Professional mobile rig installation - hints and suggestions?

Discussion in 'On the Road' started by WA3AAS, Jul 12, 2014.

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  1. WA3AAS

    WA3AAS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Greetings all... I am looking to install a VHF/UHF rig in my SUV (2011 Ford Explorer) so I can get involved in local ARES/RACES and have something more substantial to get on repeaters with than my FT-60R.

    Given the limited space available under the dash, I am looking at a rig with a detachable head and transmitter to fit under the seat.

    The problem is that I am all thumbs when it comes to anything to do with cars. I am afraid of breaking something by installing the rig myself. ;) The local HRO suggested I contact a local company that specializes in aftermarket mobile audio installations to see if this is something they can do.

    Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated!

    73 de Mike
    West Grove, PA
  2. N0IU

    N0IU Ham Member QRZ Page

    It sounds like you have already answered your own question, but it will cost quite a bit to have it done "professionally". The one thing you don't want to mess around with is the power wiring especially if you are not comfortable with doing this. I don't know about Ford, but several years ago a friend of mine bought a brand new Buick LeSabre and had the dealer installed the wiring harness. He did this because he was an "experienced citizen" and didn't want to do it himself and also because by having the dealer use GM parts and installed by a GM dealer, it would not void the warranty.

    Do you belong to a local club? There is a pretty good chance someone there might be willing to help you with the install.
  3. N5OCO

    N5OCO Ham Member QRZ Page

    My suggestion is that you check out Alan has a plethora of mobile installation information.
  4. KB3UWC

    KB3UWC Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I agree with scott, try to find a local club. In my area there are at least 3 places that install commercial 2 way radios. Each of them has a ham employed there. you might see if you have any in your area. If so they might be willing to give you a hand. I would think that the company would install your radio but it might be quite costly

    Good luck Steve KB3UWC
  5. KE6KA

    KE6KA Ham Member QRZ Page

    I heard someone here on a repeater talking about an install he had done at a radio shop. He paid about $100 for fused wiring to the passenger side and an NMO mount installed with coax. It doesn't hurt to call some of the shops and ask. Look in the yellow pages under "radio."
  6. W4DLE

    W4DLE Ham Member QRZ Page

    I would get with a local club. Odds are, someone will be willing to help.

    That being said, there is a local commercial radio company (does mobile and base comm installs for local law enforcement and industry) here. I paid them $65 to drill and install a perfectly sealed NMO on top of my Tahoe and run the cable out of sight to the floorboard. I don't mind wiring one up and installing the radio itself inside. But I'm glad I paid them to do that part. I wouldn't want to tackle it. I'm sure I could, but I still wouldn't want to. I'm just not into that kind of project.

    PCS Communications in Thornton seems to be pretty close to you.
  7. W1WH

    W1WH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I usually do my own installations, but when I recently bought a new truck (Ram 1500), I got lazy and took it to my local Best Buy where their installer did a professional VHF/UHF installation for about $40.00. Of course, your mileage may vary.

    Good luck!

    73, Bill W1WH
  8. WA7PRC

    WA7PRC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I did 2-way radio mobile installs for 4 years back in the 80s. While most installations share similar concerns, no two were ever EXACTLY the same. We were known as THE place to take a 2-way radio install (recommended by the car stereo places). The local club may have a lot of neophytes.

    Probably the best thing to do is absorb as much info as you can on Alan KØBG's website, and then make a determination as to who is going to do the installation per KØBG's recommendations.

    vy 73,
    Bryan WA7PRC
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