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Author Topic: Anyone have experience with 2017 Ridgeline yet?  (Read 8247 times)
N4KC
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« on: August 06, 2016, 11:51:39 AM »


   
   
So I did tons of research on F-150s, Tundras and Tacomas in anticipation of buying my first new vehicle in 17 years.  Then Honda releases their newly re-designed Ridgeline truck and it is exactly what I need.  Of course, I promptly bought one with no thought whatsoever about moving my HF/VHF/UHF mobile over to it from the dilapidated '99 Dakota.

Has anyone had a chance to do anything with this truck yet?  I have a Yaesu FT-857 with its factory separation kit to install with the possibility of soon relegating it exclusively to my go-kit and getting a Kenwood TS-480HX to replace it in the new truck along with a basic 2-meter FM rig.  I'm also replacing my Comet all-band mobile "dummy load" with its multiple "road missiles" (stingers) with a Tarheel or similar screwdriver.

Specifically:

-- Any known issues with noise in the newer Ridgeline (2017 model)?

-- Suggestions for mounting the screwdriver?  Easiest way so far appears to be a trailer hitch mount with enough mast to get it higher off the road.

-- Anybody had an issue with RF interfering with truck electronic systems?  Mine is fairly basic without collision warning, running-off-the-road protection, and all that costly stuff.

-- The uni-body construction appears to be a good thing for getting a good ground.  Anyone have experience with so-called uni-body bonding?

It is the acoustically quietest interior I've ever seen in a truck so that is a positive.  And I know I'm asking you guys to help me with the research I should have done before I suddenly splurged on a vehicle I will probably keep until I go SK.  But this appears to be a popular vehicle (my dealer, the largest in the state, located only 50 miles from where the Ridgeline is manufactured, had only one on the lot by the time I bought mine, and if you wanted one of the more popular colors you have to wait until at least October) therefore I'd bet others would benefit from your experience.

PS: The truck is built on the Pilot frame and is basically a Pilot with a cargo bed (and a water-proof, lockable trunk in the bed where my go-kit fits perfectly) so if you have Honda Pilot experience, it might well be applicable.

Thanks and 73,

Don N4KC
www.n4kc.com  www.donkeith.com
   
   
   
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K0BG
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« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2016, 01:51:46 PM »

I don't know what you want to know, but I'll answer your questions.

Known issues? The cost. The one I looked at was just over $40,000. The Black Version is over $43,000.

The bed floor is redesigned, and the cargo cleats are moved inward at the front. This actually makes mounting an antenna in that location a bit easier. The crossmember under the cleat is wider, and deeper (height wise), which is a good thing. Getting into the trunk area is a bit more difficult. The flow thru vents are still present, but a bit harder to get to, and the rear seat upright must be removed to get to them. Under the left bed side panel, there is room to route power wiring, and maybe a coax or two. I didn't remove the right panel, but I assume a grommet is there too.

You're still going to have RFI issues with the 3 B-Cans, but that is a common issue with all new vehicle. I couldn't hear them on my 6 meter SSB handheld, but that doesn't mean much.

You still would have to bond the exhaust, and hood. The front and rear suspension sub frame are already well grounded. There is a strap across all of the mounts, front and rear.

Driving one will prove it is quieter than the 2006 I own now. The specs would indicated about 4 dB, but that is a lot all things considered.

I'll correct you on the frame. It is true that the older Ridgeline is indeed based on the Pilot, but the new one has it own unibody. It is about 300 to 400 pounds heaver, due to the heaver bracing. Engine power is up to 280 HP, and the 7 speed transmission makes it rather fast off the line. At highway speeds, you won't notice the power difference.

The interior is much different than the older models, and finding a place to mount remote heads isn't going to be easy. The undersides of the front seats have less room under them too.

I like the new model, and I like how it drives, albeit a bit harsher over heavy washboard roads. If they would have had the color I wanted, I would have driven one home.

Hope this answers your questions.

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N4KC
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« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2016, 08:37:55 PM »

   
   
Alan,

It helps and thanks.  Other than the specific things I mentioned in my original post, I'm not sure what else I want to know either.  I was looking for input from others who may have the truck or who have done more investigating than I have.  It appears you fit the latter description.

When I talked about its similarity to the Pilot, I assumed it was close enough that those who had mounted radios in the SUV might have some ideas for the truck.  Car and Driver says, " But the Ridgeline is not a body-on-frame pickup; it once again uses a unibody architecture, shared with the Pilot SUV and the next-generation Odyssey minivan. And as much as the back half of the Ridgeline now looks just like a standard pickup, the smoothly rounded front half is more or less lifted straight from the Pilot."  And the truck does, indeed, have a 6-speed transmission.

I really have not looked closely at the bed rails but that would be a far better place to put an antenna than the trailer hitch.  I've also got to do some investigating on getting cables from the bed and through the cab, as you have apparently  looked at already.  Plus power.  Is there a good source of 12 volts at 20 amps already under the dash somewhere?  Or a grommet so I could go directly to the battery?  I was surprised the aux power connex supposedly handle 15 amps.  Everything I've ever seen was only good for 10 amps and that often was a stretch for continuous duty.

I was not interested in the Black Version.  A black vehicle down here in the South is stifling in the summer, develops paint issues if not garaged during the day, and shows dirt.  And there was that thing about the price, too, for options I don't want or need: steering wheel warmer?  Power sliding rear window?  I got mine for about what a Tacoma would have cost comparably equipped, and actually a bit less than the going rate for the truck in this area as far as I could determine.

73 and thanks again for the input, Alan.  I've been spending time on your site already and likely will be there a lot more.

Don N4KC
www.n4kc.com    www.donkeith.com
   
   
   
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K0BG
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« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2016, 05:48:24 AM »

You do not want to use factory wring, and this includes the B+ in the trailer hitch, as the latter is part of the battery mounting system.

On my 2006, I ran the wiring from the battery, down under the truck is a conduit, and into the trunk where all of the equipment is. If I buy a new Ridgeline, I'll do that again. But to answer your question... If all you're planning to power is a 100 watt transceiver, then there is room on the main wiring harness. True to form, there is one open teat. It is sealed, but that's easy yo get around. This passthrough is what most sound shops use. They've changed the location of the drive-by-wire rheostat, so that path is no longer an option.
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W0JX
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« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2016, 04:49:32 PM »

Don't have a new Ridgeline but I do have a new 2016 Honda Pilot EX-L. It has the same, new engine with direct injection and a six speed transmission. We took delivery in mid-July and have 2300 miles on it.

With only 100 miles on the car, we took a long trip from Ohio to Minnesota. I put my IC-706 in the car and used an MFJ 6 and 2 meter mag mount to be able to operate 6 meter CW while mobile. What I experienced was severe noise that periodically came on and went off. The noise was strong enough to override almost all CW signals. When the noise went away, the band was very quiet and weak signals were easy to copy.

I tried to shut off all accessories including A/C, cruise control, radio, lights, and the "ECO-MODE." Nothing made any difference. The noise is a hash of varying length and it is unpredictable as to when it comes on.

My guess is that it is related either to the direct injection system, the VCM (variable cylinder management sytem) or perhaps the charging system. I just have not had the time to track it down yet.

As for a mobile mount, I am going to use the holes already tapped in the rear frame (on either side of the spare where a tow hitch is attached) to bolt on a homebrew antenna mount that will be welded up.

I only operate mobile 4 or 5 times a year so whatever antenna I use has to be temporary. On the old Ford Explorer, I used a three magnet "mag" mount and grounded it to the hatch hinges. It worked very well with a Hustler antenna system.

73, Dennis W0JX
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N4KC
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« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2016, 04:07:48 PM »

Dennis,

Thanks for the info.  I still have not had a chance to even get beneath or around the Ridgeline to look for ways to get cables to the bed area. DC to the cab, or to find a good spot to mount an HF antenna.  I just got back from the Huntsville, Alabama, Hamfest where I got the opportunity to actually put my hands on some of the available screwdriver antennas and mounts.  For me, it was a great help to start visualizing potential setups.  The "Baby Tarheel" screwdriver sure is tempting.

I also bought one of the Jetstream 25-watt dual-band FM transceivers for less than a hundred bucks.  The thing is tiny!  I'm going to use it on an upcoming trip if I don't get an opportunity to get my FT-857 properly installed.  And yes, I know the cheap radio has practically no heat sink and needs to go somewhere where it can get some air for cooling.  Still, I'll use it to check for noise, too, in anticipation of that more permanent install.

Meanwhile, if anyone else has put HF in a Ridgeline or Pilot, I'd appreciate the benefit of your experiences.  And I'll likewise post mine here.

Don N4KC
www.n4kc.com   www.donkeith.com
   
   
   
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