For most activations I’ve been using my ATAS-120 antenna mounted on the truck’s left fender.
I’ve also used a set of ham sticks on 10m, 15m, 20m, and 40m.
Another option I’ve been exploring is a ham stick dipole. I tuned up a pair of 20m ham sticks mounted on a dipole bracket. With a 3D-printed threaded bracket, the dipole bracket screws directly onto a painter’s pole.
I experimented with a tripod to support the painter’s pole. This wasn’t very stable, especially if a gust of wind came up. I really don’t want to add guy ropes, as this would significantly add to the setup time.
I was thinking a trailer hitch mount of some sort could allow a quick setup. I started to look for some square tubing to fit into the trailer hitch receiver. I have a 90 degree bracket to clamp onto the tubing to also hold the base of the paint pole.
Then a ham buddy showed me how he modified a bike carrier to support his antenna. That’s a brilliant idea, I thought. Within a couple of days, I found a used one on a local buy/sell listing.
I cut off the bike clamp part, and the paint pole fits nicely into the shortened vertical tube with just enough clearance to not be too wobbly. This tube has the ability to tilt down a bit, making it easier to insert the paint pole once it has the dipole on it when it is extended to its full 16′ length. It is also easy to rotate the pole within the tube. A little cutting, deburring, and fitting, and it is ready for action.
Here are the finished views
Thank you Dave N3NIK for the idea.
I can set this up in less than 8 minutes, including the antenna and feed line, and it travels easily in the truck box. Technically the hitch bracket can easily stay on the truck from one activation to the next.