What’s Happening In The Mobile?

     Both the XYL and my mobile has suffered from a bit of neglect. The XYL was running a TM-D710A fed by a AvMap Geosat 6 GPS. Band A ran APRS and Band B was for communicating with me. APRS always worked without issue but Band B began dropping power on transmit. I had experienced this was another TM-D710A I had which was repaired after a visit to one of Kenwood’s stateside repair facilities. The XYL was never happy about having the AvMap GPS up on the dash. I viewed this as an opportunity for a new radio! She now has the TM-D710G with an integrated GPS.
     When I head into the garage, I hop out and bring my antennas down. The XYL makes use of a solution that allows her to remain in the vehicle while entering the garage. The Diamond K9000LRM is a motorized mount that allows her to raise and lower her VHF/UHF antenna from inside the vehicle. We’ve been using this solution for about ten years and have gotten about three years of use out of the unit. The motor had quit and also needed to be replaced, which was an easy swap.
     In my mobile I am also running a TM-D710A, but fed by the older AvMap Geosat 5 GPS. The Geosat 5 began showing its age by having problems booting up. It started, but often took a few minutes to “warm up”. With the XYL’s Geosat 6 available, I swapped out the Geosat 5 and am good to go.
It was also time to pull and clean up the HF rig. The setup is straight forward: an ICOM IC-706MKIIG, Tarheel 100A-HP screwdriver antenna, controlled by a TurboTuner. I can’t say enough about the IC-706MKIIG. Its straight forward to use and works. I’ve added the fan mod to address some ham’s concerns of the IC-706IIG’s heat. The IC-706 and the TurboTuner are mounted in an iPortable case, all powered by a auxiliary battery. The aux battery is charged by the main battery and allows me to not worry about running down the main battery.
     I detached all the cables and pulled the case. Once on the bench, I pulled everything off and gave it a good cleaning. Next, I got to add my Christmas present to the mix: the N8XJK Super Booster. I had seen the N8XJK Super Booster advertised in the back of QST ever since I can remember, but sold by TG Electronics. Apparently Westmountain Radio is now selling them. What the device does is makes sure the IC-706 is supplied with a consistent 13.8 volts. Operating mobile, providing that consistent voltage can be crucial in maintaining a solid signal on transmit. The N8XJK Super Booster works as advertised, regardless of if the vehicle is running or not.
     This morning on a short trip I put the updated setup to the test. First I did a quick check in with the Texas Traffic Net and got a nice report from Ed, K5KBV in Amarillo. Next I was able to work a guest op at W1AW, breaking through a mild pileup. So far, so good with HF setup.