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Author Topic: Cheapo ham radio install  (Read 681 times)

weaselguys

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  • Posts: 16
    • Camping Bastards
Cheapo ham radio install
« on: December 16, 2018, 06:32:40 PM »
I have 2 BaoFeng UV-82 handheld radios they are for use with a local 4X4 club for on the trail communications so I mounted a steel plate to the roof of my fifth wheel and a steel plate to the ladder and I bought a magnetic 19" roof top antenna we will use this in case we cannot get a emergency call out with a cell phone and when I am away for camp on club frequencies. The antenna will be on the roof when parked and on the ladder mount when moving. Not great communications but better then nothing and I will also be installing a CB.

1999 Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins
2002 Keystone Laredo 27RL
2001 Jeep Cherokee
1993 Coleman Cedar
www.campingbastards.com

edjunior

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  • Posts: 2212
  • Roman Forest, TX
Re: Cheapo ham radio install
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2018, 07:21:36 PM »
Nothing wrong with el-cheapo, esepcially when you're talking about a travel trailer.  It's tough sometimes to find a good way to mount an antenna.  I say nice job!
Ed.....KF5INW
MSgt, USAF, Retired
2019 F-250 XLT, 6.7L PSD
2010 Forest River Wildcat 28RKBS
"I thought I was wrong once, but I was wrong!"

weaselguys

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  • Posts: 16
    • Camping Bastards
Re: Cheapo ham radio install
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2018, 09:30:12 PM »
Thank you edjunior
1999 Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins
2002 Keystone Laredo 27RL
2001 Jeep Cherokee
1993 Coleman Cedar
www.campingbastards.com

Mark_K5LXP

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  • Posts: 73
Re: Cheapo ham radio install
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2018, 06:09:08 AM »
If you're running 2M I'd make that groundplane a lot bigger though what you have would probably work OK for short distances.  My idea would be to use a large pizza pan or baking sheet tray, invert it and secure the edges to the roof with lap seal.

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM

HappyWanderer

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  • Posts: 2324
Re: Cheapo ham radio install
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2018, 07:49:45 AM »
To be brutally honest, its a poor installation from both technical and aesthetic points of view.

In addition to the previously mentioned lack of surface for a suitable ground plane, the antenna is too close to the ladder apparently less than a half-wavelength away.

The cable hanging down inside the living space is an eyesore, to say the least. I still live by the rule learned working for a Motorola shop the only visible cable should be the microphone cable. I abide by that with my HF and VHF installations in the home shack and motorhome.

With just a little more effort, there are many options for doing it right.
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Lou Schneider

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Re: Cheapo ham radio install
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2018, 03:03:05 PM »
You don't need a solid surface ground plane - just 4-8 equally spaced wires extending a quarter wavelength (19" for 2 meters) or more connected to the plate at the base of the antenna.  A full circle provides uniform coverage gain, if you add them where you currently have the antenna you'll get enhanced coverage in the forward direction since there isn't room for them to the rear of the antenna.

You can run duct tape or a bead of sealant over the wires to hold them in place.  Or you could use alarm tape - that self-stick foil stuff used around the edge of windows.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2018, 03:21:57 PM by Lou Schneider »

weaselguys

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  • Posts: 16
    • Camping Bastards
Re: Cheapo ham radio install
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2018, 06:25:02 PM »
Mark_K5LXP I like the idea of the pizza plate for the ground plane and I will one and move the antenna farther away, when I get a mobile unit I will mount it under the overhead cabinet and the antenna will be on the side away from the ladder this will have to get me by till I run 12v power to the cabinet and I get a better antenna. HappyWanderer I appreciate your opinion as far as the eye sore it will only be that when we need to use the radio other wise it will be in the cabinet i didn't hide it since I have to redo it all over again when I mount a mobile unit. Lou thanks for the tip on the ground plane wires I didn't know that I think I will go with the pizza plate for now until I get better equipment.
1999 Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins
2002 Keystone Laredo 27RL
2001 Jeep Cherokee
1993 Coleman Cedar
www.campingbastards.com

BruceR

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  • Posts: 28
Re: Cheapo ham radio install
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2018, 11:55:31 PM »
I'm about to mount a 2m antenna on top of my Chinook motorhome, which has an aluminum "guard rail" running around the top edge. The rail should give me two of the ground plane wires that Lou mentions above but I need to add another two. I'm torn between using two more wires internal to my fiberglass shell or the alarm foil tape also mentioned. The internal wires would be much cleaner . . .
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2000 Chinook Concourse