Two Wheels and Two Way radios

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by GSequoia, Jul 16, 2010.

  1. GSequoia

    GSequoia I know a few things about radios... Supporter

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    Anybody here running CB or Ham radios on their adventure bikes? If so I'm curious what you've done about antennas.

    Thanks
    #1
  2. K7MDL

    K7MDL 2015 Tiger 800XCx

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    I use this at times :-)

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #2
  3. GSequoia

    GSequoia I know a few things about radios... Supporter

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    I think that might be just a tad more involved than I was thinking. :rofl Brovo and the really mobile rig though! (The Jeep will get the heavier equipment for me)
    #3
  4. badweatherbiker

    badweatherbiker Been here awhile

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    K7, you remind me of my dad, he has so many homemade antennas and radios. Nice setup btw!
    I am waiting for my dual band antenna I ordered to come in so I can get it attached to the Uly. I'll be running an Alinco DJV5T on it.
    Ken
    KI4IMN
    #4
  5. GSequoia

    GSequoia I know a few things about radios... Supporter

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    I'll probably run the Yaesau FT60 I plan to buy. I'm not sure what I'll run for a CB, I'll either wire a Cobra 75 control box in (I have one for one of my Jeeps) or use one of my Cobra handhelds strapped to the bars.

    I've never run a radio in a vehicle with no ground pane before so it kidna baffles me! Plus it's easier to ask then search when you're retarded like me. :freaky
    #5
  6. K7MDL

    K7MDL 2015 Tiger 800XCx

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    My first setup was a flat bar cross the back luggage rack with mobile multiband foldover whips on surface mounted NMO mounts. The 1/2 wave type mobile whips do not require a ground plane, just like the 8ft Marine VHF antennas on fiberglass boats. Take a look at this ground independent dual band whip SBB-5NMO http://www.cometantenna.com/products.php?CatID=1&famID=4&childID=4

    Look at http://www.k1cra.com/catalog/product.aspx?productID=498 for a variety of NMO mounts at the bottom of the linked page. I used the surface mounts. They have plastic NMO caps also.

    There are some mobile mounts designed to clamp onto the Goldwing luggage rack bars. http://www.marc-hq.org/40.technotes/40.htm but only selling to MARC members now. Give you some ideas though.

    If you do not have a luggage rack to clamp to, but have a top box and willing to drill a hole or 2, install an NMO mount there. If your antenna selection requires a ground plane (5/8wave, 1/4wave) then bolt a plate under the top lid or on top of the box.

    http://www.wpsantennas.com/901103-38holenmomountwith14rg-58.aspx for 3/8" and 3/4" NMO assemblies.

    Comet has a huge variety of antennas and mounts to choose from. Here is an example catalog http://www.visradio.com/dwg/ncg/cat/cat7.pdf
    Look at the CR5M external mount for an exposed nice looking sealed unit.
    I like this one http://www.shopjubilee.net/itm00569.htm. Just cool looking.

    My current vertical whip antenna is a Comet triband 144/222/432.

    I am heading up the highest road in Washington State this weekend for the CQ VHF WW Contest. Cheating though, taking the truck and camper, not the bike this time. Bigger antennas and 6M and 2M loops also.



    - Mike
    #6
  7. GSequoia

    GSequoia I know a few things about radios... Supporter

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    Thanks, I'll keep this information in mind.

    I'll probably fab up a mount that bolts to the subframe of the KLR that has tabs for antennas on it. That way for daily driving I can remove it entirely and it's like it's not even there. When I'm in the forest and deserts, particularly by myself, I'd like the peace of mind a 2m rig brings though! (Still need to get my license and buy that radio though!)
    #7
  8. K7MDL

    K7MDL 2015 Tiger 800XCx

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    Just remember to try to keep it away from your body, and watch the power levels. You do not want to cook yourself with 25 watts into an antenna pressed against your body.
    #8
  9. GSequoia

    GSequoia I know a few things about radios... Supporter

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    That's one of the reasons I was going to hang it off the back of hte subframe, should be a good distance away from me then (I highly doubt I'll ever trasnmit with a passenger).
    #9
  10. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer Supporter

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    I've avoided setting up a ham radio to go bike-mobile. It's just too dangerous, or maybe I'm just not smart enough to do it safely. I've often taken along gear to set up the rig in the campground. Typically, I throw a string up in a tree to haul a random wire up and then ground the tuner by laying wire on the ground. It has worked out pretty well...most primitive campgrounds are far away from RF interference and it's a wonder what you can hear when you get away from that. The latest camping radio is my Yaesu FT-857.
    #10
  11. Gibbonboy

    Gibbonboy Just Plain Lost

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    Pretty much exactly what I'm putting on my DR. The Alinco is pretty beat up, won't buy another new battery for it, and the mic on the radio doesn't work. Looking for a suitable-sized waterproof enclosure so I can mount it on the bars. I have a headset and PTT ready to go.
    #11
  12. Heloflights

    Heloflights Been here awhile

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    My son & I are both hams and we have used Yaesu FT-50R's linked to Autocom Super Pro AVI Duo's with great results. This radio meets the 810 mil spec standard (does great in the rain). The stock rubber duck antenna isn't bad, however Diamond's SRH77CA gain antenna is better...

    :clap



    radio.jpg
    #12
  13. GSequoia

    GSequoia I know a few things about radios... Supporter

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    What kind of headset you running? Does it fit in a full faced helmet?


    Been looking around at Yaesu's website and the VX-7R is really turning me on. It's about $100 more than the FT-60R but more water proof. Originally the main reason I chose the FT-60R was because I didn't need something specifically water proof, then I rode my buddy's KLR and decided I had to have it...
    #13
  14. GSWayne

    GSWayne Old Guy nOOb Supporter

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    I have used a VX-7R interfaced to a Starcom1 Advance intercom system with the Starcom1 helmet speakers and microphone. I used a Aerostitch radar detector mount to hold the radio. Because of the distraction factor I did not really use it much.
    #14
  15. hpsVFR

    hpsVFR Hoosier Daddy Supporter

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    Tell me more about those loops...:deal
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  16. GSequoia

    GSequoia I know a few things about radios... Supporter

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    How do you like the VX-7R? I don't know anybody else that has one.

    I doubt I'd use it very much while underway, mostly while stopped for the night and bored in camp. ;) I would like it to be able to be used though just in case.
    #16
  17. Heloflights

    Heloflights Been here awhile

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    GSequoia:

    We use Shoei full face helmets, the Autocom "in-helmet" speaker solution did not work for us so we opted for "S-Plug" in ear speakers mated to the Autocomm # 1188 "n-Ear Speaker Headset Extension Lead: Coiled"...works great!

    :clap
    #17
  18. badweatherbiker

    badweatherbiker Been here awhile

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    My new battery for my DJV5T came in Friday, 32.00 shipped to my door.
    Now I need to find a better mounting solution for the handlebars on the Uly. I was using an ATV bracket from Walmart, what's everyone using for your HT's?
    Still waiting on the antenna but I'll just temp use the 1/4 wave I had on my other bike, I'm not gonna use the 30 watt linear though...
    #18
  19. SikDMAX

    SikDMAX Been here awhile

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  20. GSWayne

    GSWayne Old Guy nOOb Supporter

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    I don't have enough different radios to compare it to, but I have no regrets in getting it. The new VX-8GR with built in GPS and APRS would be nice for some of what use the radio for. Like other modern radios you really need a computer to program it. I use VX-7 Commander which I found more useful than the Yaesu program. My primary use is supporting charity rides and parades. I use it more on my bicycle than my motorcycle, where I use the same radar mount. I use it as much as a scanner as I do as a Ham radio and it works well for that. The battery seems to last at least 8 hours doing the event support function. I don't have a spare battery but I probably should get one. I have never used the 50 MHz capability. In fact for transmit I almost always use 2m.
    #20