My checklist for the antenna:
Multiband capability 80 - 10 meter band
Highest efficiency possible (why wasting your precious HF power to heat up that loading coil?)
Remote tunable, tuning while rolling
Capable of coping with the harsh environment on the European roads
Sleek design, good looking
Able to handle 1 kW PEP effortless
Quick release systems for the antenna system
Long research and a
lot of reading made me decide to purchase the HiQ 4-80
vertical from HiQ Antennas, Wildomar, California. There is a
feature of this antenna which sets it apart from all other so called
antenna's: The Non Moving Coil Design! This gives the antenna unique
and allows the designer to optimize coil specifications resulting in a
superior working grade of this multiband mobile vertical antenna. After
one year of very succesfull operation with the HiQ 4-80 I decided
upgrade to the HiQ 5-80. The 5 inch loading coil gives my mobile
an edge on the low bands. The 1100 watt signal on 80 is now comparable
a 100 watt flat top antenna station. The HiQ 5-80 really rocks the
low bands with a solid signal, to my knowledge it is the only remote
HF mobile vertical with a 5" loading coil. Check
out the HiQ Antennas Web Site
The HiQ 5-80 is mounted on a stainless steel mount, without any additional guying or undermast support. A recent business trip into Germany proved that the HiQ 5-80 is a highway star, the antenna easily deals with speeds up to 200 km/h on the German Autobahn, using the Giant Quick Disconnect to fix the antenna to the mount. See picture.
The AmplifierThe physical restrictions in a mobile set up allow for an antenna length of 3.5 meter. If you cannot accommodate capacative loading, the only way to improve your signal is an amplifier. Lucklily I could get my hands on the last Henry SS750 solid state HF amplifier. With 30 watts of drive and the actual board voltage this amp loafs at 500 watts all day long, 100 watt drive gives a stiff 1100 watt out on 160, 80- and 40 meters, reducing to 550 watt on 20 and up. The Henry SS750 is well engineered, beautifully build and a real powerhouse. Two big fans channel air through the heatsink fins, providing adequate cooling. The amp is equipped with a temperature shutoff protection and a rather fast acting 100 amp breaker.
The power supply
To operate an
this size the power supply is of eminent importance.
Rule 1: put one ore even better two batteries close to the amp.
Rule 2: use heavy high quality wire and hardware for the power supply connections.
Powering a kilowatt
amp in a motorcar means: mo' is betta! Don't save on DC cables, use
adequate size (read: "massive") cable lugs and breakers. The Powerwerx high power DC
connectors, cabling and circuit breakers were used to connect the
transceiver and amplifier to the DC source.
Since I use the
2 batteries inside my car the use of a gell cell
is obligatory. No gassing and the resulting premature destruction of
car and its passengers.
I did not choose a
rig specially for mobile ham radio. I had a IC 706MKIIG collecting dust
a back up rig and decided to give that nice little rig a job to do. An
important consideration when choosing a mobile rig is the ergonomically
design. All small mobile rigs today have these multi functional menu
This makes is difficult to operate the rig. So far the 706MKIIG has
my bill since the primary functions: tuning, band, IF shift and LF
are easy accessible AND it has a detachable front.
I am not impressed by the AF DSP unit from ICOM, that gap was filled with the ClearSpeech DSP speaker, now available from Bob Heil. This is a remarkable product and very useful in a mobile enviroment!
Amplifier: Henry SS 750, 1100 w@3600 kHz
Antenna: HiQ 5-80 from HiQ Antennas
Power supply: Exide Gell Cell Battery
Headset: Heil HS 706
DSP Speaker: Heil ClearSpeech Speaker
Pactor Controller: SCS PTCII Pro
Computer: HP NC 4010 running Windows XP-pro + Airmail for Pactor II