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Radio installation into my 2013 Ford F-150 STX

Discussion in 'Mobile Radio Systems' started by W6VMX, Jan 24, 2015.

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  1. W6VMX

    W6VMX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Recently I bought a 2013 F-150 STX and installed my FT-7900R/E dual band into it. Took a few days to decide on how I wanted to do it, but was able to get a pretty clean install done. Used the YSK-7800 separation kit to remotely mount the main radio under the passenger rear seat. I used industrial double sided tape to mount the control head in the dash storage opening. Placed a microphone mount just to the left of the center dash assembly at a convenient height. Was able to use my dual band mag mount antenna by placing it on the roof, just forward of the high brake light assembly, and routed the cable to the rear window rubber trim. From there, was able to follow th window trim down and around until reaching the rear of the bed. Dropped the cable to beneath the cab and by using a penetration just forward of the gas tank I entered the cab. From there it was an easy run to the radio, after rolling the excess cable into a 12" loop and tying it with a few ty-raps. The control wire was routed from the control head down to the middle of the dash at the floor and tucked up under the dash where it met the floor. From there it was routed around dash on the passenger side and then under the bottom door frame trim. Then it was run under that trim to the rear of the cab and broke out very near to the radio now mounted under the rear passenger seat. Excess was rolled up and tied neatly. Power was obtained from the rear drink holder/12vdc power plug, and routed back to the radio. All in all it went together very nicely, and looks good too with no wiring interfering with peoples feet either. :) The radio works excellent with great coverage of the repeaters I use often, several over 70 miles away. Here are a few photos of the installation.....

    DSC00019.JPG DSC00018.JPG DSC00021.JPG DSC00014.JPG DSC00015.JPG
     
    K5MTY likes this.
  2. W6VMX

    W6VMX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Here are a couple of other photos of the control head and microphone installation. Shows it a bit closer. So far the control head is adhering well to the dash box it is mounted to. Microphone is located out of the way, yet can be reached easily without looking for it. Questions or comment are very welcome if you have any. All is working very nicely operation wise.....
    DSC00007.JPG DSC00010.JPG
     
  3. W2ROD

    W2ROD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Come summer the two way tape will probably not stick to good.
    So you may want to look into a more permanent mount solution by then.
    Great looking install and I can tell you took your time and did a very neat job. Looks good and post more pictures if you can.
     
  4. W6VMX

    W6VMX Ham Member QRZ Page

    From past experience with standard double sided foam tape I know exactly what you mean about the tape releasing when it gets HOT in the cab of the truck. Had it happen on several installs for just that reason (mainly on GPS installs). This time I chose to locate and use "Scotch Extreme mounting tape". I purchased it from Home Depot for $6.97 for a roll 1" wide by 60" long, but it is available from many other sources too. I will post how well it works as time goes by, especially with my upcoming trip over to Yuma for the annual Hamfest later this month. Attached are a couple of product photos of the tape. Here also is the product info from Home Depot. Thanks for your comments and questions Rod....

    PRODUCT OVERVIEW

    Model # 414/DC

    Internet # 203405976

    Store SKU # 285189

    Scotch Tape.jpg Scotch Tape 2.jpg
     
  5. KK4YDR

    KK4YDR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Very nice Joe. I also make heavy use of 3m 20lb VHB tape and their extreme hook and loop tape (Velcro).

    By default i'm automatically going to suggest that you avoid magmount esp. with VHF and doubly esp. with UHF. However, you report that you are hitting repeaters 70 miles out. And that is good news.

    I always urge station operators to consider the installation of an NMO mount. I know people cringe at the thought of drilling a hole in their perfect and flawless car/truck. However after you read the following two sites you may save yourself minor, and in some cases major, regret a few years down the road.

    http://www.k0bg.com/images/pdf/drilling.pdf

    and

    http://www.k0bg.com/antmount.html

    However I want to commend you on doing a VERY clean mounting job in your cabin. That 20lb tape should hold for years as long as you are not pounding on the buttons too hard.

    I also have that very same Diamond Antenna, however, it has been modified for use on MURS/FRS/GMRS frequencies. I have a Larsen NMO2/70 for HAM freqs.

    It was also very wise of you to install the radio below the console line. Airbags are clocked on average of 200 mph deployment speeds. Thats one hell of a projectile when a radio/or control face panel is the projectile.

    Also have you considered bonding your truck for a little more noise abatement and more efficient transmission performance?

    Keep us updated. I will post a picture tomorrow, pending I have time to do so, of my TYT TH-9800 radio/Yaesu FT-857D and Uniden 520xl Pro CB if I get it remounted after it feel off using cheapo non 3m tape. Not to compare but just to share more installation stuff for all of us hobbyist to enjoy.
     
  6. KD4MOJ

    KD4MOJ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Time to drill a hole in that roof!

    ...DOUG
    KD4MOJ
     
  7. K0BG

    K0BG Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I agree Doug, but I disagree with using the tape. And I can't wait until the passenger airbag goes off.

    It is really easy to mount an NMO on the roof of a Ford F150. You just remove the CHMSL, drill the hole, and feed the coax down the C pillar. The last one I did took me less than 30 minutes. No dangling coax, and no water leaks.
     
  8. W6VMX

    W6VMX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Not sure whose installation you might be referring to. Nothing in my installation is anywhere near being in line with any of the 7 airbags in the cab so there is no added danger from the radio becoming an airborne projectile. For my purposes, the mag mount antenna works exceedingly well. Coax is routed efficiently down to beneath the cab, and then up through an existing penetration from the bottom. It is then rolled into a 12" loop for the excess, and the remainder goes right to the radio under the seat (see original photos). No dangling coax, no water leaks.

    Noise was mentioned by KK4YDR, and honestly I have not detected any ignition or alternator noise at all. Signal reports from other repeater users have been "full quieting, great audio". So, although I am sure the install could be better, I am quite pleased with how it has come out and is performing. But, PLEASE keep the comments and suggestions coming as others (and myself) can always benefit from others experiences greatly. Thanks all.....
     
  9. K0BG

    K0BG Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    You have what appears to be a GPS unit mounted on the dash. You might not think so, but it will be hit by the airbag if it goes off.
     
  10. W6VMX

    W6VMX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Alan.

    Yes, that is a Garmin GPS, and upon reflection it does appear that the passenger airbag WILL hit it if deployed. I will have to find a safer spot for it. I will see if I can mount it lower, down near the control head of the radio, and just to the right of it. That will allow me to tuck the power cable into the storage pocket that the control head is mounted in. Also, SORRY, I missed that I had typed a 7 instead of a 6 regarding the number of airbags in the cab. Miss some things at times. Later all....


    DSC00004.JPG DSC00008 (2).JPG DSC00001.JPG
    A couple more of the GPS, and one of the external speaker mounted on the rear seatbelt cover.....
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2015

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