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Anyone Done an HF Mobile Install in a Recent Volvo XC60?

Discussion in 'Mobile Radio Systems' started by AJ1G, Sep 7, 2019.

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  1. AJ1G

    AJ1G Ham Member QRZ Page

    Just completed installing a new Icom IC-7100 all band all mode transceiver in our 2012 Tacoma 4X4, which I will do a show and tell on in a separate post. At this point, looking for any info on HF/VHF radio installs in recent Volvos, specifically the XC60 series, we have an early 2017 model, and I would like to be able to run the 7100 in it as well. Main concerns are getting the power wiring into the passenger compartment from the battery, and how to mount the HF antenna. Based on previous experience with our old 1998 XC70, which was replaced by the Tacoma 7 years ago, I would like to put an antenna mounting bracket just above the upper left corner of the tailgate, with the coax feed line grounded to the roof structure at a point hidden under the upper left corner of the tailgate just inboard of the weather strip on the tailgate frame, and the center conductor passing between the weatherstripping for a few inches up to the antenna feed point mounted at the roof rack. At this point, the XC60 does not have any roof racks, just the grooved channels to which any variety of Volvo, or Thule racks racks can be attached to. I'd prefer not to make an install that would require installing a roof rack on a permanent basis. What would be ideal would be some sort of antenna base mount that would clamp directly to the existing roof rack channel in the same fashion as a roof rack. Dose anyone make such a mount? I am thinking of asking a friend who is a machinist to make me something, but wondering if there is already something available commercially. Alternatively, some sort of stout mounting bracket that could attach to the tailgate frame under the lip of the tailgate, capable of supporting Hamstick type whips without guy wires. I don't do guy wires or mag mounts for HF mobile antennas.

    Also interested in hearing about any RFI/EMI issues for the late model Volvos when operating on HF through UHF at the 100 watt level on HF and 6 meters, 50 watts on 2 meters, and 25 watts at 70 cm. There's an awful lot more electronics and IT stuff in the 2017 XC60 than in the old 98 XC70! So far, no issues with EMI/ RFI in the Tacoma, except for some low level ignition noise that is well handled by the 7100 noise blanker, and some of what looks like the old diagonal TVI "sound bars" in the backup camera video display when transmitting. The latter should not be an issue, don't expect I'll be transmitting anytime while backing up, or otherwise in reverse gear!

    Chris, AJ1G Stonington, CT
  2. W5LZ

    W5LZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    An HF mobile installation is probably the 'least easy' one you can do for both electrical and "looks" reasons. Antenna placement is the biggy in most cases. The best place for that antenna is going to be the worst for typical use of the vehicle, you ARE going to hit things. Running power to the radio is the next thing that involves 'looks'/convenience. Bigger wire is better to some extent till it gets ridiculous. There's no maximum size of wire other than physical room. There definitely is a minimum size. Then you get to figure out where to put that @#$ radio, and how. Put it in the passenger seat, make everybody ride "in back"... right? The only trick is figuring out which is best for you. And then there's the other biggy, interference, in both directions. That is the, or can be, the biggest of them all. Radiated energy is going to affect something, that's guarantied! Now you get to go back and "correct" the wrong way you did it the first time. By-pass, shield, eliminate stuff. That's a huge-a-mongus topic. Read all you can find out about it. Determine what/which applies to your situation and then adapt! The only "workes every time", method is to turn the radio off! Have fun.

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