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Old 08-12-2004, 05:33 PM   #1
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Winnebago Owners Club
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Hi folks,

This is for all of the Ham radio operators out there. I have just installed a Yaesu FT-100 in my 2003, 32V Brave on a Workhorse P-32 chassis. The radio is mounted under the dash and I've used a separation kit to get the controls up to the dash. The HF antenna, an ATAS-100 screwdriver is mounted near the top of the rear ladder. It's about one step from the top, and I offset it off of the ladder on the end of a spring to give it some resilience if it hits a tree, etc.

I used 50 Ft. of good coax from the antenna, under the coach and forward to the engine compartment cover, and into the coach to the radio. The coax is inside some plastic, flexible conduit. I might eventually rewire the power input to go directly to the batteries, but, for the time being, I'm taking power from an unused plug on the chassis fuse block under the dash, and ground is the welded bolt under the dash. I've tried it while running the engine, and ignition noise is almost zero.

The mount on the ATAS-100 is grounded with good, ground braid direct to the chassis of the motorhome. The ground is connected at the base of the ATAS-100 above the spring. This is the same level as the feed point of the antenna. I used a ground bolt that was already there to terminate the ground to the chassis.

The radio will successfully tune 6,10,12,15,and 17 meters. It will not tune up on 20 or 40 meters.

I've used this same radio and antenna in a van on all of the bands, so I know that it is OK.

I'm wondering if the problem can be solved with a longer whip. That may cause me to lose 6 meters. I also understand that the coil in the ATAS-100 is wound more densely around the band tuning points and is a looser wind between them. I'd hate to be trying to tune in the coarse area of the coil.

Anyone have some ideas to get me 20 and 40 meters?

Thanks and 73s

Bob - W8RLM
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Old 08-12-2004, 05:33 PM   #2
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Winnebago Owners Club
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Hi folks,

This is for all of the Ham radio operators out there. I have just installed a Yaesu FT-100 in my 2003, 32V Brave on a Workhorse P-32 chassis. The radio is mounted under the dash and I've used a separation kit to get the controls up to the dash. The HF antenna, an ATAS-100 screwdriver is mounted near the top of the rear ladder. It's about one step from the top, and I offset it off of the ladder on the end of a spring to give it some resilience if it hits a tree, etc.

I used 50 Ft. of good coax from the antenna, under the coach and forward to the engine compartment cover, and into the coach to the radio. The coax is inside some plastic, flexible conduit. I might eventually rewire the power input to go directly to the batteries, but, for the time being, I'm taking power from an unused plug on the chassis fuse block under the dash, and ground is the welded bolt under the dash. I've tried it while running the engine, and ignition noise is almost zero.

The mount on the ATAS-100 is grounded with good, ground braid direct to the chassis of the motorhome. The ground is connected at the base of the ATAS-100 above the spring. This is the same level as the feed point of the antenna. I used a ground bolt that was already there to terminate the ground to the chassis.

The radio will successfully tune 6,10,12,15,and 17 meters. It will not tune up on 20 or 40 meters.

I've used this same radio and antenna in a van on all of the bands, so I know that it is OK.

I'm wondering if the problem can be solved with a longer whip. That may cause me to lose 6 meters. I also understand that the coil in the ATAS-100 is wound more densely around the band tuning points and is a looser wind between them. I'd hate to be trying to tune in the coarse area of the coil.

Anyone have some ideas to get me 20 and 40 meters?

Thanks and 73s

Bob - W8RLM
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Old 08-13-2004, 08:23 AM   #3
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Hi Ho: Interesting problem. Because it won't load on the lowest frequency bands, I am led to think that the installation has a basic problem. Becasue you have 50 feet of coax the ground at the radio is certainly not the same as the ground at the antenna. So now there are really two ground paths: one through the coax outer braid and one through the chassis of the coach. It is possible that the impedance that the radio sees is just out of the range of the tuner on the FT-100. What kind of output network does this radio have? Of course, a possible solution is to use an antenna tuner at the radio, but that just complicates things. Sorry I don't have an easy solution.
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Old 08-15-2004, 07:28 PM   #4
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Dirk,

While I was out at a campout this weekend, I added a ground between the radio case and the chassis. It wasn't a good braided ground, but it got me 40 meters. Unfortunately, I still don't have 20 meters. Based on the improvement with the ground, I'm going to redo the power leads directly to the batteries, and add a good, braided ground between the case and the chassis. Once I get that done, I'll let you know if I got all of the bands.

Thanks for the suggestion.

73

Bob
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Old 11-12-2006, 01:54 AM   #5
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Saw your desscription of the MH install. I too am going to try to put ant's on an Damon daybreak I just bought. Sorry can't help you, but am interested on your results.
I was thinking of putting the base of the ant closer to the chassis and adding some wire radials underneath the MH to several chassis points to try to make a decent chassis ground connection. May give better capacitive coupling to the earth.

KD8W
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Old 11-12-2006, 05:42 AM   #6
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Bob - on the boat I had an Icom IC-735 & autotuner. I added radials cut to 40 meters and up for the bands I wanted to work. I didn't have the length to stretch out the 40M radial but had to loop it around the bow back towards the stern. Not an optimal antenna situation, but at least the tuner could match the backstay.

--de wb5tht
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