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Author Topic: HF in Honda Ridgeline  (Read 2532 times)
KG2BC
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Posts: 22




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« on: March 01, 2006, 04:28:32 AM »

Naturally as soon as I have everything working just right in my mobile set up I purchase a new vehicle and start the process all over again.  Wondering if anyone has any experience installing HF in a 2006 Honda Ridgeline truck or similar Honda vehicle (Pilot?).  Planning on putting my FT857D and Little Tarheel 2 tuned with the Turbo tuner in the new truck.  Curious as to what particular issues I may run into with the Honda.  Of course I have all the bonding to do but unlike traditional truck designes the RL is unibodied construction.  Planning on putting the LT2 on a fabricated mount on one of the upper tie downs and the 857D body under the front passenger seat and the head unit on the dash.
Any feedback, warnings, constructive advice would be appreciated.  Thanks.
Bob, KG2BC
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K0BG
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Posts: 9877


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« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2006, 05:22:22 AM »

I just received a few photos from W7LV "Buck", in Henderson, NV. I'll get them posted on my web site today hopefully.

I'm not sure his e-mail is listed in his profile, but perhaps he'll see this and get in contact with you.

Of the dozen or so owners of the new Ridgeline that I have heard from, I don't suspect there is anything new to worry about. The truck comes with a 130 amp alternator (upper models only, base has 105 amp) so that isn't a problem. Just remember, the every Honda (and Acura) uses a special alternator and there is no other alternative for more amperage.

There is tons of room under the rear hatch for just about any amount of radio gear you can imagine, but most folks are using the interior (under seat) areas to mount radios. It'll be cooler inside the cabin, but if it were mine, I'd cool the hole too.

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
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KG2BC
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Posts: 22




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« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2006, 05:35:22 AM »

Alan,
Good to know I'm not blazing totally new territory and will look forward to what you post.  I've been a long time fan of your website and the service you offer to the ham communitity.
You're right about the available room compared to my previous installs.  Whereas my older car (97 Bonne) I didn't worry much about where I drilled a hole or stuck a piece of equipment this time the focus is going to be on a clean install.  Of course not forgetting about the fundamentals.
I did purchase the RTL model which has the heavy duty alternator and cooling so I did learn something from my past experiences.  I'll let you know how things go as it progresses.  Right now primarily focused on fabricating the antenna mount.  Will start the main install within the next few weeks.  Hoping for warmer weather. Wink
Thanks again.  Bob, KG2BC
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W7LV
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Posts: 16




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« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2006, 10:23:51 AM »

There is a large group of Ridgeline enthusiasts and owners, the Ridgeline Owners' Club. Some of us are hams. The URL is: http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/

From the Home page, locate the tab "THE BOARDS"; scroll down until you find "MOBILE ELECTRONICS." From there, drill down to "Any RL - Owning Hams doing HF or VHF/UHF from their RL?", under my callsign (W7LV).

Expertise seems to be variable, as they say, and most of us are still figuring our how to drill holes in the firewall without piercing refrigerant lines, so it's a fertile field.

One lad is presently working up drawings to fabricate a Screwdriver mount for one of the cargo tie-downs.

Also, under "Mobile Electronics" are some detailed and extensively documented write-ups of major stereo installations in Ridgelines. Not my cup of tea, but when you see how one fellow, for instance, gets the headliner down to mount his XM Radio antenna, you can get a pretty good idea of where you can drill a hole for an NMO mount and the route for a coaxial cable feeder. Saves re-inventing the wheel...

I am presently running 17 and 6 meters occasionally with a Ham Stick on a 2" Receiver Mount on the trailer hitch, and working up another hitch mount for my 60's vintage Saturn 6 Halo.

Without running a spectrum analyzer or documenting extensive ops under all conditions, I can say that the Ridgeline is discernably quieter than my 2002 Dodge RAM pickup, driving the same places, under the same conditions.

Or, too noisy for Radio Astronomy, but a lot quieter than a 1961 Fairlane.

Not real scientific, but there it is.

The fact that the body is one piece, structurally, eliminates some challenges commom to Body on Frame pickups, antenna-wise.

Voice peaks do not cause any engine computer, cruise control or ABS problems on 17 or 6. Not tested on other bands yet

Be advised that the Power Outlets in the cabin are rated at 10 Amps, and the wiring thereto will likely not support more. Except for mid-power VHF/UHF you will need to go to the battery for your DC.

Come see our pictures for control head and rig mounting and also VHF/UHF antennas, and tell us what YOU are doing! We always allow for the possibility that the next guy might know more than we do...

73 DE BUCK  W7LV
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KG2BC
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Posts: 22




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« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2006, 11:28:52 AM »

Hi Buck.  Thanks for the reply.  With regard to the Ridgeline Owners Club I am a fellow ROC'r and have done what you suggested with regard to checking out the postings there.  In particular the post at http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5464 has some examples of installs that I checked out.  I see you've posted there too.  Most of the posts have been along the lines of installing 2m/440 rigs so the challenge of putting a mount in to handle the Little Tarheel 2 may be a new venture that I'll probably quickly become the expert on.  Hopefully not by making too many mistakes.
Very good to hear that the RL doesn't show early signs of not liking HF in the vicinity.  It sounds promising.  I operate mostly 20 and 75 meter so we'll see how it does with those bands.  I know grounding is going o be key.
Thanks again for taking the time to reply to this thread.  Everything I read on this subject just adds to my overall chances of pulling off a good install.  
Once I get things all set up I'll post pictures.
73.  de KG2BC
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VO1MX
Member

Posts: 4




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« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2006, 10:14:00 AM »


As my work allows me to change vehicles several times a year I needed a temporary yet good set-up in my Ridgeline for HF radio. I used a Hustler set of whips on a 2" Receiver Mount on the trailer hitch with great success. I’ve worked lots of good dx on 20, 40 and 80 meters and find that this arrangement works fine for me for local contacts (300-500km’s) on 80 as well. No problems or issues with RF or anything else worth mentioning. The Ridgeline looks and the 80 meter antenna did get lots of questions tho...

73,
Dan VO1MX
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KG2BC
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Posts: 22




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« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2006, 10:41:54 AM »

Thanks Dan.  Where may I ask did you install the main body of the rig?  Did you have any issues with the coax run into the passenger compartment?
Thanks & 73,
KG2BC
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W7LV
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Posts: 16




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« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2006, 10:57:10 AM »

I apologize for Preachin' to the Choir and I am a little pedantic by nature. Too much time in the higher education system...

73 DE BUCK W7LV
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VO1MX
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Posts: 4




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« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2006, 11:57:08 AM »

Bob,
The coax was run through a drain plug hole near the front passenger’s seat. Then the foot kick panel was removed and the coax ran under the carpet to the center consol. The drain plug was then re-installed and properly sealed to keep water out. This method worked fine for the four months that I had the antenna on my demo. I “temporarily” placed the rig in the consol without too much worry of it moving about.

I now have the same arrangement installed in another vehicle (Honda Pilot).

Dan
VO1MX
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KG2BC
Member

Posts: 22




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« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2006, 07:34:30 PM »

Dan.  Thanks.  I apreciate you taking the time to explain.  Sounds like to didn't spend too mich time doing any grounding as well.  Encouraging to know you haven't been experiencing any locally generated noise issues with the Hondas.
Thanks again.
Bob, KG2BC
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W7LV
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Posts: 16




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« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2006, 12:48:13 PM »

Bob, this is probably Old News to you, but I found OnlineMetals.com to have some interesting and useful sizes of aluminum and galvanized angle and bar stock.

I'm looking to fab up a 3.5" or 4" bar/plate that would fit athwart the bed, just behind the rear window, that would mount by bolts  using the Tie-Down holes. Should be able to easily mount a ball or gumdrop for 3/8"-24 antenna and a couple of NMO's.

Patterns might not be much at 450, but we got lotsa repeaters around here, and simplex range is moutain - limited anyway.
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KG2BC
Member

Posts: 22




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« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2006, 02:36:23 PM »

Hehe.  I must be walking in your footprints.  Already got my order from onlinemetals.com and got my first mount fabricated.  Thinking of pinting it black to let it blend in a bit more but it's sturdy enough to support my Little Tarheel II antenna.  I used 1/8" stainless steel and the bolts and nuts are stainless as well.  I'm going to mount my Diamond K400C mount right to the plate so it's all removable if necessary.  Planning on completing the install next weekend but upload a picture at http://members.buckeye-express.com/fullwave2/pict0339.jpg of the mount.  Nice thing is it's all completely removable without any damage or modification to the vehicle.
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W7LV
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Posts: 16




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« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2006, 09:24:27 AM »

Great minds thinking alike, one again!

73 DE W7LV
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