A Hustler Mobile Whip story

Coming back on the air in 1980, I started operating mobile on HF bands in mid '80s. The antenna I was using then was Hustler Mobile Whip. It was an intermediate loading type with the total length of about 2.4m. I set it at the rear bumper and operated CW with a paddle on the lap and FT757GXII on the side seat. 

I have had a lot of fond memories with this mobile whip.

In the mid '80s, I was busy at the work in the medical school hospital. I was constrained at the hospital for a long time. Once in a week or so, I was on the night duty for the emergency clinic. Parking my car with that mobile set up, I sneaked operating radio there while I didn't have any patients. The guy I often talked to on 40m was Steve, WA6IVN, whom I had known since '60s. Having had many impressive QSOs and vigorous outdoor activities, he passed away in early '90 due to complications of long lasting malignant lymphoma. I have admired him for that energetic activities. He might be, however, trying to fullfil his life with them. He let me know the whip made a bit of gain, S1 or even 2 units, toward the heading direction. I still remember Steve's QRQ CW flowing beautifully. We have talked too much, so that the loading coil got a bit hot when I touched it after QSO with him. Together with QSO with Steve, I have often met Bob W6CYX, whom I accumulated QSOs over 1200 times for now. Bob kindly invited Steve and his wife to his present home in San Jose at the reception dinner for me. Soon after that, Steve has passed.  

While commuting to the med school hospital from '80s through '90s, I used to operate 40m or 20m from the mobile set up quite often. One of the QSOs which I regularly made during commuting was a round table on 40m with JA3ASU and JE8MFG. Both of them were MD, the former a physician and the latter an anesthesiologist, as well and were also commuting to their hospitals. It was quite thrilling for us to have a round table with mobile. It has lasted only for a few months from spring to summer possibly in mid '80s. I have met JA3ASU in person in his home town Kyoto when I went there for an academic conference. He kindly took me a gorgeous restaurant for japanese dishes there. I haven't heard him since around 2000 or so. He might be around in his late '70s for now. I have met JE8MFG on UHF repeater for the first time when I went there near Sapporo for a driving tour. Ever since then, we have had regular contacts once a year or so. He is already in his early '70s and is planning to retire in a couple of years.   

It was when I was operating the mobile station on the way to the med school hospital that I met John K5PKA, later WG3U and W1ITU in around 1990 after over 20 years long absence. I have posted about him earlier in this blog. It was exciting to make such a QSO after so long since the last one. Without this mobile set up, we might have not met each other.

In '80s, when I was working at the med school hospital, I used to go for an extra work at another hospital once a week. On the way to and from there, I used to again operate CW from the mobile. I still remember having worked Kurt N5VV and Shido AH6JF on 20m. Kurt was a very active proficient CW operator. I always enjoyed listening to his excellent and elegant CW. Shido is a Japanese being licensed in Hawaii. We talked on japanese Morse code then. It was a fun as well as an excitement for me to talk to them on mobile with manual transmission those days. Both of them have not been heard for years. I only hope they are doing well.  

This Hustler Mobile Whip has made my ham radio life in this way. Since I quit operating mobile about 20 years ago, however, it has been asleep in the storage room. I believed it could work well and recalled of a friend of mine, Aki, JJ1TTG/6, who is operating radio at an apartment with a short mobile whip. I asked him if he would use this whip, even though I knew he always likes operating radio with simple and small set up. This Hustler may give him a bit better result, I believe. Even though there are some problems for him to utilize this antenna at his place, he told me he was interested in this whip and would use it somehow. The whip has already departed to him yesterday. Hopefully, it may go on working for him soon as it used to be for me.

Before it departed;

The coils are for 40, 30, 20, 17 and 15m.


  1. Thanks for sharing your mobile CW adventures Shin, it brings back fond memories. I also operated mobile CW, it was in the early 90s. I had a large passenger van that made a very good counterpoise for the Ham Stick antennas I was using. I made a custom console to hold the rig with an armrest for keying that fit between the front seats. I mostly operated 30M in those days and all but one of the regular stations I worked is SK. It was great fun....Bill, W6QR

    1. Bill,

      I could picture your van with the radio and the Ham Stick. Sure it must have worked excellently. Steve, N6TT, used to run mobile from a big trailer as n7ahn/m years ago. When the cell phone was not avilable, many hams used to operate mobile. It might be the brightest days for ham radio, maybe.


    2. My main activity from the mobile setup was when my son wanted to go surfing down the coast. I'd park where I could watch and operate CW. I also operated on our numerous camping trips, both on the road and in camp. Yes, radio was more fun then.