We ordered the Subaru with a trailer hitch, mainly as a way to transport a couple of bicycles to a local park. (Of course, it's possible application as some sort of antenna mount did not go unnoticed!) Unfortunately, Subaru could only supply the smaller size hitch. This really didn't present any obstacle for the bike rack. And, as things turned out, it didn't present any obstacles for an antenna mast either.
The original idea for the trailer hitch was to use it as a base for a mast which would have a rotator on it with the beams above the rotator. This would allow us to pivot the mast very close to the ground and "walk" up the mast instead of having the pivot on the roof of the vehicle and having to have a second person pull up the mast with a rope in front of the vehicle. (See previous scrap book pages for pictures of the previous arrangement and antennas.) In fact, this new arrangement was done and we ran the CQ WW VHF Contest that way.
However, the idea of stopping somewhere, erecting antennas, operating, taking down the antennas and moving on to another site seemed to be inefficient and counter-productive to the idea of rapidly making contacts. What was needed was to have the beam antennas mounted either on some pre-fabricated assembly ready for quick erection or to have smaller antennas permanently mounted and be able to use them in motion or at a stationary location. Since we had experience with stopping and erecting, we decided that it would be interesting to see how the other scenario would work out. Thus, we got on the phone to Down East Microwave and ordered up stacked halos for 222 MHz. and 432 MHz. along with phasing harnesses. We already had a halo for 50 MHz. and 144 MHz. already, so we didn't have to buy them.
Thus, we now had all the antennas on hand that we needed and construction began. The photos below show almost the culmination of that construction. These were taken about a week before the September, 2000 VHF Contest and show the overall setup as well as a close-up of the three antenna masts.
||Subaru with only the 6 meter halo temporarily mounted. I was tuning up the halo at the time.|
|Almost all antennas are mounted on the car. Only the U-bolt for the 6 meter mast has to be marked and drilled on the 1x2. And, the second stacked halo for 432 has to be mounted.||N2MH Photo
||Close up of the halos. Note that the short piece of mast attached to the 6 meter halo is removable allowing another mast to be put in its place. I envision this other mast to be one with a rotator on top with beam(s) on top of the rotator.|
|The operating position inside the Subaru. At this point in the construction, I was tuning the 6 meter halo for resonance on the calling frequency. (It was actually a little higher in freq to allow for operation up the band a little bit.)||N2MH Photo