Showing posts with label Mobile Operation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mobile Operation. Show all posts

September 6, 2015

Using a Diamond HV7A Mobile Antenna as a stealth base antenna

We recently had need for a multiband stealthy antenna covering 70cm, 2m, 6m, 10m, and 20m.  The stealth requirement meant that the antenna had to be near invisible on a rooftop as seen from the ground level.  After evaluating our options (beam, traditional full-size base vertical, wire) we were unsatisfied.  None of the choices seem to meet the prime criteria of invisibility.

This prompted us to consider the use of a multiband mobile antenna which tend to be constructed with a minimal profile.  We eventually settled on the Diamond HV7A as it offered multiband coverage that met our needs in a rather stealthy package.

Diamond HV7A Mobile Antenna in its packaging

Diamond HV7A Mobile Antenna unpacked

HV7A Mobile Antenna assembled and ready for mounting

We mounted the antenna on our rooftop and it was amazingly difficult to see from the ground level.  This was exactly what we had hoped for in terms of physical appearance.  We have been satisfied with the HV7A though performance as a stealthy base antenna is a compromise due to its intended purpose as a mobile antenna.

 Antenna_BandFrequency Coverage RangeVertical Antenna GainElement Phasing (wavelength)Antenna Power Rating
10 meters28-29.7 MHz2.1 dBi1/4120 watts
6 meters50-54 MHz2.1 dBi1/4200 watts
2 meters144-148 MHz2.1 dBi1/2200 watts
70 centimeters440-450 MHz5.5 dBi2 x 5/8200 watts

Good DX and 73, NJ2X

September 4, 2015

Vacationing on a motorcycle...

“You see things vacationing on a motorcycle in a way that is completely different from any other. In a car you're always in a compartment, and because you're used to it you don't realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV.” ― Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values

September 28, 2012

FT-8800R Back On The Air

We finished reprogramming our FT-8800R dual band mobile radio tonight.  After installing it we turned it on, hit scan, and immediately found a local net to join in.  Programming software makes the job so much easier than manual entry via the radio controls and menus.  What a bother it would be to upload several hundred frequencies manually.

In this day and age of cheap and plentiful memory and internet enabled devices, it is fairly easy to image radios in the near future coming pre-programmed with software that automatically keeps them synched with all repeater information - anywhere in the world.  Why not?  Since we are dreaming a little.  How about unlimited text labelling for each memory.  6 characters simply doesn't cut it.  Why only 6?  Why not 66, or 266, or even unlimited?  The memory certainly wouldn't add much cost.

September 18, 2012

G4HFQ Software - Excellent Experience

We had a really great experience recently with G4HFQ Software.  We needed a little assistance with a program that we had purchased from Bob back in 2008 for programming our trusty FT-8800.  We sent an email and Bob responded almost immediately with just the right help.  Bob's software works very well and the service is tops.  Highly recommended.

December 17, 2011

NTSB Seeking New Laws Against Portable Electronic Devices

The number of criminal laws in the US has exploded in the last 50 years.  We have reached a point where it is beyond the capability of the citizenry to live free in confidence that they are also obeying the law.  There are simply too many laws and good people are being ensnared and their lives trampled.  The real tragedy is that we have traded away our freedom in exchange for the false security of being ruled by a large and powerful government.
Here they go again....

The brilliant lawyers and freedom fighters in Washington (yeah right) have come up with another way to make us all safe from ourselves.  Can you guess how?  If you answered, "more laws" then you win the golden fleece award.  Not a fair question you say?  True, they didn't come up with another way to make us safe.  Piling on the laws is the ONLY way for these people - its how they bread their butter.  When all you have is a hammer then everything looks like a nail.  Feeling a little safer and less free yet?  If not, read on it gets better.

The National Transportation Safety Board is seeking to justify their existence by seeking new laws to be made effective across the 50 states of the U.S. banning the use of portable electronic devices while driving.

"The safety recommendation specifically calls for the 50 states and the District of Columbia to ban the non-emergency use of portable electronic devices (other than those designed to support the driving task) for all drivers. The safety recommendation also urges use of the NHTSA model of high-visibility enforcement to support these bans and implementation of targeted communication campaigns to inform motorists of the new law and heightened enforcement."

Ban the non-emergency use of portable electronic devices
Amateur radio has been used safely by hams in vehicles for decades.  A 2m rig in your vehicle certainly fits the definition of a portable electronic device and is used most of the time in non-emergency situations.  Under the definition above, hams will either have to stop using their mobile equipment or become criminals.  Enjoy operating 2m, 200Mhz, 220Mhz, or HF while mobile?  These people are targeting YOU and your portable electronic device.  Feeling less like a valued good neighbor and more like a miscreant?

High-visibility enforcement to support these bans
Can't have more laws without more enforcement right?  Enforcement will likely include being pulled over for being spotted with something in your hand.  Cup of coffee, donut, GPS, or a Blackberry all look similar at 65 miles per hour.  How about a 2m hand-held microphone in your hand?  The bar will be so low that the police won't be expected to offer any evidence of just cause.

All this enforcement and nanny state re-education will require larger budgets, more spending, increased deficits, and all at a time when the country is deep in debt.  Guess who pays?  Hint... not the brilliant lawyers and freedom fighters in Washington.  "High-visibility" equals high cost equals high taxes equals fewer jobs equals a poorer you.

What is odd is that we already have mountains of laws that were passed under the same guise of public safety.  For example, in most places it is against the law to lose control of your vehicle, crash into a tree, and die.  It is also already illegal to run over pedestrians crossing the road.  Sadly, people still do these things.  Apparently, we pass laws to make ourselves safe but then find we are not safe so we pass more laws to make ourselves safe, and on and on...  Incrementalism brings the pot to boil without disturbing the frogs bathing in the water.

Laws against stupidity
Is it illegal to be stupid?  Apparently it soon will be as Washington incrementally makes another common sense personal decision a matter of law.  Eyes down and texting in heavy traffic at 70 miles per hour is indeed a potentially life shortening decision.  Risky?  Yes.  Foolish?  Yes.  Could earn you an entry into the Darwin Award competition?  Yes.  Do we need laws to protect ourselves from ourselves?  No.

It is the role of our mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, friends, and everyone else dependent on us to help us be accountable and take personal responsibility for our decisions.  If someone chooses to put their children's lives at risk by texting while their kids are in the back seat then yet-another-law will be of no consequence to them.  However, that same law diminishes our general freedom and promotes a culture where personal responsibility is seen as passe.  Frivolous laws also dilute respect for the law.

Call your congressman and respectfully ask them to preserve freedom, reduce the size of government, don't touch mobile amateur radio, and don't let the NTSB legislate away personal responsibility.