[Top] [All Lists]

[Yaesu] my wheelchair mobile

To: <yaesu@contesting.com>
Subject: [Yaesu] my wheelchair mobile
From: kz2g@optonline.net (KZ2G)
Date: Thu Mar 20 07:27:52 2003
 By Bob Mauro, KZ2G

 I've been an amateur radio operator since 1964 and a LIMARC
(www.limarc.org) member for a number of years.  Disability has never
presented a single on-air barrier to me.  In fact, using CW, AM, FM and SSB,
my radio waves have touched hams as far away as Australia.  And through the
years, I've had many different station configurations: mobile, base, and
portable.  But none of them has been as much fun as my motorized wheelchair
 I use a respirator to breathe 24/7 as a result of childhood polio (1951).
My vent is similar to Christopher Reeve's.  It's run of a 22NF deep cycle
gel cell, located in a battery box just under the seat of my wheelchair.
That battery is capable of running my PLV-100 respirator all day.  So I
figured I could also use that gel cell to power my Yaesu FT-100D HF/VHF/UHF
transceiver.  And if I kept the power of my rig at only 20 watts SSB and 10
watts CW, I'd have enough charge to run both my transceiver and my breathing
machine.  Fortunately, neither my cell phone nor my FT-100D affect the
operation of my respirator.
 So, using heavy duty ty-wraps, I mounted my Yaesu FT-100D on the right
armrest of my wheelchair.  But what was I going to use for antennas?  I
couldn't assemble a portable HF antenna every time I wanted to work the low
bands.  Too fatiguing for me.  Moreover, I take wheelchair accessible
Paratransit all over Nassau County.  So any tall whip towering over the top
of my wheelchair would not fit in the Paratransit buses.  Nevertheless, I
wanted to use HF, VHF and UHF.  I'd need two antennas.  I settled on the
Miracle Whip for HF and the Premier AL-800 for VHF and UHF.  But how would I
mount them on my wheelchair?
 I found a simple solution in two Diamond K540-KM luggage mounts.  These
mounted very nicely onto the push handles of my E&J Xclaiber motorized
wheelchair.  I then routed the coax and power cables along the chair's right
side and ty-wrapped them in place.  I was ready to roll!
 With 3 watts on VHF and UHF, and using either the AL-800s 34" screw-in
2-meter/440 whip or its more compact 8" rubber duck, from Levittown I'm able
to hit the W2VL repeater (on NYC-Nassau Cty. border) nearly full quieting.
UHF works just as well.  The SWR on my FT-100D readout is nearly perfect
with the AL-800's 34" whip.  With the 8" rubber duck, the SWR is acceptable.
 Next came HF.  The Miracle Whip only takes me five seconds to extend, and a
few more seconds to tune.  On 17-meters I have a nearly perfect SWR.  No
tuner required.  I quickly began hearing Eastern Europe, the Middle East and
even Norfolk Island, off the coast of Australia.  All 5 by 5.  And from my
Levittown QTH and Eisenhower Park, I've worked the West Coast, the
Caribbean, and Eastern Europe on SSB.  I was even able contact a ham in
Slovinia and one in the Netherlands -- both in pile ups!  All with my
Miracle Whip and 20 watts.
 On CW, I use the tiny Palm paddles.  They look like a PEZ dispenser.  You
simple push out the paddles and you're ready to send CW Iambically.  I've
worked many stations on CW, mostly in the U.S. during contests.
 I have never had so much fun on ham radio.  Now, where ever I go, my ham
station goes with me.  One of these days I just might be doing a little
mountain topping from the observation deck of the Empire State Building!
Listen for me on 18.136 or 18.157.5 MHZ!  And say hi!
 Finally, you can see my wheelchair mobile by going to my website:

Bob, KZ2G --- 10-10 # 10148
        Omni 6 Plus (Base) & FT-100D (Wheelchair Mobile), C U on CW!
        See my Ham web at http://www.geocities.com/ram9872002/kz2g.htm
  Check out my Art Sale at http://www.geocities.com/ram9872002/Artpage1.htm

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>
  • [Yaesu] my wheelchair mobile, KZ2G <=