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Old 11-13-2001, 04:56 PM   #1
Mulder
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Default Ham radio install pic

Thought someone might be interested in this, I removed the (useless to me) cupholder and installed the control panel mount in its place. It was almost a perfect fit, only minor trimming of the vent trim was required.
The panel face detaches for security leaving just the blank mounting plate.
Other details, for any interested hams-
Rig is Yaesu FT-5200 dual-band, main unit is located in the trunk.
Antenna is a glass-mount cell look-alike on the rear window.
Sorry the pic isn't that great, I was using the low-res camera built into my laptop.
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Old 11-13-2001, 09:11 PM   #2
SilverSubi
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Nice job.


How's the glass-mount antenna working for you?


-SilverSubi (aka KB2FPD)
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Old 11-13-2001, 09:20 PM   #3
Mulder
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Excellent so far. I had this same equipment setup on my Saturn and it worked great. In the previous installation the antenna was mounted on a side window and it's now in the center of the rear window which is a more optimum location so it should work even better.
Initially I wasn't going to use the glass antenna on the rex because of the black masking around the window where it would be mounted, but I did some searching and found info that it would not affect the antenna. The alternative would have been a trunk lip mount which sucks, I'm much happier with the glass mount.
If you have any more questions about the install I'd be happy to answer them-

Last edited by Mulder; 02-06-2009 at 08:11 PM.
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Old 11-14-2001, 12:59 AM   #4
karl_hungus
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You have a camera built into your laptop... cool
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Old 11-14-2001, 07:12 AM   #5
Mulder
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It's a Sony Vaio Picturebook, the original Pentium I version. Very tiny (2.5 lbs), the smallest Win 98 machine out there.
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Old 11-14-2001, 09:42 AM   #6
JaMa
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Thumbs up COOOOOL!

Coolness! I am going to install my Kenwood TM241A in the space below my aftermarket head unit if it ever shows up. I would like to see what antenna options everyone comes up which are not too grotesque. After all, its only 2 meters... how much antenna do you really need?

JaMa
aka KC4CBS
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Old 11-15-2001, 11:43 AM   #7
Rocky WRX
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Nice to see a few hams on here. I still have my license, but I'm not active these days. Too many other interests.

WD5CBI
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Old 11-15-2001, 12:22 PM   #8
GRWRX
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What can you get on the Ham. Is it useful in the car.
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Old 11-15-2001, 01:59 PM   #9
Mulder
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Well first of all you need an FCC license, it's not like a CB where you just go to Radio Shack and buy one to put in the car. Also there are many different frequencies and types of equipment available to ham operators, depending on their interests and class of license. The particular equipment we're talking about here is a VHF/UHF transceiver which is used for local communications. With these we typically operate through repeaters which are sponsored by local clubs and provide a reliable communication radius of up to 50 miles or so.
So to answer the question, it's useful in the car as far as being able to talk to other local hams while you're driving around, if you're hooked up with a particular group you can BS on the way to work and back and sometimes trade traffic reports. In the days before cell phones it was also useful for reporting accidents and other emergencies although not so much now.
Another possibility is installing a shortwave transceiver in the car and being able to talk to people around the world as you drive. This is really cool but the equipment is more expensive, a really large antenna is required, and the higher-power transmitter uses lots of current so the installation is trickier.
Overall it's a very fun hobby, personally I've had my license for over 20 years. Unfortunately with the advent of computers and the Internet fewer new people are becoming interested.
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Old 11-15-2001, 03:17 PM   #10
GRWRX
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I do some ocean racing in sailboats, NY to Bermuda, Marblehead to Halifax. The boats use Single Sideband radios. They're pretty cool, but I've never had the time to learn them.
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Old 11-15-2001, 11:56 PM   #11
remarcable
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I should really get into this. When the **** *really* hits the fan I'd like to still be able to get news from other areas of the globe. Actually, I'd like to be able to do that right now. Reading between the lines on CNN is somewhat helpful, but the propaganda and falsified information they are spouting and dumbing down for the masses doesn't do it for me.

Too bad I'm in an apartment, I doubt the landlord would like me installing a huge antenna.
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Old 11-16-2001, 01:08 AM   #12
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You'll have to read between the lines no matter who is giving you the info. Everyone is going to put their own spin on an event, that's why you can ask 20 people about an event they witnessed and they will give you 20 different answers. Some will be very similar but there are always a few people who see things very differently... You need to get as much info as you can and search for the truth yourself...
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Old 11-16-2001, 06:14 AM   #13
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You don't need a ham license to get into shortwave listening and being in an apartment is no problem. Just get yourself a decent general-coverage type shortwave receiver and set up a long-wire antenna. I'm in an apartment and I have such a setup with a wire antenna that runs inside the house and it works well. As for getting stuff from around the world it's not as easy as turning on the local news, it does require some effort but with the right equipment and information you can hear a lot of stuff.
I recommend a book called "Passport to World Band Radio". Very informative and you can buy it in bookstores and online.
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Old 12-05-2001, 12:19 AM   #14
Ian
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Which glass mount are you using? Does it work? How's the SWR?

My experience with glass mounts is that they are worse than a coathanger shoved into the back of the radio.

Have the D700 in the car now, but just a crappy mag mount on the roof. Got a wagon, so there is no place to put the low profile Diamond trunk mount. And I refuse to use any of those things with knobs or chrome on them
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Old 12-05-2001, 12:28 AM   #15
Ian
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excuse the blurry pic...
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Old 12-05-2001, 11:09 AM   #16
omio
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Thumbs up Best part about having a Ham Radio in the car...

I feel the best part about having a Ham radio in the car is the fact that you can listen to the emergency channels and know where wrecks are or find out where your local police officer is sitting with his radar gun. I just wish my wife woud let me put it into the subie. Right now the only one in a vehicle is in my '98 Intrepid. Would not travel without that radio.

PS I have never had any luck with a window mount antenna. I like the permanent mounts much better. To each their own.

Dave
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Old 12-05-2001, 11:12 AM   #17
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I bought an Icom T7H handheld, was thinking of one of the all band HF-VHF-UHF rigs (Yaesu or Kenwood) but decided the install was too invasive and antenna too big.

Still thinking though. Perhaps a tri band 6m-2m-70cm mobile rig.

VK4KUX (been a ham since 1978! I'm old!)
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Old 12-05-2001, 06:21 PM   #18
Mulder
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Ian- the glassmount antenna is a Valor dual-band cellular lookalike type, it's about 27 inches high and rated for about 2.5db gain on VHF, 4db on UHF. As I said earlier I had this antenna on my Saturn for several years and it worked really well even though it was on a side window and the car was small and low. SWR in that install was good, around 1.5 I think. I haven't checked it in this install yet.
I suppose a permanent antenna in the center of the roof might work better but I happily accept the tradeoff to avoid drilling holes or messing with trunk mounts. Also here in NYC stealth is important, and it just looks like an overgrown cell antenna so doesn't get much attention. Actually since it's black it is hard to spot until you are next to the car.
As for your control panel mounting that's cool, I had considered that location but I didn't want to give up the storage pocket. I wasn't going to ever use the cupholder anyway so I put it there.
omio- I agree about having PD rx capability, I have a NYPD citywide channel in mine so if anything nasty is going on while I'm driving around I can hear about it. In NY PD receivers or scanners are illegal without a permit but a ham transceiver with PD receive capability is ok. As for finding radar traps it's useless, they don't transmit and reveal their location.
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Old 12-05-2001, 07:58 PM   #19
Ian
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I think that's what I had on my old car... The Valor... sort of worked. Sort of. with an HT. (Not much power so SWR doesn't get out of whack as fast). Maybe I'll try one again.

For now drilling in the roof is out, but you never know...

I listen to the highway patrol all the time on it. Here in CA, the units broadcast a real low power signal to the offier's HT, so what you hear on that is usually the reason for the local traffic. And it works as a "someone is nearby so better back down from 85mph detector"

I thought about a Kenwood 742, you know the one that splits apart, with the display over the cupholder and the controls by the stick. Or maybe even the display on that flipdown center "sun visor" and the controls over the cup holder Perhaps some photoshopping is in order
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Old 12-07-2001, 08:26 PM   #20
Skylab
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Talking CQ CQ....

Alright! Finally some fellow HAM radio nerds I can chat with!

Craig™, KF6VGZ here in San Diego. I always like to say hello to my fellow operators!

I too have a radio in my Scooby. Icom 2800-H. I plan to hook up a bumper cam on my car someday, because the display has an RCA adapter for such a thing. I'm using an Antennex™ brand dual-band trunk mount antenna, for easy hideaway.


If any of you live in a city with IRLP node coverage, look up the San Diego WIN System node #. Our group is a series of linked UHF repeaters covering Central thrue Southern Califoria, and more than 100 miles south into Mexico. Palomar Mtn frequency 449.080 -offfset with a 127.3 pl tone.




73 from KF6VGZ, San Diego, Ca USA


Skylab™

*Thanks to In2Deep for relaying message*

Western Intertie Network Repeater Homepage


*Santiago Peak, in Southern California*
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Old 12-07-2001, 08:50 PM   #21
DustinR
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Go HAMs!

N1XBV (ya just a lowly tech.)
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Old 12-09-2001, 02:26 PM   #22
Skylab
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Arrow

The upgrade to General class was easy! Just 5 wpm code test, and another written test.

HF is so much fun, but I can't have any antennas up where I live. At my old home QTH I had three antennas up. A G5RV dipole, a 10 meter vertical, and a 2m/440mhz J-pole. I really want to get back into HF!




Skylab™

KF6VGZ
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Old 12-09-2001, 02:46 PM   #23
Mulder
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I'm now considered a "tech plus" since I got my license years ago when the tech class was 5wpm + General theory. With the recent rule changes I can be a General just by filing the forms with a VE, I just haven't gotten around to it yet. One of these days....
There are some IRLP linked repeaters here in the NYC area although I haven't been on any yet. The repeater group I work with is thinking about it but we would have to overcome some issues at our site, it's up on a roof so broadband access is a problem and the environment isn't suitable for a PC.
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Old 01-30-2002, 12:30 AM   #24
Ian
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OK... Got a Valor Pro-Am 2/70 glass mount.... and suprisingly, it works!
(I'll put the Larsen one back in the closet where it's been for 5 years.)

I loosened the plastics by the rear center shoulder belt anchor (actually opened the plastic cover and took the bolt out) and ran the cable behind em, towards the back of the car, then along side the styrofoam that makes up the floor, to the radio (under the seat). It was the exact length. Not an extra inch!

My cheapy SWR meter shows <1.5 in most places and full power going out. Good enough!
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Old 01-30-2002, 08:06 AM   #25
Mulder
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Wow, this thread lives!
That's cool Ian, glad you're happy with the antenna. I've had mine for several years now and it still works great even after the transplant to the WRX. Just as good as a Larsen as far as I'm concerned and less money.
Just two words of warning- first, I hope you made sure the glass was good and warm (and clean) when you attached the mount to it, if it's too cold or not clean enough it won't bond properly. I had to do mine twice because it wasn't warm enough the first time around, second time I used a heat gun to gently warm the glass.
Second, after mounting this antenna on the WRX I experienced whistling-type wind noise caused by the open coil being up there in the open above the roof. I was able to reduce this by about 90 percent by installing a length of heat shrink tubing over the coil.
Good luck with your setup.
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