Friday, October 09, 2009

MP-1 in a roll

I was Googling up something this morning and came across a posting in Adam, M6RDP's blog which showed a case he had got for his MP-1 portable antenna. That reminded me about my own solution to carrying that antenna which I didn't write about before as I got it just before I went on holiday a couple of months back and didn't want to broadcast the fact that I was going to be away all over the Internet.

My solution is a tool roll, which I purchased on eBay. I just slotted the various parts of the antenna into the pockets and rolled it up. I had to cut the stitching between two pockets to take the coil.

The mounting bracket and the G-clamp didn't go in. That's partly because the bracket in particular would be an awkward fit, but also because I intended to mount the MP-1 directly on the rear antenna socket of the '817. I have a right-angled PL-259 adapter (you can just see it in the second picture) into which screws a '259 to 3/8" adapter, and the MP-1 screws in to that. The main problem with this idea is that if there is much of a breeze you need to weight the FT-817 down with something or the wind could blow the rig and antenna over. But it does save a bit of weight and keep the antenna within easy reach for tuning.

I didn't use the radio in the end whilst I was on holiday. The opportunity didn't really occur, and most of the time it was just too hot and I didn't feel like it.

But I wouldn't have been able to anyway. Thanks to careless handling by the baggage handlers at Nice airport my suitcase was dropped with such force that its internal frame cracked. The locking sleeve of the PL-259 adapter must have come in contact with something too and was slightly distorted. I didn't notice this until I tried to attach it to the radio, whereupon it seized solid. I was only able to remove it when I got home with the aid of some WD-40 and a pair of grips.

Clearly a plastic case like Adam used would have protected the antenna better, though there would not have been space for it inside my suitcase. I think the tool roll is a good solution for carrying the MP-1 that takes up little extra space and adds not much weight to a rucksack.

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