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  1. #1
    Veteran Member sparc's Avatar
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    Default Ham Radio installs in newer pickups

    Wondering if anyone has a thread here (searched and didn't find one) about installing amateur gear in newer pickup trucks. My last was in a 05 F-150 and I did not have any issues but it was only a dual band V/UHF rig and I ran less than 20 watts most of the time as the repeaters are close. In my diesel powered Hummer H1 I had a IC-706MkIIg with a variety of antennas (whip, hustler center-loaded verticals, top loaded sticks, etc.) and a remote mounted AT-11 auto-tuner from LG Electronics and that setup worked well.

    the IC-706 in my Hummer
    -autopc_7-gif

    -hummer41-jpg

    But now my rig is the '12 F-350 diesel and the onboard computing power exceeds that used to get us to the Moon by a factor of 100!

    I would like to put that same IC-706 in the F-350 and be able to work some mobile HF as well as VHF and UHF but I have concerns about stray RF and what it might do to the onboard computers and also warranty. Is there a paper from Ford on installing radios in their current vehicles? I believe most manufacturers used to put these out BC (Before Cellphones).

    So if anyone has tips on antenna mounting and routing power to the under the back seat from the battery (and which one? does it matter?), I'd like to hear from you.

  2. #2
    Super Star Member k0ua's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ham Radio installs in newer pickups

    I guess Alan K0BG is the authority on HF and mobile installs. I am not. Maybe this link will help./

    KBG.COM

    James K0UA
    James KUA

    Kioti DK35se hydrostat with 2 QA buckets, 48 inch. King Kutter Rotary Cutter. 750 lbs ballast box. Loaded tires, Construction Attachments SSQA Lightweight Pallet forks. EA 50 inch single lid "wicked" Grapple. Satisfied Everlast PA160 welder owner How to add a link to a post . Best way to search TBN


  3. #3
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    ym1700, NH7610S, Ford 8N, 2N, NAA, 660, 850 x2, 541, 950, 941D, 951, 2000, 3000, 4000, 4600, 5000, 740, IH 'C' 'H', CUB, John Deere 'B', allis 'G', case VAC

    Default Re: Ham Radio installs in newer pickups

    one would hope the electronics are semi hardened.. otherwise a cb with a linear inthe next truck over might take ya out.

    seems like a bumper mast antenna gets the rf xmit point away from the dash.. and as long as the cables and conenctiosn are good on the back of the DX rig.. I wouldn't be squeamish about it.
    I have an icom ( older .. circa 93' ) mobile unit I have rigged to a cig lighter plug and valcro to toss in a vehicle.. it has a center loaded mag base antenna i plop ont he top of the cab and just run the wire carefully out the door letting the weather stripping cushion it.

    2m / 70cm

    it's ran in my older 99's fords.. etc. that's all i can offer.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member sparc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ham Radio installs in newer pickups

    Thanks to you both for your replies. With the dual batteries, do you think it makes a difference which one i grab power from, or just go to the easier one to route the power cable from. I'm thinking the left sode battery might be easier, and closer since i want to mount the RF deck under the left rear seat by removing the sub woofer. With the sub out i gain couple cf which gives plenty of room for the radio and tuner plus still have clearance for air circulation for cooling.

    I was thinking of using one of the upfitter switches. I believe one of them is 20 or 30A, the 706 needs 20A for full 100 watts out on HF. But knowing that a direct dual fused connection to the batteryis better i hesitate to do so.

  5. #5
    Super Star Member k0ua's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ham Radio installs in newer pickups

    Quote Originally Posted by sparc View Post
    Thanks to you both for your replies. With the dual batteries, do you think it makes a difference which one i grab power from, or just go to the easier one to route the power cable from. I'm thinking the left sode battery might be easier, and closer since i want to mount the RF deck under the left rear seat by removing the sub woofer. With the sub out i gain couple cf which gives plenty of room for the radio and tuner plus still have clearance for air circulation for cooling.

    I was thinking of using one of the upfitter switches. I believe one of them is 20 or 30A, the 706 needs 20A for full 100 watts out on HF. But knowing that a direct dual fused connection to the batteryis better i hesitate to do so.
    The only thought is which one is closest to the alternator.? less voltage drop , but then on the other hand maybe more chance for alternator whine?.. I dunno decisions, decisions...

    James K0UA
    James KUA

    Kioti DK35se hydrostat with 2 QA buckets, 48 inch. King Kutter Rotary Cutter. 750 lbs ballast box. Loaded tires, Construction Attachments SSQA Lightweight Pallet forks. EA 50 inch single lid "wicked" Grapple. Satisfied Everlast PA160 welder owner How to add a link to a post . Best way to search TBN


  6. #6
    Platinum Member cdaigle430's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ham Radio installs in newer pickups

    Quote Originally Posted by k0ua View Post
    The only thought is which one is closest to the alternator.? less voltage drop , but then on the other hand maybe more chance for alternator whine?.. I dunno decisions, decisions...

    James K0UA

    I dont think it matters as amperage is charged in parallel to the two batteries anyway. Just make sure you install an inline filter and fuse to prevent damage to your trucks electronics. Also get your antenna tuned\cut with the new setup. I think the antenna should be on the roof and if its tuned right should be shorter. .

    You can also take a look here;


    http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/99...o-install.html

    and(I like this one, a very nice write up-also if you look at the bottom of this blog you will see he has another link to an even newer setup on a new Ford).

    http://kc8qvo.com/?p=355

    or

    http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/99...o-install.html

    "73"
    N1QWU
    2010 MF GC2410 TLB, 2006 Husqvarna YTH 2448, 2004 Honda Rincon 650, 2007 Honda Shadow Aero 750, 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited-Hemi.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Ham Radio installs in newer pickups

    We regularly install 50 watt VHF (150~154mhz) radios in Ford trucks and 100 watt UHF sets (451~454 mhz) in Ford Interceptors with no special precautions and no ill effects. Fords upfitter guide for the Interceptor doesn't address RF interference or antenna placement so they must be well shielded.

    Here is a list of all the upfitter bulletins for Ford "chassis cab" trucks going back to the early 90's:

    https://www.fleet.ford.com/truckbbas/topics/qvmp.html

    You should be able to read them without a password

    Ray

  8. #8
    Gold Member
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    Default Re: Ham Radio installs in newer pickups

    Typically in mobile installs, fuse both the positive AND the negative leads to the battery.

  9. #9
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    ym1700, NH7610S, Ford 8N, 2N, NAA, 660, 850 x2, 541, 950, 941D, 951, 2000, 3000, 4000, 4600, 5000, 740, IH 'C' 'H', CUB, John Deere 'B', allis 'G', case VAC

    Default Re: Ham Radio installs in newer pickups

    Yuck.... I hate installing ANYTHING in line with ground path.

    never see good end results with that.

    ground is ground.... an open ground is a bad thing. means something else could be a path to ground. not so critical on low volt dc.. but in general principle.. not good IMHO..

  10. #10
    Veteran Member sparc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ham Radio installs in newer pickups

    Quote Originally Posted by ptgdigger View Post
    We regularly install 50 watt VHF (150~154mhz) radios in Ford trucks and 100 watt UHF sets (451~454 mhz) in Ford Interceptors with no special precautions and no ill effects. Fords upfitter guide for the Interceptor doesn't address RF interference or antenna placement so they must be well shielded.

    Here is a list of all the upfitter bulletins for Ford "chassis cab" trucks going back to the early 90's:

    https://www.fleet.ford.com/truckbbas/topics/qvmp.html

    You should be able to read them without a password

    Ray
    thanks Ray and everyone for your help. I have some reading to do now and an extra day off this weekend to do it.

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