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New mobile antenna for me.

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  #1  
Old 01-16-2009, 07:24 AM
Crotchety Old Bastard
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Default New mobile antenna for me.


I used to do a lot of mobile radio stuff. Mostly on HF, and through several different vehicles. I found that the best antenna I could use was a so called 'Texas BugCatcher' made by Henry Allen. It is/was big, ugly, cumbersome, and not the easiest thing in the world to mount on a vehicle. It also takes time and effort to tune correctly. But, once you did, it worked very, very nicely. For HF mobile operations, I don't know of anything better
When the 'screwdriver' antennas came out, I thought that was just the neatest thing to ever come along! So, had to try one. This was when there were no commercial versions, all of them were 'home-made'. Used a real-live cordless screw driver's motor, PVC pipe for a coil form, some kind of metal tube large enough to hold everything, and some weird stuff called 'finger-stock' to make contact with the coil. Not exactly 'state of the art' unless you were into finger painting, sort of. It worked. Not exactly 'well', but it worked and you didn't have to stop and change coil taps to change bands/frequencies.
This was also about the time I got into mobile amplifiers. To say that I abused that screwdriver antenna is very much an under statement. Found that the torroidal impedance matching coil would 'saturate', and just exactly what 'saturation' means in terms of heat. Also what 'too much power' would do to a PVC coil form with too small wire making up the coil. Add all of that stuff to a 102" whip and you wind up with a mobile "inverted 'L' antenna". Not good. You might say I was sort of disappointed with the whole mess and went back to that 'BugCatcher'. 'Swore' I'd never do that again!
Haven't done any HF mobile in a while, and dreaded the thought of trying to mount the 'BugCatcher' on my truck. Looked around and found that there are several commercially made screwdriver antennas now. "They want WHAT for one'a them @#$ things?", holy _ _ _ _! Ain't no way! I'll stick to 2 meters.
Well, I lied, sort of. Got me a screwdriver antenna. It got here yesterday. It's something like 27 degrees. It's gonna stay in that shipping tube for a while. Talk about a shipping tube! This thing's about 8 inches in diameter and something close to seven feet long. Half inch cardboard, the solid stuff, not corrugated. End caps put on with philip's screws, wooden end caps by the way. I think there's as much work put into that tube as there is in the antenna. Dang!
There's also a set procedure for removing things from that tube. Don't even think about doing it some other way, it voids the warranty. I've no idea how others do their shipping so this may be standard, 'normal'. I can say that I've gotten glass thingys shipped in lesser containers, I'm impressd.

More to follow. Gotta go do some of that four letter word thingy...
- 'Doc

If/when I find the camera I'll take pictures.


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Old 01-16-2009, 08:11 AM
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This should morph into quite an interesting thread Doc......

Can't wait to see what comes of this project.......
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Old 01-16-2009, 08:35 AM
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sounds as if it might double as a mighty fine fishing rod also.

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Old 01-16-2009, 10:38 AM
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All that and you didn't even tell us which one you got.

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Old 01-16-2009, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SR385 View Post
All that and you didn't even tell us which one you got.


Yeah Which one did ya get Inquiring HF mobile ops want to know. I'll wager its a Scorpion or a Tarheel based on the description of the shipping container.

73

Wayne C.
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Old 01-16-2009, 06:41 PM
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my HiQ came in a serious tube that you needed a screw driver to remove the end cap. but it was only 5 ft., it could be used for a mortar tube.
C'mon Doc fes up.
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Old 01-17-2009, 06:06 AM
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I can see from what's been posted that the shipping container may not be as unusual as I thought. Not exactly common as dirt, but certainly still impressive.
I also found out that you'd better follow those unpacking instructions. Just happened to have the thing in the bed of the truck at work (imagine forgetting to take it inside at home ), and tried to get a look-see at stuff during a break at work. Finally got all them screws out of one end cap and managed to get it off. 'Bumped' it a couple of times as the instructions said. Nothing came out. Aw @#$%, gotta do the other end too? Ran out of break time. RATS! Oh well, when I get home. It never did get above freezing and was dark when I got home, forget it. Maybe today during break time!
I have also come to the conclusion that my idea for mounting the thing on the lid of the tool box might not be as 'reasonable' as I thought. I figured that is I braced the lid with a couple of plates it ought'a work just fine. (Tool box lid is a double layered thing with foam insulation between the layers. I wonder why you'd insulate a tool box lid?) Came to the conclusion that without some means of support between those layers, it'd just squeeze them together, no real help, right? That foam just isn't gonna provide any useful support. May have a viable alternative, it's kind'a expensive though. Hey, I'm making 'big money', so why not, right? (I got my banker trained! When he sees me coming all I hear is, "I don't wanna know what you want it for, just tell me how much!". He thinks I'm crazy anyway, afraid of what kind'a 'tantrum' I might throw in the bank. Hates it when I whine/whimper/and cry! Age is a wonderful thing, lets you get away with a lot of 'stuff'!)
Still need to do some of that 'pre-installation' stuff, like running a power line for the radio and antenna, plus the control cable and feed line. That will definitely wait till warmer weather... maybe.
- 'Doc


Wayne, it comes standard with two whips, a long one and shorter one. That tell you which antenna it is??


Bit the bullet, dared the adverse weather conditions (froze my butt!), got the thing out of the shipping tube this morning. ... Oh my... I'm not sure I deserve anything this nice... I think I'm gonna cry. If the builder was an apprentice, I'd say he just earned his Master's rank. I don't care if it works or not, it's beautiful... gotta find a towel to wipe all the drool off of it...

Last edited by W5LZ; 01-17-2009 at 07:42 AM.

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Old 01-17-2009, 09:19 AM
guardian of freedom
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Still need to do some of that 'pre-installation' stuff, like running a power line for the radio and antenna, plus the control cable and feed line. That will definitely wait till warmer weather... maybe.
- 'Doc

Believe me Doc, i understand the the wait till warmer weather thing.



Wayne, it comes standard with two whips, a long one and shorter one. That tell you which antenna it is??


I'm going to say it's a "Scorpion" and i'm figuring it most be good since you let out a few bats when that wallet opened up.
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