I 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?
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. 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.
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.
I 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.
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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