Setting up our old F-250 for HF mobile ops

I have installed a Yeasu FT-2900R 2m portable radio in both Heidi’s old Hyundai and my old F-250 pickup. Its a great “bang for the buck” radio with 5, 10, 30 & 75 Watts of output available and a terrific receiver. Around where we live, we keep them at 5 watts and have no problem reaching local repeaters from any of the places we routinely go.

There will be times when we will be joining other members of the Amateur Radio Club of El Cajon up in the mountains or out on Fiesta Island to operate our various radios while set up at or very near our vehicles.  We will want to take along an HF Radio, batteries, maybe a folding solar panel, and most certainly need the capability to raise an HF antenna.  Talking to a few of the very experienced Hams in our club, I decided it would be smart to have the ability to attach an antenna mast to our truck in a very secure manner – and the best way seemed to be via that 2″ square trailer hitch receiver on the rear of it.  My preparations are a kind of combination of what the other folks are doing.

This is what we came up with to handle a mobile HF radio mast for our antennas:

Flagpole to Go Hitch Mount for large diameter flag pole - plus receiver extension to permit opening tailgate.

Flagpole to Go Hitch Mount for large diameter flag pole – plus receiver extension with step to permit opening tailgate.

 

Eureka, it works!

Eureka, it works!

 

Harbor Freight flag pole with 2.5" diameter base fits just fine.

Harbor Freight flag pole with 2.5″ diameter base fits just fine.

 

Harbor Freight Flag Pole extended to 20' - I plan to use a PVC "extension" double-pinned to top section.

Harbor Freight Flag Pole extended to 20′ – I plan to use a PVC “extension” double-pinned to top section.

We also have a 33′ MFJ-1910 fiberglass push-up pole that can be used for greater height. I will be adding a 4′ length of PVC with cap on bottom to protect the fiberglass from damage. (A good idea already in use by another experienced Ham).

When not in use, the masts/flagpoles will be collapsed and stowed in the locking toolbox, along with the Flagpole To Go hitch mount and our regular trailer hitch/ball.  We will probably just leave the receiver extension with step back there to ease getting in/out of the truck bed with the tailgate closed.

Edited: Several folks have asked where I got that hitch mount – it was via Amazon.com – don’t know how long this link will be good but here ya go:

Flagpole To Go Hitch Mount For Large Diameter Portable Flagpole

Update: Since I wrote this post, I see they have increased the price on Amazon by $12. 🙁

That extension, and another model without the step, can easily be found at your local Harbor Tool & Freight store – picked ours up with a 25% coupon so the total price for it was about $21 – good hunting! -dave

This entry was posted by dave on Monday, May 9th, 2016 at 2:14 am and is filed under Amateur Radio, General Ham Stuff . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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