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Author Topic: Taurus RFI  (Read 643 times)
NZ0T
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Posts: 74




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« on: January 20, 2002, 04:00:02 PM »

I have a problem with my 2000 Ford Taurus, 3.0 FFV V6.  On 40 meters only the engine stumbles and even die at any power level over about 60 watts.  This is the only band it happens on.  My guess is I'm getting into the EEC.  The rig is an Icom IC706 MKII with a screwdriver antenna.  Everything is well grounded.
Any ideas out there?

Thanks,
Bill NZ0T
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VE3TMT
Member

Posts: 391




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« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2002, 06:13:57 PM »

Bill,

I haven't an answer for your problem other than RF getting into the cars computer.  But I was curious how you mounted the screwdriver on your Taurus.

Thanks,

Max
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NZ0T
Member

Posts: 74




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« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2002, 07:13:56 PM »

I have it mounted with a license plate mount that I bought about two years ago.  Can't remember the company that makes it but it was reviewed in QST.  Kinda expensive at $50 but allows you to mount an antenna easily.  I did drill an additional hole thru the mount into the car to assure a good ground.  Basically this is a license plate sized piece of metal drilled with holes that match the license plate holes on the car.  There is a mount that extends out about 6 inches or so that you mount the antenna to. The plate goes behind your license plate.  So far it has held the screwdriver just fine at 80 MPH.
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KC0HBM
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Posts: 24




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« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2002, 05:09:19 PM »

I don't have any experience with HF in my 2000 Taurus SE since I prefer to tinker 50Mhz and above.  I have a FT-8100R installed with a Diamond SG7500NMO on the back trunk (lip mounted).  So far no problems with RFI, although I did have to install a line filter to get rid of a slight bit of alternator whine (I'm an avid audiophile and that kinda stuff bugs me!)

The major problem I've been having is getting my SWR below 3:1 on VHF/UHF with my setup.  I have new 1/2 copper strapping grounding the trunk and body together, but no matter which of my VHF or UHF antennas I try I get terrible loading.  (note: I have all new Diamond coax run to the radio)

If I can be of any further help, please let me know.  (and anyone out there with an idea about my problem I'd appreciate the help!)

Mark
KC0HBM
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N8AUC
Member

Posts: 79




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« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2002, 02:45:21 PM »

I have a 96 Taurus LX. I haven't yet found a good
mounting point for any radio gear. This model year
has the big oval radio and air conditioning control
in the center of the dash. Although my HTX-202 clips
securely on the lid of the cassette tape storage
bin in the fold-out console in the front seat.
I have never operated HF mobile. Sounds like a fun
diversion while on long trips though.

I'd be curious if that license plate mount is really
grounded. There is a surprising amount of plastic body
parts on a Ford Taurus....including the entire trunk
lid. (Which may help explain the 3:1 VSWR on the guy
with the trunk lip mount VHF/UHF antenna.) I had
planned to use a magnetic mount antenna on the trunk.
I was quite surprised to find the entire trunk lid was
plastic and the mag mount wouldn't stick anywhere
except the vehicle roof. On the bumper, it's all
plastic unless you drill down to get into the metal
piece beneath all that plastic trim. I ended up going
with a glass mount antenna for VHF/UHF. Not the best
setup in the world, but it works.


73 and good luck!
de N8AUC
Eric


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KC0HBM
Member

Posts: 24




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« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2002, 09:39:29 PM »

Eric,

I'm familiar with the 96 Taurus look, but I was unaware about the plastic trunk.  I am 100% certain that my 2000 Taurus SE has a metal trunk... I drilled holes into two locations (one on the trunk arm and one in the molded 'outer' sheetmetal that is inside the trunklid).  I even used a magnet to pick up metal shavings Smiley  It doesn't surpise me that automakers change how they build cars from one year to the next!

And I also wanted to update the readers here about my antenna situation.  I dont actually have a trunk lip mount.. i have a custom L bracket that attaches to the inner fender lip around the trunk.  To be double sure I had a good ground, I attached a grounding strap from the bracket to a thicker piece of structural steel in the trunk area.  I also ran my ground braid from the trunk lid to this point.

I borrowed my friends MFJ 289 'antennalizer' and checked my SWR.  It showed approx 50 Ohms impedance and 1.5 to 1.1 SWR across the 2m band.  I also used the "distance to fault" measurement on the MFJ.  Its design is to guess the distance (in feet) to a break or short in the coax.  It told me I had a fault at 22', but since I only have 15' of coax the antenna is the "fault" being seen.

Finally, I enjoy the more rectangular layout of my '00 compared to the oval generation.  I mounted my Ft8100 remote head by bringing a bracket out between the radio/AC panel and air conditioning vents.

If anyone has any other sort of Taurus questions I'd be glad to take a stab at them.

KC0HBM
Mark
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NZ0T
Member

Posts: 74




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« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2002, 09:34:26 PM »

The trunk on my 2000 Taurus is metal and I have a screw driven through the license plate antenna mount into the metal behind the plate.  I also have the trunk lid bonded with stripped RG8 braid to the rest of the car.
My IC706 MKII is remote mounted in the trunk.  The remote head is mounted on a piece of 2X6 lumber that fits snugly into the recess under the radio/climate controls on the dash.  With that I was able to mount the head without any permanant marks or holes on the dash.
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KC0HBM
Member

Posts: 24




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« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2002, 10:22:54 AM »

Bill,

Which 3.0L V6 do you have? There's the 200hp and 155hp versions, I'm not sure which one is rated FFV.  Mine is the 155 version.  I'm curious if prehaps the 200hp has substantially different electronics, or if prehaps one of the versions is more affected by RFI.

I was running 40W SSB on 10m with a hood-lip mounted whip this weekend, and I experienced no problems.  I dont own an HF rig, otherwise I would try to recreate your symptoms.

Nice job on the control head mount.  I considered using that location, but I didn't want to lose such a nice place to keep my sunglasses / candy Smiley   My homebrew bracket also requires no permanent marks or holes in my dashboard; I've found that the less evidence of things being installed the higher the resale value of the car!


KC0HBM
Mark
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WV4I
Member

Posts: 136




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« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2002, 02:38:51 PM »

I also run HF mobile, in a 96 Taurus, with 24V V6 engine. The rig is a FT-100D, powered directly from the battery, and antenna is hamstick(s) on roof mag mount(3). The radio body is under the right front seat, and the control head is on the center dash held with double sided tape. No RFI or other problems whatsoever running up to 100w, FM/SSB, on 2/10/15/17/20/40M. Have not used 80/75, 12, or 6m. The radio body is not grounded under the seat other than thru the power cable. Might I suggest that a hamstick for 40m be somehow mounted to the roof metal of your vehicle (min 3 magnets or directly connected) to see if 40m rfi like problem remains. This might quite possibly narrow down the problem. Only other comment on Taurus and vehicles with less metal is that sometimes 40m, and for sure 80/75m start to present some coupling problems. Last vehicle was an Expedition, totally different animal for HF mobile.
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N8AUC
Member

Posts: 79




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« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2002, 03:05:05 PM »

As a follow up, I like the car (96 taurus). It rides nice, runs well, and handles nicely. The only RFI I do get is when I have the rear defogger turned on. But then with a glass mount antenna (and no the antenna is well above the defogger grid) that's not too surprising. No alternator whine either.
 
I've seen the 2000 style Taurus and it's much more radio friendly than my 96. Losing that big oval radio was a nice improvement for 2000. But for budget reasons I'll keep driving the 96 until the wheels fall off or I can see the road through a rusted out floor pan. Neither of which seem like they're going to happen anytime soon.

Best of luck!!!
73 de N8AUC
Eric
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