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Author Topic: mobile install update  (Read 457 times)
SAIL_AWAY
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Posts: 19




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« on: December 20, 2005, 09:31:42 AM »

things are going ok so far.  i have had to learn a lot about the equipment as i installed it so a lot of time was wasted, and some money, along the way, but overall things have gone well.  most of the wasted money was on things like cheap mounting brackets for antennas that had to be replaced or other components i got that were inadequate.  the entire system is - icom ic-706mkiig, tuner, ci-v interface, linux laptop, 7" lilliput lcd display, gps receiver, cobra cb, mp3 player, audio mixer, amplifier, sub woofer, and two speakers.  and of course, antennas ... one dedicated to the cb, a vhf/uhf antenna, an HF antenna, a 1.2ghz antenna, and finally an antenna for evdo.  so far all that's hooked up and working is the audio stuff, which is working great, and the two radios.  i still don't have the tuner or HF antenna hooked up, nor do i have the laptop installed yet, or the 7" lilliput display.  so it's about halfway there right now.  i had no idea how much difficulty i would have installing the audio amplification, i ended up having to build a wooden box for the subwoofer, etc, but the results were well worth the effort, now the radios have a little depth to them and i can make out what is being said a lot easier in the noisy truck.  for power i already had an isolated battery system with two big deep cycles and an inverter.

i'm stuck on the tuner at the moment because a welder is making me a bracket to mount to the frame of the truck to mount the antenna, so i really can't do much with that until he's finished.  once finished i don't expect that to be hard to hook up because i already have all my rf grounds in place, electrical grounds, etc, and i've worked out where the tuner will go and all of that, it just needs to be mounted and tested.  the computer is going to take a while, i know where it will go but i still have to make a bracket for the display on the dash, hook up all the antennas for the evdo internet connectivity and wi-fi, etc, it is going to take a while to route all those cables and things, and write some software to control the icom and all.  it's all really turned into a lot of work i hadn't expected it to be so much trouble when i got into the install.  and on top of it all i think i'm going to have to do a little PIC coding too so i can come up with some kind of intelligent power controller to manage usage.  the deep cycle batteries hold up great the way it is but i don't know how it will end up once everything is in there.  and i still have to work out the radio connection to the laptop sound card and all of that, which won't be trivial the way i understand it because you have to get all of the levels set right, i will have to learn that as i go along.

so anyway i am just doing a little bit every day and see how it goes.  i'm not in any huge hurry to get the HF stuff up and running because i still haven't made enough time to study CW and pass the test yet, maybe after christmas.
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K0BG
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« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2005, 01:58:41 PM »

Well, I don't know if you were asking a question, of making a statement. In any case, it's sort of putting the cart in front of the horse.

I'm always leery when I see people use deep cycle batteries and isolators for powering HF radios, etc. in a mobile scenario. But perhaps you're planning on a stationary, low power operation? If this is going to be a mobile in motion, deep cycle isn't the way to go.

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
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SAIL_AWAY
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« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2005, 05:25:31 PM »

hi alan.  i don't understand what you are saying about the deep cycles, or the horse and cart.  the radios seem to be working fine using the deep cycle batteries, and the deep cycle batteries have been in the truck for a long time working fine also.  are you saying the radio on HF is going to use more current than two deep cycle batteries can provide ?  or are you saying there is a ground problem or something else i don't understand ?  or are you saying a battery isolator isn't the best solution for using deep cycle batteries ?  i am confident you have a strong point to make to me so i can understand what i am doing wrong i just don't know what it is.
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K0BG
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« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2005, 06:45:13 AM »

Deep cycle batteries are designed for long term, low current use. They are often called Blue tops because that is the color of the top of an Optima deep cycle. SLI batteries (starting, lighting and Ignition), are called Red tops for the same reason. SLIs are designed for short term, high current applications like starting the engine, and heavy loads like those imposed by mobile amplifiers. Remember too, it is the alternator which is providing the power in this case. The battery is only acting as a buffer. There is a third type, the Yellow top, which can serve in both capacities (pun unintended), but they have to be sized larger than an equivalent SLI if used as an SLI. It is easy to see that making a purchase decision must be done on the basis of how you plan to operate; now and in the future.

Battery isolators and relays (maybe) have their place too, if you're using the battery in a deep cycle mod. However, far too many purchase cheap isolators that end up causing a lot of problems in the long run. Isolators designed for properly charging deep cycles, and maintaining the correct load on the alternator, cost upwards of $250. The cheap ones will not keep you from damaging the charging circuit, nor will isolation relays. This is one of the costliest mistakes you can make.

The other mistake a lot of people make is discharging the battery too low (under about 10 volts). In other words, below their rated full discharge status. This shortens life drastically, and can cause some charging circuits to go haywire, and into premature failure. I have a little more about this on the web site under Alternators & Batteries.

In any case, it is obvious that battery choice isn't a haphazard undertaking.

My comment about the car/horse was a toung-in-cheek that had to do with you current license class. I do, however, admire your dedication to the hobby; something you don't see often these days.

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
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