Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

   Home   Help Search  
Pages: Prev 1 [2]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Getting power in my car - '09 Ford Focus  (Read 8367 times)
AC8HF
Member

Posts: 74




Ignore
« Reply #15 on: July 08, 2010, 06:33:09 AM »

Thanks, Mark--your linked post was thought-provoking.  I'm slowly coming around to the notion of "doing it right," but I may yet have someone install the mount for me.  I just don't think I have the tools or know-how to do it.  And yes, there are plenty here who will likely tell me to learn how to do it, since that'll give me more satisfaction, but I think I'll leave my "satisfaction" at running the power lines through the firewall!

I'll have to talk with the local ham community to see if anyone has an idea of where I might get a permanent mount done.  Of course, this just means that my wife has more ammunition when she calls my car the "geek mobile"...but I can live with that.
Logged
K5LXP
Member

Posts: 4506


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #16 on: July 08, 2010, 07:39:12 AM »


>  I may yet have someone install the mount for me.

As with many things, it's easy once you've seen it done.  There's nothing wrong with getting it done professionally either.  No different than having a new stereo or other auto accessory installed.


>  I just don't think I have the tools or know-how to do it.

No one is born with it.  The tools and know how are out there if you seek them out.  Lots of resources in this very forum.  This isn't a panic or emergency.  Take your time.  Have it all worked out before you even start- rig placement, mic hanger, cable dress, antenna type and location.  The more sure you are what you want it to look like when you're done, the easier it will be and the less chance of an "oops".


> see if anyone has an idea of where I might get a permanent mount done.

Yellow pages.  Any commercial 2-way shop.


> my wife has more ammunition when she calls my car the "geek mobile"

Show her mine, then you're off the hook: 

<http://www.qsl.net/k5lxp/mobile/QSTarticle/QSTarticle.html>
<http://www.qsl.net/k5lxp/ev/evmain.html>


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM


Logged
KJ4VKC
Member

Posts: 6




Ignore
« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2010, 07:25:07 AM »

To the OP: I have a 2009 Ford Focus myself, and here's what I did to get power into my passenger area.

Take your hot wire, and run it through the hole already in the firewall for the hood latch cable. May be snug fit but it will go. You probably will need a friend with an LED flashlight so that he can find the wire while you wiggle it around so that he can pull it up to the top of the engine compartment. Then simply connect it to your battery, and stick a fuseblock on the other end. I have a 6-fuse block attached on the side of the driver's floorboard area, and it works great.
Logged
AC8HF
Member

Posts: 74




Ignore
« Reply #18 on: July 19, 2010, 07:33:10 AM »

To the OP: I have a 2009 Ford Focus myself, and here's what I did to get power into my passenger area.

Take your hot wire, and run it through the hole already in the firewall for the hood latch cable. May be snug fit but it will go. You probably will need a friend with an LED flashlight so that he can find the wire while you wiggle it around so that he can pull it up to the top of the engine compartment. Then simply connect it to your battery, and stick a fuseblock on the other end. I have a 6-fuse block attached on the side of the driver's floorboard area, and it works great.

Good thing you posted...  I did some reading over the weekend that suggested there would be a hole already in place in the firewall.  I popped the hood last night (with enough sun that I could still see) and even with an LED flashlight, I couldn't get a sense of where the hole might be.  I was hoping to buy a Chilton manual for the car, but the local auto store said they didn't see one for the '09 Focus.

So, if I've got the hood open, whereabouts am I looking to find this wire?  Do I need to put the car up on a ramp (i.e. do I need to work from underneath), or can I get to it from above?

Sounds like you might be suggesting to pass it from the inside of the passenger compartment to the engine compartment--that might be easier.  Any chance you can post photos, or email them to me?  I'd still really like to do this myself, if at all possible.
Logged
KJ4VKC
Member

Posts: 6




Ignore
« Reply #19 on: July 19, 2010, 10:00:01 AM »

To the OP: I have a 2009 Ford Focus myself, and here's what I did to get power into my passenger area.

Take your hot wire, and run it through the hole already in the firewall for the hood latch cable. May be snug fit but it will go. You probably will need a friend with an LED flashlight so that he can find the wire while you wiggle it around so that he can pull it up to the top of the engine compartment. Then simply connect it to your battery, and stick a fuseblock on the other end. I have a 6-fuse block attached on the side of the driver's floorboard area, and it works great.


Good thing you posted...  I did some reading over the weekend that suggested there would be a hole already in place in the firewall.  I popped the hood last night (with enough sun that I could still see) and even with an LED flashlight, I couldn't get a sense of where the hole might be.  I was hoping to buy a Chilton manual for the car, but the local auto store said they didn't see one for the '09 Focus.

So, if I've got the hood open, whereabouts am I looking to find this wire?  Do I need to put the car up on a ramp (i.e. do I need to work from underneath), or can I get to it from above?

Sounds like you might be suggesting to pass it from the inside of the passenger compartment to the engine compartment--that might be easier.  Any chance you can post photos, or email them to me?  I'd still really like to do this myself, if at all possible.

Affirm, take whatever wire you're using for power and pass it through the hole for the hood latch cable then secure it to the battery with a ring terminal or something.

Trying to remember if we had to jack the car up or not. I'll try to post pics when I can though.

-Brad
Logged
KB1LKR
Member

Posts: 1898




Ignore
« Reply #20 on: July 19, 2010, 10:19:04 AM »

Assuming an automatic transmission, and that a manual transmission was also available, you could look for the plug filling the clutch master cylinder hole (does anyone still use clutch cables cables on FWD vehicles?) likely just left of the brake master cyl power booster, it may (or may not) be easiest to go thru there, especially if the battery's on the left side. You may do better looking for spots from the inside (while not necessicary, it helps to be a contortionist) or from under the car (it then helps to have a lift so you can stand vs lie on your back w/ it on ramps or jack-stands.

A Chilton's manual (vs expensive factory service or factory body/chassis repair manual) may be weak on what you need most, body/firewall details, but look at one and see.

The other option is to go to an auto stereo (or land mobile radio) installer and have them bring power thru the firewall for you. No disgrace in having a pro do specialized work like dripping holes and fishing wires (power or coax) thru. You can still apply your amateur radio knowledge in knowing were good places are to mount antennas, what are good antennas (vs. just well hyped), etc., how to get the  best performance out of electrically small HF antennas on vehicles (assuming you decide to do HF mobile vs. just VHF-UHF. It all depends on your mecanical abilities and level of comfort with the particular task at hand.

Welcome to the hobby.


Logged
KE4DRN
Member

Posts: 3729




Ignore
« Reply #21 on: July 19, 2010, 05:28:23 PM »

hi,

don't want to be a wise guy....

Never, ever wire direct to the car battery without using a fuse of the correct size
located as close to the battery as possible.  The risk of an electrical fire is real.

Run at least #8 wire to prevent voltage loss in the run.
Easy to get THHN at your home center.

THHN specs: tough, heat and moisture resistant polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
over which a nylon (polymide) jacket is applied.

just use cable ties to secure it to the hood release cable.

I use split bolt connectors to get power from the battery cables
and fuse close to the battery using maxi fuses.

73 james



To the OP: I have a 2009 Ford Focus myself, and here's what I did to get power into my passenger area.

Take your hot wire, and run it through the hole already in the firewall for the hood latch cable. May be snug fit but it will go. You probably will need a friend with an LED flashlight so that he can find the wire while you wiggle it around so that he can pull it up to the top of the engine compartment. Then simply connect it to your battery, and stick a fuseblock on the other end. I have a 6-fuse block attached on the side of the driver's floorboard area, and it works great.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2010, 07:33:39 PM by James » Logged
AC8HF
Member

Posts: 74




Ignore
« Reply #22 on: July 20, 2010, 07:40:50 AM »

Affirm, take whatever wire you're using for power and pass it through the hole for the hood latch cable then secure it to the battery with a ring terminal or something.

Trying to remember if we had to jack the car up or not. I'll try to post pics when I can though.

-Brad

The one area of concern I have with this is how susceptible the power wires might be to wear from friction, rubbing up against the hood latch cable.  Any thoughts on that?

I haven't had a chance to look at my car yet to get a sense of how well this might work for me.  I'm also wondering about how I'd route the wire from that point; did you secure the wire to the dash panel in some way?  Otherwise it seems like it'd just hang down...
Logged
AC8HF
Member

Posts: 74




Ignore
« Reply #23 on: July 24, 2010, 11:33:45 AM »

Quick update, and a quick question...

I bought the wire from Lowe's (saved about $0.02 per foot!) and got some PowerPole connectors and fuse holders/fuses from PowerWerx.com, and took the wire up to a local car audio place.  They installed the wire quite nicely and ran it in just the right place in the passenger compartment, for $39.99 out the door.  Took about 45 minutes or so, and it was far better than I could have ever done.  $40 well spent.

So, the question.  They can do the antenna mount too, but they don't stock the NMO mounts.  I'm considering the Diamond NR770HNMO as my 2m/70cm mobile antenna, and will buy the mount at the same time.  Universal Radio carries plenty; is the Larsen NMOK what I need?  I'm confused by the "PL-259 Loose" note for "Connector"; the NMOKHFCX is the same thing, but has nothing for a connector.  Is this simply the far end of the coax, where it connects to the radio?  If so, I'm assuming the NMOK is what I buy.

Thanks.
Logged
WX7G
Member

Posts: 6131




Ignore
« Reply #24 on: July 24, 2010, 12:13:38 PM »

A Hamstick antenna will hold on the trunk or roof using a three or four magnet magmount. The MJF-336T Tri-Mag mount is an example of this. A Hamstick is 7' tall.

For a shorter antenna (4') with low wind loading the MFJ-2620T and MFJ-2640T work. Of course they are not as efficient as a longer antenna with a lower loss loading coil but they do work.

I have used the 20 meter version with a single magnet mag mount on the trunk grounded as described below. Running 5 watts CW I have made many contacts. It held on until 80 mph was reached, at which time it fell over.

A mag mount will not provide an adequate ground for HF operation but there is a way to ground it. You can place the mag mount (very) close to where the coax will enter the vehicle. The coax can enter through a door or the top side of the trunk (near the rear window). The door or trunk weather seal gasket will keep it from leaking water. Connect a ground wire from the mag mount to just inside the vehicle and attach it to the vehicle using a self-tapping screw. This is the only hole to drill and it is hidden.  

To match the resonant antenna an MFJ-914 AUTO TUNER EXTENDER can be used or use an antenna tuner. The tuner can also be used in the house. I use an MFJ-901B tuner to touch up the match on a 40 meter Hamstick and it works fine at 400 watts.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2010, 12:15:09 PM by DAVE CUTHBERT » Logged
AC8HF
Member

Posts: 74




Ignore
« Reply #25 on: July 24, 2010, 01:29:18 PM »

Thanks, but I neither want a mag mount nor an HF antenna for the car. I plan on only doing 2m and 70cm while mobile.  HF will be limited to the house only.

Incidentally, do I need a dummy load for the HF jack on the FT-857D, or is it enough simply to not transmit on HF bands?
Logged
W3LK
Member

Posts: 5639




Ignore
« Reply #26 on: July 25, 2010, 04:53:39 PM »

Thanks, but I neither want a mag mount nor an HF antenna for the car. I plan on only doing 2m and 70cm while mobile.  HF will be limited to the house only.

Yes, you want the Larsen NMOK. As for an antenna, you want the Larsen NMO270B. It is simply the best performing and mist rugged dual band antenna on the market. The Diamond and Comet antennas are neither well made nor sturdy. Tree limbs will do them in rather quickly. My NMO270 has survived eight years of tree limbs, overhead obstructions in parking garages and other hazards with no more damage than a loss of finish on the very tip. Also, the gain figures on Pacific Rim antennas are suspect, at best, if not outright untruths.

Quote
Incidentally, do I need a dummy load for the HF jack on the FT-857D, or is it enough simply to not transmit on HF bands?

Nope, you need nothing on the HF output.
Logged

A smoking section in a restaurant makes as much sense as a peeing section in a swimming pool.
AC8HF
Member

Posts: 74




Ignore
« Reply #27 on: July 25, 2010, 06:30:34 PM »

As for an antenna, you want the Larsen NMO270B. It is simply the best performing and mist rugged dual band antenna on the market. The Diamond and Comet antennas are neither well made nor sturdy. Tree limbs will do them in rather quickly. My NMO270 has survived eight years of tree limbs, overhead obstructions in parking garages and other hazards with no more damage than a loss of finish on the very tip. Also, the gain figures on Pacific Rim antennas are suspect, at best, if not outright untruths.

I'll definitely consider the Larsen antenna, but the Diamond is more in my price range.  Granted, $20 difference (Universal Radio prices) isn't a lot, but it's the cost of the mount and shipping, basically.

In any case, what's meant by "Pacific Rim antennas"?
Logged
W3LK
Member

Posts: 5639




Ignore
« Reply #28 on: July 26, 2010, 09:57:42 AM »

As for an antenna, you want the Larsen NMO270B. It is simply the best performing and mist rugged dual band antenna on the market. The Diamond and Comet antennas are neither well made nor sturdy. Tree limbs will do them in rather quickly. My NMO270 has survived eight years of tree limbs, overhead obstructions in parking garages and other hazards with no more damage than a loss of finish on the very tip. Also, the gain figures on Pacific Rim antennas are suspect, at best, if not outright untruths.

I'll definitely consider the Larsen antenna, but the Diamond is more in my price range.  Granted, $20 difference (Universal Radio prices) isn't a lot, but it's the cost of the mount and shipping, basically.

In any case, what's meant by "Pacific Rim antennas"?

Ther Diamond is cheaper than the Larsen? That's a switch. If you are willing to buy an antenna that will likely break the first time you hit a tree limb with it or has gain figures that approach outright lies just to save $20, then have at it. I give you six months before you have to buy another antenna.

A Pacific Rim antenna is any antenna made in an Asian factory. The quality doesn't begin to approach Larsen's and neither does the performance. BTW, I have had more than one knowlegable source tell me that ALL the Asian-made antennas are made in the same factory. FWIW, if the Diamonds and Comets wetre any good, the commercial radio industry would be using them. Thery are a cheap antenna sold at a premium price to amateurs who don't know anything more about them than the advertising hype. No self-respecting Land Mobile shop would be caught dead trying to sell them to commercial customers.
Logged

A smoking section in a restaurant makes as much sense as a peeing section in a swimming pool.
AC8HF
Member

Posts: 74




Ignore
« Reply #29 on: July 26, 2010, 10:45:44 AM »

I certainly appreciate the input, and I'll surely consider it...but having spent quite a bit of money already, even a few dollars makes a difference.  That said, my current mag mount setup (mount + antenna) is a Larsen, and although I don't know the model number of the whip itself, it has stood up quite well (it's fairly old).

Right now I'm leaning toward a paring of a Larsen NMO 2/70B and a Larsen 27B (not sure why the latter is cheaper than the former...), since I can do some 10 meter with the 27B.  Of course, that shoots my overall cost to about double what I'd estimated and budgeted for, but I think it'll probably make me happier in the long run.
Logged
Pages: Prev 1 [2]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!