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post #21 of 62 (permalink) Old 10-09-2008, 07:49 PM
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LMR 400?

Hello Neutron,

When you mentioned mounting the radio's in the spare tire well that seemed like a good idea as long as they don't get too hot. Then you said something about running LMR400 to the roof, this after saying you'd have short coax runs. If you're using, say, 10 feet of coax why not just use RG8X or similar? LMR400 is great for VHF/UHF on longer runs at home installations but seems to be extreme overkill for a short run in a vehicle. Maybe I'm missing something.

For everyone here, do you have pics of your radio installs? We love pics...

I sold my Subaru in January, 2011. I no longer post in this forum. I've asked for my profile to be deleted but it hasn't.
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post #22 of 62 (permalink) Old 10-10-2008, 11:04 AM
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Re: LMR 400?

Quote:
Originally posted by Hobie
When you mentioned mounting the radio's in the spare tire well that seemed like a good idea as long as they don't get too hot. Then you said something about running LMR400 to the roof, this after saying you'd have short coax runs. If you're using, say, 10 feet of coax why not just use RG8X or similar? LMR400 is great for VHF/UHF on longer runs at home installations but seems to be extreme overkill for a short run in a vehicle. Maybe I'm missing something.
I'm still in the planning stage, and the heat issue is on my mind. I work for a company that manufactures RF amps, and have access to a machine shop and virtually any size of heatsink extrusion you can imagine. I was considering mounting the radio bodies to a heatsink (or at least an aluminum baseplate) and fan-cooling it. I know the Icom 50 watt transceiver will allow the main MOSFET to run well over its rated junction temperature. Still not settled on the mechanical design. But I'll post pics when it's done.

As for the LMR400, it's cheap ($0.89/foot for Times Microwave brand) and I already have a leftover spool from the home installation.

Besides, it wouldn't be a custom installation unless I was seeking every last tenth of a dB would it??? ;-)

I was also thinking of machining my own high-current power distribution block. It's something I've always wanted to do (even have some sketches) but never had a reason to actually build.
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post #23 of 62 (permalink) Old 10-16-2008, 04:27 PM
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I did have a rather long post wrote up detailing my headaches with mounting a radio/antenna in the OB.... but then I decided to drop it all and just post a few images.

Yaesu FT8900R
Larsen KG series 2m/70cm on glass
custom extension cable (6pin telco cord repinned on one end)

Radio head w/mic is dropped into center console. Not mounted. It fits rather snugly.
Photo: http://random.removed.us/1obwradio.jpg

Radio itself is mounted in the hatch, on the wall. Power is simply pulled from the rear cigar adapter. Extension cable is run under the drivers rocker covers, under the drivers seat, and pops out and into the console. *note the flat white cable in pic#1* Audio was slightly low if I had the "windowshade" pulled out covering my gear, so I "press fit" an external speaker under the front of the drivers seat, with its cable running alongside the extension cable and my XM antenna wire.
Photo: http://random.removed.us/2obwradio.jpg

Antenna is on passenger side rear glass. Antenna cable is run underneath rear mat.
Photo: http://random.removed.us/3obwradio.jpg

And yes, that is fire gear in the back. Thats one of the reasons I chose the 8900, to keep my ham abilities, but also have access to Fire/Sheriffs/Forestry Dispatch without having 3 different rigs in the car. Also, pay no attention to the burglary tools.

Cheers
KE4SOX

1984 Subaru Brat GL - 6" lift, 30x9.50 tyres, desert camo paint, 430 watts out the stock headlamps, 100A GM large case alt conversion

2006 Subaru Outback Wagon 2.5i - mostly stock
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post #24 of 62 (permalink) Old 10-16-2008, 06:01 PM
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what is the deal with ham radios...i see them around...what can you monitor

I yearn for the time when motor sports were dangerous and sex was safe

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post #25 of 62 (permalink) Old 10-16-2008, 07:17 PM
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Headaches

Hey Raven, your headaches is what I'm trying to avoid by planning it out really well. Guess that's why I haven't installed my radio yet. Not sure I'd do it the same way you did but it's an option. Still undecided. I just put new speakers in the front doors for the stereo, though.

As for ham radio, it's a little the same as CB if you want to say you have a two way radio and an antenna. It's far more sophisticated with the use of repeaters and such. Sound quality is also better over FM instead of AM. I remember talking 150 miles apart from another person when I was in San Diego using just a "walkie talkie" ham radio (otherwise known as an HT, or Handy-Talkie) through one mountaintop repeater. I used to be able to listen to the local police and sheriff here in the Austin area until they upgraded their system to 800mhz digital trunking. I can still hear the traffic reports before they get rebroadcast on the radio stations, that's nice in the afternoon. The national weather frequencies are nice to hear too. Some systems have the ability to link repeaters together, allowing me (for example) to use a local Austin repeater to talk to folks in Houston and Dallas through their repeaters. There's lots of those around the country. If you drive a lot they're fun to use. Some repeaters are connected to the internet: you can talk to other repeaters throughout the world, for example England and Australia, all with FM radio clarity.

CB's don't do that. They talk between radios and have very limited distance. Of course if you break the law and go above the 4 watt limit you can talk much further but even then it's still very limited compared to what ham radio can do. In times of emergency the local authorities call upon ham radio operators to help out, which they do in great numbers. For example: when the weather took out the Williamson County (Texas) radio system a few years back, which included fire, ems and police, they had local ham radio operators ride with them so they could keep communication open and it worked flawlessly.

Of course with ham radio you are required to be licensed by the FCC where you take a test and they issue you a call sign. You have to use that call sign at least every ten minutes of your communication time. Most folks open and close a conversation with their call, throwing it out about every ten minutes if it's longer than a ten minute conversation. There are rules to follow and you can get in legal trouble with the FCC if you choose not to follow the rules.

Some people say that cell phones have replace ham radios in vehicles and to an extent they have. But when they infrastructure goes down what do you have left? A self contained, mobile radio station. Like anything it has its limitations. I'm not going to go into great detail here, I've already said a lot.

If you'd like to know more contact anyone here and/or the ARRL.
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post #26 of 62 (permalink) Old 10-16-2008, 07:39 PM
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thanks...appreciate the answer

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post #27 of 62 (permalink) Old 10-17-2008, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Hooray
what is the deal with ham radios...i see them around...what can you monitor
What Hobie said - plus some ham radios also have wideband receive capability sort of like a scanner. The main diffs between a true scanner and a ham radio with wideband receive are memory channels (scanners have more) and trunked radio systems (ham radios can't follow trunk - yet).

If your local municipalities use standard analog systems, a single ham radio could easily cover all your commo needs.

For public service volunteers and such, some ham radios can be firmware programmed to transmit on public service frequencies.

Also, some ham repeaters also "repeat" the signal over Internet lines, sort of like VoIP. With a 5 watt handheld in L.A. I can easily hit repeaters in a ~20 mile radius and "dial up" another Internet-linked repeater in any part of the world. Hear people from Japan and Australia all the time, they love to participate in the "Insomniac Net"... basically a late-night virtual meeting on the air! (Mostly trivia... really, really interesting net.)
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post #28 of 62 (permalink) Old 10-17-2008, 12:02 PM
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we just switched to digital trunking for our fire service...no one likes it

if anyone would care to explain how the trunking works, i would appreciate it

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post #29 of 62 (permalink) Old 10-17-2008, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Hooray
we just switched to digital trunking for our fire service...no one likes it

if anyone would care to explain how the trunking works, i would appreciate it
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trunked_radio_system

For the reader's digest version:
By using computer control of the frequency assignments, many different "groups" or "conversations" can be shared between a far fewer number of radio "channels".

With trunking, you may only need 10 frequencies to cover the needs of all your fire, police, ambulance and other services for the city or county. It's based on the fact that most of the time, not everyone will be using all of their channels. A computer acts like a switchboard operator and assigns one of those 10 frequencies to your conversation, then gives it up to another service when you are done with it.

The next time you want to talk, the controller assigns you the next open frequency. It's transparent to you because all you know is that you're radio's "channel ID" is still the same. From a receiver's point of view, the receiver monitors a "master" channel that tells each reciever in that "group" to go to one of those 10 frequencies when someone from your talk group starts talking.

If there are 10 possible talk frequencies, the system needs 11 physical frequencies. One frequency is always used for the digital information that tells each talk group where to tune to when that talk group becomes active.

I hope that's accurate and understandable.

Roy
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post #30 of 62 (permalink) Old 10-17-2008, 01:45 PM
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Appreciated.

Before the radios were trunked, our motorola pagers were able to receive communication between county and onscene staff. So it was nice to be able to know if a call was BS or what have you...you could tell when the apparatus were responding so on and so forth...Now im assuming that this "switching" from the trunking is what prevents this now...The pagers cannot switch like the radios so they are continually on the dispatch frequency while the radios are able to switch?

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