Station here is mobile

Something in radio terms I’ve personally found fun is operating mobile (or at least staic mobile..., 'portable from the car'..., you know!

When I first (finally) obtained my amateur license in 2005 it was the only way I could really get on air as at the time I lived in a flat in Plymouth with no prospect of setting up aerials. So the Mercedes E220 became my mobile shack being set up for VHF with the FT480r and HF with the FT747GX using AMPRO aerials for 20m, 17m and 40m with a fair amount of success as well as 80m (less successful mobile). Occasional 10m operation was fun when conditions were good enough with an old CB aerial, (a Les Wallen ‘Modulator’). Living near Dartmoor at the time offered some good locations to play radio including Roborough Down, ‘the duck pond’ (on the Princetown road above Yelverton) and just above Ashburton (pics below in this case using a 'silver rod' ground mounted on a spike and lashed to the car tow hitch for HF operation on 20m and 17m with the FT707). Fortunately I had the forethought to take some photos at the time as very often these things are lost to time!!

The move to the cottage at Rozel in Jersey meant being able to erect a limited array of aerials but mobile operation was still fun though mainly on VHF with the locals or the short hop (!?) back into the UK from the Mercedes A140.

Getting a Yaesu FT857d in the car made things a little more accessible when operating mobile and whilst it’s not a regular occurrence these days it’s nice to have the equipment available for those odd occasions when time permits. Also the 857 is a superb bit of kit giving consistently good results.

Sirio Performer 5000 for 28MHz is the newest acquisition for 10m, costing a bit more than an Ampro but one of the better antennas available by various accounts. I looked for a 6’ Avanti Moonraker mobile but they’ve not been made for years and the last one I saw advertised was over £100. Mid 2019 and I’ve been able to get another Sirio Performer at 1/3 off the normal price giving me 10 m mobile in both the cars!


Operating mobile introduces a few specific challenges with set up and operability.

Good aerial mounting - I built a bracket on the back of the A140 years ago for a ‘DV’ base mounting which works better than a mag mount for HF though the mag still works fine for VHF (using a 1/2 wave or Watson 5/8 wave and occasionally the huge old 7/8 wave 2m monobander!).

Radio mounting and positioning


Microphone - Watson boom microphone with PTT switch and scanning buttons for properly handsfree on the FT857 and bluetooth remote headset for VHF/UHF on the FTM-10r.