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Author Topic: Ham Radio install Question(s)  (Read 5417 times)
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SteveOR
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« on: 11/26/09 02:29 PM »

 Help me! I have a Kenwood TM-0710A radio to install in my 2008 Avalanche.   The radio has a faceplate and a transceiver box. They will be mounted separately. Based on technical advice I have received I should mount the antenna near the center of the roof ( which will be real close to the overhead center light. I will need to hide the cable and run it to... where is the best location to mount the transceiver. The manual indicates under front dash on passenger side...other people seem to have mounted the transceiver under back seat,. What is the concensus here as to the best location? Then I need to mount the face plate and run the control wires to it.  Again I am searching for the best location for this.  I would rather talk about this for a month and then do the right thing than just go hack it in and be sorry about the appearance later.  I want to thank anybody who reads this and provides good ideas in advance. I am not real experienced in drilling holes and mounting electronics in vehicles. My goal is to utilize the experience and knowledge of this group and hopefully end up with a radio in my vehicle that looks great and functions well.

Regards;

Steve
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abbotlex
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« Reply #1 on: 11/28/09 09:25 AM »

I'm preparing to do the same with a Kenwood D700A and my '04 Av.  A few points:

-- Although having the antenna in the center of the roof is the "best" I don't think it makes much difference.  Especially if the repeaters you plan on hitting are close by and easy to hit.  Because I want to keep the Av in the garage and I don't like doing permanent mods to my vehicles, I'm probably going to buy this hood mount and a new antenna.  http://www.walcottcb.com/augm2l-fender-mount-for-chevy-silverado-avalanche-and-suburban-p-1184.html?cPath=28_353_430

-- Kenwood in their infinite "wisdom" requires you to plug the mic into the main unit and not the faceplate.  I don't know how helpful a remote faceplate is when this is the case.  I usually mount the main unit under the front seat so I can reach the mic without an extension cord.

Good luck!  Please let me know your progress and I'll do the same when I get to work.
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ohgary
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« Reply #2 on: 11/28/09 10:02 AM »

Check out my post  on putting a Icom 706 in my 02 AV http://www.chevyavalanchefanclub.com/cafcna/index.php?topic=114061.0  There is no "BEST" place to mount he RF deck, put it wherever it works for you. As long as the deck and head are within the cable distance then your good. unfortunately  on the AV (at least on mine) there is NO room under the front seats, where I normally  like to put the RF deck so I had to go under the back seat. Since I was puting the HF antenna on the back deck anyway it was closer to the radio being under the back seat.  The thing you need to watch is when you fold down the seat, mount the radio as low a possible and check for clearance issues if you use your mid gate.  Power and control cables can be routed down the cable channels on either side of the AV.  I routed my power down the drive side and control down the passenger side. For VHF/UHF on a truck the best spot is right in the middle of the roof, but if you have a sun roof that kills MUCH of the roof area.  If you never have drilled a hole for an NMO mount then I would suggest you find someone who has to help and/or pay a 2way radio shop to do it for you. For my  VHF/UHF I run a mag mount but have the brackets to put the antennas on the back of the roof behind the top body molding. Then I can use L bracket NMO mounts as needed. I plan on 3 antennas across the back.

Ill have to add some more pix to my article now that I have added the tuner and whip instead of the hamstick.

if you have questions or need specific pix let me know.
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SteveOR
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« Reply #3 on: 11/28/09 05:21 PM »

Abbotlex; I have not opened the box yet for the D710A I did assume that the mic would connect to the faceplate...

ohgary; I was thinking that I wanted the 19" spacing for a half wave ground plane  using the roof for a mount.  Drilling a big hole in the roof has got me nervous. I am hoping using a wire snake I might be able to feed the cable , but looking at the air bags I am not sure this is a good solution. 

Thanks for your comments.

I think I am going to do a lot more research before I drill any holes

Regards;

steve
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SteveOR
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« Reply #4 on: 11/28/09 05:25 PM »

ohgary;
please ellaborate more on these channels " Power and control cables can be routed down the cable channels on either side of the AV.  I routed my power down the drive side and control down the passenger side." Please advise where they are and how to access them?

Great information

Thanks

Steve
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ohgary
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« Reply #5 on: 11/28/09 06:47 PM »


ohgary; I was thinking that I wanted the 19" spacing for a half wave ground plane  using the roof for a mount. 

You want some metal under the antennas but dont get hung up on need a perfect 19" square. Keep in mind your radio is multi banded . As long as you the antenna mount attached to a metal surface your going to have enough ground plane under the antennas. WHile center roof is best. Anyplace is going to work on VHF and UHF.. Where is comes into issues is on HF. How do you get 62ft of ground plane on a vehicle only 20ft long!!!!!
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ohgary
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« Reply #6 on: 11/28/09 06:51 PM »

ohgary;
please ellaborate more on these channels "

There lots of plastic in the AV interior and usually a channel or space behind them to route cable. under the door kick plate is 2 channels on each side. You can snake down the lower kick plates to the door plates, under the plaster on the B piller. You can do up and down the a pillar. B piller up high  might be an issue if you have side air bags but  down low they can hid cables.

Here are two pixs. One is the passenger door plate the other is the outside kick panel.
« Last Edit: 11/28/09 06:54 PM by ohgary » Logged

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SteveOR
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« Reply #7 on: 11/28/09 07:31 PM »

ohgary;
That seems like a much better location to route wires cable than under carpet.  I forget if you already posted how you ran power from the battery to the radio. I am thinking a small hole may have to be drilled.

Thanks

Steve
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ohgary
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« Reply #8 on: 11/29/09 07:00 AM »

ohgary;
That seems like a much better location to route wires cable than under carpet.  I forget if you already posted how you ran power from the battery to the radio. I am thinking a small hole may have to be drilled.

Thanks

Steve

I drilled 2 holes in the first wall, I brought some pretty big cables through and two holes were easier. Routed the cables down being the kick panel, down the wire channel then in the back of the AV the wire is hidden behind the plastic trim under the mid gate. My power cable is then split into 3 power pole plugs for connecting to the radios.

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SteveOR
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« Reply #9 on: 12/01/09 09:48 PM »

I ordered a battery connector that allows a couple big wire connections so I can bring some power back into the cab. Then a power distribution block so I can have power for the next projects as well. After browseing other posts I am curious about how much I can add to the factory alternator capability.  While this 1 radio should be no more than 15 Amps max I know I want to add more power eating gear. Anyway progress is at a slow pace and I am enjoying reading the posts on this forum.

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ohgary
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« Reply #10 on: 12/02/09 04:27 AM »

I ordered a battery connector that allows a couple big wire connections so I can bring some power back into the cab. Then a power distribution block so I can have power for the next projects as well. After browseing other posts I am curious about how much I can add to the factory alternator capability.  While this 1 radio should be no more than 15 Amps max I know I want to add more power eating gear. Anyway progress is at a slow pace and I am enjoying reading the posts on this forum.


The alternator is the recovery method, not the powering method. Also in 2 way radio gear while you might draw 15amps on full power HOW long will you be at full power. Most hams spend way more time listening at ~2amps than talking at 15amps. Also if your adding more radio's whats the chance of you talking on both at the same time?  Now if your other project is a HIGH power boom box where load is continous then you should consider another set of wires. A quality battery should not have issues with a couple of ham radios in a vehicle. I have ran 3-4 radio's without issues on a stalk alternator.

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« Reply #11 on: 01/14/10 03:12 AM »

I just installed a Yaesu FT-7900R with a removable face plate in my 02.  I was thinking of mounting the face in the hole of the center mid console and the RF deck under the cup holder of the center console.  Still looking for better options.  What if I spill my coffee and it gets under the cup holder?Huh

I ran power from the battery through the fire wall through the rubber skirt that secures the main harness.  My 12AWG  wire fit through there easily.  It is pliable rubber so you shouldn't have problems

As for my antenna I have a Comet SBB-5NMO and I have it lip mounted equal to the stock antenna.  I keep reading about the GM2L and I think I will put the Comet CA2X4SR as I use my radio for search and rescue that antenna should give me what I am looking for.

I will get pictires up ASAP
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SteveOR
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« Reply #12 on: 01/14/10 10:22 AM »

An update on my own snail slow process. I mounted my kenwood into a pelican case for protection and have just seat belted it into the rig for now. I keep trying different mounts and locations for the faceplate and am still not happy. I just ordered a VSM legend that will mount under the radio trim faceplate and it may work. My efforts so far are simple and involve no drill bits - I am extra cautious about doing so ( neurotic ) .
I am using power from one of the two front power plugs (cig lighter adapter ) I have ordered some heavy gauge wire to run power from battery /
Not in any hurry so I hope when I finally commit to drill bits it will be good.

I appreciate all the idea and allpics.

Steve
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Durwin
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« Reply #13 on: 01/22/10 06:17 PM »

Good Evening,
Has anyone installed their radio in a police or a emergency-vehicle type console? The dash really does not have much room.
I'm considering the Yaesu FT 2500 radio. Does anyone out there have any experience with this?
Durwin
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ohgary
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« Reply #14 on: 01/24/10 09:27 AM »

See thread http://www.chevyavalanchefanclub.com/cafcna/index.php?topic=114061.0 for how I mounted the
control head and power cables for my icom 706.
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ohgary
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« Reply #15 on: 01/24/10 09:52 AM »

Good Evening,
Has anyone installed their radio in a police or a emergency-vehicle type console? The dash really does not have much room.
I'm considering the Yaesu FT 2500 radio. Does anyone out there have any experience with this?
Durwin

Depending on our av year there are several public service consoles available http://www.publicsafetysource.com/emergency-equipment-consoles/chevrolet/chev-avalanche-consoles.htm. They can be pricey and usually just remove the current console face  so you dont get any more space just makes it easier to use. The AV has several spots in the console to mount radios and the overhead console  is also a good place for a head. I personally like the overhead spot since it allows you to keep your eyes up when looking at the radio .

« Last Edit: 01/24/10 12:40 PM by ohgary » Logged

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Durwin
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« Reply #16 on: 01/24/10 09:36 PM »

Thanks. I'll take a look.
Durwin
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mmmooretx
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« Reply #17 on: 08/04/10 09:08 AM »

If you are going to run discrete power lines from the battery Auto Zone has side terminals replacements for your battery connection that put a connection stud right on the battery terminal.  HF 100 watt units will need 20-25 amps for full transmit power output.  VHF/UHF units may pull 8-10 amps transmitting at full power, typical is 50 watts.  Most VHF/UHF at 5 watts transmit may draw 5 amps.  If you get alternator hum put a torroid on the power line just before the base unit.  I would locate my antenna near or on one of the wings so it can be lowered for parking garage entry (I have a Diamond that folds over).  Mounting un-centered you will have some minor db loss but that should not be significant.  Another option I have been looking at is Diamond also has a motorized base that will rotate the antenna 90 degrees but I do not know the cost for the base and you will have to run power/control lines to the unit.  I think it can attach to the roof rack, if you have one.  I will migrate my unit from my S-10 to my Avalanche when I buy around March, so still fact finding.
73s
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Mike Moore
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« Reply #18 on: 08/08/10 08:59 AM »

IfMounting un-centered you will have some minor db loss but that should not be significant. 

Mounting off centered will not introduce loss in the antenna. It will change the radiation patterns
but you will not have a  "db loss"
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