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About SonoranWanderer

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  • Rig
    2008 Jeep JKU Rubicon
  • Location
    Cave Creek, AZ

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  1. Both @CAVU2 and I made it home safe. Thanks for a fun trip and help with the tire!
  2. Continuing where I left off on the hike.... Looking back as we finished the hike After many tries, finally got a shot with @theksmith in it in motion to complete the collection This could have been about the route behind or still in front of us If you have not picked up on the theme of the trip, here's a hint, water. Lots of water. Castle Hot Springs Resort. Looked pretty empty. View of Lake Pleasant as we neared the end of this wonderful adventure. Thanks to @4x4tographer for a great day!
  3. @4x4tographer put together an awesome run through the Wickenburg Mountains Saturday. The weather cooperated both before and during to make for a mostly conformable ride in some fun mildly challenging conditions. The clouds helped to create some dramatic landscape photos. Also in attendance: @ob1jeeper, @gold digger, @Ladybug, @gearhead, @theksmith Above and below, out first trail stop at one of the many Constellation mine sites. I never get tired of the Arizona views Our second stop was near this mine. As we approached the stopping point, there was some radio chatter about the Winnebago becoming @4x4tographer's next project. Dramatic cloud effects Also photographed from the second stop, Seal Mountain. Show above in context, left of center. Stamp mill remains of the second stop/mine. As we moved on, there were some race fans watching the jeeps pass. Here begins the theme of the trip, water Third stop. A break before the the first "real" water fording The water was still running high from the week's rain and, in particular, Friday's storms. This wash is the trail. Although nothing we drove through was more than two feet deep. But deep enough that if you stopped it would rock your vehicle. Pictures to probably not show your insurance agent Tower Mountain (Crown King) is the dark far away peak left of center Mountain view during lunch After lunch we drove by Buckhorn Springs where we stopped for a short hike More pictures to come in a comment to this post. I have about filled the 48.3MB limit.
  4. Continuing the above post, here is how I changed over to a "true" mobile radio with a fixed-mount antenna. 2) I decided that the mobile on the dash as-shown above was while effective not to my usage satisfaction. I had a D72a, so I was able to broadcast APRS already, but I was limited in a few ways that matter to me: Maximum 5w APRS base stations were not hearing me as much as I wanted, lots of gaps in my travelogue on APRS.fi in the back country Not a lot of power for remote uses like the AZ strip The display was far away from me as a driver and hard to read One upside of the D72a with the Kenwood mic is that you can switch between memory presets. This is not true of other HTs with mics. But even though I had "easy" to reach channel control on the mic, I could not see what channel/repeater I selected. Advanced control required pulling the radio off the mount or stopping the jeep so I could move to see the display and reach the body buttons. The mobile radio I selected had more advanced features The mobile had a better aesthetic to me after full install and wires properly routed I also switched up my antenna setup as I wanted A bigger antenna to handle higher power Use longer wavelength ratios to support better long range reception Ability to "fast" swap antennas for different conditions and uses Fixed mount to take the abuse of tight brush The mobile I selected is the Yaesu FTM-400DR. It could push 50w Dual band APRS support The head and body are separate Full color, easy-to-read compact display Display can show a interesting radio transmission and GPS data Head/display and mic based controls are fairly easy to use For an antenna, I put together a solid fixed base mount close to the driver so that it was easy to reach out and fold down the antenna if need for tight brush and garages. I looked at different ways to mount considering Location Ease of driver reach Exposure of wire between the body seam and the antenna base Solidness of the mount (ability to withstand brush abuse) Solid for the antenna itself, prevent tear off or severe vibration Solid to prevent damage to the vehicle body where the mount attaches A base setup that support different antenna options without much effort/work I started with my now "mid-sized" fold-able antenna, a Diamond NR770HB. You can grab the antenna near the base, pull up and fold it over (full 90 degrees). I eventually switched to a Comet SS-680SB spring base (self-flexing). It is shorter but for 90% of my use cases effective enough in range. It is rated to the mobile's full 50w. It also goes into most garages without issue. Installation: The base is under the drivers seat mounted to a tray that keeps the radios (also have a CD base there) off the jeep's floor. I can take on a little water before risking electronics damage. The tray is an aluminum unit I found on eBay via old Jeep forums customer cut to bolt to the JK's seat frame. I got creative with the head. I found a black RAM slide mount base with adjustable 1" mount balls. I use #10 black bolts to attach the slide to the trim piece above the rear-view mirror and between the visors I crafted a RAM ball mount to and for the radio head and then attached that ball on the slide. Once everything is tightened down it is solid. But easy to adjust later I originally used the old JeepUniq dash mount to hold the mic. But since I have two mics, this had its limits. I eventually found a metal bracket that went into the radio tower trim seam and held in by the radio mount bolts. To that I attached a mic cradle. Now the mic I am actively using is cradled on the car radio tower and the other rests in the JeepUniq cradle. For the antenna base I settled on the KC A-Pillar light bracket for side mounted lights. I drilled out the light bolt hole to handle a UHF base. I then selected an antenna base with a very thin RG188 pigtail that runs/hides easily under the forward A-pillar light mount and slips right into the cowl seam where it converts to standard coax. The COMET-NCG CK-3M5 if I remember correctly. /Woody
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