2 meter rig in a new car
How do I get the power from the battery to a Kenwood TM271A 2 meter rig in the cabin of a 2010 honda.
Should I just use it on low power and use the power connection in the console?
From under the hood look for a grommet, hole plug, etc., through the firewall. Run the red lead through this opening from the inside. Then connect through a fuse mounted right at the battery to the positive terminal of the battery.
Shorten the black (negative) lead and connect it to the body of the vehicle as close to the mounting point as possible.
It's always best to connect to the battery. You will be happier and so will the radio. Look under your car or around the firewall and see if there already isn't a way that the manufacturer is routing cables or wiring into your cab from the engine compartment and then follow the same route. Once in, then I follow a bundle of cables that goes to the battery using zip ties. Sometimes the wires or cables run through a rubber plug to provide a seal against the outside. A small cut can get you right through it and into the cab. Sometimes you will be under the carpet but usually that's easy to get to. Don't ever drill into anything unless you know 100% where it goes. Too many folks have fried thousands of dollars in vehicle wiring harnesses cutting holes willy nilly.
Last edited by KI6DKC; 01-26-2010 at 10:26 PM.
It's usually better to connect it directly to the battery.
If you are concerned about forgetting to turn off your radio and draining the battery, most modern transceivers have a built in timer that will power the transceiver off after a specified amount of time. This is usually setup in the menu settings.
Hope that helps.
73 de Charles - KC8VWM
North American QRP CW Club #3159, SKCC# 5752
I went with a dedicated battery in the trunk, since that is where the radio is mounted. A lot easier than running a wire the total length of the car. There are a lot of options with gell cell and other batteries that make a clean, safe install. I don't transmit a lot while mobile, but when I do its at 50 watts with my Yaesu 7900. But the radio is always on when I am in the car and a full charge lasts about 10 days. I just plug it in overnight and I am good for awhile.
I usually run both a completely separate Black/Red wire from the battery to just inside the driver compartment side of the firewall. Then I connect the supplied cable to that which gives me many options on how to run the wire.
The main reason I do it this was is because most power cables have the fuses near the end of the cable going to the battery. After time the wires get corroded as do the fuse holders. So instead of dealing with problems down the line I solve them before the entire installation is completed.
Be very careful if going through an existing gormet. It is easy to nick or cut one of the many, many wires you will see going through that rubber gromet.
It seems that the newer the vehicle, the harder it is to find a way into the passenger compartment.
One option is to find where the air handling system brings in outside air. All vehicles are required to bring in outside air. You may find that an easy route.
It is very advisable to put a fuse as close to the battery connection as possible. That way, if ever the wire gets nicked, abraded, etc and shorts, you have maximum protection. I fuse both the positive and negative leads.
One alternative is that many newer vehicles have a cig lighter plug rated at 20 amps just for running electronics. The typical cig lighter plug often gets pretty hot when drawing 10 amps or more. However, often a person can get to the back side of the plug and piggy back on the connectors, then run wires to the radio. These are almost always a "spade" type connector, readily available at any hardware or automotive store, WalMart, and even Radio Shack.
Let Somebody else do it?
I know it goes against the grain, I did my 2002 civic myself, grommet was
underneath the top of the carpet on the passenger side (front edge of the carpet).
My next new car is going straight from the dealership to a professional stereo
installer. 2 wires from the battery to the trunk. Spade fused at the battery.
Somebody who does this everyday knows how to do it right, and they can
take the liability.
Cars today just aren't like they used to be.
This will sound weird, but it worked well on one of my vehicles for a "temporary" installation (I left it this way for a couple of years until I did it right.)
I ran the power leads out the driver door, and then under the hood. On this particular car, the driver door and the hood were adjacent and shared the same channel through which I ran the wire. I just used wire ties, etc., to route in under the dash to the door, and along the side of the engine compartment to the battery. When finished, the installation was invisible.
I would also recommend inserting a relay set to a key on power source. This will ensure that the radio goes off when leaving the vehicle.
KI4TMM "at" sv-makai.com
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