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Author Topic: Pictures RF Bonding Pickup Truck  (Read 4981 times)
NI0Z
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« on: October 31, 2011, 10:30:42 AM »

Hi, first post here!

Just had a IC-7000 and Tarheel II installed in my GMC Hyrid Pick-up truck and have about 5 additional S Units of noise when rolling.

I realize I need to do some RF bonding to help resolve some of the issues.  Does anyone have some very clear pictures of how and where they bonded the 4 corners and truck bed.  I have found exauhst photos and we the DX Engineering sells a kit for that.

Also want to know how people are keeping their installations clean and thus functioning as I understand dirt and road chemicals can reduce the effectiveness over time as well.

Tarheel II and comet antennas are mounted on the bed using stake post mount kits.  I don't think the installer did any additional grounding at all.  The radio is running directly to the batter with a fuse for power.

Thanks!
NI0Z
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K0BG
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« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2011, 11:47:52 AM »

Pay a visit to my web site. There are photos. Look in the Bonding article.
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NI0Z
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« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2011, 12:46:59 PM »

Thanks, that's a great site and I have spent a lot of time there already reading up on the excllent info posted there. 

I am really looking for specific pictures of how people bonded their truck, especially the bed and body to the chassis.

From what I have read, 7 bonds would be very effective in targeting the most common problems.  Each corner, the bed to the cabin, the exauhst system.  Of course the antennas would need to be grounded as well as the radio itself.  Correct?

Thanks!
Mark
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K0BG
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« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2011, 01:01:32 PM »

You need to do the bed on all four corners, and to the cab as well. As for the actual attachment method, that depending on the truck. My Ridgeline has strengthening ribs along the bottom. I just used self-tapping sheet metal screws with star washers between the lugs, and the ribs.

I bonded the exhaust system before, and after the cat, and at the tail pipe.

I added a short grounding strap from the firewall, down to an unused boss on the rear head. My ignition noise is all but nil.
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NI0Z
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« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2011, 02:00:22 PM »

Noise levels are bad for me when I start moving.  Funny thing with a hybrid is the motor cuts off when you come to a stop or drive under 30MPH where the motor is not needed.  I am guessing that if I can accomplish what you have outlined I'll be ok. 

Sitting still with ignition on and the motor at stop I have about 2-3 S Units, with the motor on I got to 4-5 and when moving I am 9 plus.

I am looking for some professional install photos though that show how to be weather proof as well as we get enough snow where they salt the roads here several times during winter.  I see some people talk about shrink tubing for protection, however I would really like to see some pictures of some people whose bonding has held up over 2-5 years.

If you ever manage and can snap a photo of your straps and post in on your site, that would be awesome because by far you have the best info I have found on all this so far.

I have enough in the radio, antennas and install that I want to follow through and make it useable while moving.  The setup has some great potential for me to sneak some extra haming time in each wek!  Smiley

Thanks for your help!
Mark
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K0BG
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« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2011, 02:17:00 PM »

I guess I missed the hybrid part. All I have to say about that is, good luck!

I have a neighbor who lives about 700 yards east of me. She has a Gen3, 2011 Prius. If I'm on the air, and she leaves for work, I can tell the instant she turns on the key. When she drives by, my background noise level exceed S9, particularly on 80 meters.

John Pavelich, VE3XKD, spent hours and hours, and an untold amount of money quieting down his Prius. I don't think he got is down to less than S2 or so.

Unfortunately, I believe it (digital RFI) is going to get worse in the next few years. Maybe the FCC will have to make Part 15 RFI levels mandatory for automobile makers, instead of optional.
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NI0Z
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« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2011, 02:28:19 PM »

Ok, one more thing then, has anyone ever used an artificial ground plane for mobile use such as these pictured at the both of this page?

http://www.comprodcom.com/Products/Mobile%20Antennas%20Accessories/Accessories%20-%20Mobile%20Antennas%20_24__66/

I have had a great deal of luck lowering my ground floor noise on my home station, and I did read about the Prius issues.  Part of why I am asking these questions is to not waste time or money.  I have been able to get a lot of things right that way at home rather than by trial and error.  The Internet can be very helpful if a person knows how to sort and filter information.

Picture painted here is grim, but I am not ready to give up just yet.

NI0Z
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K0BG
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« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2011, 05:22:07 PM »

You are kidding, right?

Those abbreviated "ground plane", are all but a joke. Just drill a hole in the roof, or trunk lid, mount a decent NMO antenna, and never look back. The best dual bander NMO? No doubt! A Larsen, NMO2/70BK.
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VE3XKD
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« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2011, 05:26:55 PM »

Hi

I don't have experience with your truck, but my 04 Prius was a labor of love to reduce the noise to acceptable levels. Saying that, I enjoy many QSOs on 20 and 17 meters and have worked a lot of DX.

When I used a spectrum analyzer, the 04 Prius showed extensive noise from 3 to 15 MHz, tapering off at 21 MHz. I managed to reduce the nose to about S2 or S 3 on 20 through 15. 40 is about S 6/7 and 80 is S9.

Bonding should help, and I certainly found that things such as the wipers needed to be bonded to chassis as they radiated noise from inside the engine to the outside. In the Prius, simply bonding the wipers to ground reduced the noise by several S units. In the end,  I opted to open up my DC-DC inverter and place in new filtering capacitors and ferrite chokes in the HV lines to get the noise low enough to operate. I also added in several dozen ferrites in each external HV line as well as wrapping all HV and ignition lines in copper foil tape.

In the 04 Prius, the least noisy spot for the HF antenna   was the dead centre of the roof, so I had additional mounting issues to deal with such as reinforcing the roof to take the HiQ screwdriver antenna. You might want to move your antenna to different locations and see how the noise is at the different locations.

Good luck. let us know how you make out if you decide to undertake the project.


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NI0Z
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« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2011, 05:56:28 PM »

Actually, 15 Meters was very nice, noise less than S2 and easy contacts several states away.  I haven't tried 40 or 80 meters yet, more of night time bands for me so it may be just an issue with 20M.  That may be more of a matter of chasing it down.  If its just 20 then I may not go to much effort.  I'll probably bonf the exauhst first sine that will be easiest, and maybe try to hunt the source of interference down.

If I can't solve it with the 7 or 8 standard bonding points then I am not going to chase it further.

NI0Z
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WX7G
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« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2011, 09:03:37 AM »

By "motor on" do you mean the electric motor or do you mean the gasoline engine?

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N6AJR
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« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2011, 11:00:28 AM »

I am no expert, but...

First thing I do is ground the neg post of the battery to the chassis, and the shield side of the antenna,  at the mount, to the chassis, and then I run a ground from the radio to thee chassis at the radio.  I use braid and self tapping sheet metal screws. I did this in my car and also with my pickup.  I suggest you start here and them continue to bond  if the problems persist.
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NI0Z
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« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2011, 06:24:41 PM »

Experimented yesterday to see what would happen when the HF antenna was disconnect, no noise, so it looks like it's coming in that way.  I left the 2M antenna connected as well, drove around and check and scanned the bands.  0 S units.

I spoke to someone on this and they are helping me out.  Their not convinced that bonding will solve this one.

Will let you know how it works out.

Yes, it's when the gas motor is running.  Less than 5 S Units  on electric motor.

NI0Z
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NI0Z
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« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2011, 06:18:30 AM »

More from the expert, apparently based on the horrible experiences that Prius owners have had the general feeling is I am going to be out of luck.

The ARRL though is helping me contact GM who in theory have taken measures in their design to be ham friendly.  So says their bulletin on the manufactures guidelines for installing radios in their vehicles.

I still have some basic simple things to try to see what can be accomplished, so this weekend I'll focus on that as well.  based on feedback, I will ground the battery, ground the radio and ground the antenna.  I may see if I can try a temporary bond between the bed and the cab to see if that holds any promise.  It looks like with the DX engineering kit bonding the exauhst may be reasonable as well.

The good news is anything from 15M to .7M works great!  The likelihood of having 20-80 work well while rolling looks pretty low at this point.  I just can't see drilling holes all over the truck being worth the effort, so I'll try the few basics and see what GM says about it.

I think it's good to share and document it here though to help save others the future grief.

NI0Z
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K3GM
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« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2011, 06:48:19 AM »

In addition to the box, I recommend bonding the doors, both sides of the hood, and exhaust system as I did to my Tahoe (GMT900) in the examples below:
http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a96/TwoSevenRight/bond2.jpg
http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a96/TwoSevenRight/bond1.jpg
http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a96/TwoSevenRight/bond3.jpg

Finally, although my HS1800 is on a hitch mount and may not be like yours, I bonded the antenna's base directly to the chassis and body by way of 2" wide copper foil as shown below.
http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a96/TwoSevenRight/bond4.jpg

Results went from S9+ ignition noise on all bands to nearly nothing at all. Before bonding the radio (IC-7000) would shut down upon transmitting, and the vehicle's display would tear and distort.  After bonding all symptoms disappeared.  Be sure to bond the chassis of the radio to the vehicle.  Do not depend on the negative side of the power cable or the shield of the coax.  I had initially left the radio unbonded, and that caused a lot of problems as well.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2011, 08:52:54 AM by K3GM » Logged
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