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Old 02-01-2019, 01:08 PM   #1
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Ham radio install in coach?

I have been a "ham" for more than 40 years and have a VHF/UHF radio and antenna installed in/on the toad. Since getting the new coach last June, I have been pondering how to install a HF/VHF/UHF radio and antenna in/on it.

I would be interesting in how other hams have done this kind of thing with their coaches. My preference would be to avoid, as much as possible, drilling holes in the body or roof to mount the antenna. I think I can figure out how to route the coaxial cable to most areas of the coach. BTW, I do not have a ladder on the back of the coach to use as an antenna mount surface.

Thoughts? Photos?

TJ
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Old 02-01-2019, 01:29 PM   #2
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Thought:

If you don't want to drill any holes, than maybe a mobile in the toad with cross-band repeater capabilities for 146.52 while you use a handheld in the MH? One solution that you might not have thought of, but limits you to what the radio in the toad is set to retransmit on unless you pull over and stop to change it.
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Old 02-01-2019, 01:33 PM   #3
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A search of Newmar forum only reveled this info a search of this forum may reveal something better.
Maybe there is something here.
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Old 02-01-2019, 01:50 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 007";4617068]A search of Newmar forum only reveled [B][URL="https://www.google.com/search?q=clean+installation+of+HAM+RADIO+set+up+in +RV&sitesearch=irv2.com%2Fforums%2Ff103%2F
this info[/URL][/B] a search of this forum may reveal something better.
Maybe there is something here.
Thanks, 007. I have been checking some of those links but not quite finding what I'm looking for. Hoping to find some inspiration on this.

TJ
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Old 02-01-2019, 03:39 PM   #5
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I've never had a problem with drilling holes in any of my vehicles.


On our Sunstar, I mounted a Maldol Power Mount on the top of the side just aft of the eyebrow and below the roof coping.






The coax and motor wire run up and through the roof under a Winegard 3 cable access plate with some other antenna cables.


I have also sealed and screwed a galvanized plate to the roof for mag mount antennas.
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Old 02-01-2019, 03:47 PM   #6
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Since you will only be operating the low bands when parked, here is how I would do it.

Hook up a good antenna on your toad. Use quick disconnects to remove and store your Hustler (or other) when not needed. When you are parked at your site, just attach antenna and run coax to the nearest window, and keep the rig in your coach.

Even though I mount my Super Hustler on my ladder, I still leave the 50 ft coax lay on the ground and into a window when I operate. Decent ground plane, fast to set up...and zero holes.
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Old 02-01-2019, 03:52 PM   #7
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Jim I have seen through the glass connecting antennas, one side of the antenna inside and one out on the drivers side window, wire ran through the ďAĒ pillar down to the dash.
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Old 02-01-2019, 04:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SLOweather View Post
I've never had a problem with drilling holes in any of my vehicles.
That's what makes the world go around; different strokes for different folks! I'd rather avoid drilling holes in the exterior of the coach; especially the roof.

I will be checking out the Maldol Power Mount, however. Right now, I am seriously considering one of the "screwdriver" antennas.

TJ
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Old 02-01-2019, 04:18 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Stuart W View Post
Jim I have seen through the glass connecting antennas, one side of the antenna inside and one out on the drivers side window, wire ran through the ďAĒ pillar down to the dash.
Hi, Stuart.

I have used the through-the-glass antenna mount in the past and it worked OK. The basic problem is that it is just for the UHF and VHF bands...at least the ones I've seen.

TJ
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Old 02-01-2019, 06:46 PM   #10
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There are a variety of antenna mounts that attach to trailer hitches which you could use on either your coach and/or your tow vehicle.

Just Google it and there are all sorts of options.

Once parked, I use a Steppir Crank-IR for 80-10 and I have to say, works great and super easy to setup and use.

Good luck!
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Old 02-01-2019, 10:14 PM   #11
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I've operated HF portable for decades now, from mountaintop backpack QRP to tents, trailers and now my class A.

My antenna of choice is nearly always some form of wire. For ease of deployment and nominal efficiency, an end fed half wave checks a lot of boxes. If I'm somewhere there's trees, a pneumatic launcher makes short work of suspending the wire. Sans trees, I bungee a Jackite 30 foot pole to the RV ladder and suspend the wire from the middle as an inverted vee. As far as self supporting/self contained antennas I've used a (now unobtanium) Sigma vertical dipole for 40 and 20 meters that worked really well. For operating mobile it's tough to beat a screwdriver but I can't picture myself driving an RV and working HF, so haven't considered an HF mobile install for that. The usual compromise I've seen is some form of mount for a screwdriver that attaches to the rear bumper or ladder, sometimes vertical, sometimes horizontal or somewhere inbetween depending on the mount and mounting location.

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Old 02-02-2019, 05:32 AM   #12
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TJ, I will drill for you. Iím getting better. By the 4th hole I usually get it right. Letís do it!!
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Old 02-02-2019, 08:35 AM   #13
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TJ, I will drill for you. Iím getting better. By the 4th hole I usually get it right. Letís do it!!
Thanks, Neal; I knew I could count on you.

TJ
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