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Author Topic: Dodge Caravan w/ Air Bags... Safe for Mobile stati  (Read 1637 times)
KA9NYN
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Posts: 1




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« on: October 30, 2000, 09:36:14 PM »

I just purchased a gently used 1994 Dodge grand Caravan, and am concerned with any interactions between my IC 706, IC 2710H and the air bags.

Any ideas/ info would be appreciated.

An airbag in the face during a QSO would be very disconcerting.

Dave Mohr
D_R_Mohr@msn.com
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KB3CDF
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Posts: 27


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« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2000, 03:50:05 PM »

There are a lot of HAMs that have airbags.  Personally,  I have never heard of one going off because of an RF transmission.  However,  I don't get out much ... hi hi hi.

It is my understanding that airbags are released after pressure sensors are engaged at the front bumper of the car.  It has to be quite a whack to engage the sensors.

Aside:
It was reported at one time that vandals were whacking bumpers on parked cars with hammers trying to set off the airbags. This was unsuccessful,  but none the less, the attempt was made.

My concern would be in the manner of which the installation was made.  If you cut through the firewall for a power cable,  did you protect the wire with a rubber grommet?  If not,  fear an eventual short and possible fire.  If you use the cigarette lighter plug,  fear electrical system damage when sustained high power is used.  At best, At best, At best ...a cigarette lighter will handle 10 amps.  (There is also a noise issue to consider, but that's another topic.).  The weak link will break under that kind of stress: radio or car.

Approximate (TX) current:
VHF/UHF = 10 amps (50w)
HF      = 20 amps (100w)

Any freak happening is possible; however,  I would worry about other things prior to your airbag worry. Talk to your dealership.  They should know your car or have the means to find out.
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N2HBX
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Posts: 161




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« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2000, 10:37:51 AM »

As a commercial radio technician, I can tell you that airbag circuitry is generally immune to RF.  If it were not, there would be a lot of police cruisers with popped airbags!

Seriously, I would be more concerned about the physical installation than anything else.  I saw a wrecked  patrol car once where the airbag had deployed and propelled a mobile data terminal out the side window!
Care MUST be taken not to mount equipment in deployment zones!  Most dealers should be able to provide deployment templates so you can see the zones, particularly if the particular manufacturer supplies police vehicles (such as Ford or Chevrolet).

Equal care should be given to the electrical connections.  NEVER connect to anything marked "airbag" or "SRS (Supplimental Restraint System)" or anything similar.  Voltage or current variances on these lines can deploy airbags (although I agree with the previous response that they are basically physical sensors).

You're right--getting hit with an airbag is no fun.  I speak from experience!

73, Larry, N2HBX
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N1QGM
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« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2001, 09:56:51 AM »

Dave - I have a 1994 Grand Caravan with 145,000 miles and I've been using an IC-706MKII, a Diamond 4-band mobile vertical and a Mirage 2M 100-watt brick for the past two years without any trouble whatsoever.  I usually operate on 10 and 20M, those are the only HF coils I own for the Diamond antenna.  Up until now I have had no concerns about the air bags.  This is the first vehicle I've had that has both driver and passenger a/bs and it hasn't been a problem yet.
Hope this helps.
Regards,
Marc
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W9DZ
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Posts: 15




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« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2001, 05:26:03 PM »

I have a 1994 Plymouth Grand Voyager.  I have used my Icom 7O6 MkII on 6, 10 and 2M with no problems.  Antennas are magnet mounted and the power cable is attached directly to the battery.
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KL7IPV
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Posts: 984




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« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2001, 12:59:43 AM »

I mounted a mobile antenna on my 1994 Dodge Caravan on the driver's rear side. I used a IC-706, A delta II and a TS-440S and had no problems. The Chrysler warnings for their vehicles only cautioned you to run the coax and power cables on the side opposite the computer which is normally in the sides. You need to know where and if you write to Chrysler, they have  (or had) a book to tell you what you need to know to clear the computers. I do know that sometimes when running 100 watts, the cruise control would jump to 62MPH.  In my Chevy truck the cruise control would set to 67MPH. Be aware of that possibility.
I had made a radio mount out of PVC piping and placed it on the floor between the front seats.
73,
Frank
KL7IPV
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AF4YA
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« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2001, 08:53:50 PM »

Just thought I'd add my two cents in;) As everyone has said, Airbags are immune to RF and the only real threat is in the physical aspect of the installation. When routing cable and/or other wires avoid any harness with yellow taping or tags, or modules with yellow stickers/lettering. These are your Airbag controls and harnesses. Disconnecting them, cutting them, or any other damage to them may result in deployment. I avoid them like the plague. Also be careful when you are working in the vehicle. There have been deaths that resulted in someone working underneath the steering wheel or passanger dash with their head in front of the airbag. When the airbags accidently deployed, it snaped their necks, killing them instantly. As long as you avoild Yellow in the vehicle wiring, you should be just fine.

Nick
AF4YA

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