Emergency response Scamp Ham Shack - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-16-2018, 11:35 AM   #1
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Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
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Emergency response Scamp Ham Shack

Michael missed us in Navarre, but we were ready to bug out with our Scamp 16.

After the hurricane and as a ham (radio that is) I started thinking about all of the guys that respond to the call.

It seems that there is a shortage of hams to handle the communications in many Florida counties, mostly because they will only use ARES certified operators. That means that there is really a self imposed shortage, but that is besides the point.

The issue is that while I have High Frequency (HF) equipment I don't have VHF and UHF radios currently ( I gave mine to my son who doesn't use them).


The point is that with the Scamp and the threat of large hurricanes in the future I plan to get the Scamp set up for them.

I have a 2800 watt HF Predator inverter generator and I have three Grape 100 watt solar panels to add, replacing a defective flexible 100 watt panel currently installed.

My current plans are to add mounts for antennas to the rear bumper and the tongue in the front. The issues are grounding for the antennas and power for the IC7000 and VHF/UHF comms. I have a 120 to 13.8 volt power supply when on 120 volt and I think I need to add a power run from the battery under the driver's side bed to the table in the aisle.
Currently I have a single GRP 27 deep cycle battery a NAPA 8301. While this is called and listed as a DEEP CYCLE perhaps it is a combination system..
I may have room for two Golf Cart batteries to increase reserve capacity.
Any observations?
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Old 10-16-2018, 11:52 AM   #2
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Is it save for you to be living and sleeping right next to all those antennas?
My pops was big into the ham stuff and had a large antenna over his garage way up high. But he wasn't sleeping next to the stuff.
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Old 10-16-2018, 12:40 PM   #3
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My Campster is my portable ham shack. I keep it simple with a Yaseu FT897 to cover all bands and a matching screwdriver type antenna. I have to put the antenna on the truck to get it to tune some bands since there is so little metal in fiberglass trailers. I also have several VHF/UFH HTs as well as a VHF/UHF rig in the truck.

I found weatherproof bulkhead connectors to go through the fiberglass and ran power directly from the house battery. I have a 45w solar panel on the roof. I'm not sure how long I would be able to operate of grid But the only thing else on the battery is a couple of LED lights.

We will give it a bit of a test over at the state park in a couple of weeks. Our club is using it as the net control station for a fund raising event for 2 nights. I'll be satching the battery voltage, especially to see how it recovers with our cloudy northwest weather.

W7DAF
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Old 10-16-2018, 01:40 PM   #4
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With 300 watts of slar I hope to be able to keep the 12 volts powered for a long time. The issue would be the storage in the battery(s).
I would add a second 12 volt battery in parallel but if they are not perfectly matched (impossible long term) they would not be as efficient as two 6 volt golf cart batteries in series.
If the batteries in parallel are not matched more or less perfectly one will take more charge than the other and also under discharge one will tend to spread it's charge to the other battery. The one with the lowest internal resistance will take more charge and have a higher output current.
I have an IC 7000 transceiver and will get a VHF/UHF rig for the repeater work that does the majority of the message traffic.
I am looking for a liveable relatively long term station that is more self supporting that can be towed to the location and stay for the duration of the need with power, lights, AC, bathroom, fridge, and cooking.
The solar would help stretch the fuel for the generator and provide power for the communications basically without the generator at all.

73s. KE4MD
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Old 10-16-2018, 01:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redbarron55 View Post
Michael missed us in Navarre, but we were ready to bug out with our Scamp 16.

After the hurricane and as a ham (radio that is) I started thinking about all of the guys that respond to the call.

It seems that there is a shortage of hams to handle the communications in many Florida counties, mostly because they will only use ARES certified operators. That means that there is really a self imposed shortage, but that is besides the point.

The issue is that while I have High Frequency (HF) equipment I don't have VHF and UHF radios currently ( I gave mine to my son who doesn't use them).


The point is that with the Scamp and the threat of large hurricanes in the future I plan to get the Scamp set up for them.

I have a 2800 watt HF Predator inverter generator and I have three Grape 100 watt solar panels to add, replacing a defective flexible 100 watt panel currently installed.

My current plans are to add mounts for antennas to the rear bumper and the tongue in the front. The issues are grounding for the antennas and power for the IC7000 and VHF/UHF comms. I have a 120 to 13.8 volt power supply when on 120 volt and I think I need to add a power run from the battery under the driver's side bed to the table in the aisle.
Currently I have a single GRP 27 deep cycle battery a NAPA 8301. While this is called and listed as a DEEP CYCLE perhaps it is a combination system..
I may have room for two Golf Cart batteries to increase reserve capacity.
Any observations?

I am a ham operator. I bought a second deep cycle (marine) battery the I use to power my Yeasu 857D. I also carry a 65 watt portable solar panel to charge both the house battery and the radio battery. The 857D draws 22.5 amps on voice peaks. Listen (which hams do most of the time) is less than 1 amp. So this works well for me.

Antennas, Sometimes I carry my Buddie Pole and other time just the EndFEDZ (1 20M, 1 40M 120/40M). Both have work fine. With the EndFEDZ I have two fiberglass telescoping poles one extends to 19' the other to 33'. I carry a couple of short steel fence posts that I can drive into the ground and bungie one of the fiberglass poles to.

The 19, if perfect for 20 meters and the 300' works great for the other two.




For emergency communications the buddie pole configured NVIS has worked great for HF short range communications.
Along the same lines I have a Yeasu 8800 in the truck which I can run off the truck battery for VHF and UHF. I've sponsored a few ham camping trips using these radios and it has worked quite well. The only problem is when you the sun is gone the battery will discharge.

I've also used this same set up for both ARRL's Field Day and Winter Field Day.


This for information only.

Check the current needed for each radio and size batteries and solar accordingly.
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Old 10-16-2018, 02:02 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by stevebaz View Post
Is it save for you to be living and sleeping right next to all those antennas?
My pops was big into the ham stuff and had a large antenna over his garage way up high. But he wasn't sleeping next to the stuff.



The answer is YES.
There's been a lot of misconception about RF radiation in the past few years. Unfortunately the term is applied to two types of "radiation" one electromagnetic and the other is "gamma" In simpler terms "non-ionizing" and "Ionizing".

Because of all the misconceptions the FCC has required ham radio operators to do a safety survey if your power output is >100 Watts, thus feeding the misconception.



When sleeping you're NOT transmitting. Even then inside a Scamp with it's four layers of aluminum foil you're pretty well shielded.

Ham it up and enjoy.
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Old 10-16-2018, 02:16 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Byron Kinnaman View Post
The answer is YES.
There's been a lot of misconception about RF radiation in the past few years. Unfortunately the term is applied to two types of "radiation" one electromagnetic and the other is "gamma" In simpler terms "non-ionizing" and "Ionizing".

Because of all the misconceptions the FCC has required ham radio operators to do a safety survey if your power output is >100 Watts, thus feeding the misconception.



When sleeping you're NOT transmitting. Even then inside a Scamp with it's four layers of aluminum foil you're pretty well shielded.

Ham it up and enjoy.

Perhaps he was asking about lightning danger.


n4lbl
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Old 10-16-2018, 02:35 PM   #8
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I was just thinking about radiation from radio waves. I know nothing about ham other than you push the button to talk. Some day I want to get my armature licence but I find it very frustrating and the range of study is so vast. My 4wd club have all went to hams and left me behind still holding my CB.
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Old 10-16-2018, 03:12 PM   #9
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My 4wd club have all went to hams and left me behind still holding my CB.
Yeah our overlanding club went to ham also, if we got spread out we weren't able to stay in touch with CB. With 2-meter ham I have easily conversed at 15 miles or more on flat ground.

People get intimidated by the test but it isn't that hard, a little studying on the basics and you should pass easily. I am not a ham hobbyist and the test wasn't a problem for me. After passing the technician test I almost passed the general test without even studying for it.

KD0TED
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Old 10-16-2018, 03:18 PM   #10
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i totally concur re: the lack of hazards from RF, but do note, reflectix seems to be non-conductive (at least according to my ohmmeter), so all that 'aluminum foil' isn't actually rf shielding.
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Old 10-16-2018, 03:37 PM   #11
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I think that the reflectex is aluminized on the inside of the plastic, but it still should shield.
How is the TV reception from inside the trailer?
That has little application to my particular Scamp as it is a 1985 and has the Ensolite insulation.
It is possible that I have already fried enough brain cells so that a few more won't make that much difference or maybe a few more may make all of the difference.
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Old 10-16-2018, 05:11 PM   #12
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the aluminization rubs off reflectix pretty easily.... anyways, if its not grounded, the shielding is fairly sketchy.
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Old 10-16-2018, 05:12 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by redbarron55 View Post
I think that the reflectex is aluminized on the inside of the plastic, but it still should shield.
How is the TV reception from inside the trailer?
That has little application to my particular Scamp as it is a 1985 and has the Ensolite insulation.
It is possible that I have already fried enough brain cells so that a few more won't make that much difference or maybe a few more may make all of the difference.
You could be right. It's been a long time since I got samples of the insulation (reflex type). My memory tells me that there is foil on each side of the Mylar bubbles. I know there's two layers. So it's either 2 layers or 4 layers of foil.
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Old 10-16-2018, 05:14 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redbarron55 View Post
I think that the reflectex is aluminized on the inside of the plastic, but it still should shield.
How is the TV reception from inside the trailer?
That has little application to my particular Scamp as it is a 1985 and has the Ensolite insulation.
It is possible that I have already fried enough brain cells so that a few more won't make that much difference or maybe a few more may make all of the difference.
I don't know about TV reception (NO TV IN MY TRAILER). But I do know that I had to hold my hand held VHF transceiver up to a window to receive a signal.
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