My old man (VK1ARA) was quite active on 15m back in the 80’s and he used to have a nice shack. Now, he has continued his passion but in mobile HF. Last Christmas he gave me his old IC-706MkII. It’s almost 16 years old but it doesn’t look it. I suppose radio waves don’t really go out of date.

Anyway, in a past life of the Patrol, my Dad had it rigged up for Mobile HF. When I acquired the car, I removed all the radio gear. Now, I’ve started to put it all back in. Unfortunately, I’ve had to leave out the 300W transmitters that he had under the seats. I won’t have the license required to transmit at that power. In Australia, the Advanced Amateur licence allows you to transmit upto 400W. I hope to get my standard amateur licence which will allow me to work 100W.

My Dad is overseas at the moment so a mate of mine, VK1ACE helped me understand some of the basics. To start with, I had the antenna plug in the wrong place! After getting that sorted, I received my first HF transmissions from around Australia and even New Zealand.

Many people I know have Codan or Barrett based systems. The advantage of the ICOM unit I have is that I have access to all the frequencies, not just the pre-programmed ones. The dis-advantage is that it’s not as easy to use in comparison. Most people with a Codan or Barratt system also have an auto-tuning antenna. Something I don’t have just yet either.

With this added radio gear, I now have 4 antennas on the car. I’ll add a car photo soon.

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