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Author Topic: Drive by wire cars  (Read 619 times)
KD4AL
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Posts: 26




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« on: December 20, 2007, 05:48:42 PM »

I havebeen considering purchase of a new car, possibly a Mini Cooper. I was browsing through a PDF of the owners manual. I discovered warnings about using a 2-way radio.The manual specifically warns against using a cell phone inside the car without an antenna mounted outside of the car. It could affect the "safe operation of the car."  If this is so, heaven help me running my 50watt IC228H,even with an outside antenna.

I suspect the reason for this is that the new Minis are "drive by wire", that is,steering is controlled electrically instead of pneumatically and easily affected by RF.  I think this technology is becoming more common. I think the Honda Fit may also be "drive by wire".

I am no mechanic, but am concerned. Does anyone know much about this technology? How susceptable  "drive by wire" technology to interference by RF. Does anyone have a substantial mobile rig mounted in a Mini Cooper or a Honda Fit? Does anyone work for Mini or Honda and can get us the straight poop?
Bill KD4AL
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K0BG
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Posts: 9880


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« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2007, 06:04:44 PM »

Hog wash! I have a Honda Ridgeline, and I operate HF and VHF, with power out of 500 PEP HF, and 300 watts VHF, and 200 watts UHF. I use my cellphone when I need to, and I have NEVER had a problem. By the way, the Ridgeline is DBW.

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
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WA7NCL
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Posts: 625




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« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2007, 08:23:51 AM »

Lawyers tell them to put the warnings in there, that way if anything goes wrong they can say they warned you.  In case you haven't noticed, most of the warnings that are plastered all over everything we buy nowdays are there just because of our legal system.  Its not likely that you would really have a problem, since the vehicle must be able to drive by multi kilowatt broadcast stations and Megawatt TV transmitters and not stop running.
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K4NFG
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Posts: 45




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« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2007, 08:49:12 AM »

I have a 2006 Audi A6 and there is a similar statement in the owners manual. While trying to find a suitable spot for an antenna, I decided to check for RFI with a simple temporary installation. The car is full of electronics, has a strange injector setup, and has a DBW throttle. I ran power wires srtaight to the battery for my IC-208 and used a lip mount to install my Diamond 770 on the front hood. The radio was dead quiet under all operating conditions, and, the car didn't seem to mind the high power transmit tests at all. So, the radio was happy with the car and the car was happy with the radio.

I'll say one thing though....as a lifelong gear head and total car enthusiast....if you have any type of electrical problem, and the car stealer sees the radio installed, chances are very high (based on a lifetime of experience) they are going to say you caused it with the radio, and try to weasel out of any repair. YMMV but I doubt it. I have 1 year left on my factory warranty and I'm not in a big hurry to work on a permanent installation just yet.

Best of luck.
John
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KB1OCC
Member

Posts: 172




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« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2008, 04:48:36 PM »

I agree with the prior posts.  What would DBW drivers do during severe thunderstorms?

I did, however, have a 1986 Ford Explorer that expericed surging when I used my cell phone ( back then the cell phone was an analog bag phone with 3 watts and an antenna).
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WS7X
Member

Posts: 25




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« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2008, 10:50:09 PM »

Unless they've changed them I can tell you that I operated HF mobile from my 2003 mini cooper S for two years without any problems, due to HF that is.  And yes I saw that warning too and ignored it.   Now the car however was another story.  Fun to drive but was not troublefree.  If you'd like my list of issues with it, email me direct and I'll share those too.

Good Luck
Noel
KD6JHV
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