Ham Radio Install w/ Pics **Update 3 Years Later**

kogar

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One potential issue is that location puts the antenna fairly close to your head, so transmitting 50w might be an RF exposure risk. Lower power wouldn’t be a problem. Gory details (chart 4a gives recommended distances) http://transition.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Engineering_Technology/Documents/bulletins/oet65/oet65b.pdf
Yeah, I was considering mentioning this. I "solved" this by mounting my Comet antennas (One for Ham, other for GMRS) with Comet lip mounts at the midpoint along each side of the hood. That keeps good distance for RF issues. As a guy who got brain damage in the military due to RF issues (basically, my brain was non-fatally microwaved -- if it was fatally, I'd probably type a lot worse now :LOL:), I can attest that RF can damage you in unexpected ways (the whole "RF Burn" takes on a different meaning when the microwaves are trying to melt your brain from the center-outwards)


i went through the firewall using a hole for the clutch pedal (covered by a blanking plate if you have an automatic) https://www.jlwranglerforums.com/forum/threads/comms-mule-ham-gmrs-and-cb-install.57392/
I guessed that was your approach. One thing I've learned is that there's enough room to route RG-58 (or similar) through the top side-cowling and into the interior just under the windshield.
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Martindfletcher

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Yeah, I was considering mentioning this. I "solved" this by mounting my Comet antennas (One for Ham, other for GMRS) with Comet lip mounts at the midpoint along each side of the hood. That keeps good distance for RF issues. As a guy who got brain damage in the military due to RF issues (basically, my brain was non-fatally microwaved -- if it was fatally, I'd probably type a lot worse now :LOL:), I can attest that RF can damage you in unexpected ways (the whole "RF Burn" takes on a different meaning when the microwaves are trying to melt your brain from the center-outwards)




I guessed that was your approach. One thing I've learned is that there's enough room to route RG-58 (or similar) through the top side-cowling and into the interior just under the windshield.
This maybe a stupid question, but why not just program GRMS frequencies into your ham radio and low the default power to legal limits for GRMS? As opposed to two antennas. I didn’t read all the posts I assumed the 2nd was for CB or something else.
 

kogar

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This maybe a stupid question, but why not just program GRMS frequencies into your ham radio and low the default power to legal limits for GRMS? As opposed to two antennas. I didn’t read all the posts I assumed the 2nd was for CB or something else.
not a stupid question. But, FCC only allows certain radios (under Part 95) to operate in the GMRS band. Ham-approved and GMRS-approved radios do NOT overlap. Yes, some chinese radios permit you to spill into GMRS/FRS bands, but it’s technically illegal (although NEVER enforced). As a licensed ham, I have an ethical responsibility to operate radios in legal ways, so...I don’t do that. I’m not gonna judge you if you have a more “relaxed” mindset about radio operation. :)
 

Martindfletcher

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not a stupid question. But, FCC only allows certain radios (under Part 95) to operate in the GMRS band. Ham-approved and GMRS-approved radios do NOT overlap. Yes, some chinese radios permit you to spill into GMRS/FRS bands, but it’s technically illegal (although NEVER enforced). As a licensed ham, I have an ethical responsibility to operate radios in legal ways, so...I don’t do that. I’m not gonna judge you if you have a more “relaxed” mindset about radio operation. :)
i am at least licensed, but am not overly concerned about very rare usage (only if someone shows up without ham) using GRMS/FRS with reasonable power settings.. I have a Yaesu, which is Japanese. Who knows I may have modified it.
 

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Yeah, I was considering mentioning this. I "solved" this by mounting my Comet antennas (One for Ham, other for GMRS) with Comet lip mounts at the midpoint along each side of the hood. That keeps good distance for RF issues. As a guy who got brain damage in the military due to RF issues (basically, my brain was non-fatally microwaved -- if it was fatally, I'd probably type a lot worse now :LOL:), I can attest that RF can damage you in unexpected ways (the whole "RF Burn" takes on a different meaning when the microwaves are trying to melt your brain from the center-outwards)
.
thanks for your service, sorry to hear about the RF but I’ve met enough operators/techs (military and civilian) that I take the whole exposure thing seriously. Way back when I climbed poles but then it was more avoiding high voltage and creosote saturated splinters.

i used the Topsy mounts and put them midway at the fender. I measured and actually my dual band on the right side is furthest away from me - even further than the Firefly mounted at the rear. 2-doors are...short. I originally had it mounted a bit further forward but I was getting LED flutter when I transmitted at high power on 2m. The next fender bolt back and some ferrite chokes seems to have done the trick. The GMRS antenna is driver side but the radio maxes at 15 watts. Even then it is a few feet away from my noggin.
 

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I think that I will study for my Technician license. I really don’t need Ham right now but, it sounds like it would be interesting to study for this “bunny slope” Ham license.
 

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not a stupid question. But, FCC only allows certain radios (under Part 95) to operate in the GMRS band. Ham-approved and GMRS-approved radios do NOT overlap. Yes, some chinese radios permit you to spill into GMRS/FRS bands, but it’s technically illegal (although NEVER enforced). As a licensed ham, I have an ethical responsibility to operate radios in legal ways, so...I don’t do that. I’m not gonna judge you if you have a more “relaxed” mindset about radio operation. :)
one issue with modding is that often the transmit bandwidth isn’t right. For instanceat least one radio that can go wide only has options of 12.5 or 25 kHz bandwidth, while GMRS is 20 (on the higher power channels). So with the modded radio you’re either splattering or a bit quiet. I ended up with the Midland 15w mobile and a pair of the handhelds to cover down and have a loaner capability.

i do have a 20m mobile antenna sitting in the garage, thinking I might try and do an HF setup but frankly easier to just bring a buddipole and a bioeno battery and set up remote. HF while driving seems like a pita.
 

Martindfletcher

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one issue with modding is that often the transmit bandwidth isn’t right. For instanceat least one radio that can go wide only has options of 12.5 or 25 kHz bandwidth, while GMRS is 20 (on the higher power channels). So with the modded radio you’re either splattering or a bit quiet. I ended up with the Midland 15w mobile and a pair of the handhelds to cover down and have a loaner capability.

i do have a 20m mobile antenna sitting in the garage, thinking I might try and do an HF setup but frankly easier to just bring a buddipole and a bioeno battery and set up remote. HF while driving seems like a pita.
with Yaesu, if i remember, you just remove a jumper to unlock all the USA restrictions.
 

nostatic

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with Yaesu, if i remember, you just remove a jumper to unlock all the USA restrictions.
I believe it - haven’t done it but have seen videos of 10m radios being modded to do CB, either through physical mod or via software. One problem is that mod may not give you complete control over other parameters such as channel bandwidth. Some radios give you numeric choices indicating bandwidth, others will call it wide or narrow. What constitutes wide and narrow has changed over the years, but currently 25khz is wide, 12.5khz is narrow for VHF. Digital modes like DMR or D-Star are different still. Iirc, the Motorola CPS would let you do 12.5, 20, or 25khz for a channel. Anytone only gives you 12.5 or 25khz. FRS is 12.5khz but GMRS is 20khz. If one was using a ham radio for GMRS, running 25khz bandwidth would result in splatter on adjacent channels. Running 12.5khz causes less interference, but you’re leaving some performance on the table.

That said, as noted above this stuff isn’t really enforced unless you’re either causing major interference for hams or mess with public service frequencies. Often when radios are modded for wideband operation they can transmit on some police/fire/ems frequencies. That is a huge issue, both legally and from a public service perspective.
 

Darter02

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thanks for your service, sorry to hear about the RF but I’ve met enough operators/techs (military and civilian) that I take the whole exposure thing seriously. Way back when I climbed poles but then it was more avoiding high voltage and creosote saturated splinters.

i used the Topsy mounts and put them midway at the fender. I measured and actually my dual band on the right side is furthest away from me - even further than the Firefly mounted at the rear. 2-doors are...short. I originally had it mounted a bit further forward but I was getting LED flutter when I transmitted at high power on 2m. The next fender bolt back and some ferrite chokes seems to have done the trick. The GMRS antenna is driver side but the radio maxes at 15 watts. Even then it is a few feet away from my noggin.
Thanks. I've been researching on whether or not to place my antenna closer to my windshield or more towards the middle of the hood going towards the front driver's side. Awesome thread.
 

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I believe it - haven’t done it but have seen videos of 10m radios being modded to do CB, either through physical mod or via software. One problem is that mod may not give you complete control over other parameters such as channel bandwidth. Some radios give you numeric choices indicating bandwidth, others will call it wide or narrow. What constitutes wide and narrow has changed over the years, but currently 25khz is wide, 12.5khz is narrow for VHF. Digital modes like DMR or D-Star are different still. Iirc, the Motorola CPS would let you do 12.5, 20, or 25khz for a channel. Anytone only gives you 12.5 or 25khz. FRS is 12.5khz but GMRS is 20khz. If one was using a ham radio for GMRS, running 25khz bandwidth would result in splatter on adjacent channels. Running 12.5khz causes less interference, but you’re leaving some performance on the table.

That said, as noted above this stuff isn’t really enforced unless you’re either causing major interference for hams or mess with public service frequencies. Often when radios are modded for wideband operation they can transmit on some police/fire/ems frequencies. That is a huge issue, both legally and from a public service perspective.
I am not ambitious enough to mod to cb frequencies.
 
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