Mobile HF Antenna Installation

This is what I’ve been working on the last two weeks. Have you seen the Hi-Q 5/80 mobile HF antenna? All I can say is, WOW! It’s a 5 inch coil mounted on a two foot mast. I picked up this Hi-Q 5/80 from a Ham friend (Gene, W9NMX – Silent Key now) who lives in Florida. It’s a 10 – 80 Meter mobile HF antenna. Gene has been a big help guiding me as I install it.

Hi-Q 5/80

It’s an antenna probably only a Ham can love.

This one has a 12″ extension above the coil, a capacitance hat, and a 3 foot whip. Gene, W9NMX, sent it with a capacitance hat, custom mount and MFJ 907 in a waterproof case.

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With the MFJ 907 there’s no need for a shunt coil.

Why On the Front?

I installed the Hi-Q 5/80 on the winch mount of my 2006 Hummer H3. The old Tarheel 200A I had mounted on the rear bumper did a great job, but when towing my camper I couldn’t use it.

With the Hi-Q 5/80 mounted up front there should be less shadowing effect from the camper, so I’m hoping this works good. I’ll know in the spring.

Hi-Q 5/80 Mobile HF Antenna

Lower Mast: 1.5″ diameter and 2′ long. This one is stainless steel. They also come in a black anodized version.

Coil Size: 5″ diameter x 11.5″ long, lexan polycarbonate housing. This one is semitransparent and I can see plunger inside.

Weight: 8 lbs.

Total height: With 3′ whip, 11′ 4″.

EB8 Capacitance Hat: All aluminum hubs and extension rod, with stainless steel rods as radials. All hardware is stainless steel.

Hi-Q 5/80 Antenna Mount: Custom mount (Gene, W9NMX) that fit perfectly on the winch mount plate. It includes attached ferrite cores wound with the control cable. There is also a brace about 18″ up to hold the mast securely.


hi-q 5/80 base mount

Controller: I’m using an old Tarheel controller (no model number) that does not have memories, but it does have a counter.

Grounding and Bonding: I ground the paint off the winch mount where the Hi-Q mount is bolted on and the bottom of the Hi-Q mount base. I had to use a little copper braid between the Hi-Q mount base and the winch mount . There is also copper braid attached from the Hi-Q mount to the brush guard.

The winch mount and brush guard is bolted directly into the frame of the Hummer. I did some grinding to make a good connection. For bonding, see my vehicle bonding article.

Currently I’m using a 3′ stainless steel whip. There is a whip quick disconnect between the coil and 12″ mast. This allows a quick way to remove the upper part before entering a car wash or drive through.

I’m looking forward to using it this summer when traveling. I have a couple of trips planned. One to the Hamvention in May and another trip to the Breakfast club picnic in July.

I hope to hear you on the air!

More to come on this and on the Icom 7300 and Icom 7610.

73’s – Rich, K0PIR

UPDATE: 4/14/2018 – I tried ordering a 2′ mast extension that is shown on the Hi-Q website, but they don’t make it anymore. Now I’m looking into the Breedlove mounts. Without the 2′ mast extension I need to move it higher up on the vehicle. I’m mounting it on my roof rack.


Excellent Presentation (K0WJ) on HF Mobile Installations (Large 79MB file)

N9LVS Mobile Installation Video Playlist (8 videos)


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I'm an Amateur Radio enthusiast. I love the hobby and experimenting with radios, antennas and software. On my YouTube channel I upload videos on the Icom 7300 and Icom 7610 along with Ham radio software programs. I hope to inspire people to try new things in Amateur Radio.

8 Responses

  1. blank Jacobus(called Koos) says:

    How do I convert WSJT-XFT8 on to my MIX-W log file?
    I am using my new Icom-7300 rig.(very pleased with the7300).
    Please explain what to do . Not very good with computers.
    73 the koos GU0GUX

    • blank K0PIR says:

      Hi Koos,

      Thanks for the comment and question. That’s a very good question. I’m sorry, but I don’t know.

      Are you wanting to import the WSJT-X log into MixW?

      Rich, K0PIR

  2. blank Tom McCarty says:

    You can get a stainless steel 11/2 pipe and couplers and make your own I used screw in plugs with flat tops just drill 3/8 holes

    • blank K0PIR says:

      Hi Tom,

      Nice to hear from you and great idea.

      I tried it on the front and it worked good, but later I tried it on the roof rack to get more metal underneath it.

      You just never know for sure about those things until you try it.

      Thanks for the info, best 73,

      Rich, K0PIR

  3. blank Dave c says:

    Would you be able to take a close up pic out the antenna feed point wiring as it seems like it does not have a standard so-239 connector.

    • blank K0PIR says:

      Hi Dave, nice to hear from you and thank you for commenting here. No these do not have that. They are soldered and crimped on ring connectors for the braid and center wire. I’ll post the best photo I have in the article at the bottom. It indicates where the center wire is attached.

      Thanks again, best 73!

      Rich, K0PIR

      • blank bob ahlberg says:

        hi rich
        I have used Charlie’s hi-q antennas for 15 yrs I had a 4-80 on my 18 wheeler for 10 yrs mounted on the driver side mirror worked 120 countries from the big rig I now have the 5-80 im retired now so I, putting it on the house !
        cheers bob k0taz

        • blank K0PIR says:

          Hi Bob,
          Nice to hear from you and thank you so much for commenting here.
          It is a solid antenna and I think the one I have is an older one, probably 10 years old at least. I got it from a SK who lived in FL.
          I didn’t leave mine on the front because of engine noise. I mounted it with a quick disconnect on top and I am thinking about trying the 5-80 on the camper!
          Thanks Bob, best 73!
          Rich, K0PIR

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