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Old 09-13-2011, 07:53 PM   #1
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Amateur Radio (HAM) use in Motorhome

Is HAM use common in motorhomes? Have a 2000 Monaco DP and have begun investigation of installing a mobile transceiver on the coach. Have Cobra CB aboard, but prefer 2M radio.

Any advice on locating 2M band antenna at front or rear of coach appreciated.

Local Ham Radio Outlet recommending antenna mount attached to rear ladder that is 36' plus away from radio location. That does not seem to make sense running a cable that long. But I am reticent to drill antenna mount hole in roof.
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Old 09-13-2011, 08:01 PM   #2
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I use an Icom 706MKIIG and Ameritron ALS 500M amp in our Winnie - homebrew antenna (to handle the power!) is mounted to the rear ladder, no problems - I use 40 and 20 meters primarily...
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Old 09-13-2011, 08:26 PM   #3
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Gary, You are way ahead of me in equipment. I have been using Motorola Spectra's 55W in mobile applications. Will upgrade to to Spectra Astro to get narrow band capability.
Curious on ladder mounted antenna are you running cable inside or outside of coach?

Pat
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Old 09-13-2011, 08:32 PM   #4
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On a previous MH I put a stainless L antenna bracket on the front left and right side of the MH and ran coaxes into the overhead equipment cabinets.

On the current MH it had a cell phone antenna mounted on a metal plate just above the front left electronics cabinet with the cable running down and behind the dash. The cell mount was an Motorola NMO, so I just unscrewed the cell phone antenna and screwed in a Larsen 2m/70cm load and antenna. Works like a champ!

I have not mounted an HF antenna for my 706MKIIG yet but my plan is to have a plate welded onto the frame that extends just past the rear cap and then mount a screwdriver antena there. Yes, the coax will be 45-48 foot long but on HF it won't have enough loss to worry about.
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Old 09-13-2011, 11:19 PM   #5
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If I were to install 2m I would use a through the window antenna. Maybe not the most efficient, but I have used them in the past with good luck. Especially when I ran the 50w amp on the 4w hand held.
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Old 09-14-2011, 12:53 PM   #6
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Is ham use common in motor homes.. Well, there are a lot of us, but it all depends on how you define common.

I have a Kenwood TS-2000 in my "Radio Room" (Which is a multi-purpose room) This is an "all band" (160 meters through 70cm inclusive) all mode radio

I have a Kenwood TM-733 that once I get it fixed will work in the cockpit (2mtr 70cm FM) Currently a Yesau FT-51R with Mirage 35 watt brick are filling it's position.

I may some day expand that.


But I do operate 80mtrs a lot, usually using nothing more than 100' of wire hooked to a KAT-1 (Kenwood Auto Tuner) mounted on the rear cap. The KAT-1 is a marine grade package.
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Old 09-14-2011, 06:58 PM   #7
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I use a 2m in my 07 Duramax. Ran the coax thru the bottom of the truck to a mag mount on the roof. I have made a few contacts over the years but not as many as I'd like.

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Old 09-14-2011, 08:17 PM   #8
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I use a 2m/440 Icom rig in my RV. i also have IC706 MKII radio.
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Old 09-14-2011, 10:22 PM   #9
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I run a Icom MKIIG using a 2meter/440 antenna mounted on the front cap. The hf side is a SGC237 tuner feeding a Shakesphere 393 marine antenna. I have a remote powered lift mounted on the roof so the 23ft long antenna lays in some PVC brackets glued down with 3M 5200 during travel.
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Old 09-15-2011, 07:15 AM   #10
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2m use

I have had 2m in my Bounder for numerous years. Yaesu with Larsen5/8 wave thru the window mount.

Problem I have found is there doesnt seem to be much traffic on 2m going down the freeway.

73rds
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Old 09-15-2011, 09:52 AM   #11
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Oh, antenna mounting.. On my Class A I have Velmac mirrors, the "Arm" that holds it is white metal, very thick, but you can drill it and use some wedge shaped washers to mount a SO-239 type Barrel (Bulkhed) connector straight up and down in the arm (NOTE this is NOT how dummy me did it) Then screw a pl-259 mount Dual Band (2m/70cm) NO GROUND PLANE antenna on to the "Mount" works great,, Run the coax down the hollow arm, out into the enging compartment following the mirror heater wires till you poke through the firewll into the cabin on a gasser, On a DP, same path follow the Mirror heater/control wires to the cockpit area.

NOTE: I mounted on the arm because the head is think plastic and I did not think it would work as well. My happiness level is high with the mount I have.

Other antennas: I have a 2-meter J-pole (1/2 inch PVC pipe with wire inside) on the back for the "Main" radio, a 70cm on the roof, mounted as I just described (Feed through connector) a six meter quarter wave on the back (2 radials) and a spare range hood exhaust vent cut into the "Radio Room" wall.. I glued the flapper shut, after installing several feed throughs, 90 degree elbows on the outside.. This is right next to "Over the back tire"

I park on a base, bolt a platform on top of a Sunsetter 25' flagpole and up it goes.. The antennas on the platform (six/2/70cm and I can clip a 10m Dipole on too if I wish) go up with the pole and connect to the elbows on the panel under the hood.. Nice and air/water tight.
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Old 09-15-2011, 08:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpat39 View Post
Gary, You are way ahead of me in equipment. I have been using Motorola Spectra's 55W in mobile applications. Will upgrade to to Spectra Astro to get narrow band capability.
Curious on ladder mounted antenna are you running cable inside or outside of coach?

Pat
Here's a shot of the mounts on our '88 Winnie - there are 3 of them, 2 fed by mini-8 coax run down along the MH frame, the other is a SGC computerized, fully automatic antenna tuner - works great from 160-10 meters - but only rated for 200 watts, so can't use the amp with it...



Here's the 706 dash mounted faceplate - the main box is secured down on a bulkhead under the dash:



It helps to have an older MH that I'm slightly less anal about where making mods to install stuff is concerned - my installation would make the owner (or wife!) of a late model Holiday Rambler cringe in horror...
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Old 09-15-2011, 10:38 PM   #13
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Here is a question from a potential HAM wannabe. How do you use it? I know the question suggests that I don't have a clue about HAM activities and I really don't.

I've taken part of the Tech license pre-test and with a little brush up on ohm's law, I could probably pass it without to much trouble. I keep asking myself - then what?

I've seen hand held 2m for around $150. What is the rough price tag beyond that for the type of use that might be "typically" done in an RV?


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Old 09-16-2011, 09:26 AM   #14
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Charlie, price depends on whether you are looking at knew or used equipment. One good thing to do is to get on the ARRL site and track down the Ham clubs in your area. Go to some meetings and you will get lots of advice and also probably find some good gear for sale that is surplus from another ham.

Do you want to operate UHF and VHF from the rig? Or do you want to operate HF? Antennas for UHF/VHF are smaller and easier to deal with, but you are limited in range. Tp get on the HF bands (other than 10m) you will need a general class license.

Will you be at the October rally? I can show you what I have in my truck. I am still trying to decide what I want to do in the trailer., but we can discuss the options there as well.

Also, check at the Open Roads Forum...dedicated to RV and Ham.

Open Roads Radio - Open Roads Radio

Ken
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