finally installed a HAM mobile rig

theksmith

Explorer
I bought a mobile HAM rig over a year ago with plans to get my license right away, anyway i finally got it installed and with renewed interest am taking the tech test in a few weeks... here's the install:


went with the Kenwood TM-V71A full dual band, because it has the option to later upgrade the control panel to the RC-D710 when i'm ready to spend a little more money and start doing APRS.


i had already installed an antenna mount and ran a feed line when i did my CB install a long time ago (planning waaaay ahead ;) ) i used the Diamond Antenna C213SMA coaxial cable assembly and here's the Diamond Antenna NR770HB dualband VHF/UHF mobile antenna:




decided to install the main radio body hidden behind the knee-panel on the drivers side, here is the panel removed:




mounting bracket and radio installed:







then for a speaker, i took apart a kenwood SP-50B:




... and drilled a 1" hole in a plastic area near the steering wheel, and glued the speaker and grill behind the plastic:



see the round circle below the gauges and behind the blinker stalk:




i mounted the faceplate up high, out of the way - i believe when i upgrade to the 710 faceplate, it will snap into the same mount as this one, so i left space for that taller model.




so here's the current "comm center":



theres the Kenwood TM-V71A HAM, Garmin 60CSx GPS, touchscreen monitor and keyboard hooked to laptop dock in the back, SPOT Gen II, Midland 75-822 all-in-the-hand CB Radio, the Kenwood HAM Mic/Keypad, several switches in place of the factory cubby-hole (where the ashtray was in some models), and finally in the tray in front of the shifters is the ipod.
 

theksmith

Explorer
hows the audio quality thru that speaker?

I'm amazed that you've got enough room to mount a radio under your kick plate like that, I'm jealous. I can barely get my hand behind any part of my dash.
i listened to the tail end of a net last night and some random conversation this morning too and have no problems hearing clearly. i might have just gotten away with the built-in speaker even, but decided to just do it all at once and make sure i could hear.

the kenwood speaker has a strong magnet, isn't very deep, and had good reviews, only negative thing was most people feel it's still overpriced, which i'm sure it is - i mean really, how much does a 3 watt 8 ohm paper-cone speaker, a capacitor, some wire, and a plastic box cost to manufacture? but whatever, i'm happy with it! ;)

and about the space thing, yeah, i've got random stuff tucked in all sorts of places in the jeep, amazing how much wasted space there is behind factory plastic in order to make the interior "pleasing looking" to the average person.
 

Shawn686

Observer
Can you post up more in of on your computer setup? I am trying to decide what I want to run but there are tons of options. I Like your setup, how easy is it to unkook the laptop?

Thanks,

Shawn
 

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theksmith

Explorer
Can you post up more in of on your computer setup? I am trying to decide what I want to run but there are tons of options. I Like your setup, how easy is it to unkook the laptop?

Thanks,

Shawn
full details: http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/worklogs/138507-2003-grand-cherokee-4x4-expedition-vehicle-worklog-dockable-hp-laptop.html

and easy to dock - i went with an HP laptop that supported their quickdock because it uses a single connection to provide power to the laptop and to pull VGA, USB, audio in/out, and ethernet - so one velcro strap and a single connection:




the simpler and cheaper thing would have been just to mount up one of those asus small tablet/notebooks on something, but i wanted a somewhat cleaner look and already had that laptop actually.

this: [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Asus-T91MT-PU17-BK-8-9-Inch-Netbook-Computer/dp/B002UAR8SK/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1295643506&sr=8-2"]Amazon.com: Asus Eee PC T91MT-PU17-BK 8.9-Inch Intel Atom Netbook Computer (Black): Computer & Accessories[/ame] or this: [ame="http://www.amazon.com/T101MT-EU27-BK-10-1-Inch-Convertible-Tablet-Black/dp/B004I1J7Z6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1295643506&sr=8-1"]Amazon.com: ASUS Eee PC T101MT-EU27-BK 10.1-Inch Convertible Tablet (Black): Computer & Accessories[/ame] might be the ticket for you


hopefully soon i can afford another laptop so that i can dedicate that one to Jeep use. also if i eventually upgrade the HAM rig, i want to tie it into the computer so i can see others locations as well as transmit APRS.
 
Last edited:

Shawn686

Observer
Thanks for posting that up. This looks like it might be the way to go for me. As you said in your install post I cant afford to have a dedicated car PC and I need a full size laptop for work. So using a net-book would not work well for me.

Plus this is a very flexible setup and I would also like to eventually have HAM hooked into the computer as well.

Shawn
 

Shawn686

Observer
What was the keyboard you used in you install thread? It look perfect, and where can I get it, sorry to continue to hijack your HAM thread :)

Shawn
 

Frank

Explorer
I know a bit of a late reply, but man what a beautiful dash you have there!

I commend you on a well thought out plan to make it all very user friendly (it appears to be anyway) and not a bunch of stuff everywhere.

Good work.
 

ocean_explorer

New member
Some really nice work on your part! You must be getting pretty good at removal/installation of the dash panels.
Was wondering how you mounted the front panel of the Kenwood above the overhead consul? The installation looks very clean.
 

theksmith

Explorer
Some really nice work on your part! You must be getting pretty good at removal/installation of the dash panels.
Was wondering how you mounted the front panel of the Kenwood above the overhead consul? The installation looks very clean.
thanks - clean is what i was going for!

the remote mounting kit for the kenwood comes with a hinged bracket that i just screwed into the headliner.

i drilled out the center of the mounting bracket big enough to pass the cable through and then drilled a corresponding hole in the headliner.

for the headliner hole, i first chucked up a small hole punch into the drill and spun it on the headliner to create a clean hole in the fabric, then drilled out the particle board material behind it. otherwise a normal drill bit can sometimes grab fabric or vinyl coverings and rip them or pull them unglued around the hole.

sorry, didn't take pics of that part.
 

ocean_explorer

New member
Thanks for the info on working with the headliner. I have been concerned with messing up the fabric and you seem to have the correct tool for the job. Also good to know what is behind the headliner fabric. Did you have any issues running the cable from the face plate to the radio body? Your mounting location for the radio body was a real find.
 

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