PCsat Mobile Command Station
Bob Bruninga, WB4APR

Photos by $49 Kmart DigiPix.

Since PCsat often needs commanding at various times during the day and night and on weekends, I added a beam to my van to do commanding at any time anywhere. This antenna and mount can be operated mobile or fixed, vertical or horizontal, low, medium or high above the roof. And all controls are at the elbow of the operator. The mount uses common plumbing fixtures from Home Depot... (See Drawing)

I usually operate in the low position, since the Ponitac Transport is an all plastic Van so the proximity of the beam to the roof (3 inches or less) is not a factor. I can still get into my local commuting repeater no matter where I am pointed... In the next photo, the square steel plate is what I used to use for Magmounts Antennas and is not part of this experiment.

The mount is tilted at about 10 degrees for satellite operations (98% of all passes) (See justification) and has spring and rope connection so that pulling on the rope rotates the beam to vertical for FM repeater work, or left slack for horizontal DX. The mount is just some plumbing fittings with an overlaping pipe reducer so that it is rain proof when stowed in the low down position.

The impetus to do this was the total delamination of my headliner. After going through cans of that stuff that is supposed to reglue it, I finally just ripped out all of the thin cloth layer and so what you see is the remaining insulation. The large difference in diameters between the 1 1/4 PVC pipe and the 1/2" EMT leaves room for the H/V pull rope and also a coax. But I did not run the coax down this way, because I wanted to use the beam vertical and did not want the coax inside the PVC in the middle of the elements. So the coax just goes off the end of the beam and swings around the center mast and then down to a window...

Boy can I make the repeater a long way off now!

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