Thursday, 29 August 2013

New car, new radio challenges.


I’ve managed to swap cars in recent weeks, and amongst the options of changing details of the car – you know : to make it feel more personal, I’ve come across a conundrum with what I should do with the radio that has traditionally been installed in the car.

My car radio was a FT857 and 2 cars ago when I was first licensed it had the ATAS120 and small UHF / VHF antennas fitted. It was a tidy install if I’m honest the head unit was seamless wired into the car, and the antennas were mounted on the tow bar and for the small antenna I  removed the shark fin and placed the VHF/UHF antenna in place. Unless you knew you  wouldn’t really guess it was a radio antenna. Help from Dave M0SFT ensured it was done properly.

The last car, I only installed the UHF/ VHF antenna from a boot clip mount that again was a tidy install this time I had to ask a local motor factor firm to run the cabling in the car as it simply was too complicated lifting panels and trim without snapping any of the fixings.

But although I had the UHF / VHF capability I never really used it. Local repeaters to me are a wash of silence and frankly poor operating styles.- which when I’m commuting to work is really not what I’m after. And if the truth be known I really enjoy HF rather than VHF / UHF.

So the decision on this car and the radio options ? I’m probably not going to install anything into the car. I will however keep a go pack in the car – hidden where the spare wheel should go (Run flat tyre’s means I don’t have a spare oddly!)  With a  go pack hidden in the car – and me taking a 7mtere mast where the umbrella should be will be more than enough for me to become car park portable and operate QRP HF.  It will also please the XYL too as there will be “no cables” and also the car wont be filled with “radio junk”