Storm Chasing vehicle radios

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Shawn Camp, Sep 15, 2015.

  1. Shawn Camp

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    Messages:
    79
    Likes Received:
    1
    Dear Chasers

    I'm looking for a very very reputable place to have my Ham Radio's and my power inverter installed in my new Toyota corrolla 2013 and yes the prius is GONE sitting back on the Toyota Lot where it belongs and if your a stormchaser I do NOT RECCOMMEND HYBRID VEHICLES NO NO NO NO NO AND NO. I want to get my radio's installed and my power inverter put in and hopefully get this done before Winter sets in here in DFW so any chasers spotters that can tell me where to go in the DFW area I would certainly appreciate it very very much and thank you for taking the time to read this I will be awaiting your replys.


    Shawn C.


    "FOX 4 WARN STORMTRACKER"

    "MYFOXDFW.COM" OR FOX4NEWS.COM


    "WEATHER ONLY ON FOX 4"
     
  2. David Hodges

    Joined:
    May 1, 2007
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    12
    I would look for a Radio Club in the DFW area and I am sure you will be able to find someone who would be eager and willing to help you .
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Dan Robinson

    Dan Robinson WxLibrary Editor
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Messages:
    1,798
    Likes Received:
    1,113
    Unless you want stuff mounted cleanly in the dash, any reason you couldn't do this yourself? A couple of afternoons and 1-2 trips to Home Depot is all it takes. You can always post questions here, many of us have done this multiple times.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Marc R. O'Leary

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2013
    Messages:
    358
    Likes Received:
    177
    I bought junkyard parts and just screwed home made mounts to them. If I want to sell the car, take out junk parts and replace with originals. I posted some pics on here somewhere, but too busy going to bed to search. Goodnight.
     
  5. Andrew Thrasher

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2015
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey Shawn,
    Dan has it right, not too much of a chore to do yourself. A couple tips if I may. Take your radios with the brackets on them, and sit down in the drivers seat and find mounting spots that you will be able to clearly see the dials and radio face. Make sure nothing in your installation impedes the shifter, heat/AC controls etc. Mount microphones in a sturdy clip where they can be accessed easily. Avoid using cigarette lighter plugs for a power source for your two-way equipment, especially anything that transmitts as those plugs normally do not carry the amperage to supply the transmitter, therefore usually blowing the fuse. Find good grounds (which can be tough in newer cars and trucks). Highly consider external speakers. Route wires cleanly (nothing worse than a "spaghetti mess" in chase car with limited cabin space already. Avoid "magnet mount" antennas or they will be beating your car to death during stiff RFD and other associated wind events. Should be plenty of info online, or try the ARRL handbook or local ham club like David said. Hope this helps!
    Andy
     
  6. Michael.Merchant

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2017
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Look up Sean-Darcy Seyfert on facebook
     
  7. John Moore

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2009
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    14
    In days past, I used to do this myself. But I'm no expert on dealing with modern interiors, or for that matter, getting through the firewall. And, as I get older, I'm less interested in contorting my back to dig under the dash.

    My setup has an antenna mounted to the hood, a radio under the front passenger seat, and a control head wedged into an existing shelf built into the dash below the entertainment system (Toyota Highlander Limited, recent year).

    So, on my current vehicle, I bought the materials I needed, for power hookup and took them to a local car stereo dealer. $35 and an hour later, I had heavy gauge wires (with a fuse in the positive) from the battery terminals to under the passenger seat, all done professionally. Then I hooked them up to a battery protector circuit (you want this if you are to run direct from the battery) and hooked that to the radio. Earlier, I had had someone else install the antenna and run the coax to the radio location.

    I bought my antenna mount at Ham Radio Outlet (if you don't have one locally, you can mail order via Internet). They have people who can advise on things like that via phone call if not local. The one I got was expensive (~$70) but it has enough degrees of freedom that my antenna is mounted to the front of my weirdly shaped hood and yet is still vertical. The thin coax runs inside the hood, then sneaks up to the fire wall, gets inside by some magic the installer used, and then goes under interior molding until right where it needs to be.

    If you know what you want, you should be able to get it done this way. If you don't, I guess my question would be: why not? Ham operators are supposed to know the basics of electricity and antennas (and coaxial feed lines). If you don't, ask a local ham.

    BTW, the battery protector is a nifty thing (and very similar to one I designed professionally decades ago for computer equipment). This one detects when the car is running, and closes the positive circuit. When the car is turned off, it waits a selectable amount of time, or until the battery voltage drops to a certain level, and then opens the circuit. This prevents you from running your battery down too far by leaving the equipment on, and it also means you don't need to bother turning things on - just leave them on! The unit is a Chargeguard brand, and Google can find them for you. I had the installer provide the 30A fuse and holder.

    John

    de NJ7E
     
    • Like Like x 2

Share This Page