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.

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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.

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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.

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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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