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Author Topic: Mobile installations  (Read 2124 times)
KC8LNZ
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Posts: 2




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« on: December 14, 2000, 01:48:16 PM »

I'm getting ready to install a 2m transceiver and antenna into my car.  Are the're any suggestions on web sites or books suitable to guide a beginner through the process?  I'm interested in any tricks as far as mounting the radio, power wiring, and especially antenna mounting.  I've got a 5/8 wave mag mount that I've used with my HT, but I'm considering more permanent/more effective options.

Thanks,

Josh
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N4ZFQ
Member

Posts: 13




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« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2000, 03:10:27 PM »

Josh, fix your email address. I've tried to send you something and your address is not valid.

Colin
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KC8LNZ
Member

Posts: 2




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« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2000, 10:31:24 AM »

Thanks, the email should be fixed now.

Joshua
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KL0PE
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Posts: 24




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« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2000, 10:36:07 AM »

I just spent the weekend installing a Yaesu FT-1500 in my 2000 Toyota Echo, so I'll just relate some of my experiences and maybe that will help you.

1) When locating the radio in the cabin I chose a mounting location that was out of site of a casual observer.  I'd hate for my radio to be an invintation for someone to break into my car.  That's one of the reasons I stayed away from mounting it on top of the dash board.  The other reason is that I didn't want the radio to get cooked to death on a hot summer day.  My location of choice was below the dash board just to the left of the steering wheel.  

If you choose a similiar location be sure to check for levers or fuse box doors before mounting your rig.  I wasn't so mindful and I found that I had left only milimeters to spare for my trunk release lever.  I had left just barely enough room for the lever to move so I don't have to relocate my radio so I was lucky, but a bit more room would be nice.

2) Getting power to your rig could be one of the toughest parts of mobile installation.  First of all, a direct connect to the battery is the very best source of power you can find.  Cigarette lighters make poor choices as they often do not have adequate grounding and generally can not support the current demands of a 50 watt mobile radio.  A direct connection to the battery will also protect your radio from voltage fluctions.

Be sure to fuse both power leads at the battery to protect your car and your radio.  My Yaesu FT-1500 has 15 amp fast-blow fuses in both the power leads and an additional fuse on the positive lead at the radio.  Make sure the voltage of your electrical system does not exceed the specifications of your radio.  A quick check with a voltmeter while revving the engine is in order.  My car puts out 14 volts and so is below the rated 15.2 volt limit for the radio.

When running leads you have two choices: use an existing hole or drill a new one.  If you're lucky then there will a spare hole or two in the firewall behind the dashboard.  I've read that running the power leads through the same hole as the car's main wiring harness is not a good idea because stray RF can get into your vehicle's electrical system.  However, this was my only choice as there were no spare holes and drilling a new hole was simply impractical (there was barely enough room behind my dash for my arm let alone a drill!)  I can report that I have had no problems with engine noise in the receiver and my car's electrical system is unaffected even when I'm transmitting 50 watts.  However, your mileage may vary.

3) I'm using an MFJ quarter-wave mini-mag mount as my antenna right now, but I plan to purchase a Larsen glass-mount sometime in the coming year.  While I've read that a permanent threaded mount offers the best performance and convience I am trying to avoide drilling holes in my car.  However, if that is the route I chose I'd have it professionally done since I would not want to risk screwing up that job.

Incidentally, there is part one of an artile in the January 2001 QST about mobile installations in the "Radios To Go" column.  Best of luck!

73, KL0PE
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WB6WKB
Member

Posts: 2




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« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2001, 09:58:54 PM »

On my Toyota pickup, I mounted the remote control head for my Kenwood V7A onto the sun visor. Fold it down to look at the display, and you don't really have to take your eyes off the road. Fold it up to return to normal driving mode. I've found that the buttons can be worked just by feel (you end up knowing where everything is in short order, and you won't even need to look at the display much). Tuning can be done from the mike controls or by folding it down and using the tuning knob.

Since the control head can be disconnected, I don't have to leave it in the truck to melt on a hot day. Even if the control head is in place, if the visor is folder up nobody can see it from outside.

Ran the wire for it over to the top of the corner molding and down behind it to get to the bottom of the dashboard. (The piece can be pried off easily to run the wire.)

The radio itself sits under the drivers' seat. So the wire from the control head weaves under the dash, then down at the transmission hump, under the carpeting to the radio. Ran the power cables as directly as possible back to the dash area, through one of the access ports in the firewall, and straight to the battery - fuse on each wire there, of course.

The antenna was a permanent roofmount. Had to have a local place punch out the hole for it and install the connector, then ran that above the ceiling lining to the front right corner, down and under carpet back to radio.

Speaker and mike the same as the power: wires go back from the radio, under the carpet to the dash, where I mounted a speaker and the mike holder.

Works like a champ and I'm very pleased with the result.

MAIN THING TO DO: PLAN, PLAN, PLAN. 50 hours or more may be spent just planning where everything is to go before you even start the hardware job. You want this to be right. You won't regret it, and it will result in a great installation that will be a pleasure to use.

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N9PSR
Member

Posts: 1




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« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2001, 08:49:45 AM »

     With Cell phones all the rage nowadays and cell antennas so cheap go ahead and drill holes for ham andtennas and when you go to sell or trade the vehicle just remove the ham antenna and install the cell antenna and Voila you have an extra selling point for your vehicle.  Or so I've heard.
73
de
Wayne M. Scace & Leader Dog Sequoia
n9psr@arrl.net
FISTS#4409
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