Preparing To Go Mobile With The Ten-Tec Scout 555

The new GMC truck we acquired recently is back in the shop with a 4-wheel drive problem that is mystifying the mechanics so far. While it was still at home I started preparing a home in it for my Ten-Tec Scout so that I can once again work CW mobile as I used to do many years ago. There is so much room in the cab that the radio will hardly be noticed. I've completed the bracket (really a frame) to hold the radio and have power and ground hookups and a plan for how to run the antenna coax.
homebrew loading coil on hamstick

Meanwhile, I've been working on the antenna and a set of paddles (yes, home-brew paddles!). Four years ago I sold off a lot of radio gear, but still brought a lot down. I guess I wasn't planning on operating mobile again at that time as the only mobile antenna I still had was a 10-meter Hamstick (now a collector's item since Lakeview is defunct).  I was going to modify it for 20 meters only, but it was just a bit more work to make it multi-band. It now tunes 40 through 17 meters used a tapped coil. The full description is captured in a Hubpages article here
junk box morse paddles with hacksaw blade
The other problem to solve was how to send CW. The only paddles I still have are my nice ones (GHD optical and a hand-crafted set from G4ZPY) and no way are they going into the truck. A cheap set of Bencher paddles would be fine, but they'd be twice the price including shipping to get down here. So, I took a crack at making my own using hacksaw blades, and although they are ugly as sin they actually work well with good action and a light feel. Those are also described in another Hubpages article

Here's hoping the truck gets back home this week so that I can start the installation of the radio and antenna line!  73!
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Thanks very much for your comment! 73, Casey