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Author Topic: HF in Toyota Tacoma  (Read 2821 times)
K3GHH
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Posts: 42




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« on: June 23, 2013, 09:11:35 AM »

Rust got my '94 Toyota pickup, so reluctantly I got a 2012 Tacoma with an "access cab" (small rear doors and jump seats). Unlike the '94, everything inside is covered with hard gray plastic or carpet. I have tentatively mounted my IC-706Mk2G in the storage compartment under the left rear jump seat, drilling a hole in the front of it for the power cord running back from the battery. Of course I'll have to have the seat up, and the compartment cover up, when  the rig is in use.

The antenna will be a Hamstick on the rear bumper, so I have to get the coax into the rear of the cab. Maybe there are grommets there already; my alternative plan is to drill a hole through the plastic storage-compartment rear wall and the rear metal wall of the cab, doing my best to avoid the gas tank. (Been there, done that... on a different vehicle. "How come I smell gas?") For grounding the rig my plan is to use braided strap, fed through another hole (slit) in the plastic storage compartment and bolted to bare metal, probably the panel that runs from side to side at the front of the underseat storage compartments.

Well, 'nuff for now. I'll figure out how to mount the face plate (maybe a cup-holder mount) and the CW paddles after these basic issues are determined.

PS: A couple of years ago I drove that '94 from Maryland to Alaska, working mobile CW (including Europe) much of the way.

--John K3GHH
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KK4CRY
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Posts: 35




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« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2013, 02:22:38 AM »

http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/98688-2nd-gen-Toyota-Tacoma-Camp-Sportsmen-Family-build?p=1311190#post1311190
Check out his battery setup might find some info you can use. Im just going to drill a new hole when i get around to installing my HF in my Taco
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K3GHH
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Posts: 42




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« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2013, 01:44:23 PM »

Thanks. Interesting ideas. His setup is much fancier than the one I plan (no dual batteries, for one thing), and he has a double-cab, not just an access-cab.

I tried to get something in shape for Field Day and got the power cord tolerably set up, fused at both ends and running (in a split plastic loom) along the inside of the left frame rail, then up through a pre-existing floor grommet, about an 8" run under the left rear carpet, and through the hole I drilled in the plastic storage compartment. For a temporary FD antenna I used a tri-mag-mount for my Hamsticks on the roof, with the coax coming in the sliding rear cab window. The key and face plate cables just lay on the floor. The face plate just lay on the cup holders in front of the shift lever, and the keyer cord was only long enough to reach the between-seat console.

Worked about 50 stations on 40 and 20 with that setup, in about 2 hours, sitting in the driveway; I counted it as Mobile class (1C). I got roasted because of having to keep the doors closed because of nighttime mosquitoes, and haven't yet figured how to mount the paddles --- sitting in one of the bucket seats, with the paddles on the console storage compartment, was very uncomfortable. (I did find my keyer extension cord, so that cord length is no longer a limiting factor.)

But... we're makin' progress!
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M6GOM
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Posts: 888




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« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2013, 01:52:08 PM »

Please try to find anywhere else to put the antenna than where you're planning. It has to be the worst place ever.

Look at Breedlove mounts.
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K3GHH
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Posts: 42




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« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2013, 02:15:31 PM »

Please try to find anywhere else to put the antenna than where you're planning. It has to be the worst place ever.

Look at Breedlove mounts.

Worst place ever, electrically. Best place ever, for appearance (aside from inside the vehicle, and I'm not willing to go to THAT extreme). Even when a Hamstick is mounted it's almost invisible, and I really like the ability to remove the antenna completely in a few seconds. The little bumper mount (I've been using a spring, since it allows for a quick disconnect fitting) is hardly noticeable.

I looked at the Breedlove mounts some time ago, and again after your suggestion. I considered one that slips between the top of the bed rail and the fiberglass cap, with the antenna out the side. Couldn't figure out how to make it fit; the cap covers the stake holes and the bed rails are all covered with that thick plastic anyway. And I don't want the antenna to stick out beyond the dimensions of the truck.
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N1NRK
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Posts: 13




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« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2013, 06:37:13 AM »

Check out http://www.repdesign.us/ for Toyota mounts.  I have two on my 2011 Tacoma double cab, one for my Tarheel and one for my VHF/UHF antenna.  The mounts attach to the rail around the truck bed.  They seem to work well and they look good too!

You have to run a ground wire from the mounts to the chassis, as the rails are painted and there is no way to assure a good ground with the plastic bed.  I ran a wire through one of the drain holes down to a bolt where my running boards attach to the truck body.

Keith/N1NRK
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K3GHH
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Posts: 42




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« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2013, 05:05:15 AM »

What a great idea, Keith... using the bed tracks for a mount!

But... I should have made more clear that I have a fiberglass ARE-brand cap on the bed. As I interpret the REP mounts, they are incompatible with a cap.

--John K3GHH
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