2020 Mobile Installation
2020-06-07 After playing with my ham stick antennas for several days with mostly not-so-encouraging results, I've decided to table the whole HF mobile installation idea for now and concentrate on portable setups in stead.
2020-05-18 In July of 2017 we had a fairly major flood and the car in which I had my Yaesu 857d installed was totaled. In all the issues surrounding the flooding and rebuilding of our house I failed to remove the radio until it was badly corroded so it was a total loss as well. So i have been without a mobile rig since. But recently, with the acquisition of my new ICOM IC-7300 and therefore decreasing use of my Xiegu G90 I began thinking about installing it in our replacement car, a 2017 Ford Escape.
My experience with radios and portable antennas in the past three years has changed my thinking about what is needed. I don't believe I need a 100 watt radio in the car. In fact I seldom use more than 20 watts for my home station regardless of its capability. I just don't need more power to enjoy my style of ham radio, for CW or SSB. In addition I don't see myself using the radio while actually driving much so I think I can have a simple antenna on the car or in the car for while I am in motion. But I'll likely always have with me a portable EFHW, "random" end fed or 20 meter 1/4 wave vertical wire and fiberglass mast or my Wolf River Coils TIA mini with 17 foot mast which is effectively a 1/4 wave 20 meter vertical with loading coil for lower bands. I can use one of those for fixed mobile or portable. I want to be able to have the G90 either installed as a mobile or easily removed if I want to take it away from the car.
First step is to come up with a simple mobile radio install. Second step is to work out the antennas. I began those two steps today. First I found a heavy plastic drink cup that fit tightly in the cup holder of the center console of the Ford Escape. Mounted temorarily on that is the G90 control head pictured below as a proof of concept.
Convinced that is possible, I dug out my old 20 meter Hamstick antenna. It is a shortened version, measuring about 40 inches long. Using my NanoVNA I adjusted it's stinger so it resonates just above the center of the 40 meter band. Using my X5105, since the G90 is not yet mounted, I tuned around and made a CW contact with a station 600 miles east. the result of today's experiments is that I am convince I have a viable idea!