Thinking Mobile – Planning Mobile HF at K9ZW

Well I’ve started the process to work towards having mobile HF (and VHF/UHF) in my daily driver.

The current daily driver is a 2008 Chevrolet Suburban LTZ – the one with the very cool engine that is a V8 when needed and settles back to a V4 when conditions allow.

This is my fourth Suburban, and complicating doing mobile HF is my usual driving pattern of 25,000-30,000 miles a year, and that I change the vehicle usually about every 2-2-1/2 years.

This means that any install will be yanked out and moved to the next vehicle 24 to 30 months after installation.

Also complicating my mobile efforts is my need to use all the space in the truck – we have a large family & travel together when used privately, and I often have equipment or materials in the truck when driving for work.

I also ferry my instruments when playing with various bands.

So the Radio Gear has to tuck away very well and not interfere.

Spending a good 1/4 of my time driving on the phone, using a Motorola T505 Bluetooth device providing a full hands-free setup.

The vehicle is also heavy on electronics – XM radio, GPS Navigation, Computerized Brakes/Stability/Traction (this system has saved my bacon several times over the years when people pulled out in front of me – HIGHLY recommend this option) and active safety gear.

The RF from the radios simply cannot interfere with the basic vehicle.

So I am examining my options. I did acquire a new IC-7000 a good friend had bought but ever used.

I want to pick an antenna that color matches, and can be re-painted to match the next truck. I also want to put the gear into a modular set-up that will come back out easy when it is time to move it to the next truck.

Very open to suggestions on how other people have solved this sort of problem.



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4 thoughts on “Thinking Mobile – Planning Mobile HF at K9ZW

  1. Rich says:


    Try a Gamber Johnson console, I had one made for my truck and it mounts on the floor in front of the seat. There is a plate that screws to the floor and the console bolts to it. I can remove it in about 10 minutes.
    Here is the website

    Rich KC9LOA

  2. Tony KB1SUN says:

    Hi Steve,

    Have you made any progress on
    this projet? Have you figured
    out how to route power from the
    battery? Any handy, pre-existing
    holes through the firewall, or
    did you have to drill your own
    (and where)?


  3. k9zw says:

    Hi Tony,

    Project is stalled. Looking at how I use my truck as a mobile office was the lead on to how much time I have driving that I am not expected to be available by phone.

    Not very much unfortunately.

    Not that it won’t eventually happen that I have mobile HF, though for now I have settled on having a decent portable set-up that I can transport.

    I didn’t get the 2m set-up on the motorcycle this season either, which was fine as weather and commitments minimized my hours of motorbiking for the 2009 riding season.

    BTW I sold the IC-7000 I had planned for the Suburban rather than have it sit around unused.



  4. Tony KB1SUN says:

    Hi Steve,

    Thanks for the update. Sorry you won’t have more driving time available to be on the radio! Would love an e-mail if you get the project back on track and figure out how to route the power. I’ll send you one if I figure it out before you do!


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