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Radio Install in a Jeep

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by W8GTF, Mar 3, 2009.

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  1. W8GTF

    W8GTF Ham Member QRZ Page

    I just bought a 97 Cherokee (XJ) to use as a mobile rig and something to take me out to do photography and metal detecting.

    Most of the guys in the jeep sphere have no real idea about installing radio's beyond an 11 meter radio, and at that they are half assed. Usually screwed into the side of the center console.

    The interior is very very similar to a TJ jeep. Does anyone have an experience in installing radio's in this type of jeep.

    I'd like to have a 2 meter/440 rig, maybe the ability to mount an 11 meter when I on on trail rides, and my YL's father (N8RLH) is trying to convince me to install HF (706 most likely).

    Any help would be great and pictures would be even better.
  2. K4UUG

    K4UUG Ham Member QRZ Page

    97 Cherokee

  3. K2QI

    K2QI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hey Tim,

    Just about any mobile rig will suffice. The only important things you have to look out for is in your installation.

    Make sure you have a fused and grounded line going directly from the rig to the battery. Also, ensure your antenna system is well grounded. You may need to use straps to bond other sections of the Jeep if you have difficulty.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes! :D
  4. W8GTF

    W8GTF Ham Member QRZ Page

    As for power. I plan on running something along the lines of a 2 or 0 gauge wire off the battery. That's going to run to an aux fuse/relay box under the dash. All power accessories will be wired from this box. Relay's will be used on devices that I only want to have power when the key is at specific positions or for lighting so that I can have them only come on when the headlights or park lights are on.

    As for grounding. When I hit the junk yard, I keep in mind what cars have easy to remove grounding straps. I've got a box of them that I've collected over the years. One of the first steps whenever I get a new vehicle is to audit the grounding situation and add straps were needed. Normally this includes engine block to the body, transmission to the body, and negative battery terminal to somewhere else on the body other stock mount. I'll also run a dedicated ground into the cab for internal electrical devices.

    I'm more looking for ideas as to where to mount the physical radio's. I've got afew good ideas for power and ground.
  5. KA0SOG

    KA0SOG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Wife has a 2000 Cherokee

    My wife has a 2000 Cherokee. Biggest concern is where to place the antenna not the rig. I use a TM 710 and TS 480. Both have detachable heads you can put on the dash or the sunvisor for that matter and you can mount the box behind you keeping the bulk out of the front. W/ the 710 you get APRS if you are going out into the wilderness for photography, however...... the 480 is HF plus 6 and will help assure coverage in the wilderness because..... the farther out you go the harder it is to find a repeater for VHF/UHF.

    Power supply plans sound fine. I've only moved equipment to the jeep twice but did not have interference problems either time. Normally my equipment resides in my GMC pick-up.
  6. K2QI

    K2QI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hey that's great Tim..

    Is this what your interior looks like?

    I suppose if you get a radio with a remote head, you could place the rig just about anywhere, and just have the head mounted somewhere conveniently.

    Sorry I couldn't be of more help, but it sounds like you're definitely on the right path regarding installation.
  7. W8GTF

    W8GTF Ham Member QRZ Page

    That's pretty much what my interior looks like. Now that I think about it. I'm thinking of fabbing up a package tray behind the rear seats that is about a foot to a foot and a half high. Then mounting radio back there, and running remotes for the heads up front. Kind of like how police cruisers have all their radio's hanging under the rear package tray in the trunk.

    That would also allow me a place to put things that were out of sight and give somebody less of a reason to want to break in.
  8. KD7PAB

    KD7PAB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Speaking from personal experience with my 97 TJ, I can say that there are pretty much 0 options. The interior is designed in such a way that even a radio with a remote mount doesn't help. I made the decision to take out the factory stereo and use that space. The only thing on commercial radio these days is commercials. I'd rather listen to chatter over a repeater, or static. I don't know what aftermarket center consoles are available for the Cherokee, but I got one for my TJ that had a slot to mount an aftermarket stereo. Look at the Tuffy center consoles and see if they have anything for the Cherokee.
  9. KD0DKI

    KD0DKI Ham Member QRZ Page

    I own a 2008 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited X I put the 8900 mount for mine over the mirror. I took the 8900 our for the winter, 20 below, I was afraid to turn it on in the cold and have it fry.

    I have an HT 2m/440 (ic-t7h) that I am using it is connected to the External antenna mounted on the back of the Jeep. I picked up a speaker/mic for it, a cigar lighter adapter for power, works GREAT!

    I got the radio for Christmas, the mic and adapter came to less then $100.

    I have a dash tray that the radio fits in, check out
    You can get a mount for the antenna for your Jeep that is made for your jeep.
  10. W5HTW

    W5HTW Ham Member QRZ Page

    I installed the FT857D in my older Cherokee. I put the remote control on the dash, (in your photo, that would be just to the right of the steering column, on that small blank panel.) The radio I remoted in the rear under the spare tire. The tuner, though I did not use one, could be mounted in the same place. It's a pretty simple installation. I used an Outbacker HF antenna on the front cowl, left side, and a dual band vhf antenna a few inches away. I also have a bumper mount on the rear for a Hustler setup.

    At one time I had an Icom 706 mounted on the passenger side of the transmission hump, tilted at an angle where I could see it. But the 857D is a much easier way to go.

    And yes, I ran direct power lines from the battery, through the firewall.

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