Originally Posted by GMike A
After all is said and done I will probably take my FT817-D with me and or my FT-7900R. I would be curious if other hams on the forum have mounted any antenna and if you have pictures or issues you have run into. With my shell stripped out now I do have an option to bolster any areas with additional support but don't necessarily want a connection right over my bed head.
I don't have anything mounted directly to the trailer. I would prefer to keep the versatility to operate from either a picnic table, the tail gate of my truck, or a roll up table I carry with me.
For 2 meter-70 cm, I put a 1/2" water pipe flange on piece of hardwood. The I mounted a J-Pole on a piece of 4' 1/2 water pipe. Added 2 or 3 four foot sections of 1/2 water pipe with couplers. The board is put under one of the stabilizers to with clearance for the vertical pipe. This has worked pretty well for 2 meters.
For HF I carry 3' steel fence posts and a 33' fiberglass telescoping pole along with a 19' fiberglass telescoping pole. The poles are usually carried by kite shops. The poles are budgied to the fence posts which I drive into the ground with a 3lb dead plow hammer. The usually go in pretty easy and come out pretty easy.
For antennas I carry two, both PAR Electronics ENDFEDZ, a 20 meter and 40 meter. These are configured as slopers with one end attached to one of the telescoping poles. The other end is often connected to a convenient handle on the truck cap. Sometimes I'll use the shorter pole for low end and only extend it about 7'. A couple pieces of 25' coax completes the antenna collection
Two radios go with me an FT-8800R mounted in the truck with antenna mounted via a lip mount on the rear door. (Extended cab Dakota). The other, an FT-857D mounted in a home made box that also has a LDG Z100 tuner and a Signal Link digital interface mounted along with power distribution. There's cover like that of a portable sewing machine that goes over the whole thing. The 857D rides behind the drivers seat and usually covered with jackets. I feel that the truck cab is more secure than either the bed under the cap or the trailer.
The 857D and tuner are powered by a 50amp hour gel cell battery
that rides in bed of the truck. The battery
is charged with a 65Watt Solar panel
that does double duty and charges the house battery
on my trailer.
I feel this system is pretty versatile. I can also tell you that there's not a lot of 2 meter or 440 activity in many places I've traveled.
I have a Garmin Nuvi GPS that has the data base from ARRL repeater books installed. With a few touches and I can find the closest repeaters and PL tones.
The 8800 is set for one side on 146.520 and the other gets close repeaters. I have my call sign and my wife's call sign along with 146.520 on the spare tire cover on my trailer. In 4 years of travel with close to 10,000 miles per year I have only gotten 6 to 8 calls while traveling.
Here's a couple pictures. One with a Buddie Pole antenna. I have since started using the EndFedz.
The other gives you a idea of the box I carry the 857 in.