I've wanted to get into amateur radio as long as I can remember. I finally started down this path and got my license in 2005. To start the hobby, I decided to go with
a 2 meter (2M) radio in the truck. The radio I went with was the ICOM V-8000. The main reason I went with this radio was the powerful 75 watt output and a
forward facing speaker.
The install was difficult because I wanted the radio below my factory AM/FM radio. I had to take the dash apart and use my dremel to cut away pieces
that I didn't want, like the ashtray. Taking a dremel to a new truck that you owe a lot of money on is not easy!
Here is the final mounting location for the radio.
The mic hangs next to my right leg. Sometimes, when wearing shorts, this location annoys me.
A radio is only as good as its antenna, so I researched a lot of options for an antenna. Ideally, you should mount the antenna on the roof to give the highest vantage
as well as providing a good ground plane. I was not willing to drill a hole in my roof (yet), so I went with a fender mount. The antenna is a Hustler SF-2 whip antenna.
So far, the 2M has worked flawlessly and I have had simplex QSOs as far as 40 miles away.
Here is a picture of the antenna mount.
The power for the 2M comes from a full-time power block I installed under the hood. Here are a couple pictures of that. I have been told that a
direct battery connection is the preferred method, but this setup is pretty close to that. I prefer to have a fuse between the radio and the
battery. After a year, it has been fine.
I do plan to upgrade to a dual band radio in the truck in the coming years. I would like to have the freedom to bump up the UHF frequencies
when the 2M band is not able to get out. I also plan to upgrade my FCC license in the future to the General License so I can take advantage
of the HF bands. Those are where the really long distance communication can occur. Sometimes thousands of miles!
The 2M radio and all its accessories were purchased from Ham Radio Outlet.
I also wanted a CB radio in the truck because sometimes on trips with large groups, the CB is more commonly used. I also like to interact with
the trucker crowd on long road trips, they are crazy folks and are really good about telling you where the cops are hiding.
I decided to get the Cobra 75 WX ST because of its compact size. It has a remote mounting box that you can tuck in someplace with all the
CB functionality being controlled by the microphone.
I installed the remote box underneath my center console and the mic hangs on the right hand side of the console, opposite the 2M mic.
Here are a couple install pictures.
"No Ground Plane" 30 inch whip Model: E30-NGP.
Here is the CB antenna.
This setup has not worked out well. I was never able to get a good SWR reading with this setup and my range, at best, is about five miles.
For the time being, the setup will work. If I have a need for better CB reception, I might get a new radio/antenna combo.