Sunday, March 11, 2007
1996 Ford Ranger - Circa 1998 to 2001
This was my 3rd HF mobile. It had the usual Ford fuel pump noise problems as a lot of Ford vehicles of this vintage. I couldn't obtain the filtering kit, and the professional installation required, so using my ham ingenuity, I came up with another solution.
RadioShack carries a 10 amp RFI filter for car stereos. I figured if it could stop RFI from going into something, it could stop RFI from coming out of the fuel pump. I was correct! It worked like a charm, and I didn't have to have the fuel tank dropped to install the filters on the in-tank fuel pump. I installed the RFI filter right on top of the fuel tank, as close to the pump as possible.
Inside the cab, I had a Yaesu FT-767GXii, which worked very well. Below the Yaesu is an Icom 2710 dual-bander, and where the car stereo used to be is a RadioShack mobile scanner. This was a very easy to use HF mobile, and it looked good too.
I used a DSP speaker to help out with some of the noise, and it worked well. It's actually mounted behind the driver's seat.
Looking under the shell, I mounted an original Don Johnson DK3 Screwdriver The red wire angled across the top of the shell.
Since the DK3 is variable geometry antenna - meaning, it gets longer as you go down in frequency - I used a spring to keep the wire taught. I don't have a picture of the outside of the shell, so I'll have to describe it. I installed a ball mount at the top of the shell. The red wire connected to the inside of the ball mount. Outside I had a 102" whip attached to the ball. Doing all the math, that works out to a 1/4 wave on 20M going down the road. This performed very well, especially on 40 and 80M. 20M was just as good as being at home with a vertical.
I sold the truck sometime in 2001 for a fire engine red Dodge 1500 sport truck. I only installed the 2710 in that truck. I couldn't run HF since it was a leased vehicle.