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Icom ID-5100A Mobile Install

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by WJ6F, May 12, 2018.

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  1. WJ6F

    WJ6F Ham Member QRZ Page

    Now that the radio is setup it is time to install the Icom ID-5100A into my Honda Pilot. Since I am not one who is willing to drill holes or cut through the rubber boots in the firewall this install will be extremely simple, only taking about one hour to complete. However, my decision to not go through the firewall will cause this installation to not be the prettiest.

    Thankfully Honda leaves plenty of room under the front seats to put more than one radio. Under the driver's seat I placed the main unit for both the Yaesu FTM-400 and the FT-891. The ID-5100A will go under the passenger seat. Then I will run the power wire under the kick board and up the door frame/jam and into the fender well. Once in the engine compartment the power wire will be run across the top of the radiator and over to the battery.

    Placement of the ID-5100A head unit is proving to be a bit more of a challenge. I had originally planned to use a Lido Vent Mount, but due to the way my vents curve it doesn't look like this will be possible. I will most likely have to redesign my current mount.

  2. W4KDN

    W4KDN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Several things concern me about this install. (1) Perhaps I missed it but it looks like the power lead is connected directly to the battery. I did not see a fuse inline. Should the high current line short out, there is no protection and a significant likelihood of setting the car on fire. I like to install the high current fuse as close as I can to the battery or current source. (2) I know the installer mentioned he did not like to drill holes through firewall boots but that is certainly safer than running a single jacket insulated high current wire through a metal gap between the fender and body in the door jam.

    Over a period of time, there is a possibility that wire could chafe exposing the copper conductor and shorting out. At the very least, put a piece of split loom over it for an extra layer of protection.

    What I have done in the past on some installs, is to use a 3/4" hole saw and cut through the firewall. I then take a rubber 3/4" plug normally used to seal the hole where an NMO mount was installed, cut an "X" in the middle with a sharp blade. I installed the plug in the firewall 3/4 hole and route the high current lead through the rubber plug and into the engine compartment. In the event I have a double walled firewall, I use two of the rubber plugs. The high current lead is not in direct contact with any metal. The "X" I cut in the center of the rubber plug seals around the wire. You just need to be very careful and check your landmarks on both sides of the firewall to make certain you will not punch through into a brakeline, wiring harness, or fuel line, etc.
    N5CSU, AK4PY, K9CPO and 2 others like this.
  3. K3SZ

    K3SZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    +1 on the split loom. Cheap insurance to avoid chafing.

    Power leads to battery on FT-7900R install:

    Power leads and coax through firewall:
    AK4PY and WJ6F like this.
  4. WJ6F

    WJ6F Ham Member QRZ Page

    I assure you there is an inline fuse on both positive and negative leads.

    Great Idea. I will certainly get on this Thanks for the comments!
  5. AK4PY

    AK4PY Ham Member QRZ Page

    The fuses must be located at the battery or they are only protecting the radio. The radio will be of no use when the vehicle burns to the ground because the power wire was shorted and there were no fuses at the battery to prevent a fire. This is a good attempt, but it is unsafe. You really need a better route for the power cable (more direct) and fuses at the battery.
    N5CSU and WJ6F like this.
  6. WJ6F

    WJ6F Ham Member QRZ Page

    Took your advice, and already working on a fix to 1. clean up the connections at the battery and 2. move all fuses closer to said battery.
    KK4HPY likes this.
  7. AK4PY

    AK4PY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Awesome! This is what ham radio is all about. Hams helping hams have fun and stay safe. You aren’t the first person to do it the way that you did. Recently, I removed an old installation from my wife’s car that I did back in 2005. Guess who didn’t use fuses at the battery? ME! My fuses were at the radio. I know better now, but apparently I didn’t in 2005. Lucky I didn’t burn the car down! Happy hamming!
    KK4HPY likes this.
  8. AK4PY

    AK4PY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Visit to check out a few of my installations. I’ve got photos up of my 2012 Kia Rio SX, 2004 F150, and 2002 Civic. All three are professional level installations.
    WJ6F likes this.
  9. WJ6F

    WJ6F Ham Member QRZ Page

    Super clean install with the ID-4100, and the F-150 install is what dreams are made of!
  10. AK4PY

    AK4PY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thank you! I put a lot of time (and sweat) into those installations. The radio console in the truck is made from partical board, 2x4, and an area rug. There is a West Mountain Radio Rig Runner inside of the console to power all of the radios and the HT charger. That way, I only had to run one large set of power cables from the battery to the console. I’ve since added an iPad mount, but didn’t post photos of that. If you ever find yourself around Columbus, GA look me up!
    WJ6F likes this.

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