Ball Mount Installation on a 2000 Plymouth Voyager Mini-Van
|The Adventurer Begins|
30 years as a ham I have always wanted to go "HF Mobile" but
never had the equipment or vehicle to do it in.
In the 70's 2 meters came along and that was a quick and cheap
ham mobile system.
still the desire to work 20 meters in the car was strong.
So at the 2002 Dayton Hamvention AES had the Icom IC-706MK2G on
sale for $699. Free
shipping and no sales tax. I
couldn't get my credit card out fast enough.
A few days later it arrived.
Now where to put it? I
had an old 1990 conversion van, plenty of room.
I replaced by 2 meter rig with the '706' but still no hf antenna. I read everything on HF antennas I could find.
But the Hustler seems to be that most of the county hunters were
using. Good antenna with a
lot of history behind it. Still
the time past. Summer, Fall
and then Winter. My XYL
Mary had a 2000 Plymouth Voyager Mini-Van.
Lot's of room between the seats for the rig so I made her
"such a deal"! She
could have a new car if she didn't mind me drilling some holes in the
Mini-Van. Well, she didn't
want to give up the Mini-Van so on January 2, 2003 she got a new Dodge
Mini-Van. Now the Voyager
|Finally, we start!|
time moves on, daughters graduation from college (same day at the
Hamvention, so I had to miss it this year) and other things got in the
way. I had been using the
lighter plug to run the '706' on 2 meters so first order of business was
to run the DC line to the battery.
Easier said that done as I could not find a way through the
firewall. Finally a ham on
the HF mobile user group on EHAM suggest that if I looked just to the
left of the gas petal under the carpet there should be a grommet to the
firewall. Yes, there it
was, I opened the hood to let the sun shine in, cut a slit in the
grommet down by the gas petal and saw daylight!! From
there it was easy to run the DC line to the battery.
I mounted the remote head of the '706' on the dash using the Icom
MB65 and mounted the body between the seat with sheet metal screws.
This way the speaker on the body of the rig was pointing up and
easy to hear.
|The Big Drill|
to drill the holes for the antenna.
WØGOM, Gary, lives by me and is the 'toolman' in the club so he
offered to help me. I had
to be very careful on the location of the ball mount.
There is a sliding door on the left side that slides almost all
the way back, and then there is a pop out window at the back side.
|Now the Pictures!|
is a view of the mini-van before we started.
is a view on how the ball mount looked before the installation.
is a look inside the rear left side.
There is a access panel mounted on the left rear tire hump and
allows you to get to the
tire jack. But there is
also a hole in the
sub-panel that lets you get to the fender.
comes the drilling. We
drilled a 1 3/8 hole with a hole saw on the end of a cordless drill. We then using the ball mount as a template drilled the
remainder 3 holes.
assembled the ball mount, mast and antenna coil per the instructions
that came with them. It all
went pretty easy. Coax was
run the floor mats and to the '706'.
I am with my newly installed antenna.
How does it work? One
the way home I had a 10-minute QSO
with a guy in Washington State, I am in St. Louis MO.
No ignition noise, and everyone I call comes right back!!