1992 Escort - Circa 1996

When I got back into HF mobile after a 5 year hiatus, I had a 1992 Ford Escort Station Wagon. I was commuting to Anaheim from San Diego 3 times per week. I decided to get back into HF mobile because AM talk radio was getting a bit boring. I had a Yaesu FT-757gxii HF rig, plus an older Icom 02-AT 2m handheld, and that would be my start back into HF mobile. I had purchased a Carolina Bug Katcher Antenna from Lakeview, and installed that first with the rest of the gear mentioned above. Let me tell you, this little car really worked well! I ran a bunch of CW mobile, until it reached about 140K miles, then it started having mechanical problems. It took only 2 hours to remove all the gear from the vehicle before trading it in on a 1996 Ford Ranger!

Interior Photo

You can see the 757 mounted against the center console. Just out of sight to the right of shifter is the Icom 02-AT handheld. The 2M antenna is a magmount.


This photo shows the DK3 I was running at the time. I don't have any photos with the bugkatcher installed. I went to the screwdriver type antennas because of the difficulty it is to get back on southern California freeways during commute times. The bugkatcher was a bit quieter, and seemed to transmit a tad better than the DK3, but the remote tuning of the DK3 was more important than the performance of the bugkatcher. I worked my fair share of DX with this vehicle!


I think two of the main reasons why this setup performed so well was because it was low to the ground, and the coil of the antenna is very clear of the body. Yes, I used the tried and true Don Johnson coil covers, a couple of 1.5 liter water bottles taped together. They would hold up for about 6 months before needing replacement.

Notice the homebrew heavy duty mount. Cost a whopping $2 in supplies, and about 2 weekends building and installing. It was so strong, I could stand on it, and not deform the body. When I traded the car in, it never looked like I had any antennas, or radios installed. I still have the bugkatcher and the DK3. The Yaesu was sold.