Hi, I am Andy, amateur radio operator N2GSA. Over 20 years ago I made a career change. With my unusual and long hours and changing band conditions, I lost touch with my ham radio hobby and friends. When the time came I lost the trees that supported my wires it did not seem that big a loss.
Recently, I decided to return to the hobby. Operating from home was not a reasonable option but I could build a modern version of my old effective mobile station. Yes; I would build a new station in my sub-compact, computer dependent, plasti-mold, 2011 Honda Civic and, in addition, I would run high power. What could go wrong?
here is my current high power mobile station setup for 75 meters
The station currently consists of a dash-mounted Yaesu FT817ND QRP radio along with a desktop legal limit amplifier constructed by W6PQL in the trunk. The amplifier operates from a single source of 50 volts. That source is a string of 4 12-volt batteries which are charged from the automotive 12-volt system by way of a voltage converter. 4 12-volt batteries create over 55 volts, but good info says the amp will be fine. The single voltage source aspect and the “over-design” is what led me to select this amplifier. Batteries, charger, relays and more live in a group 27 battery box -also in the trunk- which I think of as the service module. All connections go to or thru the service module. A dash suction-mounted “pod” switches the 50-volt system on and off while monitoring voltage and current usage. The pod includes a 3KW cross needle MFJ remote sensor SWR meter. A separate meter pair monitors the controlled current drain from the car itself. Almost everything is connected to the trunk via cat 5/6 patch cords. The cords are color coded to where they plug in.
Here is the dash. My 12 volt meter panel even has a tiny remote control to dim or disable illumination. The meter and illumination activates and deactivates to indicate charging or not. Everything is very turn-key. There are no real “dials” that need to be operated. I can drive or I can works dials but not both at the same time. This radio has 4 preset power levels and that is about all I change other than frequency.
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