View Full Version : Setting a mobile up for home use...

07-24-2011, 06:53 PM
So, I plan to install my Yaesu FT-2900R so that it is easily removable. I'd like to be able to set it up in my basement as well. I just sold the topper off my 89 Toyota Pickup for $300, so I have that much to mess with.

I see Yaesu shows a power supply (the FP-1030A (http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/hamps/3640.html)) which seems to retail around $250-$260. Can't I just go with something like this QJE PS-30SWII 30 AMP Power Supply (http://www.radio-mart.net/QJE-PS-30SWII-Power-Supply.html) for $99...not sure if there is something special with the Yaesu one or not. If I can go with that, it would leave me around $200 for an antenna setup...I have no clue here...is that enough for a decent 2m antenna?

I don't want to spend a whole lot more than that, since I'm new to the hobby and want to make sure I love it before dropping tons on gear...besides I need $ to spend on my FJ60...

P.S. What are the best forums for a new HAM? I see eham, qrz, hamradioforum, worldwidedx... I'd like to join one.

07-24-2011, 07:14 PM
The reason the Yaesu is $250 is that it's (1) made in Japan, (b) well made in Japan, (3) a well made in Japan linear supply and (d) well made in Japan linear supply /by the people who designed it./

That said, it really is a very highly priced supply compared to the market and there's no reason you need to spend that much on a supply. It's by no means a bad supply, but about 50% or more overpriced.

Now the QJE, that's is a Chinese copy of the Alinco DM-330MVT, which if you're gonna steal someone's design is one very good switching supply. The Alinco is a VERY highly regarded supply.


But QJE can charge less because they didn't have to spend the time engineering it and don't have a decade of debugging and customer support behind it. They are new to the market, so I dunno anything about them. Caveat emptor, you might get want you pay for. Or maybe not, could be a great deal like the Wouxun HTs.

None-the-less, both are overkill for a 2m, 50W mobile. You only need about 10~15A of continuous current to run your radio. It's not bad to have more and you never want less current than your radio needs.

Personally, for a 2m FM mobile I would run a Astron SS or RS model, in both lines a suitable unit would run about $100 or so. Astron makes solid supplies in L.A., CA. I run my station from a RS-35M and can personally vouch that it is very low ripple and reliable (I measure about 3mV at 20 amps set dead nuts on at 13.8V). The thing is built like a tank, weighs about 20 lbs.

But I'd probably be looking at the Astron SS-18 for a dedicated 2m FM supply. Much smaller and weighs 4 lbs, but can do 15A continuous and 18A transient.


07-24-2011, 07:38 PM
Thanks for the info...I kinda figured it was made in Japan, but the site doesn't really say anything about it. The FT-2900R will go up to 75W...would I still only need 10-15A?

I'd like, if fiscally possible, to have some room to upgrade to other radios/bands in the future if I decide to go after General, etc.

I'll have a look at the Astron models you mentioned...are they of Japanese origin?

I'm hoping to have a call sign by next week sometime...can't wait to try her out!


07-24-2011, 09:39 PM
How about an old car battery for power.. when you see voltage drop below 12.0 on startup then put it on a trickle charger, or let it ride back in the truck for a while.. I have run this setup for an entire winter using my camper's battery, and was surprised how few times I actually needed to charge it.

As for antenna, a few of us here have the Arrow J-Pole, and for a 2m base I'm not sure how you could go wrong with that. http://www.arrowantennas.com/osj/j-pole.html hard to deny $40 too. but that's not going to get you into other bands, just 2m and 440, but you can break it down and take it camping. http://www.risingsun4x4club.org/uploads/smileys/tinfoilhat2.gif

07-24-2011, 09:51 PM
Antenna-wise, I was just looking at the Diamond X30A (https://www.hamcity.com/store/pc/viewPrd.asp?idcategory=0&idproduct=531). I like the setup this guy on Youtube (http://www.youtube.com/user/USNERDOC#p/u/28/jLSzSeajr7U) has...camera tripod, painters pole, some pvc, cables etc... looks to be $60-ish

He has some cool videos for HAM stuff and SHTF type things...this ISS contact videos are awesome.

07-24-2011, 10:23 PM
I run the X30 at home, bolted to my chimney so it's at about 25 feet AGL. Key with VHF and UHF is not to use junk, thin coax. Go with at least RG8, RG213, LMR400 for anything over a few feet otherwise you're just heating up the coax.

Your manual will tell you the maximum draw. I suspect it will be about 15 amps. If you are going to add radios, I think you are right to consider more. Most people end up around 25A, which is enough for a 100W SSB or CW radio. If you plan to do any 10m or 6m FM at 100W, then you should look for about 30A continuous.

Astron supplies are made in Irvine, California.

Something to remember about car batteries is if you are inside, particularly if you're using it in a basement with gas appliances, is to use sealed batteries, SLA, AGM, etc. Regular unsealed batteries can vent hydrogen during charging.

07-24-2011, 10:39 PM
Astron supplies are made in Irvine, California

Nice, I'd definitely rather support something made in USA.

Thanks for all the great info!

07-24-2011, 11:38 PM
I built my own J-Pole out of 1/2 copper pipe with 50' of RG8 and my radio is an old Maxtrac radio out of a BNSF Train. I have been using a car battery ( the old crusty one the 40 came with) hooked up to a trickle charger to power it like Nakman. I leave the radio on all the time (like 24/7), and it always works great. I have never run the battery down. Is there a reason to use a power supply over this type of setup? It is in the garage, so a gassy battery is less of an issue.. It sure is cheap and easy

08-07-2011, 10:01 PM
My wife wouldn't go for a car battery sitting in the basement, so, I ended up with a MegaWatt S-400-12 that my buddy sent me for free! He picked it up cheap at a hamfest and said he thinks it's brand new. It can do 30A continuous...I found them on eBay and read the eHam reviews and they look good (especially for $0!) I ordered a Slim Jim antenna by N9TAX and a little SH2P4 speaker. Both of those had glowing reviews on the ham sites.

08-11-2011, 08:54 PM
I got all the pieces and put it together tonight...

Yaesu FT2900R
MegaWatt S-400-12 PSU
N9TAX Slim Jim Dual Band Antenna
Painter's Pole
Orange Traffic Cone :D
(I will put some holes in the cone so I can stake it down...it's pretty heavy duty. I also have some stainless steel eyelets I can put on the painter's pole if I want to put some guy lines on it.)

Had my first QSO with KD0MSP (thanks Anthony!) and I'm listening to the 1930L net on 145.130...27 check ins! Pretty cool stuff!

I also ordered one of those cheap, Chinese Baofeng HTs...I figured I'd give it a try for $45 shipped. It has some decent reviews on eHam and some other sites.

So, where do you guys hang out on 2m?

Dave / KD0PGD

08-12-2011, 12:30 AM
Your set up looks great! Cool antenna.

I'm late to this thread, but I use a Yaesu FP-1023A power supply (https://www.hamcity.com/store/pc/viewPrd.asp?idcategory=101&idproduct=344) for my 2800 (same radio, earlier model). Your MegaWatt power supply looks completely legit, however -- I found this page (http://www.electronics5000.mynetworksolutions.com/138vdcpowersupply.html) on their equipment.