W8WWV - Mobile/Portable

Greg Ordy

TH-78A Radio

I use an ICOM IC-706MKIIG for mobile, portable, and emergency operation. The above picture shows the radio in my Nissan Quest minivan. I use a homebrew mount which allows me to quickly add or remove the radio. When I'm mobile, I mainly work HF. I have found that the hamstick-style antenna works very well. I use a triple magnetic mount with the hamsticks. I assume that the large metal chassis and body of the minivan provide a good platform for the antenna. Working DX seems almost easy, well, easy for mobile operation. A cup hook serves as a microphone holder, and a surplus computer speaker provides good quality audio up towards the driver and passenger.

At the February, 2002, Mansfield Ohio, Hamfest, I found an interesting accessory product for magnetic mounts. It was an adhesive-backed protection ring for the underside of the magnets. You peel off the backing, and stick it to the bottom of the magnet. The ring is die-cut to the size of the magnet, and includes a center-cut hole. The ring is made of a thick, flexible plastic that protects the roof of the vehicle. Here is a picture I took while adding the rings to my triple magnetic mount.

Magnetic Mount Protection Rings

Since my magnets had a hole in the center, I did not need the center hole material. I was able to use those on the bottom of my smaller single magnet mount, which is used for the 2 meter/440 MHz antenna. At one dollar per ring, it seemed like a good investment in protection. I suspect that many different materials could be used in this application, so long as they can withstand the heat of summer and the cold of winter.

When I don't have an antenna on top of the minivan, I use a rubber cap to cover the antenna mounting point. This keeps the weather out of the threads. The cap is nothing more than a rubber foot designed to be used on the bottom of a wooden leg. When the cap passes a certain size, it may be called a crutch tip, since it is used on the bottom of a crutch. These rubber feet are usually available in a wide range of sizes from a typical hardware store.

My portable station is described on another page. Several ICOM 706MKIIG accessories are described on their own page.

My handheld radio is a Kenwood TH-78A, which is a 2m/440MHz dual-band handi-talkie. With the SMC-34 companion speaker/mic, it has done the job. Here is a picture of that radio.

Kenwood TH-78A

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Last update: Monday, July 12, 1999 06:33 PM
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