... On the road, in the desert Southwest, USA
Can you spot five antennas
on the Astro Van?
1) The stock AM/FM broadcast band vertical,
right front fender
2-3) Pair of 24" center loaded CB verticals
on ball/spring mounts
4) 19" 2m vertical, between and forward
from the two CB antennas
5) Yaesu ATAS screwdriver,
dead center of the van roof
rearward from the CB twins
vertical background clutter
The more similar the
background/ambient visual objects are
the more the camo effect "works".
Note how either antenna body,
seems to "become" the palm tree.
And this photo is from about 4 feet away.
As the viewer moves BACK,
away from the two objects
(antenna and tree) the tendency for
all the objects to blend together
|Vehicle Roof Mounting
plate for multi antennas
This work in progress is a
6x10" steel plate, .125" thick,
bolted through the roof of the van.
There is an identical size steel plate
on the inside of the van, used as a
The caulking/sealant in the photo
is still wet. I haven't yet smoothed
it or painted it. Nor have I fully seated
the antenna. I left it up a bit to show the mount.
Also on the plate, but not visible, are a
3/8 antenna stud mount, a motorola mount
and a centralized ground stud.
I can use any of the mounts for either
antennas or as a cable feed through when
the venicle is stationary and temporary
base antennas are used.
|Paint the Stinger
The stainless steel stinger
on most antennas will be a source of
reflections. Kill the reflection by
painting the whip. Use light colors and
it will tend to blend into the sky.
Dark colors will blend into trees.
Mix the two colors. Look how the white
paint on this whip blends with clouds.
We could probably paint it neon pink
and as long as the paint sheen was FLAT
it would be better disguise than the stock,
reflective, stainless steel.
|Best Camo of All!
Obviously, placing the entire vehicle
behind a solid block wall is great camo.
Notice how the antennas, now without
the vehicle "visually attached" seem
more natural. As if they were some kind of
branch, light pole or other upright.
In this photo, you are about
12' away from the van. Much closer than
any real world camo situation.
The lesson suggests the obvious.
When the opportunity arises, use
ANY available objects in the environment
to assist in breaking up your silhouette
or to hide behind entirely.
Rapid Deploy Station
Urban Desert Ops
EMT Conduit Antenna
Recycled 2m Yagi
Mil Mobile Base
6m Ground Plane
Return to QTH
The rest of my life?