…ordered antenna and batteries…

Well, I finally figured out what to do about an antenna and battery pack to make my mobile FT-7800R a portable. For the antenna, I am going with an Arrow Antenna OSJ 146/440 Aluminum three piece J-Pole.

Yep, three piece. Normally, the antenna is sold with a 57.5in long element. For an extra $10, they will make it a two piece. For another $10, they will make it a 3 piece. Not too bad a deal. There are lots of good reviews on this antenna. For my setup, I’ll clamp it to a 1.5in PVC section that ends at an angled 3 way connector. Three small legs will keep it stable.

I also ordered a RigRunner 4005 from West Mountain Radio, complete with power cable and Anderson PowerPole connectors. This will be permanently hooked to the battery in my wife’s Jeep Liberty. When I want to setup the radio for operation (say camping at Peacock Flats), I can plug in the radio, set the antenna up on the roof of the Jeep, and use the radio from a small table near the Jeep.

When I’m ready to take the radio on my bike, it will pack nicely in the trunk bag with plenty of room for bananas and extra water. For battery power, I’ve ordered the parts to build my own 14.4VDC NiMH battery pack. I’ll be using 12 of the 4/3A 4000mAh cells (slightly larger than an A cell) NiMH batteries connected in series. The batteries will be glued together and held with shrink wrap. The power wires will terminate in Anderson PowerPole connectors, as will the charger. I considered a lot of other options before deciding to go with building my own NiMH pack. This was definitely not the cheaper option, but I get exactly what I want. And, if it doesn’t last long enough, I can buy another 12 batteries, use the leftover wire and shrink wrap, and build a second 14.4V pack to connect in parallel, doubling the capacity. And the total weight of two 14.4VDC battery packs? 3.3 lbs! Not bad for an 8000 mAh capacity battery.

Now the hard part… waiting for everything to get here… shipping to Hawaii sucks!…


2 comments so far

  1. Stuart on

    Sounds pretty good. About what is it going to cost you to build the battery setup? Are you only going to transmit while camped? I looked at the RIGrunner. Looks like it should do the job nicely for the radio and any thing else you decide to hook up on the Liberty. 73’s WH7DC

  2. bloodhound on

    The parts for the battery setup cost $109, including shipping. The 12 4/3 A cells were $66. Expensive, but worth it, I hope.

    Yeah, the RIGrunner looks pretty sweet. I was looking for the pieces/parts to build one, but couldn’t find a good source for the fuse holders. Looks like they get all the stuff bulk. It was just as cheap to buy it built. I just need to figure out where to put the panel. In the front? Under the hood? In the back?

    Yep, this setup will be for transmitting while camped. I don’t even like talking on the cell phone while driving, so I won’t be using the radio unless I’m stopped somewhere. I also didn’t want a permanent installation in the Liberty.

    My other Jeep on the other hand… can’t wait to order the FTM-10R! Later and 73.

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