The result of having way too much time on my hands but as of right now VA3QV/m is as good as I see it being….
VHF/UHF communications provided by my Yaesu FTM7250D which along with being dual band its also dual mode (FM/C4FM) with output power being up to 50w. If the repeater I am on at the time is part of the Wires X network I can also access that network as well
HF Communications (15m/17m/20m/40m/60m/80m) with my Yaesu FT450d along with a Wolf River coil. The FT 450 has a built in Auto Tuner which I plan to use to extend the bandwidth of the antenna system but so far it has not been needed
In addition I have a hotspot that I tether to my cell phone that interfaces the 7250 with the System Fusion system for Wires X style linking
But getting back to HF Mobile operating…
In anticipation of next year being better than this year is turning out I decided to outfit my truck with a good selection of communications gear so that if we are allowed to travel unrestricted next year communications “home” from wherever we were visiting would be possible
It did take a few remakes but the Wolf River 10-80m coil along with a 90 inch stainless steel whip is working better than expected. I am making contacts (on a daily basis) with stations across Ontario/Quebec and the Maritimes on 40m and 80m ssb. I have also make contacts into Canada’s western provinces using 20m and 40m ssb. In eastern Ontario the guys say that my mobile is almost as strong as my fixed station setup seeing that I have to use a stealth antenna here at home to keep the condo board guessing.
Left pic shows the mount that failed and the one that is stronger is on the right
Now if you decide to go this route for your mobile I do recommend going with a very strong mount on your vehicle. My first mount failed due to the flexing issue with the 102 inch whip (I later cut it down to 90 inches due to height restrictions) and a 16 inch coil driving around the streets of Kingston. Before then the coil was working fine and then the mount failed. After replacing the mount with one more robust it is working just fantastic. I still have some filtering to add to my ignition and charging systems as there is some alternator whine and ignition noise there but I’ve got time before 2021 to get that figured out
The next part of the package will now to get the trailer set up and then make it “Radio Active” in time for Field Day and the RAC Canada Day Contest. The next 2 weeks are going to be a busy time.
… and it works great
Back on May 8th I posted that I had finally ordered the Wolf River 10-80m mobile coil for VA3QV/m.
Well today it showed up and I am pleased…. very pleased…
Its a little bigger than the 10-40 Wolf River coil that I already was using:
10-40 on the left and 10-80 on the right
With the coil mounted on the rear of the truck, add in the length of the coil and then the 102 inch stainless steel whip we come out to 14 feet 3 inches which is a bit over the Provincial limit of 13 feet 6 inches.
This was expected but I wanted to play with the new toy ASAP so I headed out to Lake Ontario Park in Kingston with everything laying in the box of the truck… I found a shady place to park and then set up the coil for 80m using my MFJ antenna analyzer.
I was able to determine that my SWR was acceptable on 80m between 3.720 and 3.775. Anything over/under that would be easily corrected by the built in auto tuner on the Yaesu FT 450
But the proof is not in what the computer says but more in what the station says when I contact them….
As the sweet spot on 80m was already set I aimed for 3.755 and heard the NCS for the ONTARS Net (Rob VA3WDK south of North Bay Ontario) who heard me and gave me a 5/7 to 5/9 report during our 3-5 minute conversation. That was a distance of approx 180 miles north west of Kingston with daytime conditions on 80m
I am more than pleased with the results so far and over the next few days I will be removing the top 12 inches of the whip which should bring it down to a legal 13 feet 3 inches (total height) and then I will set the sweet spots on the coil for 15m, 20m, 40m, 60m and 80m which are the primary bands I would be using when Liz and I are out (eventually) pulling our new trailer. Not sure when that will happen but when it does…. The truck will be radio active to say the least….
The blog will be updated in the near future once I get the whip trimmed with my final comments on what I consider (at this time) to be a superior product at a great price….
More to follow
As you know….
VA3QV/m has been using a Wolf River 10-40m HF Coil along with my Yaesu FT 450 and I have been quite pleased with it.
The one important thing missing for me was the 80m band as many of the Nets I would check into while travelling are on 80m….
So this afternoon I emailed Wolf River Coils and ordered their 10-80m version. It will be on its way to Kingston shortly and I hope I will be saying as many nice things about it as I do for the 10-40m version.
More later after it arrives and I get it set up and working as it should
Here at home I have some really restrictive Condo rules….. So far I have managed to keep on the air with various levels of results… None of them really great but all of them better than not being on the air….
Here is what has given me the best results (so far) but your results and your opinions may vary
In its “Super Stealth” mode I am using an approximate 45 length of 18 ga wire as an end fed (very tight inverted V” folded longwire. Translated it goes up the tree… over the branch and back down again.
In its “Stealth ” mode I am using the same wire but this time its in an “Inverted L” configuration and the top part runs from the tree branch across my yard to the fence. Its about 30 feet at the branch and about 10 feet at the fence. The wire is green which hides it in the pine tree that I use for the support and its in plain sight for about 20 feet or so.
It goes without saying that the Stealth Inverted L performs much better…
The antenna is fed by my SGC 237 auto antenna tuner and I do have 3 radials of approx 25 to 40 feet each that are mostly going around the inside perimeter of my fence. IMHO the SGC is a fantastic bit of kit. Rather pricey, but for me its made the difference between making contacts and not. Plain and simple….. My station consists of a Good Transceiver (FT950), a fantastic tuner (SGC237) and a very short wire…
So far RFI has not been an issue and I have been able to make contacts on all the HF bands between 6m and 160m. Granted on some bands its not really efficient but I have made contacts using either FT8 or SSB.
The same pine tree that conceals part of my HF antenna also keeps my Arrow Dual Band Ground Plane (VHF/UHF) mostly out of site. I use this to get the 2 local repeaters and one out of town repeater. The two local repeaters I can access from the living room using my handheld so if I had to remove antennas I would still be on the air above 30 mhz at least.
Until we change locations I don’t see things improving for HF or VHF/UHF operating. But I have been promised that the next location (where ever we find ourselves) will be “antenna friendly”
There is still a part 4 coming….. this is just an update of a couple of 40m contacts made earlier today
Well I still have to neaten up the installation but…..
It seems to working just great….
There are some issues with engine noise/alternator whine on 40 SSB (and most likely all over the place) but the DSP on the Yaesu FT 450 seems to be keeping it under control. Tomorrow the plan would be to take my antenna analyzer outside and set the swr on the coil for 15m, 20m and mark the coil according I don’t see me using much else for frequencies
Today I decided to put the rig back into the truck as I had to head out for a quick shopping trip to finalize the supper menu.
On the way there I managed to get Larry (near Dayton OH) and on the way back I got Rick (Moncton NB) on 40m SSB. I still have to make the installation a lot neater but I have no qualms about the performance. I also have to get some sort of mobile logging system figured out so I can finally give you some Callsigns to go along with the names and locations.