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Mobile HF antennas....

PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2019 1:07 am
by USAFE501
Just wondered what antennas people are using for HF mobile ?
I have an Icom R2500 receiver in the car and tend to use a mag mount based antenna that has a "fly-lead" that can be adjusted to change the receiving band of the aerial.
Similar in length and not too dissimilar looking (apart from fly lead) than a CB antenna - and that's my problem...I have couple of other antennas on the car for work that are Military airband , UHF comms 400-420mhz and also a SATCOM vertical antenna approx 12 inches long with diameter of a deodorant can - so they are all similar in size apart from my HF aerial !!!!

So , has anyone tried one of those vertical active HF antennas ? the one I see all the time on auction sites is white in colour , approx 15 inches high with diameter bit shy of that of a fizzy drinks can....this would be perfect to "match" my existing array of aerials....supplying the power to the antenna may be an issue and modern cars are notorious for creating lots of mush on the radio - any comments/ideas/suggestions ?

I know some people struggle with HF reception in the car , however my Icom r2500 has twin receive covering low down freqs up to 3ghz !! and whilst listening on the move on the motorway I regularly hear USAF aircraft on 8.992 or 11.175 mhz (USB) as clear as any local taxi firm , with hardly any interference..BUT that's using the quite large cb style vertical.

Please let me know :thumbup:
As always , thankyou in advance :smiles: :smiles:

Re: Mobile HF antennas....

PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2019 5:02 pm
by m0lsx
I have one of those antenna I brought off W & S years ago & it's a well made decent antenna. For what it cost, I was pleasantly surprised when it arrived. I brought mine because I wanted a 10 meter antenna & I also use 6 meters mobile too. Plus I operate on 17 meters & had been thinking about going mobile on there too.

My antenna is not just a fly lead one, although that is how it was advertised. There is also a need to slightly adjust the whip length too for TX efficiency. Although I would not expect RX to need it as much as TX.

Have you ever visited a club where someone like W & S are demonstrating kit? Or gone to a rally where one of the big dealers are? I have not for years. But every time I have seem W & S demonstrating it radios, on RX. They have simply connected an antenna like the one you are thinking of getting directly to the back of the radio using a 90 degree connector. They use no jump leads & they seem to work very well as general coverage RX antennas.

If I were you, I would use one of those multi band antennas minus it's jump leads & then use a matcher before the radio, to optimise the antenna. One of those homebrew miracle antenna tuners would be ideal, just use a connector for the antennas coax, instead of a small whip. These are both easy & cheap to make & excellent on RX.

Re: Mobile HF antennas....

PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2019 9:32 pm
by Scan125
I can't offer and specific info but I'm very interested in this topic, be it mobile or static. NOTE! Reception ONLY!

I currently run a modest long wire which I have antenna tuners attached (MFJ-956 or MFJ-959). I used to have a Balun (make/name/model I will have to look up).

I've been interested in compact / active HF options as a possible alternative.

There are several out there which claim to be good, and have been reviewed as good but. One of the several that come to mind in the Bonito Mini-Whip.

I think the problem I/we have is that we can not trial (free of charge) any particular option against what we already have. I have no idea if my long wire with ATU outperforms an active compact HF antenna. An there in lies a basic problem for all of us.

Re: Mobile HF antennas....

PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2019 11:30 am
by m0lsx
Scan125 wrote: I've been interested in compact / active HF options as a possible alternative.

One of the VERY best compact HF general coverage RX only options that we have ever used is my wifes VX-2. This has general coverage HF RX & the whole radio including antenna was small enough to fit in a shirt pocket. But it's RX sensitivity left most other options behind. The only small antenna I have ever tried on general coverage HF RX use which is really good, other than a loop. And a loop is significantly bigger than a tiny whip with built in tuner, are the miracle or wonder whips & they are truly excellent on RX, but no good for mobile use.

With the Bonito Whip, it is one of the PA0RDT mini whip designs & it has a massive flaw for mobile use where there is a lot of electrical QRM. It absorbs QRM like virtually no other antenna design does. It needs the coax shield to be really well earthed to be usable in a QRM heavy enviroment & even then is still QRM hungry. So in a mobile setting is a poor option. But in a portable setting in the middle of no where with little or no QRM, it performs well.

The VX-2.