Wiring Ham and GMRS in my JL

kogar

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JD
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ok, let's cover the "gear" part first:
  • 2020 Ecodiesel Wrangler Rubicon, in the rare Bikini color
  • Kenwood TM-D710GA (VHF/UHF Amateur Bands)
  • Midland MXT400 (UHF GMRS)
  • 2 Comet CA-2X4SR Mobile VHF/UHF Vertical Antennas CA-2X4SR (yes, works with GMRS). I also got the antenna spring with them, because I learned that lesson two years ago.
  • 2 Comet CP-5M Mobile Antenna Adjustable Lip Mounts
  • 1 CB Bar (overhead mount rail) that is sold by a place I can't link to on this site (which just seems silly, but I don't make the rules)

This first image is the completed setup inside the jeep. The Kenwood head unit is literally a few inches above my head (but far enough forward that I can easily read the numbers). You will also notice the dashcam which has not yet been attached to the windshield.
radio1.jpg


Image 2: I started from the top and worked my way down. First, I lowered the windshield, then pulled back the plastic molding at the top (across the visors), then I pulled the A-pillar handles. It was tricky running the wiring. One antenna feed went to the left toward the driver's side, but there were3 pairs of power wires and the antenna wiring for the right side antenna. It took a little cussing to make everything fit correctly. I was so engrossed in my work that I forgot to take pics as I was running the wires. All I can say is that snapping that header back into place was a real pain! The pic shows the single antenna wiring that will be threaded with the wire running up and down the A-pillar.

radio2.jpg


Image 3: Lots of people talk about the challenges of threading wiring through the firewall. I took a different approach. The junction between the door and the A pillar has some comfy space for adding wiring. I had a similar wiring setup with my '18 JL and had zero issues (no abrasions, no crimping, no water leaks). Personally, I find this method to be ideal for my needs.
radio3.jpg


Image 4: The view where the antenna wiring is bundled and zip-tied (Notice the burly ferrite loop -- makes a HUGE difference keeping transmission noise down)

radio4.jpg


Figure 5 is the lip mounts attached to the hood. I stuck some prootective rubber on each side to significanly reduce the wear that the mounts put on the side of the hood (learned that the hard way with my '18).

radio5.jpg


Image 6 is the finished look for the antennas. They're both a safe distance form occupants for short-duration RF transmission.

radio6.jpg


Image 7 - Here you can see all the wires that descended from the passenger side of the A-pillar. I popped out the side panel so that they would tuck away nicely

radio7.jpg


Image 8 - Here is is all tidied up.

radio8.jpg


Image 9 The last part of the wiring journey was under the passenger seat to get to the AUX wiring. I first had to pull the kick panel and access the chassis ground bolt (Jeep puts an extra one there just for this kind of stuff. Since a well-engineered vehicle! Removing the kick panel was....unpleasant. Fortunately, the LineX guys posted some easy instructions on YouTube.

radio9.jpg


Image 10 - The AUX wiring bundle (I didn't take a pic of the final wiring...it was a bit of a rats nest so I bundled everything up with zip ties and secured it appropriately. I have both radios wired into the 40A AUX1 power (Since I won't be transmitting on both radios at the same time, this was a perfectly reasonable approach. Even if I needed to in an emergency, I wouldn't exceed the max amperage draw of both. I ran the dashcam wiring into AUX3. Jeep definitely took a different approach on capping off all the AUX wiring. I wasn't pleased, but they definitely capped it so there was zero chance of open wires touching anything.

radio10.jpg


And there you have it, my little wiring project. I hope this helps some folks!
 

donmontalvo

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2020 Jeep Wrangler Sport (JL) 3.6L V6 Auto 2 door
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I ran my CB/GMRS power and my sPOD's Cat5 cable through my CBBAR and down the driver side A-pillar, to get to the SourceLT box on the passenger side of the engine compartment. Tonight I'm running my rear LED lights to the sPOD but through the drivers side firewall hole, I'll need to make the hole slightly bigger. I also need to run my ARB Dual Compressor power cables from under the passenger seat to the battery, I dread the thought of going through the wiring grommet on the passenger side, but not sure if I can go through the passenger side A-pillar...will know soon. :)

I need to remember to remove the fuses from the other wiring I have going into the SourceLT box. And the RG-8x connectors are shown since I just remembered that I need to revisit the CB/GMRS cables, both were RG-58 but after some failed attempts to shorten the cables, I decided to go with RG-8x and velcro the cables to the roll cage...one day I'll run them through the internal body panels and carpet again.

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