Yaesu FT-8900r antenna stand and ground plane

Diamond CR8900A Quad-band antenna for a Yaesu FT-8900rnote: first appeared in March 2015

I have one of the best Ham radios on the market today, a Yaesu FT-8900r. It is a quad-band mobile radio that is simply the top of the line for its mission. To maximize its capabilities I purchased a Diamond CR8900A Quad-Band FM 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 Yaesu FT-8900r Quad-Band Ham Radioway 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 CR8900A 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 KitTRAM 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 quad-band antenna supporting my Yaesu FT-8900r which was capable of operating in almost any environment.

Solution –

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. And so it was done.TRAM 1465 Land Mobile Base Ground Plane Kit

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.

TRAM 1465 Land Mobile Base Ground Plane KitTotal time to build: less than 1 hour
Cost to build: Less than $25 (includes tripod bought at Goodwill)

Now when I set-up my Yaesu FT-8900r for ground based, non-vehicle, operations I have a great antenna stand to use complete with ground plane.






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