Road trips & radio

So this past weekend, Julie and I drove to St. Catherines / Niagra on the Lake to attend the wedding of some close friends. Naturally, one must keep themselves occupied during such a trip and with the (somewhat) recent purchase of our FJ cruiser, Julie was able to pitch in for driving duties.

ATAS-120a antenna

ATAS-120a antenna

Having installed the radio in the vehicle a few weeks prior, I was naturally looking forward to being able to play radio while it was my turn in the passenger’s chair. With the ATAS-120A antenna securely mounted to the roof rack, I was in business!

The bands were coming in quite nicely, with most traffic seen to be on 20m (as one might expect). I made some PSK-31 contacts which presented some interesting challenges while on the road. One of the challenges was QSB which could have been due to the changing terrain as we drove. The other challenge was a fairly high noise floor. Having been concerned that the vehicle’s electrical system might be a source of a great deal of noise, I had taken the opportunity to test the install while stationary & vehicle off. I then tried everything with the engine running and I saw no difference in noise floor, and there were no signs of RFI in the various digital mode waterfall displays.

On the way back from the south, I made some JT-65HF contacts and then switched back to PSK-31 where I was treated with some QSOs to France and Italy. I had never anticipated such good luck while mobile! I was delighted!

Needless to say, I am already looking forward to the next opportunity to operate mobile. I’ll keep you posted as to how it goes.

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