Going Mobile

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KK4TSJ here, and it’s been a while since I’ve last posted.  I’ve been pretty busy in my personal life, but I wanted to take a moment to post some photographs of my temporary mobile rig.  My Jeep has over 150,000 miles, so I’m not particularly excited thinking about doing a permanent mobile install.  I opted to go with an inexpensive cell phone holder that works well with my handy talkies, a speaker microphone, and magmount antennas.


I started with an inexpensive MFJ-1724B dual band 2M/440 quarter wave mag mount.  Comes with about 15 feet of RG-58 feedline terminating in a PL-259 connector.  With this configuration, the rig was useful for short range repeater contacts, but dropped out a little closer to the sites than I would like.  It’s still light years better than the rubber duck, and even a capactively coupled counterpoise is better than none at all.


That did well for a while, but I wanted to treat myself a little for passing my general class exam.  Right after the exam session from the North Fulton Amateur Radio League, I went straight to Ham Radio Outlet to get a new mobile antenna.  Again, I didn’t want to do anything permanent considering the age of my Jeep, so I went with an MFJ-1729 five eighths wave mag mount.  I did a straight replacement of the older one, and I noticed an immediate improvement over the quarter wave.  I’m really happy with it, and it comes just under the performance of the outdoor antenna mounted at the home QTH.


Overall, the total cost of the mobile kit is just under $150 for the radio, mobile mount, speaker mic, antenna, and mobile DC power supply.  Not bad for a modest start, and it’s given me a number of ideas for a permanent installation of a true mobile rig in the Jeeps eventual successor.

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