Friday, October 15, 2010

KH6JRM;s Amateur Radio Blog

This has been a busy month in the newsroom, so my time
dedicated to amateur radio has been minimal.  I will get
back in the groove this weekend after some yard work
around the radio ranch.  Presently, I'm working to equip
my Odyssey min-van with a ham radio station.  I'm operating
on 2 meters with my trusty HT, a set of solar powered gel
cells, and a 1/4 wave whip positioned on the van room with
a mag mount.  For now, the setup meets my immediate needs.
I elected to not use the van's electrical system.  The set of gel
cells in the van coupled with a set of small solar panels mounted
on a side window keeps the system active.  The power demands
of the HT are very small, so I have no problem of running out of
juice.  Adding HF capability will be a challenge, not the least of
which is the low clearance of my garage.  Most likely, I'll opt for a
mag-mounted "Ham Stick" as a temporary solution.  This is not an
efficient system, but it will do until I decide what to do about a per-
manent mount.  I'll be using the same gel cell/solar panel arrangement
to power the Yaesu FT-7, which can be mounted on the floor under
the dash.  I used a similar system in my old '96 Tercel and it worked
reasonably well for local state contacts.  I'd welcome any ideas in this
area.  The home qth antenna "farm" will get a maintenance check this
weekend.  Salt air and moisture are real problems for those of us oper-
ating in the tropics.  Have a good weekend. 73 de KH6JRM on the Big
Island.