The Dawg House

After studying the idea of a radio/video uplink trailer for some time in early 2020, N0NAS and I discussed at great length the use case for such a rig. It would be for events, where we needed an indoor, all weather operating space for a day or longer. In COVID, a large, multi-operator space (i.e. motorhome) was problematic.

On impulse I found a good deal in mid 2020 on a 15′ Palomino hybrid camper. The u-shaped dinette area was ideal for one or two operators. I drilled a one inch hole under the dinette seat and put in a hinged cover. The cables went in and out easily. It had a kitchen area, sink and a built in 12V and 120V power system. It worked well at Field Day 2021.

Disadvantages were: It was big. Lots of drag/wind area. High fuel consumption. My 300HP tow vehicle was at times unhappy. It was wide- 8′. And tall- 10′ ish. And all the systems needed to be winterized. I worried about the sun-worn rubber roof. It took up lots of driveway space. These are three season campers really. The fold out tent beds are useless in winter. (An ideal camper for Ham Radio – the Casita- 15′ + fiberglass- seems good but rare and pricey).

Prices on enclosed cargo trailers are crazy. I wanted a 5×7 with extra height to be driveway friendly. New these are $4000. Doug was arguing for 6×10 or so. I found a 5×7 at auction- a bit rusty. But it had a side door. And about 6″ of extra ceiling height. Around 5′ seems good.

I put in a forward laminated counter in the pointed nose. Added a translucent roof vent and 20′ Harbor Freight aluminum flagpole. It now has a Group 31 marine deep cycle battery (~100AH) and shore power supply and inlet. And some 12V lighting. It worked well at Hams in the Park 12/21. It will be towed out on the ski course by a Pistonbully for the Loppet.

73 de NY9D

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