|Working my rolling shack portable station from air-con comfort
We've had a few RV's over the years, but for some reason I've never thought to operate from inside the RV. I have always tossed a wire over a tree and operated from a picnic table or from my camp chair, as here...
But I thought, "Hey, I have a 12v power supply built-into the RV and the built-in ladder makes a nice solid mount for an antenna mast."
|Early try with a military fiberglass pole mast
|Now I use a Flagpole Buddy with a 30 foot telescoping mast
Here's a link to the flagpole buddy... link
Our RV has a Converter / Inverter with a spare 25 amp 12v circuit. I tapped into that and ran a power pole wire to the dinette table.
The camper had a coax outlet to watch a TV outside the camper... that's obnoxious. So I cut the cable TV coax and crimped on a UHF connector, and ran that to the dinette table. I simply attach my coax from outside the camper to cable TV coax adapter to get the antenna connection inside the camper. Wallah, coax through the wall with no drilling. The cable TV coax run from the dinette to the wall outlet is only a couple feet so it's not really impacting the impedance of the coax run to the antenna.
I've tried a couple of antenna's and have settled on my end-fed 44 foot wire fed with a 9:1 balun and some clip on radials. I pull the antenna wire through top end of the telescoping mast with kite string, counter-weighted with a heavy sinker. That keeps the wire taught from the end-fed point up to the top of the mast and out at an angle.
|Gone RF fishing with a 30 foot pole and a big sinker.
The Elecraft KX3 and Ten-Tec Eagle will both match a bent spoon with their auto-tuners and have no trouble with the end-fed on 40m and above.
For a portable key I use my Palm Radio Single paddle. Either magnetically attached to the steel side of the Eagle or just held with one hand while operating with the KX3.
|Palm Radio Single Paddle
|On the Eagle the Palm Radio Single magnetically attaches to the side
One thing I find interesting about operating while "camping" (if you call towing a small house to a campground camping) is that I seem to also work a suprising number of other stations that are operating from a campground.
|Note the power and antenna connections under the table
The KX3 can stay on the dinette and doesn't take much room. Keeping the footprint small and the earbuds in, keeps the XYL happy when operating during an outing.
I worked a number of stations on 40m, 30m, 20m and 10m this weekend. It's always fun to tell a station that you are portable, even if you are essentially operating in your home away from home.
Thats all for now.
Lower your power and raise your expectations
Rich AA4OO HamRadioQRP.com