Mobile rig

The mobile ham radio rig is now complete, at least until I change it.  It has VHF/UHF and HF capability with the Yaesu FT-7800 and the Icom IC-7000.  The V/UHF antenna is a Comet dual-bander and, as you will see from the photos that follow, the HF antenna is a Hustler with resonators on 75/40/20 meters.  With the antenna tuner I can get pretty broad resonance on those bands. The platform for the antennas was made of stainless steel by my very talented son-in-law Allen Cryer of Specialty Machine, LLP in Marble Falls and Lago Vista.  Here’s the stuff.

The cockpit

The cockpit

The radios use the remote contol heads and the Icom is on a pedestal mount which can rotate the head for mobile operations when Jennifer is driving, as will be the case in the Texas QSO Party where we will be operating mobile.

The trick is in picking up the correct mic!

Icom IC7000 and the LDG auto-tuner on top of DC power supply

The IC-7000 is mounted on a plastic cutting board, along with the antenna tuner and AC power supply. The tuner is in the circuit. The PS is there so that the entire rig is immediately portable from the house, to the car, to any portable location such as for EmComm work. The SWR meter is there temporarily. Also visible is a 400 watt inverter which will run the computer during mobile contests.

Pardon the wiring mess. Clean-up to follow.

Yaesu FT7800 shown with RigRunner

The Yaesu is also “board” mounted for total portability.

Also shown is the Rig Runner.

Power comes directly from the battery with one run of #10 and paralleled runs of #12. It seems to be plenty of power even with the 100W Icom.

The Yaesu has a cooling fan built in and I’ve added a 40mm whisper fan to the Icom blowing across the heat sinks at the rear of the radio. It all stays adequately cool for now. We’ll see after long transmission times.

The antenna farm

Here is the antenna farm such as it is. The dual-band V/UHF is barely visible in the center. Look closely and you see the guys for the rather ominous Hustler system. It’s heavy and pulls a lot of wind load. Guying is essential. But it tunes really well on 75, 40 and 20.

It all sits atop a stainless steel platform.

Stainless steel antenna deck

Here is the antenna deck detail. It’s stainless steel and rock solid. It is mounted under the handholds on the corners of the Avalanche’s bed and has a good ground path to the frame.

Detail of the antenna deck

You can see some of the details of how the “deck” is mounted. It allows use of the corner handholds, the saddle compartments open and the tailgate is not compromised. The cover will still slide. Very handy. The only additional challenge will be loading the kayaks, but that’s infrequent.

Many thanks to Allen and his craftsmen!

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