Saturday, April 28, 2012

Gearing up for portable mobile op's

The new "ham mobile"
Removing some metal from the K400
Well the summer is fast approaching and with it the warm weather. over the winter I started to get things ready for some summer portable op's from my car. It involved getting the Elecraft K2 mobile ready and
setting up an antenna system that was easy to deploy and worked well. Now there was a small hitch in the plans that happened about 2 weeks ago Julie and I decided to downsize our
Need another bag
New and improved mount

cars!! We both had large 4 door Chev Malibu's and loved them.....but so did the gas pumps! We both upgraded to the Scion IQ's half the gas and half the size. Now this meant plans had changed for my summer mobile portable operations....well not really. The Scion is a hatchback and I would just have to use my trunk mount Diamond K400 as a hatchback mount. There was just one small mod that had to be done to the mount to allow it to work on the Scion. That involved removing a small part of the flange that stopped the hatch from closing as it rubbed on the bumper. With that done the K400 fit perfectly on the Scion's hatchback. I was still going to use my faithful and reliable Palomar mono band mobile whips. With the Scion being a  much smaller car I was not sure what the reduced ground plain was going to do to the SWR?? I was prepping for the worst thinking that the SWR was going to be high no matter how I adjusted the stinger on the whip but the K2 antenna tuner would fix that. Well to my pleasure the 20m whip at 14.060 is 1.5 and the 40m whip at 7.030 is 1.4. This was with some adjusting of the length of the stinger but very pleasing
K400 installed
results. The two (for starters) mobile Palomar whips did not really fit into the old lawn chair bag as I had planned so I am going to have to come up with another plan for a carry sack for them. I am going to be stationary mobile....not sure I want to bang out CW whilst driving among the trucks and traffic on the highway!!  
SWR on 20m's


  1. Hi Mike, I guess you mainly listen while driving :-). BTW this car is sold by Toyota in Europe. I actually drove one when my car was at the garage a few years ago. I was surprised the car seats and drives like a normal size car and is very economic with gas. Good luck DXing from your car. 73, Bas

  2. Good afternoon Bas, Toyota dealers sell them here as well and Julie works for Toyota so we got a great deal on them I am very happy with the car and it is very roomy and drives great. As for the ham rig it will only be used when I am parked. I am able to portable install the rig on my passenger seat. (that will be another post with pic's) I had no plans of even having the HF antenna on the car other than when I was at a stand still operating. So the mount and antenna come down unless I am parked.

  3. Ah, but does she sell these Toyotas:

  4. John they are some very cool cars for sure!!!