|Modified Hamstick temporarily mounted|
The last couple of days I've progressed with the installation of the Ten-Tec Scout 555 in the GMC truck
. As of today, it's ready to transmit, though not while actually in motion, yet. Most of my spare time had been spent on the green cargo rack for the truck as seen in the photo to the right.
Installing the rig in the truck
Once I got back to the rig, the first step was mounting the radio in the "cage" I'd installed previously. Believe it or not, that cage is fastened to the truck with a single stainless steel hose clamp, but it seems quite immoveable. I tapped into the cigarette lighter circuit, which I'd never use otherwise, for power, and ran a ground wire to the truck's frame.
|Scout mounted with the homebrew paddles on top|
A shelf for the code paddles
A small wooden shelf slides into the steel angle pieces on top in order to support the homebrew guitar pick paddles
I made previously. Since I added a lead weight to the bottom of the paddles they rest snuggly and firmly without an additional fastener. The bumpy roads here will let me know if it can stay in place as-is, however.
|Close-up of the left side homebrew clamp|
Clamping the rig in place
I scratched my head a while to find a way to fasten the Scout into the frame. In the end, I created screw-in clamps, one per side, which hold it solidly in place with only an additional wire-tie through the bail stand on the front.
The clamp foot was made using a 1/2" copper pipe cap, which I slotted and compressed around a bolt head that I'd ground to a round shape. On the other end of the bolt I welded a wing nut. There is a hex nut welded to the inside of the upright. A few turns of the wing nuts grips and centers the Scout in the frame.
Installing the antenna coax
The last step was running 15 feet of RG-58
for the feed line. That only required a single hole the diameter of the coax in the floor pan underneath the floor pad. The back end has a BNC connector
and the front end a PL-259
. The latter I soldered on to the coax from within the truck.
I first used the AA-54 analyzer to tune the modified, multi-band hamstick for 20 meters
before hooking it to the rig. SWR is less than 2:1 for most of the band. Half-heartedly, I admit, I called CQ for about 10 minutes without a reply. It was a little early for 20M to be open and where the truck is now it's blocked to the U.S. I'll take the truck up to a high point later and give it a more thorough test run.