Ok...so what's all this about? I have been asked a number of times about working /'motorcycle mobile'. Its a bit unusual in the RAYNET and amateur radio world, although it is fairly common in the emergency services.
Living in Plymouth, in the SW of England, like most other cities and popular holiday areas, in summer (that's when the rain is warm), the roads are a little bit busy to say the least. Parking in the city can be a nightmare, and of course it is the most popular time to play the game of 'lets dig up the roads again.'
So apart from the pure fun of riding the beastie, it is also a very quick and practical way of getting around. (As long as you make extra allowances for the blind, deaf and daft homicidal maniacs who can make up the rest of the driving public...)
My trusty steed, 'Thunderbird 1' is a Honda ST1100 Pan European... a bit of an armchair on 2 wheels. I'm afraid that the old trusty steed, the Honda Silverwing finally had to go, It was 30 years old and although still in running order was getting very 'tired'. The radio is now the new VHF/UHF dual band FTM-100D which I upgraded from the older trusty FTM-10, and although not specifically designed for use on motorcycles, the head is fitted in a waterproof clear Peli Case and has a waterproof speaker. The main body of the rig is built into the frame of the bike out of the weather and harms way, and the rig covers everything I need. More importantly I work on the KISS principle - Controls are minimal and easy to use ... even in motorcycling gloves.
From this I have run a cable for the speaker and microphone built into my helmet with a safety break away connector, and an additional speaker built onto the fairing. Switches on the head are big enough to be used in motorcycling gloves so I can also change the frequency, select the speaker, power etc. There are two separate PTT switches built onto the handlebar - on the left and righ sides - left is momentary and right is a locking PTT. I am not keen on using VOX (voice activated transmission) on the bike in case I say something a bit 'naughty' about my fellow road users! ...see above!
Although the bike has a fairly large capacity battery to power all the normal bike bits, I have added a second 20ampHr battery linked via an intelligent switched charge relay from Brocotts. The radio is connected to this second battery and means that if all else fails, i.e. I forget to switch off the radio when I park up, I can still start the bike and ride home. (Similar to a caravan split charger system.)
That's it. It works and I have had quite a few interesting chats with various other radio hams, not just locally but via the local repeater network literally all over the world. If you hear me, give me a call.
Do you carry a CRASH CARD? - click the link for more information.
continued in Motorcycle Mobile Diagrams
and Motorcycle Mods