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#1 Hoyt7811

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 11:19 AM

Hi All,
Been lurking and surfing for a while in search of some ideas and pics of motorhome radio installations. I would really appreciate some pics of your installations as well as any of your thoughts and ideas. Our "new to us" motorhome is a 36 ft. Holiday Rambler (1999) with a V-10 gas engine. The driving position is somewhat limited in room due to the engine hump (cover ). I also wonder if I could "hang" the radios above the dash from the overhead cabinets? Lots of questions, kinda new at motorhoming as I have just retired. I know the xyl would not appreciate the radio stuff on the dining table. I plan on running a Yaesu ft 7800 dual bander as well as my trusty TS450at Kenwood for HF, due to the built in tuner. Anyway, thanks in advance for any and all replies.

73
Hoyt N2JDK
Bokeelia, Florida

#2 Bill Baxter

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 06:50 PM

Hi All,
Been lurking and surfing for a while in search of some ideas and pics of motorhome radio installations. I would really appreciate some pics of your installations as well as any of your thoughts and ideas. Our "new to us" motorhome is a 36 ft. Holiday Rambler (1999) with a V-10 gas engine. The driving position is somewhat limited in room due to the engine hump (cover ). I also wonder if I could "hang" the radios above the dash from the overhead cabinets? Lots of questions, kinda new at motorhoming as I have just retired. I know the xyl would not appreciate the radio stuff on the dining table. I plan on running a Yaesu ft 7800 dual bander as well as my trusty TS450at Kenwood for HF, due to the built in tuner. Anyway, thanks in advance for any and all replies.

73
Hoyt N2JDK
Bokeelia, Florida

2M/440 is an easy solution - mount to the cabinet bottom. Antenna is easy. Now HF, that's a different animal. Pick an operating station and use headphones or a bug for CW. Your problem is an antenna. Ladder mount is an acceptable solution for a screwdriver antenna. If you are going to stay for bit then a wire works well. I would suggest for HF figure your antenna location and that will probably determine your station location. Remember you are fiberglass so grounding is critical.

Bill

73 de N1XRB
Bill & Lynn Baxter
MCI102A3 Conversion, Detroit Diesel S50

#3 Hoyt7811

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 02:50 AM

Thanks for your thoughts Bill. I was hoping I was not the only one reading my post. I guess the biggest problem for now is my operating position. My rv is aluminum with "fiberglass front and back caps", and " for now" I plan on using some hamsticks ( already have them ) for hf, (attached to the ladder as you said ) I know they're not the best, but good enough for now to get started with. I just need to find a way to install my radio and keep the xyl happy. I kinda like the idea of keeping it close to the driving position. That way all my "stuff" is out of the way so to speak. Hopefully somebody out there will post some pics so I can get a few ideas.
Thanks again for your thoughts
73
Hoyt N2JDK

2M/440 is an easy solution - mount to the cabinet bottom. Antenna is easy. Now HF, that's a different animal. Pick an operating station and use headphones or a bug for CW. Your problem is an antenna. Ladder mount is an acceptable solution for a screwdriver antenna. If you are going to stay for bit then a wire works well. I would suggest for HF figure your antenna location and that will probably determine your station location. Remember you are fiberglass so grounding is critical.

Bill

73 de N1XRB



#4 PatC

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 12:56 PM

I have Fifth Wheel and I use a dipole mount with a pair of hamsticks for each band (Usually I'm on 75m). I use a Yaesu ft-857 and just run the cable in along the seal on the one slide out. The antenna mounts to the rear ladder. The only thing I had to do was add a ferrite choke and wrap a few loops of the feedline thru it to keep RF off the coax shield.

I also carry some wire dipoles just in case there are some convenient trees available. Especially if I'm staying more than a weekend.

Pat
2006 Chevy Duramax, ext cab, Long bed, Reese 18K hitch
2011 Carriage Cameo 37KS3

#5 Hoyt7811

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 03:49 PM

Thanks Pat,
I initially plan on using a few hamsticks and maybe a longwire if camped for a while as you said.
My real quandry is where to mount the hf rig? I was hoping to get a few pics so I could see what others have done. Do you run off a power supply or from your house batteries?
Thanks again

Hoyt N2JDK

I have Fifth Wheel and I use a dipole mount with a pair of hamsticks for each band (Usually I'm on 75m). I use a Yaesu ft-857 and just run the cable in along the seal on the one slide out. The antenna mounts to the rear ladder. The only thing I had to do was add a ferrite choke and wrap a few loops of the feedline thru it to keep RF off the coax shield.

I also carry some wire dipoles just in case there are some convenient trees available. Especially if I'm staying more than a weekend.

Pat



#6 R DAVIS

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 11:54 AM

Here is my portable travel trailer setup.

Radio Setup

73,

Randy

K5RCD



#7 Hoyt7811

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 03:40 AM

Thanks Randy,
That's the sort of thing I've been looking for. Maybe I'll wind up operating hf from the dinette table as well, but I'm trying to figure a way not to. I know the xyl wouldn't like it there for more than a few hours at a time, especially if we were camped for a week or longer. How does that screwdriver antenna work out for you? That will be later on for me since I already have the hamsticks. Since I've retired, most of my time has been devoted to going back and forth to the doctors and doing alot of honey do's ( catching up ), ha ha. I like to home brew stuff and one of my "priority" projects for home brew is a screwdriver antenna as well as a motorized antenna lifting device. Also, do you use a power supply or do you operate from a battery ?

Thanks again for your response.
73

Hoyt N2JDK

#8 R DAVIS

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 08:52 AM

Thanks Randy,
That's the sort of thing I've been looking for. Maybe I'll wind up operating hf from the dinette table as well, but I'm trying to figure a way not to. I know the xyl wouldn't like it there for more than a few hours at a time, especially if we were camped for a week or longer. How does that screwdriver antenna work out for you? That will be later on for me since I already have the hamsticks. Since I've retired, most of my time has been devoted to going back and forth to the doctors and doing alot of honey do's ( catching up ), ha ha. I like to home brew stuff and one of my "priority" projects for home brew is a screwdriver antenna as well as a motorized antenna lifting device. Also, do you use a power supply or do you operate from a battery ?

Thanks again for your response.
73

Hoyt N2JDK


Hoyt:

The whole thing is mounted in one of those metal 3 tray in/out/hold baskets available at office supply stores. The radio is screw mounted, everything else is Velcro mounted. I just unplug antenna and power connectors, and the entire unit can be just picked up and stuck in a compartment. I have a MFJ interface device, as well as a small SWR/watt meter, small speaker, and a 7 point USB hub. The radio has a tuner chip that goes into low power CW mode when I push the tune button, allowing me to adjust the power screwdriver for best SWR. The radio has no built in tuner, but does have a tune button.

I have a MFJ Mighty Light power supply tucked in there, but one could just as easily tap into the RV 12 volt system.


The screwdriver antenna works pretty well. It is on a short pipe welded to the trailer frame which serves as a counterpoise. It would probably work better if I laid down some ground radials, but I work mostly digital modes from the trailer, and those modes work well, even at low power, with a less than ideal antenna.

#9 Hoyt7811

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 04:28 AM

Thanks again Randy. I might have to look into something like your set up if I have to. It's just too bad I have that motor hump ( dog house?) to deal with, otherwise that would have been perfect. I may still be able to figure something for that area.
Thanks again
73
Hoyt N2JDK

Hoyt:

The whole thing is mounted in one of those metal 3 tray in/out/hold baskets available at office supply stores. The radio is screw mounted, everything else is Velcro mounted. I just unplug antenna and power connectors, and the entire unit can be just picked up and stuck in a compartment. I have a MFJ interface device, as well as a small SWR/watt meter, small speaker, and a 7 point USB hub. The radio has a tuner chip that goes into low power CW mode when I push the tune button, allowing me to adjust the power screwdriver for best SWR. The radio has no built in tuner, but does have a tune button.

I have a MFJ Mighty Light power supply tucked in there, but one could just as easily tap into the RV 12 volt system.


The screwdriver antenna works pretty well. It is on a short pipe welded to the trailer frame which serves as a counterpoise. It would probably work better if I laid down some ground radials, but I work mostly digital modes from the trailer, and those modes work well, even at low power, with a less than ideal antenna.



#10 PatC

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 05:25 PM

Hoyt,

I have pelican case that I keep the Yaesu Ft-857, jetstream switching supply, LDG antenna tuner, Headset, mike and a few coax adapters in. I made a foam liner for the case that is cut out that holds each piece. I just pull out the radio and power supply and set it on the dining room table.
I'll try to get a few pictures of the radio and case.

Pat
2006 Chevy Duramax, ext cab, Long bed, Reese 18K hitch
2011 Carriage Cameo 37KS3

#11 Hoyt7811

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 02:11 AM

Thanks Pat
How well does that tuner work for you ? And what sort of antenna do you use? I guess I'll be needing another tuner as well, even though my trusty kenwood ts-450 already has one built in. I'd like to keep it as simple as possible, but from what I've been reading another tuner is typically necessary. I'm looking forward to your pics and any comments as well.
Thanks
73
Hoyt N2JDK

#12 Bill Baxter

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 06:06 PM

Hoyt,

Had a brain cramp. In my reply I forgot to direct you to Open Roads Radio forum. openroadsradio,net. There is your source for info on RV radio setup and operation.

Bill
n1xrb
Bill & Lynn Baxter
MCI102A3 Conversion, Detroit Diesel S50

#13 Bill Baxter

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 06:07 PM

Hoyt,

Had a brain cramp. In my reply I forgot to direct you to Open Roads Radio forum. openroadsradio,net. There is your source for info on RV radio setup and operation.
Sorry.

Bill
n1xrb
Bill & Lynn Baxter
MCI102A3 Conversion, Detroit Diesel S50

#14 Hoyt7811

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 05:03 AM

Thanks Bii, I'll check it out
73

Hoyt

#15 Bonnie and John The Roadfolks

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 07:51 PM

Hello Hoyt, just saw your posting, so I will throw in my 2Cents worth. I have a 2K Winnebago 35U Motor-home. My HR installation is centered around my Archie Bunker chair and a table which is mounted to the curbside wall in the LR by the front window. This is where my computer tower, wall bracketed LCD monitor etc. were already located. I mounted my ICOM 7000 chassis to the wall by the entrance door on the curbside near my battery bank. I remote mounted the IC7K head to the side of the computer table which allows me to rest my right arm on the chair arm while I tune the 7K head, computer keyboard, etc. I'm presently adding a signalink USB for digital modes and am waiting for a Kenwood TM-D710A to replace an Icom IC28 at the driving position. My antenna is changing from a screwdriver to a comet 250BX mounted on the rear ladder on a home made fold-over assembly. 6 Meter Antenna Squalo antenna is mounted to ladder also on a extended stand off bracket/painter pole so I can raise / lower it for operation. VHF-UHF is via a Larson 270 mounted over the drivers door. Nothing in my install impacts the dinette or the rest of the MH in any way so mom should remain happy. I only use the UVhf FM when on the road, the HF operation is for when parked, so my install works well for us.

Your biggest headache will be the hf antenna and optimizing its radiation. I wasn't satisfied with the screwdriver, and I picked up the Comet 250 used as a tryout project, looks promising so far, so we will see....

No photos here yet, but I will take some photos once completed. Good Luck to you // 73 John K3NOQ/Mobile

#16 Walt&Connie

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 12:38 PM

You might try this site. His whole site is dedicated to the mobile HAM operator.

http://www.k0bg.com

Good luck.

#17 Hoyt7811

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 05:31 AM

Thanks John and Walt & Connie as well. I've been to KOBG 's site and there are alot of interesting pics and info, I must agree. I am really interested in actuall "operating position" pics so I can best determine what setup I should use, mainly for HF. I my MH, the battery bank for the house is next to the last compartment on the passenger side, so running a 12 line may be a problem. ( voltage drop ) I'm leaning towards using a power supply for HF and just the engine battery for the uhf/vhf while on the road. I guess I just like to see the way others have done it. Time to be a bit creative I guess. John, I look forward to any pics you may be able to post.
Thanks and 73
Hoyt N2JDK

#18 Roadhobos

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 09:02 PM

I had the same problem in my Jeep Liberty. I have an FT-857. Radio went under the driver's seat, control head was velcroed just above the broadcast radio. I cut a piece of white plastic cutting board and velcroed that to the dash. It held my external speaker and Tigertronics Signalink. I placed my ATAS-120 on the left side of the hood, using a Diamond mount. The cables and power leads, out of necessity were run in plain sight. I used black self adhesive cable mounts and black cable ties. My main concern was drilling holes and screwing items to the plastic. Velcro can be your best friend when needed. Easily removed and any adhesive cleaned up.
Best of luck, 73's
Mike, KN5P

#19 Hoyt7811

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 08:03 AM

Glad to see thread is still alive. I am thinking that I will probably mount the dual bander under the overhead cabinet. The HF is still under consideration. I'm leaning towards mounting it on a wood or plastic sheet along with the power supply so I can plug-unplug as I need to. I typically operate early, 5am-8am or just listen anytime. That way I can put it away when the xyl is looking to cook or whatever .Don't necessarily like screwing-unscrewing pl-259 connections, but ya got to make a compromise somewhere.

This way I could use the dinette table. I think I'll make an aluminum pass thru plate ( no holes in rv ) so the coax can be routed out of the rv to the antenna. ( via a bulkhead connector )

The next concern is the dual band antenna. Looks like I'll have to drill a hole for the antenna. I guess I could mount an NMO type antenna high on the drivers side, using a bracket. The motorhome is aluminum sided as well as the roof. The front and rear "caps" are fiberglass.
I've had good luck with both the Larsen 2/70 as well as the Comet SSB-5 antennas on various vehicles so I'll probably stick with them.

I'd still like to see what others have done. Thanks again for all your replies
73
Hoyt N2JDK

#20 PatC

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 06:45 PM

Hoyt,

The plastic sheet or plywood sounds like a good idea. Maybe a plastic cutting board would be a good source for a plastic sheet.

I have an FT-857 with an LDG autotuner mounted on top of it and a Jetstream 28 amp supply. I will look into mounting them on board.
Currently I have a pelican case that I store them in. I have some foam cut to protect them, but I like the idea of mounting them on something and thenI will figure a way to protect the assembly in the case.

To get the cables inside I run the slide out and stop when it is about 4 inches from open and slip the 2 runs of RG8X coax thru the bottom corner of slide. It is easy to push thru to the inside where it comes out under the carpet flap on the edge of the slide. There is a soft rubber seal that seals the area around the coax when the slide is run out against it's stop.

I use BNC connectors on the radio end of the cables since they are smaller than PL259's. I have used a pair of hamsticks to make a dipole for each band I operate (Usually 75 and 40 meters) and have a dual band 146/440 antenna. I put them on 4 or 5 sections of surplus fiberglass military mast sections. I use a flagpole mount on the ladder to hold the mast. I also carry a few wire dipoles and sone parachute rope that I can throw up in a tree for better HF performance.

I would like to hear what others are doing.

Pat, WA3UOE
2006 Chevy Duramax, ext cab, Long bed, Reese 18K hitch
2011 Carriage Cameo 37KS3