With any hope, this will be the last refit for a while – the roof rack remains the ideal setup from my standpoint, but until I know for sure that I’ll be able to obtain bars, I’m going to shoot for something different. When I started with the Wrangler in 2017, I utilized mast sections off of the hitch – this worked well with less-than-ideal antennas, but was a little time consuming to setup, requiring full assembly at each stop, and full teardown before moving. Over time I was able to make a few mods to speed this process up, but when switching to the Patriot, and with some very clutch help from club members a switch to the roof rack was made. Now, with a flat roofed new vehicle, a decision has to be made for the next contest – while this isn’t the way I wanted to go, it’s going to be the interim solution.
Note: This is entirely just a brainstorming session and me putting ideas down that others may have suggestions to improve upon (which is why I’m posting on the internet).
I finally decided to just pull the trigger and order a hitch kit the other day and just take the time and install it myself – for this purpose, a wiring harness isn’t really needed. The beauty of this car is that it’s entirely setup for it, and it’s just a matter of bolting to the frame. When I do finally get the boat finished and am ready to tow it to the nearest lake to go fishing for countless hours, which is really just a matter of me going to get sheets of marine plywood, and carpeting and getting to work, then I’ll worry about it, but for the moment, we just need to get back in the /R category!
Maybe I need to just pick one project and go with it…?
Mocking the rough ideas I had for the Patriot back when I got it in 2018, and some equipment I still have on hand from the Wrangler’s few adventures as a Rover, I’m going to be using a hitch receiver mast mount – this mount offers two points to secure the mast. The first mast section will be a stubby one, measuring only about a foot to a foot and a half, and will have a plate welded to the top to function as a rotor shelf. The rotor will house a larger mast that will hold the antennas clear of the vehicle. I haven’t decided on a fixed or telescoping mast yet however, for the purpose of decreased weight, I’m thinking fiberglass telescoping, this way it’ll be more secure when in motion, can offer different points to guy if necessary, and give the advantage of some additional height on an otherwise short car.
I ordered it a bit late to arrive before this just past June contest, however I did finally decide that I’m tired of hauling around a full-sized beam for 6m, and have opted to scale down to a halo. In January, this always proved problematic as I’d have my elements freeze collapsed, and unable to extend at least once during the contest. In June, I always would get stuck in heavy rains at least once when adjusting the elements. I’m considering changes to other antennas as well, however this is the start.
Moving up further in to the microwaves will also be a focus – I’m obtaining a 10ghz transverter from someone, and wholly plan on putting some focus there in the upcoming months.
Like I said, this is just my brainstorming session, and I’ve been (horrendously) sketching out ideas as they come to me, but as the project takes form over the next few weeks, I’ll post photo updates!