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Author Topic: Have you installed HF in late model Chrysler Miniv  (Read 209 times)
K8LEC
Member

Posts: 64




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« on: September 05, 2004, 11:32:29 PM »

I've posted a few times already about ignition noise trouble I've had on my '04 T&C and have tried many of the suggestions from those postings without success.

There are so many Chrysler mini-van's on the road, and I have to believe many hams have successfully set up HF in them. I'm asking for any ham who has set up an HF setup in a late model 2000-2004 Caravan, T&C or Voyager to share their experience. Can you please share with me what bonding, shielding, placement of ferrite beads etc... you've done to minimize ignition or other noise from your radio.

I'm trying to install a Comet UHV-6 antenna on the rear tailgate at the top and am getting noise only when the antenna is connected to the rig. At this point I've bonded everything I can think of including the hood, tailgate, exhaust system in two places, engine and hood. I have also placed some ferrite beads on all 6 ignition wires and grounded my antenna to the frame. I'm still getting S8 ignition noise. Instead at looking at more theory on how to minimize the noise again, which I've done including looking at several websites repeatedly that deal with this issue, I'm simply asking for some real world examples from those who have successfully installed an HF setup and minimized any noise on a late model Chrysler mini-van. If you can share your experience I'd be very appreciative!! Thanks in advance and 73!

Lars
K8LEC
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N6AJR
Member

Posts: 9914




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« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2004, 11:49:55 PM »

Have you grounded the rig to the chassis, and grounded the antenna to the chassis, I even ground the neg side of the battery to the chassis, try it all, ferrite beads on the fuel pump..  good luck
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K1CJS
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Posts: 5995




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« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2004, 01:05:19 AM »

Connect the power leads directly to the battery connections and use shielded wiring to do so.  This one simple step sometimes solves a world of problems.  As a test, use the center conductor of RG8 co-ax for the positive lead to the rig and connect the shield to the vehicle body to see if shielding that wire reduces the noise.  Use aluminum foil wrapped around the rest of the positive wire and the positive wire fuse holder for the test, and make sure it is connected to the shield on the RG8.   If that does the trick, get some shielded power wire for that connection and enclose the fuse holder in a small metal experimenters box that is secured to the rear of the rig.  Yes, it is overkill, but if it gets rid of the noise, do it--there is a lot of noise generated by the vehicle computer, and that is more than likely mounted in the immediate vicinity of the dash area!

Also, what quality co-ax are you using for your antenna?  High quality fully shielded co-ax will give much better results than the off-the-shelf type that comes with many antennas nowadays.  Make sure the solder joints to the connectors are good--one bad soldering job will ruin the whole effort you're putting into the install.  

Finally, bond the tailgate to the body with a grounding strap--not just a wire but a small strap, and bond the rig's chassis to the body the same way, with a small strap.

Hope this helps.  73!
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KC8VWM
Member

Posts: 3124




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« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2004, 02:26:24 AM »

Ground and shield everything!

Besides that.. try to determine the source by using up a cheap AM radio as a "sniffer" device. Move it all around the vehicle until you can identify the specific source or sources of noise problem.

It will then be easier to solve the problem once you know and identify the specific cause.

73

Charles - KC8VWM




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K8LEC
Member

Posts: 64




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« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2004, 09:40:13 AM »

I appreciate the information from all who have posted.  I know it's not a power lead issue because I have no noise at all without the antenna hooked up,. and have tried using an Astron Power supply in the car with an extension cord instead of the battery without any difference.  I already have the leads to the battery direct using #8 wire.  I've bonded the tail gate with two straps, have the antenna and the rig chassis bonded as well.  

What I'm really looking for with this post here on the forum is descriptions of noise reduction tactics from those who own a late model Chrysler mini-van.  The "theory" of noise reduction and tactics on how to eliminate it, I've read from many many forum posts and articles, as well as several websites related to the issue.  I'm really interested in hearing how those with a mini-van (2000-2004 model) have made it work specifically!  

Thanks.

Lars
K8LEC
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N4HRA
Member

Posts: 281




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« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2004, 02:27:27 PM »

I run a TS-B2000 in a 1999 caravan using a hamstick
mounted on the rear bumper, (the mounted is mounted with 4 1/2" bolts through the bumper through spacers through the steel internbumber)I have the mount grounded to the frame as well as the tail pipe.

I have about a 2 noise level from the van

Lew
N4HRA
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AD6JN
Member

Posts: 172




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« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2004, 12:10:01 PM »

I realize you want hear about solutions to Chrysler mini-van's with HF installed.  I see from the information you supplied, the noise goes away with the antenna removed.  This is a classic “radiated susceptibility” problem.  The main source is from the ignition wires and the vehicle chassis, which is one-half the antenna.

I suggest you replace the ignition wire set with high quality wire sets made for RFI suppression.  See “plug wire sets for RFI” in your favorite Internet search engine.  Read carefully the information provided with each brand.

I am on my third HF mobile installation (latest is a 2002 Ford Ranger truck) and have studied vehicle RFI problems and found plug wires to be a real source of RFI.  The 2002 Ford ranger is quite good with no modifications.  I have the ICOM 706 with DSP installed.

73
Bob
AD6JN

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K8LEC
Member

Posts: 64




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« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2004, 06:43:05 PM »

Well, I went to Car Quest and purchased their #1 plug set for my mini-van.  Cost me $65.  I switched them out and no difference at all.  I had hoped that might help.  Oh well, I can take them back.  I think next I'm going to purchase some beads to put on every wire in the engine!!

Lars
K8LEC
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AD6JN
Member

Posts: 172




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« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2004, 08:15:00 PM »

I am surprised.  If the noise goes away when the antenna is removed as you stated then conducted susceptibility is not the issue and the beads will not do much.  It is worth a try and less than $65.  There may be a long power lead to the distributor that can also radiate.  If so a grounded over shield may work there.

I read an Internet article about a ham that modified a truck and went through great lengths to shield everything including the plug wires.  He even shielded the distributor housing.  I have also seen several recommendations about spark plug gap and engine block grounds.

My study of my 2002 Ford Ranger yielded quite a few grounding/bonding straps through out the vehicle chassis and body including the engine hood.  Looks like Ford upgraded the design to improve its RFI.

When I buy my next vehicle I will take along a small battery powered AM radio and listen off frequency.  Don’t rely on the radio in the vehicle as they have lots of filtering made for autos.  It is best to do this in the dealer’s garage.

If you live near a general aviation airfield look at the ignition shielding and distributor of a small aircraft.  Notice that there are grounding/bonding straps around the engine.  Older aircraft transmitted and received on the air bands on AM.  The FAA towers use AM along with FM.  If you can look at an older aircraft with an AM radio you might see some ideas.  AM requires more attention like HF.

I would also would suggest looking at your vehicles electric fuel pump and determine if the motor is brush type.  If so the beads can be used at the 2 motor leads.  If your side mirrors are powered they are probably brush type and will generate noise (conducted) with the engine off.

Good luck and keep trying.

73
Bob
AD6JN
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