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Author Topic: Mobile Installl in 97 GMC Sierra Crew Cab  (Read 361 times)
KE7DJQ
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« on: April 28, 2005, 05:50:39 PM »

I haven't bought one yet, but am considering either an Icom 208H, Kenwood G707A or FT 8800R.  However, I have no experience installing one of these.  Where do I find some good info on how to do this?

I also would like to use whichever one I buy as a home station.

Any help would be appreciated.
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K0BG
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« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2005, 06:47:24 AM »

You can wade through a few articles on my web site for one.

Probably the most important thing you can do is to purchase a good-quality antenna, and properly mount it. Forget about looking for inflated gain figures and stick to a tried and true antenna. The most popular VHF mobile antenna is the NMO2/70 dual bander from Larsen. When properly mounted (this requires a 3/4" hole), it is waterproof even with the antenna removed, and will out perform just about any other antenna you can name.

A secondary aspect of your selection should be, can the radio be remotely mounted? This is important as today's vehicles have little room for full-sized radios. As for the brand, pick the one which meets your needs, not someone else's.

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
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K8JDC
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« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2005, 03:23:53 PM »

I recently bought my first mobile VHF/UHF radio.  I had previously been using an Icom 706MKIIG for this, but wanted the freedom of running full-time VHF/UHF while also running HF.  In any event, I compared the various radios available and bought the FT-8800R.  I have only had it a couple of months so far, but I have no complaints.  

Interestingly, I also wanted to time-share my 8800 between the house and 2 vehicles.  I knew that moving the radio back and forth between the house and the car would get old, so I wanted an installation that allowed me to remove the radio easily.  What I did was to make my own mounting bracket out of aluminum that holds the radio pretty securely without requiring that the radio be bolted to the bracket.  The bracket is lined with thick felt that holds the radio pretty securely (and captivates it to prevent any "extreme movement" in the forward or lateral directions in the event of a crash).  I made one bracket for my car and another for my shack.  The radio just slides in and sits in the bracket, so it's pretty easy to move back and forth.  The brackets have a "backstop" that the rear of the radio sits against without blocking access to any of the rear-panel connectors.  I cut the Yaesu power connector off my 8800R and installed an Anderson Powerpole instead.  This makes it somewhat universal with the rest of my stuff and provides a quick-disconnect capability.  Obviously, to keep things simple, I opted to mount the 8800R as one unit instead of separating the main body from the control head.  I did the opposite with my 706, which stays in the mobile nearly 100% of the time.

My brackets are kind of beefy, but the radio comes out or goes in in seconds, so I'm able to easily share the radio between two locations.  Even so, moving the radio back and forth gets old quickly.  If you are counting on moving the radio back and forth every day, be forewarned.  Mine already stays mostly in the mobile.  I put a conventional bracket (i.e. that holds the radio with bolts) in my second vehicle, which we use for longer trips.

You can see a photo of the radio/bracket at:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v281/jdcphotos/ab5cc738.jpg

The 8800R is the lower radio, of course.  The bracket does not obsctruct airflow over the heat fins, doesn't block the mic port or any other connectors, and allows sufficient space above the speaker to allow the audio not to get blocked.  

There are countless ways of doing these kinds of things.  This one was mine.  Good luck.

Dave / K8JDC
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KE7DJQ
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« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2005, 01:44:49 PM »

Thanks for you suggestions everyone.  I decided to get the Kenwood. There sure seem to be a lot of accessories listed for this radio, though.  I did find someone local who can help me install it.
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KE7DJQ
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« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2005, 07:07:21 AM »

I'm ready to actually install my radio now.  While looking to find an existing hole in the firewall, I noticed that I could probably take it from the battery along the passenger side through the doorway and push it through the rubber boot where the wiring from the passenger door enters the interior of the vehicle.

Does anyone know if this is a good way to install it?
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