This has been a busy month in the newsroom, so my time
dedicated to amateur radio has been minimal. I will get
back in the groove this weekend after some yard work
around the radio ranch. Presently, I'm working to equip
my Odyssey min-van with a ham radio station. I'm operating
on 2 meters with my trusty HT, a set of solar powered gel
cells, and a 1/4 wave whip positioned on the van room with
a mag mount. For now, the setup meets my immediate needs.
I elected to not use the van's electrical system. The set of gel
cells in the van coupled with a set of small solar panels mounted
on a side window keeps the system active. The power demands
of the HT are very small, so I have no problem of running out of
juice. Adding HF capability will be a challenge, not the least of
which is the low clearance of my garage. Most likely, I'll opt for a
mag-mounted "Ham Stick" as a temporary solution. This is not an
efficient system, but it will do until I decide what to do about a per-
manent mount. I'll be using the same gel cell/solar panel arrangement
to power the Yaesu FT-7, which can be mounted on the floor under
the dash. I used a similar system in my old '96 Tercel and it worked
reasonably well for local state contacts. I'd welcome any ideas in this
area. The home qth antenna "farm" will get a maintenance check this
weekend. Salt air and moisture are real problems for those of us oper-
ating in the tropics. Have a good weekend. 73 de KH6JRM on the Big
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Like many amateur radio operators, I live on a small lot surrounded by neighbors, utility lines, and civic-minded citizens concerned about ...