Antenna stand and ground plane for the Yaesu FT-8800r

Browning BR-180 Amateur Dual-Band Mobile AntennaI have one of the best Ham radios on the market today, a Yaesu FT-8800r. It is a Dual-band mobile radio that is simply the top of the line for its mission.I want to be able to use this radio as a cross-band repeater or a solid base station in the field.

To maximize its capabilities I purchased The Browning BR-180 Amateur Dual Band Mobile Antenna . I already have a NMO (New Motorola) mount on my truck’s roof. FYI – NMO is the defacto standard for professional antenna mounting. So, I have this really high quality radio, a matching high quality antenna and no real way to use both in a ground-based application. Yes, I believe I am far more likely to use the radio outside of my truck during times of need. So what antenna would I use?Yaesu FT- 8800R ham radio

The question is valid since the Browning BR-180 requires a ground plane that is provided by the truck roof. A ground-based use would have no such metal roof as a ground plane. So I purchased a ground plane kit.

TRAM 1465 Land Mobile Base Ground Plane Kit

 

TRAM 1465 Land Mobile Base Ground Plane Kit. Cost was $22 through Amazon. The kit solved that issue but I was still undecided on how to set-up the antenna itself. So I went back to basics and defined the “mission” I was trying to accomplish.

Mission –

A highly portable and versatile dual-band antenna supporting my Yaesu FT-8800r which was capable of operating in almost any environment.

Then it dawned on me, I had already built a support structure for dual UHF/VHF antennas that mounts to a camera tripod so why not do the same here. Then I built a tripod stand for my Yaesu FT-8900r and so use the same exact design for this application as well.

TRAM 1465 Land Mobile Base Ground Plane KitI put an additional bend in the bracket, drilled the appropriate sized hole in the “foot” of the bracket, and then went to Lowes to buy a wingnut to match the threaded post on the camera tripod. The camera tripod has a hook in between the legs in the center that I can attach a weight to hold the tripod steady to the ground. Because the tripod is adjustable I can have significant flexibility with the height of the antenna.

TRAM 1465 Land Mobile Base Ground Plane Kit

 

 

Total time to build: less than 1/2 hour
Cost to build: Less than $25 (includes tripod bought at Goodwill)

Now when I set-up my Yaesu FT-8800r for ground based, non-vehicle, operations I have a great antenna stand to use.

 

 

 

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