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Author Topic: Ford Explorer, Alinco 605TQ, roof-top antenna inst  (Read 3403 times)

Posts: 8

« on: December 21, 2000, 11:07:10 AM »

I need some advice on how to install my new rig in a 1995 Ford Explorer.  This is my first mobile rig and first installation.  I have ordered an Alinco 605TQ, a Maldol 15-inch dual-band antenna with a PL-239 connection and 15-meter coax kit.  

What kinds of things do I need to be considering for installing this myself?  Is it doable without ruining my car or rig?

I am looking for some articles/websites that offer specific information about this type of project.

Thanks in advance for helping a new ham.  Happy holidays.

Brady Creel
Texas A&M University Class of 2003 | Journalism

Posts: 75

« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2000, 03:22:40 PM »

I installed a 605TQ in a '93 Explorer a couple months ago. Used a Larson dual-band antenna (5/8 wave VHF/ colinear UHF) with NMO mount. I dropped the headliner on one side and drilled through the roof with a 3/4" metal hole saw (see your local hardward store). Remember to remove the paint where the antenna mount grounds to the sheet metal (I used my Dremel). Dropping the headliner (and sun visor on one side) is not particularly difficult, but is best done with a good dose of patience (if the idea sounds terrifying to you, take it to a local Motorola dealer and let them do the job). You'll need to remove the plastic side molding on the door post (easy) to string the cable through it and under the carpet. Once you have the headliner dropped and the door post and door sill molding removed, what needs doing is pretty obvious. I cut a very small slit in the carpet right under where the radio is mounted on the center console as a port for the coax and power feed to emerge from. There was no accessible cable port from the passenger compartment to the engine compartment on my '93, so I drilled a hole through the 45 degree section of the floor board where you rest your feet. Be sure to encase your power leads in silicone gasket cement or the like where they go through the floor or you'll end up with water in the vehicle and a shorted power lead sooner or later. Keep power leads tied down as far from ignition components as possible. I drilled holes in the battery terminals and screwed the leads directly to them. Cover the terminals with grease when you're finished. Best advice I can give is plan the installation when you aren't pressed for time. Get a mental picture of what the system should look like after installation and then think it through as you go along; i.e., don't do something until you've thought about the next step. It's really not hard to do - just take your time. This setup has worked great in my Explorer (no trouble hitting repeaters at 60-75 miles on 50w where I live). No doubt have missed some steps, but I've droned on long enough as it is - if you want more info, drop me an e-mail.


Posts: 2

« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2000, 06:53:13 PM »

I have a '96 Ford Ranger Super Cab that I finally put a hole in the roof some 3 years ago.  Similar to the previous reply, I had to drop the headliner to run the cable to the center of the roof.  A friend of mine who has experience in doing these installations also removed the driver side seat belt bolt on pilar to allow the headliner to drop far enough to gain access.  Droping the headliner is fairly easy; just take your time.  There are screws that hold the sun visors in place and you may have to carefully pry the plastic that goes from the roof to the windshield; I don't recall how we got that off though.  You will probably have to remove the dome light(s) too.

One suggestion -- if you decided to cut a hole in the roof, place a small box or something under the roof to catch the metal shavings from the drilling.  

I used the Diamond NR72BNMO antenna to clear the garage.  This antenna required grounding at the base which forced the issue of drilling a hole.  For local around town use, this was a good compromise.  The antenna has no gain, but the ground plane on the roof has to help some.  The NMO mount allows mounting a gain antenna for long trips.  For your Explorer, you might be able to use the roof rack to mount to. The problem is how to run the cable inside w/o crushing it.

Getting the power through the firewall:  Your Explorer should be very similar to the Ranger.  Look in the driver side pilar where the door hinges are.  I found one unused rubber plug that comes out by the driver's side kick panel.  This proved to work very well.  If your are interested in more detail about the power run and fuse block installation, write back.

Posts: 36

« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2001, 11:43:47 PM »

My Explorer has a sliding roof so going there was tough and I did not want to just drill through in order to hit wires, frames, et al. I bought the Maintenance Manual and finally figured out there was no way I could do it.  Finally decided to do one HF off the back where the tow-bar goes (and it is attached to the frame) and a VHF/UHF window mount on one of the back side windows.  Looks sort of stealth.  Nice thing is that I can take the HF off when I park somewhere.   Have also seen ATAS-types done this way.  Good luck and let us know how it went.

I did not have to tear up the interior at all, just slipped the wires under the rug and the mats and nobody can see them at all - no carving and no cutting.
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