Archive for August, 2007

KC4RKO TV commercial

August 28, 2007

I received the following email from Don, N4DJ – a true CW aficionado and a gentleman that embodies the spirit of amateur radio:

My son (Chip, KC4RKO) does a lot with photography and has done some camera work for a few commercials and a show on the Discovery Channel, as well as written a couple of short films. Well, he has entered the Heinz “Top this TV challenge” where they asked people to make their own Heinz commercial. Chip made a commercial and sent it in. There were over 4,000 entries and the people at Heinz picked Chip as one of the 15 semi-finalists. At this point, Heinz has said it is up to the public to decide who the winner is and whose commercial will air on TV. This is a great opportunity for Chip.

Starting 27 August you can go to the website: and click on Vote Now (located on top of the middle column: Fries Best Friend, By: Chip Johnson)

…and vote for his commercial. You can vote up to once a day everyday from now until like the 10th of September. Any votes would be MUCH appreciated!!! Thanks for your help!!

Don Johnson


Please check out this well done and creative video and help a fellow ham.

1 Faraday = 96 485.3415 coulombs

August 28, 2007

International Toroid Day, August 29th 0000-2359 Zulu time.

Special event station W1T honors the 176th anniversary of the invention of the toroid by Michael Faraday, and will be operated by many toroid luminaries, including Mychael the Toroid Guy. Please see for operating times, frequencies, and modes or listen for the call “CQ T”
(long dash) or “CQ Toroid Day.”

Progress… slow and steady

August 27, 2007

– I’m making a solid effort to improve my working knowledge of basic electronics. I’ve been working through Understanding Basic Electronics and Chapter 4, Electrical Fundamentals, from the ARRL 2007 Handbook.

Honestly, this stuff does not come easy to me. But I’m committed to slug through it.
– Also working on my CW skills. It is slow going, but it feels great when I can actually get solid copy on a real QSO.

And totally unrelated:
– Been watching the new Battlestar Galatica series. I remember watching the original way back when. I’m enjoying the episodes so far.

Items of interest

August 24, 2007

Interesting post on W2LJ’s blog about his PDA. I have an assortment of PDAs:

– Palm Pilot Pro that I got an upgrade kit for to make it a Palm III (new chip along with IR sync capability)

– Palm IIIxe which I bought on eBay. It works well except that it eats up batteries even when it is turned off. I have used this PDA with my Kenwood TH-D7 to do mobile 2m packet and PocketAPRS.

– Palm m130. This was the first PDA I had that allowed you to use an SD card. I have used this to program my TinyTrack APRS device.

– Palm Tungsten 3 (or T3). First PDA with wireless connectivity, in this case Bluetooth. Also has a slot for an SD card. I used this PDA for mobile logging, mainly taking advantage of the voice recording function… I’d have a mobile QSO, pick up the Palm T3 and record a voice memo of the time, freq, callsign, and any other significant info. At a later point I used that to update my primary log.

– Some variant of an HP PDA that has WiFi and an SD card slot.

Also have an assortment of keyboards, cameras, and other doo-dads that go with these.

I have the Palm T3 with me now… I’m guessing it needs to be charged.

K3OQ has a post about his upcoming trip to the Outer Banks. He also plans to activate The Bodie Island Lighthouse (USA-067). I had the opportunity to activate that light back in June of 2006. Beautiful area out there – very relaxing. One of the highlights of any hams visit to the Outer Banks is using the Outer Banks Repeater Association’s 2m and 70cm repeaters. I had a few great exchanges with Jack, W2EHD who lives in the area year around. The repeater system also allowed me to stay in contact with the XYL while I was off activating lighthouses.

N9IK’s Radio Blog has a new post about his completion of the Rock-Mite 40 transceiver kit. He’s got some great pics of his work. I hope to develop my building skills to that level. Very nice work. I look forward to hearing about the contacts he makes with it.

K9ZW tries to solve the age old question of the best way to organize QSL cards with his latest post. I’m curious to see how others keep their cards organized. I don’t have a ton of cards yet, but I would like a solid method of keeping my cards organized that will last for years and allow me to access them as needed.

As always – I enjoy reading your blogs. It keeps my interest in amateur radio strong even if I don’t get on the air as often as I’d like.

The Ohio Valley Teratology Net

August 19, 2007

ter·a·tol·o·gy – the study of malformations or serious deviations from the normal type in developing organisms

… check out this blog, excellent writing and very entertaining.

100 Nations Award

August 18, 2007

I read about this in an issue of World Radio from Jan 1999. I don’t know if they still offering this award, but it seems pretty cool.

100 Nations Award

In an effort to encourage personal communications among peoples around the world via Amateur Radio, Worldradio offers the Worked 100 Nations Award to those confirming two-way amateur communications with permanent stations in 100 distinct countries having a permanent, native population. The purpose of the Worldradio Worked 100 Nations Award is to demonstrate the unique opportunity Amateur Radio offers for communications between international borders to further worldwide understanding.

The W-100-N is not a radio sport award as such, but a token of achievement in communication. At the same time, it offers all Amateur Radio enthusiasts several features not found in other awards.
1. W-100-N virtually eliminates the need to work geographic areas heard only during DXpeditions. Almost all national entities have amateur stations consistently on the air.
2. W-100-N, then, will be of perennial interest. The advantage to those stations having worked a national entity long absent from the air will be minimal.
3. W-100-N is difficult to achieve, yet is within reach of all moderately well-equipped stations whose operators utilize good communication skills.

1. The Worked 100 Nations Award is available to any licensed Amateur Radio operator who can prove confirmation of two-way communications with government-authorized Amateur Radio stations in at least 100 different nations of the world.
2. No contacts with stations using reciprocal calls will count toward this award, such as N6JM/UL7.
3. All contacts must be with landbased stations. Contacts with ships, at anchor or otherwise, and aircraft cannot be considered.
4. All contacts shall be made from the same country.
5. Only contacts made on or after 01 January 1978 will count.
6. The application shall include the following:
a. Letter requesting W-100-N.
b. List of contacts in alphabetical order by prefix showing nation, station call, date, band and mode.
c. A signed statement by two other licensed radio amateurs, General class or above that they have inspected the required QSL cards.
d. A fee of $5 to cover the cost of the award.
7. All applications and requests shall be addressed to:
W-100-N Award Manager
2120 28th Street
Sacramento, CA 95818
8. There are no special endorsements to this award; however, endorsements may be made if the achievement bears such recognition. All modes and bands may be used. Upon approval of an application for W-100-N, a certificate will be issued and the issuance of the award will be noted in a future issue of Worldradio.

What makes a good ham blog?

August 16, 2007

There are about a bajillion ham blogs floating around the internet. What makes the good ones stand out? Here are the three main things I look for:

(1) Good writing. Who knew that some hams are actually very good writers? I’m consistently checking my very favorite ham blogs because I really look forward to reading what they have to say. The text is well written, well thought through and sometimes thought provoking. Some ham bloggers writing makes you feel like your right in the ham shack with them or maybe looking over their shoulder at the workbench while they are involved with a project. Their words paint the scene so vividly, you can smell the solder smoke.

(2) Original thoughts on a variety of topics. More than just a list of the latest DX contacts, score in the a recent contest, or what the local club is doing – the great blogs cover a spectrum of topics. Well written product reviews, stories about 1st HF contacts, learning CW and sticking with it, having an Elmer that changed your life, or a neat trick that is easy for all to duplicate and will save time and/or prevent frustration. DXpeditions are enjoyable to read about, even if it is just to the local park. The antenna that works that shouldn’t have. Painful lessons learned again and again. But always fresh and never repetitive.

(3) Good pictures/graphics. Not only are their ham bloggers out there that can write, they also have a wonderful ability to create sharp and engaging graphics for the internet. Sometimes humorous, sometimes technical, or just an image that helps further expound on the blog entry, good pictures and graphics can make a difference.

I’ll add a fourth – it doesn’t have to be all ham all the time. Many excellent amateur radio blogs include items from everyday life that let you know the blogger is not completely addicted to the hobby.

Big thanks to all you ham bloggers – I enjoy and appreciate your work!

Visalia man installs radio antennas to talk to son in Iraq

August 13, 2007

By Nick McClellan
Staff writer

Visalians driving south on Court Street just north of Caldwell Avenue may notice two skeletal misfits between the trees and houses on Oak View Drive.

But don’t mind them — they are there so a father can talk to his son deployed overseas with the Marines.
Or at least that’s what will happen after some further modifications.

Dan Woolman, who lives at 111 W. Oak View Drive and owns the 60-foot and 35-foot towers, first flipped the switch on ham radio at the age of 13. Now at 55, Woolman has resurrected his past enthusiasm for amateur radio in his retirement by investing more than $100,000 in top-of-the-line equipment and antennas.

“If there’s one thing I enjoy, it’s ham radio,” said Woolman, whose call sign on the airwaves is W6ATR. “It’s been a lifelong avocation for me.”

Woolman is also involved in the Navy-Marine Corps Military Affiliate Radio System program, which sends messages to service men and women overseas.

He hopes that once he has placed an 80-meter antenna onto his larger tower he will on occasion be able to speak to his 18-year-old son Brett, who has recently completed his fifth week of training with the Marines.

“I’m pretty proud of my son,” Woolman said. “He’s quite a kid.”

Woolman also wants to use the setup to help other families communicate with their loved ones who are in the military and overseas. That communication is usually through computer messages, called MARSGRAMS.

New technology has largely diminished the useful role ham radio once played in keeping military personnel in touch with their families back home.

“It has slowed down now with the advent of cellular telephones,” said Wilbert Musselman, a fellow ham radio user in Goldsboro, N.C., who chats with Woolman on air. “But it’s still active and [we’re] doing a lot of computer correspondence now.”

Woolman’s friend Mike Meraz of Visalia advised him in the building of the towers.

One of the more difficult tasks, Meraz said, included the piecing together of each of the antenna elements on the ground and delicately placing and balancing them onto the boom, which is suspended in the air.

Though Woolman elicited some attention from the city of Visalia over the structural integrity of the towers, Meraz said the cement has been stress-pressured. Aside from tightening bolts to the boom that may become loosened by torque from the rotating antenna, the structures are sound, he said.

“If he wants to, he can drop [the towers] all the way down, and it can clear

the roof,” Meraz said, which Woolman does do when high winds risk toppling the towers.

Woolman added that the towers are designed to withstand 70-mph winds, which are not frequent in the Valley. Woolman said the 80-meter antenna, will enable contact with his son and further participation with the military radio program. It operates at low voltage so it will not interfere with any of the neighbors’ electronics.

He said he offers filters to anyone who tells him they suspect the signals are responsible for interference.

Meraz, who will help him place the antenna on the 60-foot tower, said the two plan to install it this month.

As far as the reception on the airwaves to Woolman’s high-end hardware?

“By golly you have a good signal,” said one broadcaster.

# The reporter can be reached at

Nobody cares about your blog

August 11, 2007

… clearly becoming my favorite ham blog. Paulo’s entires are informative and entertaining. The presentation of his blog as well as the use of original graphics is excellent.

And he is a fan of Make Magazine!

Check out his blog:

KA6WKE: High Frequency Mobile Amateur – Primer

August 11, 2007


My most popular mode of HF operating is running mobile. This page will focus on the installation process and touch upon the equipment as needed. Antenna and installation decisions are very important in the mobile environment — as a mobile operator you must face the fact that you’re stuck with less than optimal antennas and grounding system. My current operating position is in a 1992 Ford Escort station wagon. It’s a small car, with very limited options for mounting radios and antennas. In updates of this page, I will be including detailed photos of the completed installation. Above all this, the single most important task at designing a mobile station is planning. I have around 60 hours of planning and installation tied up on this project. What ever you do, don’t figure on doing a first rate installation in a single day. All you’ll end up with is a lousy system, busted knuckles and a bad feeling about running mobile. Start out with some goals in mind, you may come up with more:

1. Ease of Operation
2. Little Visible Wiring
3. Easily Removable
4. Minimum Amount of Holes Drilled
5. Short Power/Ground/COAX Runs

Note: My YL doesn’t drive my car, so if yours does, you’ll have a #6 through #100!


Some quick tips on mobile radios. Remember that the first priority of the mobile operator is OPERATING THE CAR! Kinda hard to explain to the insurance company you were trying to dodge QRM, they’ll be looking for ever for that type of car. As with most radio projects, the checkbook ends up being the deciding factor. Let’s add some other factors into the equation that will help lower the cost of purchasing a mobile rig. First thing I look for is simplicity! That’s right! No fancy spectrum analyzers, multi-function buttons, small knobs, switches and sliders. I’ve had three mobile HF rigs over the years — an older Yaesu FT-101E, Icom 745 and my current rig is a Yaesu FT757GXII. So far the 757 seems to be the best. I can easily memorize the front panel and operate the rig without taking my eyes off the road. If you have the means to purchase a brand new rig, then go for the Icom 706MKII or the Kenwood TS-50 or TS-60. The main thing I don’t like about either rig is the fact I like to monitor HF and VHF at the same time. The all in one rigs only let you monitor the current band. I also like a bright display. Unlike sitting at the home QTH, the sun can wash out most displays and render them useless while driving. So, bottom line, you can get by with a basic, no frills unit that may be a few years old. Be creative! I know the YL was glad I didn’t spend mega bucks for a rig!
Nothing gets under a hams skin as well as the subject on antennas. There are many commercial units available, and some adventuresome ops make their own. I’ll just briefly touch upon antennas, as the best books available are Don Johnson’s books on mobile hamming. He has a new one out and you can probably find his older ones at hamfests, etc. In general, stay away from base loaded models, and don’t plan on using an antenna tuner. The monoband whips by Lakeview are excellent, and some of the best HF mobile antennas are bugcatchers or screwdrivers. Keep away from the bugcatchers that use stainless steel coils, too lossy. Lakeview makes a 40-10m bugcatcher, that I currently use. Check the antenna shootouts, etc. for performance of your particular type of antenna. Again, spend some time with Don’s books — he’s been there and it saved me considerable time on deciding on an antenna.
Mounting the Radio
A good sturdy, quick release mount is very important. It must hold the rig in place, plus make it easy to remove for storing inside, or taking on trips with a different vehicle. Most amateur radio manufacturers make excellent mounts. I think the days of custom building the dash to accept the HF rig are pretty much over. The plastic in today’s cars is pretty cheesy and has too many curves that make it difficult to build a face plate. The first step to determine where to mount the rig is to just sit in the driver’s seat and take a look around. Go ahead, stick your arms out, all around the interior! Don’t worry if the neighbors think you’re strange — just wait until the antenna is on! OK — you think you’ve found a location. Just a quick note: Radios have three sides to them — front panel, mount and connectors. So, you’ve solved two just now, the mount and the front panel. The next step is to get some books or whatever, and prop the rig up near it’s intended location. Get on your back and crawl over the floor as far as you can under/beside the rig and take a look at the location of all of the stuff installed under and behind the dash. Boy looks crowded, eh?? Well, for starters, don’t worry about the AC or heat blowing near the rig. In a modern car, that just can’t always be avoided. Some things to avoid are the car’s computer, blower motor(s) and running cables too close to an all electronic dashboard. Spend as much time as you need! This part is more important than mounting the antenna — IMO. If you can’t get the mount to be fastened to some good old fashioned iron behind the dash, I’ve beefed up the dash by using very large washers and multiple machine screws and lock washers. OK, this looks pretty good! Time to get out the Black and Decker(tm)?? NO WAIT there’s more…….
Running the Cables
You’ll need to look for locations to get the heavy gauge power and ground cables plus the coax out of the cab to the outside world. While you’re still on your back poking your head under the dash, look at the firewall to see if there are any locations to run the power cables to the battery. You’ll HAVE to run heavy gauge, 8 or larger directly to the battery. Let me say this again: you’ll HAVE to run heavy gauge, 8 or larger directly to the battery. There is no way around this requirement! Place fuses on both leads, directly at the battery. The heavy cable, if it should short out can carry enough current to possibly start your car on fire! Please, buy high quality cable that is gas and solvent resistant. The run won’t be long, so go ahead and splurge — you deserve it! Have you found a location to pass through the firewall?? Yes! OK, if it’s through a rubber boot — some cars have them to pass cables in and out of the cab, go ahead and CAREFULLY slice a small slit into the boot and shove your cables through. Just be careful not to rip the boot, or haul all of the other cables along with it. To attach the cables to the battery, I needed to replace my stock battery any ways due to age. I got the biggest battery that would fit into the battery tray (measure the tray first) and a battery that had both types of terminals — side terminals and standard top posts. Which ever pair you need to hook to start the car, you’ll have another pair free! Makes it nice and tidy. While at the auto parts store, get a tube of RTV silicon sealant and a pair of terminal ends for your radio power cables. A safety note: Batteries can explode! Follow all safety directions on the battery and in your owners manual for the car. Go ahead and attach your new cable ends to one end of the radio power cables and run the other end around the engine compartment to the rubber boot you just sliced. Pay attention and keep the power cables away from ignition parts, exhaust headers or other electronic devices. It’s going to be a challenge, but keep at it, you’ll find a way. Use wire ties to keep it where you need. Leave the power cables about a foot longer than needed inside the cab — allows for some shifting of the rig to install the mount, etc. Use the RTV silicon sealant to ‘patch’ the hole in the rubber boot where the power cables enter. This will stop engine noise, water or fumes from entering the vehicle with the engine running and you driving. What if you don’t have a handy rubber boot! No problem, you’ll just have an additional step: You’ll have to make one! If you need to make holes through the firewall, be sure to check both sides of the firewall for attached equipment, cables, etc. It would be a real pain to drill through a brake line, or other device! Use a small drill bit first and then double check your location. Use progressively larger bits until you get to the size your grommets require. Use heavy grommets to protect the power cables, and run RTV around to seal up the holes. Did you notice that your rig has a ground lug on it?? Good, you’ll need to use it. So look for a place nearby that can go directly to the car body. For my install, I had a large bolt that supported the metal frame for the dash that directly went to the firewall. Make this cable out of 1″ tinned copper braid. DON’T RELY on any other cable to provide this grounding function — power cable or coax! If you’re close to a seat, the bolts that hold the seat to the floor pan make an excellent attachment point. Now is a good time to go ahead and mount the rig in it’s final resting place. If you can’t bolt the mount directly to some metal behind the dash, I used large 1-1/2″ washers, as well as lock washers to secure it to the side of my dash. Make all of the cables the correct length to reach the rig directly, solder ALL fittings and dress properly with wire ties. A properly planned install should show only a minimum of cables, and some don’t show any at all! Once all this is done, let’s conduct our first noise test. First, attach a dummy load to the rig and power it up. Start the car, turn off all other rigs/radios and crank the volume on the HF rig all the way up. Listen carefully — do you hear any buzzing or popping sounds coming out of the speaker? Rev the engine up a bit. Listen carefully — now start at the lowest frequency of your receiver and tune through the entire HF spectrum. Are you listening carefully?? If you do hear any noise, then it’s coming through the power cables, or possibly via a ground loop. Turn the rig off and disconnect the ground cable. Turn the rig back on — here any noise?? If the noise stayed the same, then the problem is with the power cables. You may need to install some bypass caps directly at the battery. Roughly 40,000 mfd bypassed by a .01 uf cap should help. Did the noise go away?? If so, then move the ground cable to another attachment point inside the car — you have a ground loop going. Once that is all done, take the new installation for a drive and repeat spinning the dial across the entire HF spectrum. You should be completely clean of any engine/alternator noise. Well, that wasn’t so bad now was it?!? It took only about 20 hours to complete just this portion of my install.
Mounting the Antenna and COAX
Start by taking a walk around the family wagon. Get the creative juices flowing! If you’re planning on running a screwdriver or the larger bugcatchers, you’ll need a very STURDY mount. Go get the copy of Don’s book you bought and re-read it on building antenna mounts. I have a smaller bugcatcher, so I went with a Hustler trunk mount that I modified for an additional ground strap. My antenna is guyed to the roof rack, so this mount only really has to support the weight of the antenna, not the wind load. Be sure to get the antenna as high up and away from the car body as possible. My bugcatcher coil is around 18″ from the roof line, well away from the car. I modified the antenna mount to provide a heavy ground strap from the frame of the mount to the hatch. Most antenna problems can be related to poor coax, small resistance at the mount, or too close in proximity to the body. Which every mount type you choose, remember that the antenna will be outside and subject to heavy wind loading. In my first attempt at installing an antenna, the poor thing came off on the freeway, at 65 MPH while I was driving into heavy winds of 40 MPH. The antenna shot off the back, ripped the connector right off the coax and upon contact with the freeway, shattered into a million little tooth picks of fiberglass. If there had been another car behind me, and conditions were right, the metal whip could have penetrated the windshield! Use a high quality ball mount, back braced as needed. Again — read Don’s books. I use RG-213 for the majority of my run to the back of the Escort. I have a small, ‘cheater’ stub of RG-58A/U cable that runs through the weather-stripping on the hatch. The COAX runs from there, under the rear seats, with a small section exposed over the carpeting, to the center console. From there it runs under the console to the back of the radio. Nice and neat. Please do me a favor — splurge again on some high quality COAX OK?? Oh, before I forget, I mount my antennas on the opposite side of the car as the tailpipe. Some ops run into tailpipe induced noise. If this is the only place you can mount your antenna, then ground the end of the tailpipe with some short braid. Should lick that problem.
RF Grounding
It’s important to have a good RF ground for the mobile operator. I took heavy tinned copper braid and bonded all of the doors, hatch and hood to the body of the car. Most people don’t do this, and it doesn’t cost much and only takes about an hour to drill all of the holes and screw it all together. I premade all of the straps first with soldered ends, and used sheet metal screws with star and lock washers to complete the grounding kit. I used a spring loaded center punch and small drill bit to drill all of the holes. If you can, try and put these ground straps INSIDE the weather-stripping of the doors. That way it will help keep moisture and dirt from getting at the screws. It made noticeable improvements in VHF reception, plus it will help improve your portable ground plane. Some people do go as far as bonding the tail pipe, but I’ve never done that. Bonding the tail pipe can help eliminate RFI, more on troubleshooting RFI ( or is it caRFI?? ) in the following section.
Noise Problems
OK, some pointers on dealing with RFI from the car. I must tell you, that I’ve never had any noise problems in any of my installs, but YMMV or you’re sitting next to a Volkswagon! The first thing to do is to determine where the noise is coming from. It can be power leads, bad ground or through the antenna. If you did a noise test before mounting the antenna, then the only place you’re getting any noise is through the antenna or feed line! Pretty easy don’t you think! Hopefully you won’t have to move the mount. You may have to build a better ground and verify that the large piece of metal you grounded the antenna mount to is also ground with a strap to the other parts of the car. Again, get creative, crawl in the trunk, take out the back seats, find that seam in the sheet metal! Place a ground strap right there, should hopefully fix the problem. After that is you still have noise problems, then try the ARRL Handbook, etc.
Test Equipment
I don’t use any real fancy test equipment when doing one of my installs. Just a good DMM, antenna analyzer and frequency counter. You don’t even need the last two pieces of equipment, but it makes the job SO much easier. It took me all of 7 mins to resonate and match to 1:1 my mobile antenna initially. A standard SWR bridge and your rig can be used to tune the system, just be prepared to walk a little. I will probably be mounting a small SWR bridge inside the car, as well as permanent volt/ammeter just for the radios.
Speakers & Mics
I have three rigs in the car with me — HF, VHF and a wide band scanner. I didn’t have enough room for three external speakers! I’m currently modifying a Ramsey Kit 2.5 watt audio amplifier to handle three inputs. Will put up the schematic when I have it complete. With only one speaker, I can have a real high quality speaker that will enhance reception under noisy conditions. I also have multiple mics for the two rigs. I may combine them into just one, but will let that be until later.
Operating Tips
Well, you’ve managed to get the HF rig installed and get that diamond necklace to your YL for carving up the family wagon. Now you’re wondering — how do I keep track of everything like in the home shack?? Pencils, paper, logs, propagation programs, greyline, clocks! Whew…. OK, here’s some quick skinny on keeping track of all this stuff. If you’re into software to help you out with propagation and greyline, then just handle this stuff prior to departure. Names, QTH, rigs, time and frequency of the worked station?? I carry a small tape recorder, like the type used for dictation to use for logging purposes. Sure helps keep the old eyes on the road. If your automobile has a clock, I changed mine to UTC time. Since it’s dark when I leave for work and dark when I return, I really don’t need to know the local time — if needed, I have a wrist watch! The other nifty tool for running mobile is a keypad for entering frequencies directly. The Yaesu 757 had a device called a QSYer that came along with my rig. I started using it to quickly hop around the band to switch to different nets, etc. It also switches the rig to the correct mode of operation, etc.
The last topic, wow, we’ve been through a lot so far! Routine maintenance of your installation. What’s the use of going to all of this trouble to put in a first rate installation, just to have it cut down by a little crud on the connectors?? At every filling station stop, I check the antenna mount and the coax running into the interior of the vehicle. I check the matching coil on the bugcatcher and the resonance coil also. Pay close attention to the battery connections. I keep a small set of tools and a butane powered soldering iron with me to handle cleaning these things off, etc. About once a month, go over all of your ground straps. If you’ve managed to keep them inside the weather stripping, you shouldn’t have too much problem with them. Keep your eye on the driver door one — it gets flexed the most and replace it if it starts fraying.
Many thanks go out to the Commute Group on the Palomar Amateur Radio Club repeater, 146.73(-) PL1B for all their comments, and essentially listening to all of my questions about rigs and antennas for the last 3 months! The commute group consists of, Jim — KA2BLQ, Hal — KB6RY, Rod — AC6V, Harv — KD6QK, Bruce — KK6QT, Joe — KB9MWO, and many others!
Hopefully this has provided you with the incentive to get into HF mobile. I will be updating this page with some photos of my current installation to help clear up any confusion. I’ve been asked to break it up into smaller files, and I will get to it, but not until I’m mostly done. What you’re reading is work in progress! If you have any questions/comment etc, please don’t hesitate to contact me!