Mobile Installation


In the fall of '01 I got a new (well, new to me) teeny car. I had the dealer put the VHF radio in, and didn't worry about the HF radio at the time. I mostly do HF mobile on vacation, and for that, we always take my wife's car. I have one of those huge magnetic mounts to hold the Hamstick, and mount the radio head to the dash with Velcro. The radio body goes behind the seat, held in place with bungee cords (well, it's generally only a week or two). The only thing that stays in her car permanently is the VHF antenna and the power cable for the HF radio.

In the spring of '02, it started to become evident that my car was a candidate for vacation. Not only was it now newer than the wife's (that hasn't happened in decades!), but it's a convertible, and my wife (and me, too) really enjoys the top down.

I didn't expect too much of a problem. I figured I could get the 706 under the passenger seat and use the same magnetic mount for the Hamstick. The only real challenge would be fishing the coax back to the trunk. The engine and all the convertible top paraphenalia are between the passenger compartment and the trunk.

Guess Again

Well, the best laid plans and all that. The trunk has way too much curvature for the mag mount, there's nowhere near enough room under the passenger seat for the 706, in fact, there's practically no room at all in the passenger compartment for anything.

Radio Bay

I found that if I mounted the radio behind the driver's seat, a little way up, there was enough room due to the curvature of the seat and the sort of odd arrangement of sound padding. The picture shows the 706 body hanging on the firewall above the 2800H body.

Behind the carpet is very thick foam. I put some wood behind the foam to hold huge staples which in turn hold Velcro strips on the carpet side. After disconnecting the wires I can just yank the radio out. The head comes out easily because it's held into a MB-63 which is a spring loaded sort of affair. Getting the radio in and out is now a matter of minutes. Everything except the 2 radio halves stays in. (The 2800H is permanent in the car, lots of VHF radios in the house.)

Antenna Mounting

A Lakeview license plate mount solved the problem of mounting a Hamstick on the teeny car. Unfortunately, the license plate is held onto the plastic bumper by those little plastic clips. A pretty gentle tug pulls them right out. I replaced them with moly bolts which hold the license plate bracket on a little better and spread the load out a bit.   Behind the rubber bumper turned out to be a place where I could get a real ground. The mount has a braid (highlighted in the picture) to get to a ground.
Monting the radio heads

I had made a plexiglass panel for the 2800 in the previous car, which the dealer had modified to use in the new car. More importantly, he had figured out how to mount it. I made up a new panel with space for both the 706 and 2800H heads.

I got the mag mount version of the Palm Paddle. Two magnets glued to the underside of the ash tray lid hold the paddle in place nicely.

Well, it turns out to have worked out quite well. After vacation, I took to checking into QMN from the mobile quite frequently. Not only does the mobile allow me to get away from some of the city noise, but on a clear summer night, it's just real pleasant to check in and enjoy the stars with the top down!

27 Dec 2004

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