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The Hummer Knowledge Base

Accessories/Communications/Ham Radio:

At 07:50 PM 1/11/97 EDT, Marc, KC7SXL wrote:
>        After reading in one of the 4wd magazines about the ease of
>obtaining the "no-code" tech license for wilderness communication I pursued
>my childhood goal of getting my Ham license.  It took two weeks of bedtime
>reading and and one hour on a Saturday morning at the local ARRL sponsored
>testing site to acheive this modest goal!
>        Since installing my dual band (2m/70cm) radio in my hummer I've
>primarily spent time listening to others and realizing that there are many
>other off-road enthusiasts who are also Ham operators.  This has been an
>interesting source of local knowledge, a little appreciated benefit of
>joining the Ham fraternity/sorority.
>        While on a recent hunting trip we called home via a repeater and
>autopatch 60 miles away when the cell phone registered "no-service". I
>understand there is a "wilderness protocal" for communications in remote
>locations; perhaps the more experienced Ham/hummers on the list could
>explain this.  I'd like to suggest we establish a Hummer simplex calling
>frequency; 146.52 is the standard here in Arizona with 146.54 being very
>active in the Phoenix area.
>                                                  Marc KC7SXL
>                                                  '96 turbo white 4dr/ht 

Hi Marc...

Quoting from the ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Service) Field Resources Manual in reference to the National Wilderness Protocol:

"The Wilderness Protocol calls for wilderness hams to announce their presence on, and to monitor, the national callings frequencies for five minutes beginning at the top of the hour, every three hours from 7 AM to 7 PM while in the back country. A ham in a remote location may be able to relay emergency information through another wilderness ham who has better access to a repeater. Calling Frequencies: 52.525 (6 meter), 146.52 (2 meter), 223.50 (1.25 meter), 446.00 (70 centimeter), 1294.50 (23 centermeter)."

I've never understood why it should end at 7 PM......what, for example, if the emergency occured at 8 PM....

I keep 146.52 in one of my memory channels in the dual band, but, also keep it programmed into the scanner and it's on most all the time, home and mobile. Suprising how many times on the road I'd pass another ham who would spot my amateur radio license tag and try me on 146.52.......I'd hear it on the scanner then switch over to that channel on the dual band for the QSO.

The ARES Field Resources Manual is a nice 'preparedness' type manual for amateurs.......available from the ARRL for $5.00......wire bound, heavy stock.....about 5" x 7", and required gear for some ARES team members.

Cordially:
Rick Crider KD4FXA
Monroe NC
95 diesel wagon......


After reading several messages concerning radio installations, I will share some of my hard-learned experiences with HF SSB and VHF.

At first, the Hummer seems a bear and quite formidable to make any accessory look like factory. I have seen a number of ham radio installations that look like well, uhr hum ....#@&^%*. That is, wires and other support devices scattered all over the console replete with twisted and taped DC splices everywhere. We can do far better in a 65K plus vehicle.

If the HF transceiver is remotely mounted over the left rear tire, there is an easy way to run cables from the front control head and central battery terminal.

Be SAFE install a Motorola 30 amp. power relay next to the master terminal and wire the relay coil to one of the two supplied accessory switched leads described in the Hummer manual. When you start the beast there will be no starter switching transients zapping your radio CPU's. From the relay, run two eight gauge machine stranded lines to the left rear area.

The rubber plug feeding the CTIS gauge can be drilled so the switch line and the eight gauge cables can be routed under the instrument panel. The lower panel cover must be removed along with the hood release bracket on the left.

Next, remove all of the left lower side panels, upper seat belt shoulder restraint bolts, left rear seat, panels behind this seat, and one panel behind the rear seat upper shoulder seat belt assembly. There is a small channel behind the rear seat that can be used for wire routing around the seat and looped around to the rear area. BY THE WAY, while you are running this wire, why not run some extra coaxial cable and a couple of multi conductor lines so you will not be ssssorrrry later when you add something else back there. There are cables already running around in these areas so they make great places to use a liberal amount of wire ties.

If you mount your control head for the Yaesu FT 900 and remote panel for the SGC or Icom antenna tuner on the top console, an excellent way of doing this is with a Pana Vise similar to the ones used on cellular telephones. These control cables and RG58 coax can be run as follows.

Remove the tachometer and clock panel combo along with the CTIS gauge panel. They can just hang down. There is a very small vertical passageway behind the tach panel that opens right at the split section of dashboard padding between the top of the tach panel and the rest of the massive console to the center containing the AC ducts. It is some kind of tight here but it CAN BE DONE with a piece of mono filament line used as a fish tape. WHEW!

For HF SSB you should ground the body to the frame with at least two inch braided cable. There are places at the rear of the wagon that can bolt directly to the bumper bolts. I am not sure how well the body shock mounts securely bond the body to the frame. Low frequency HF using electrically short vertical antennas can have a very low impedance of only five to ten ohms and two ohms of ground resistance represents a considerable loss of radiation efficiency. Top loaded resonant antennas like the Hustler, Outbacker, and the like have reasonable impedances around thirty to ohms but wide band antennas such as the SGC and other specially loaded military antennae can exhibit inpedances as low as five ohms or less on the 1.9mhz. 160 meter ham band.

God knows, I have been down the Hummer HF road before and if I can be of any help to anyone regarding HF SSB I will be glad to help them avoid the lessons I learned. IT IS POSSIBLE to have a HF - VHF system, remote heads and transmitters, tuners and the like at the rear with no wires showing ANYWHERE.

John & Kathe Watkins
96' turbo wagon


A lot of us in northern CA use Yaesu FT-8000 models. The range with a good antenna is 35 miles line of sight. These are dual-band UHF/VHF ham radios, so theoretically you need at least a technician no-code license to use them (which I do have; it's easy to get). The Yaesu is about $400-500 and they may have an upgraded model by now. To avoid drilling holes which can leak and rust, get a Larsen dual-band glass-mount antenna (ask the experts which one, I don't have my truck with me now). It's easy to run the cable along the ceiling moldings.

I double-sided taped my radio to the underside of my roof-mounted CD changer bucket. This location makes it accessible to driver & passenger and lets you run cables in the conduits used by the CD changer. That part isn't so easy though. I have a wagon and your situation is probably different.


As an amateur radio operator, I would reccomend a VHF FM radio. The VHF frequencies have the advantage of being longer in wavelength than UHF frequienceis. THe UHF waves hava tendance to be easily absorbed by foliage and the the like in your immidiate areas. The prevents the signal from getting out as far as you had hoped. Especialy when you in the woods. And with .5 wats comming out of an unlicensed transmitter, you may worry about those things when signal counts.

Dave Hummel
Amateur Radio: KG2BX
97 Jeep Wrangler
WHO member


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