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
Well after the help of a few local (Kingston) hams and the computer skills of my daughter Erika its working fine
The hotspot has found a place in VA3QV/m and I have it set up in such a way that I do not need a computer to control it …. However I am also not using it to its full potentinal.
But it is doing exactly what I wanted it to so…. it works for me… And heres how I am using it so far….
I use it to connect to the Canada Wide Room which is part of the VE3ORF/3730 linked Repeater system This lets me keep track with the “home town” when I am not within VHF/UHF RF range although most nites I can contact them on 80m SSB on the 3730 group.
Here in Kingston the local Fusion Group has just (in the process of)set up a hotspot on the the Fusion repeater here in town. This (once all is finished) will let me call into my new home town when I am on the road. Once again YES I could do this on HF but its nice to have some communications options.
Now if I was to add a tablet to the system I could use the hotspot to its full potential but for now I don’t want to introduce any more distactions to VA3QV/m and the video display would be doing that. All I need to do is fill in a few gaps in communications (for now). I am planning to get a 2nd hotspot to put in the trailer and that will have more computer control but for now its the KISS principal.
I’m still a newby at this but it is a great communications tool
PS…. as I write this according to the USPS tracking site my 10-80m Wolf River Coil is somewhere between Chicago and Kingston. It passed through Chicago and so far has not be scanned anywhere since. I am hoping it makes it to Toronto where it will clear customs and then on to me in Kingston
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
been just over a month since we last spoke of this topic….. Since then….. before today nothing happened as I was busy with :
The new to me FT950
Avoiding all those nasty Covid thingys
So this afternoon I decided to review and continue on with my mobile installation…. I installed a double fused positive wire (one at the battery end and one at the radio end) along with a single fused (at the radio end) for the ground.
The successful result of this is that the radio is getting enough power from the battery to easily operate at 100w. The drawback to this is that I was hoping hooking direct to the battery and a ground would of filtered more of the electrical noise in the vehicle.
Vehicle turned off I have a S5 noise floor and with the vehicle running between S7 and S9 depending on the RPMs of the engine. More revs = more noise.
The Wolf River 10-40m coil did not need retuning and I can easily cover the complete 40m voice portion of the band. Worst SWR I saw was 2:1 and that was easily corrected using the Yaesu FT 450’s built in Auto Tuner. This was a succcess.
Muprhy (you all remember my good friend Murph????) also paid a visit when I realized that I had not brought my antenna analyzer with me so I could not set and mark the coil for the other bands at this time.
Well I have two days off coming up on this Monday and Tuesday so there is a good chance (weather permitting) to make the wiring neater along with setting the various Bands SWR on the coil.
However on 40m during my test drive I did manage a 40 ssb contact with an American Station who said he was in the State of Virginia approx 13 miles from Washington DC. I can’t remember his call and could not log (as I was driving at the time) but I gave him an honest 55 report as he was just over the noise and he replied with the same report back and that does not shock me as….. If he can hear me over his noise then my mobile is doing a good job.
Now once I get that work completed then all I have to do is find somewhere to go during this lockdown and something to do when I get there….
There will be a Part 4 for this one with more technical details and the final pics….
Till then…. Stay Healthy and Stay Safe