Emma & Chloe Cat


VK3CAT Mobile Page

The work van is a Ford Falcon XH panel van. The RF gear consists of a remote mounted Icom IC706Mk2G. Antennas consist of a Comet triband 6/2/70cm whip and an old Terlin Outbacker - a 5 band job that I installed an additional tapping on for 30 metres.

I have managed to work all over the world on HF whilst mobile. In VK, 10.120mHz on the 30 metre band is good for catching up with other mobile stations. The VK Travelers net on 14.116 MHz @ 0300 hours utc is another good way to keep in touch with amateurs that are touring around the Australian country side.

Even though the IC706 is fitted with DSP (Digital Signal Processing) HF operation from the Melbourne Suburbs can be a bit restricted due to local man made noise (QRM).

I like to keep an ear out on the six metre band for any openings and have managed to work into most Eastern VK states on sporadic E (Es) as well as Mexico (XE) and Palau (T88).

My best 2 metre contact whilst mobile was to VK5AR who was portable on Mt. Bryan near the Flinders Ranges in VK5. This was using a halo antenna on SSB. I have also worked into VK5 and VK7 on 70 centimetres SSB whilst mobile.

Nan drives the Standard suburban shopping car. This is a 40th Anniversary Edition 80 Series Diesel Toyota GXL Landcruiser. This is decked out with an ARB bull bar & tow bar. ARB air compressor with front and rear diff locks. Strong Arm rear bar with twin spare wheel carriers. Longranger 170 litre auxillary fuel tank (total 260 litres). Safari Snorkel. The suspension is Old Man Emu springs - 400Kg back & 100Kg front and matching Nitro Charger shocks. A "Quickslide" storage unit is fitted that contains the Engle fridge and space for full recovery equipment, cooking utensils and food items. Between the storage unit & the cargo barrier is a custom made 60 litre water tank by Flexitank. The roof rack consists of Rhino bars with a Super Rax carrier. This holds a Rack Sack on the top and underneath is a home brew arrangement made of Unistrut to hold up to 2 x 55 watt solar panels. There is a Full River AGM deep cycle battery, smart battery isolator, switchboard and solar regulator under the bonnet.

 The Radio gear consists of an Electrophone TX4000 for UHF CB, a Yaesu FT1500M (2 metres)and a Codan 8528 for HF & a CD/MP. Also a Garmin GPSII+ receiver with external antenna

Antennas are mounted on the bull bar for UHF CB and 1/4 - 5/8th whip for 2 metres. A Codan 9350 auto tune whip is mounted on the rear wheel carrier. For better performance on the low HF bands, a "Squid Pole" is mounted onto the bull bar that connects to a length of wire from its top to the spring of the 9350. The auto tunning will tune this to any frequency between 11mHz and 2 mHz.

Super rack basket on Rhino bars. Solar panels hung underneath using Unistrut.

Overhead radio Consol

The TX4000 and the FT1500M are mounted in the overhead consol. The head of the 8528 is supported by a stainless steel mounting bracket mounted to the roof under the map light / sub tank fuel gauge module. Microphones are wired remotely to the back of the centre glove box unit.

9350 mount on the Kaymar rear wheel carrier. uses 80mm x 6mm aluminium angle.

The 9350 antenna replaces the 8558 antenna. The 8558 required a driver circuit board (Option AD) to be fitted where as the 9350 has all the driver gear as well as a receive pre-amp in the antenna. The 9350 uses a 4 pole stepper motor that provides much faster tuning over a wider range of impedances than the 8558 that uses a 2 pole stepper motor. The 8558 control cable will not fit the 9350 without modification.

The Codan 8528 is fitted with the Amateur Option on the Eprom. An existing Eprom was edited to obtain the desired frequencies. The Codan Eprom software is very "clunky" and a real pain to use. Note that although equipment such as the Codan 8528 may be used on Amateur frequencies as well as the VKS737 and RFDS frequencies, Amateur equipment is not approved for use on anything but Amateur frequencies of operation. My 8528 also has the CW (Option M) fitted. The VK3CAT Codan Eprom bin file is available to licenced amateurs only on request.


Previous CAT Mobiles have been a LJ80 Suzuki, Series 2A Landrover, FJ60 GLandcruiser, HJ80 GXL Landcruiser (1994) and currently HJ80 GXL 40th Anniversary Landcruiser.

Use a Codan 9350 with an IC706

Link to a very useful Codan Radio site

Updated photos of the new rear bar etc to follow

This is the "Quick Slide" storage unit in the back of my 80 series. It was custom made & has side shelves for the recovery gear & chainsaw etc. There is a 60 litre "Flexi tank" water tank between the storage unit & the cargo barrier

On the border track. Safari snorlel fitted as is long range tank & alterations to roof rack


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