APRS
TK-790 - wide VHF antenna right-side tool box (modified CalFire load)
Scanner - A/S scanner antenna front right
CB - base-loaded Larsen center on tool box

Comments
----------
1. With no place to drill holes I created one. The mounting plate for the 857 and 8900 heads is a 12" KitchenAid cutting board. It doesn't mar anything, drills and taps very nicely, and as-is I can tuck it into the center console box too.

2. Installation started with the baby TarHeel and the typical clamp-on SO-239 mounting hardware but the mount is too loosey-goosey and the smaller HF antennas (like the ATAS-120) are simply not that effective - so the larger TarHeel came into play, and is mounted on the toolbox. It is somewhat exposed to loads in the bed, but I don't haul rock or lumber regularly.

3. The TK-790 head started out under the dash but is unusable there, so it now sits in the console tray reachable by moving the 857-8900 control 'plate'

4. Lacking a decent stash place for the remoted radios I created one out of an old Navy steel mini-locker that is set under the left passenger seat. After a LOT of tough 1" hole punch wrenching it is now ventilated, houses the 857, 790 and 8900 as well as a speaker power amp, along with a master power relay/distribution for the box itself and an external 'go box' for the APRS radio. If I find a slightly larger box I will re-do this to hold all of the radios and clean up the DC distribution to use a PowerPole dist. panel.

DC Power
---------
Main radios: Currently at "Phase One" with 8 ga + and - direct from the vehicle distribution box under the hood - feeding first a large iron core filter choke and 100,000 ufd capacitor - NO alternator whine here! I may eventually re-work this to create a power scheme in the tool box with second battery, isolator, etc. fed with #6.

Console: an additional run of #10 goes into the console, a choke and cap for the scanner, CB and accessories. I installed a USB Buddy to provide a lot of 5v for all the gadgets and then split that out in a 4 port USB hub modified for charge power-only.

Note: BOTH + and - are distributed from the vehicle power system under the hood. At no time relying on chassis to pickup -/ground - that only invites ground loops for RF and electrical system noises.

General Frame/'Ground' Practice
------------------------------
The ONLY place (-) is valid on a GM is where they tie the battery to the 'frame' near the power distribution box. Picking up (-) directly off the battery is incorrect - you end up in the charge 'loop' and take alternator whine, etc. to the radios.

(Different for Ford, but different charge loop there.) (I've verified this with GM and Ford practices and years of mobile history from CHP and other mass fleet installers.)

NEVER trust/expect reliable noise-free (-) off ANY panel, body, frame or box surface. One veteran installer I know tested 'ground' and high current draw at the back of his Tahoe - at 30A he started to heat up the chassis sheet metal from rear to the battery (-) tie point!!! That means there is a high-resistance in sheet metal and steel! Always run a (-) lead to the loads.

RFI protection for HF
--------------------
The typical 50+ watt low-VHF down to HF antenna schemes can create high-RF-voltage fields at the coils and tips of the whips (thus the corona ball!) This can and will radiate back into native vehicle electronics, nav systems, other radios and accessories and either knock them out of service or give you that nasty squaking audio when you transmit.

There simply is not enough counterpoise surface for anything below 50 MHz to balance out - the RF goes someplace - coax, door panels, tailgates, etc. none of which are really "at ground".

Think of that vertical in your backyard - it needs a lot of radials to be effective. We obviously can't run 32 wires from the base of our mobile HF whips, but we can do the next best thing.

The cure is simple - bond every metal surface to every other metal surface with at least 1/2" preferably 1" braided strap. Hoods, fenders, frame, doors, tailgate, tool boxes, exhaust pipes (and for some even fuel lines and fuel pumps). Scrape paint, use star lockwashers, whatever it takes to get a good solid connection.

This will reduce the impedance of your vehicle so it can act as a better RF counterpoise - dramatically reducing RFI and improving radiation pattern/effectiveness. (thanks to Don Johnson [sk] and his "HF Mobileering" book that really simplifies how all this works!)

See you on the air!
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