BPS Meet & Greet and Test Session Roster

Come join us in Rancho Cuamongo. CA for a little social get together and take that ham test you've been wanting to take. Or mybe you want to upgrade.
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DaveK
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Re: BPS Meet & Greet and Test Session Roster

#11

Post by DaveK » Tue Feb 15, 2011 7:44 pm

Chazz Layne wrote:I will be there, and I will be upgrading to General. :D


I'll also be camping somewhere in the Mojave afterward, if anyone else is up for a short run on Sunday.

Good move. Now we need to get you HF enabled for the trip. Have you thought about what kind of set-up will fit in the Disco?
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Re: BPS Meet & Greet and Test Session Roster

#12

Post by Chazz Layne » Tue Feb 15, 2011 8:37 pm

I am a Yaesu fan, mostly because I understand them and have never tried anything else :mrgreen: , so the FT-857D with ATAS-120 is looking good. I'm not sure I'll be able to fund that before the trip though... we'll see.
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Re: BPS Meet & Greet and Test Session Roster

#13

Post by cruiserlarry » Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:29 pm

Chazz Layne wrote:I am a Yaesu fan, mostly because I understand them and have never tried anything else :mrgreen: , so the FT-857D with ATAS-120 is looking good.
I think that's an excellent choice. I've got that combo in the FJ, and it works very well - especially for the convenience of being able to tune the antenna on the fly for everything from 2m to 40m, and the relative price point (I don't think there is another compact mobile radio / antenna combo for anywhere near the price).
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Re: BPS Meet & Greet and Test Session Roster

#14

Post by Chazz Layne » Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:38 pm

The auto-tuning, and the remote display were the big selling points for me. I'm running out of room on the dash... :shock: :lol:
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Re: BPS Meet & Greet and Test Session Roster

#15

Post by DaveK » Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:51 pm

Chazz Layne wrote:I am a Yaesu fan, mostly because I understand them and have never tried anything else :mrgreen: , so the FT-857D with ATAS-120 is looking good. I'm not sure I'll be able to fund that before the trip though... we'll see.

We're pulling for you.

Before you make your antenna selection give some thought to the following:

1. Having an external HF antenna for the kind of use that we see requires that the antenna and mount be a) located on the vehicle where it is least likely to get whacked while you are mobile and b) be sturdy enough to take the pounding that off road use will dish out.

2. there are several other antennas that you should check out, including other screwdriver antennas, that offer great reliability, strength, and more band availability. Even a single band fiberglass whip will offer a very sturdy HF platform and with the right tuner, you can cover most of the bands with a simple antenna change. The advantage to the whip is that there are no moving parts to break or malfunction.

Few locations are available for mobile use which don't expose the antenna to trail damage. The rear of the vehicle is usually the most suitable but generally not the most efficient. Do you foresee your use of the HF radio while you are traveling or primarily for use at camp? That may impact your antenna choice and it's mounting location.
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Re: BPS Meet & Greet and Test Session Roster

#16

Post by Chazz Layne » Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:51 pm

It'll likely be 50/50 mobile/camp use. Dani won't be going on as many of the trips now thanks to a new job, which is one of the motivations behind this upgrade.

Would aluminum vs. steel vehicle construction make a difference in performance? The Disco is almost entirely aluminum above the frame. There is a nice safe spot that is physically perfect for keeping the ATAS protected on the rear bumper, but I'm not too sure about performance. My other option would be to move it to the center at the top of the spare tire carrier, just low enough so only the whip portion sticks above the roof rack.

I could see running a second mount up to the roof rack for camp use. I already have a second one up there for running 2m on the Elk, so I'm used to doing that already.
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Re: BPS Meet & Greet and Test Session Roster

#17

Post by OLLIE » Wed Feb 16, 2011 8:44 am

We (Larry and I) run our ATAS on a lip mount on the passenger side of our rear cargo door with the whip sticking above the roof line as you describe. Seems to work fine.
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Re: BPS Meet & Greet and Test Session Roster

#18

Post by xtatik » Wed Feb 16, 2011 4:47 pm

Chazz,
You'll be fine with the 857/ATAS. Easily half of the hams I know from different radio clubs run them. Most of the others don't operate mobile, or just pose by having snazzy antennas to impress friends. Their weak logbooks always reveal the whole story. Don't get caught up in trying to achieve perfection when operating in a mobile environment...it just isn't the place for it. You're not going to effectively chase weak DX signals from the seat of your truck. But, Illinois, Florida, Alaska, from Arizona......a cinch. In reality, you could mount that antenna to the undercarriage and still make a contact two states away. But seriously, if you really end up enjoying operating out in the boonies...focus on having a portable antenna system (off the vehicle), and keep it simple. I see this mistake made time and time again. Guys will try exotic multiband antennas fed with balanced lines...run thru tuners and other gadgetry, and they rarely get it right. Leave the exotic antenna experimentation at home. Fuggetaboudit', just learn to get a wire to resonate on a couple of desirable bands and you've got it licked.
You don't need a ton of bands either. Remember the saying "20 days and 40 nights". These two bands represent easily half of the QSO's taking place on the HF bands. That is most notable when you take into account the entire HF spectrum available to amateurs. 20m is easily the most relied upon band, and is the least effected during daylight hours by periods of low propogation. Conversely, with 40m the same holds true during the night and morning hours. Once you've actually "worked" the bands, you'll realize this. There are several simple wire antennas that will out-perform anything that is currently marketed as a "mobile antenna". They pack up very compactly and deploy in minutes.
It's great to hear you're bumping up a grade>
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Re: BPS Meet & Greet and Test Session Roster

#19

Post by Cammo » Sat Feb 19, 2011 11:54 pm

Put me down as "Pretty Firm" (sounds like a dirty movie :shock: ); I hope 3rd times a charm for the General! I guess I could be a rolling ad for AllPro...Maybe they'll pay me a royalty...then again my rails need to be painted after Carveacre!
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Re: BPS Meet & Greet and Test Session Roster

#20

Post by OLLIE » Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:10 pm

Cammo wrote:then again my rails need to be painted after Carveacre!
Now that's funny. :lol:
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