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Prius and HAM radio

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Technical Discussion' started by SolanaDude, Jan 3, 2010.

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  1. SolanaDude

    SolanaDude New Member

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    Location:
    North San Diego
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    I have a 2007 Prius IV and just getting into HAM radio. Initially have installed a dual band (144/440 MHz) mag mount antenna in center of roof about 2 ft in front of the roof radio antenna. Using an iCOM T7H hand held radio running at 5w (using LiMH AA batteries and in-car cigarette lighter battery charger).

    So far so good. However...........

    1. I hear static/noise on various channel in both bands but constant and not related to engine RPMs.

    2. Talk/listen well on most channels and on repeater channels.

    3. Now want to go up to quad band radio (10, 6 & 2 m and 440 MHz) and associated antenna. Have done a bunch of research but failed to find consensus of antenna and radio installation. So........

    QUESTION:

    A. What experience have Prius/Ham folks had in installing/using hand held and mobile HAMs in Prius (mine is 2007)?

    B. What antenna options exist for a quad band radio? Where should I mount what type antenna?

    And any other suggestions and experience the HAM community has had in and with a Prius. :confused: :)
  2. KK6PD

    KK6PD _ . _ . / _ _ . _

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    Hi there if you want Quad band, that pretty much means a Yaesu FT-8900. For the Antenna mount a Diamond KR-400 lip mount if necessary and the Diamond CR-8900 antenna. You wil need a SWR meter to tune the antenna to the radio. mount the antenna to the hatchback, it's hard to see, because it's black, but you can get the idea.
    [​IMG]
    You will be able to run the antenna cable thu the factory wiring channels. I mounted the radio body in the rear pocket in the back, ran the power wires directly to the battery on the other side of the cargo area. I then ran the control head and speaker wiring to the front and mounted the control head above the rear view mirror...
    [​IMG]

    This radio is a FT-8800, but the installation is EXACTY the same fo the 8900.
    I have a 8900 in the 4Runner, works great!!!
    Any other questions PM me!!!
    1 person likes this.
  3. KD6HDX

    KD6HDX New Member

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    Location:
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    2005 Prius
    Good luck SolanaDude. Most of what I have heard about is noise from the Prius. VHF and UHF should be OK. 6 meters and HF will be a challenge to reduce or eliminate the square waves present in all of the electronics in the Prius. If I tune to 146.640, I hear all sorts of noise from the car itself. When another frequency is chosen, it usually works pretty good. Every time I think of punching a hole in the roof for an antenna, my wife just rolls her eyes. There are some folks that have used noise suppression toroids and filter beads to remove all of the noise, but your mileage may vary. My 2005 Prius does not have a permanent install, but I do carry a lip mount that can be placed in an emergency on the rear hatch. My VX7 Yaesu has a 12V cigarette lighter adapter that I usually carry all together as a kit. welcome to the amateur radio community.

    KK6PD has a nice install, maybe I could do that someday?

    73 OM
  4. kh6kine

    kh6kine New Member

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    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    I think all Prius hams should take a look at this guys's site, there are a LOT of neat things here:

    2005 Toyota Prius Mobile Installation

    I have yet to install a radio in my 2009 - but need to do this soon. Likely will use my existing Yaesu FT-90R, small 2m/70cm mobile with the remote head.

    Rather than making the brackets as described by WA8LMF, I will go with glass-lip mount antennae by - Diamond, I think.

    73.
    1 person likes this.
  5. KK6PD

    KK6PD _ . _ . / _ _ . _

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    That is a VERY FINE INSTALL!!!
    The man has obviously gone to the same school of craftsmanship that I was able to learn from!!!

    kh6kine good find OM, thanks for sharing!!
  6. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    Location:
    South OC So Cal & the Flathead Valley, MT
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    If you're only pushing 5 watts out, the fact that your antenna isn't perfectly matched (SWR wise) is really no big deal. For years, I had a Kenwood 742, which has up to 3 modular bands that you could install (everything from 10 meter FM all the way up to 2.4ghz FM) I used the diamond super gainer, designed for use on the typical 440mhz/2meter setup. Regardless though, if you had a 50mhz ... 220mhz ... or the typical 440mhz/2meter modules installed ... it'd still transmit/receive just fine. In fact, 50mhz almost works out to be a quarter wave on the super gainer.

    However, if/when you go to low bands ... and you're adding a 1.5Kw amp into the mix ... that's when you better darn well have your SWR dialed in, and be well grounded. As the old saying goes ... power is, as power does.
    ;)

    .
  7. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

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    Location:
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    Your Vehicle Year:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    I installed an ICOM 2720 -behind- the small storage bin on the left side of the hatch area. I used a right angle stainless bracket and NMO mount which I fastened to the left side of the hatch opening (on the body, not the hatch door) for the antenna. The cable drops down to the radio. This takes up no cargo space, and most thieves wouldn't find the radio. The separation cable runs up to the front of the car under the carpet and the control head is mounted with velcro tape to the bit just ahead of the console storage bin. I covered the back of a full size radio speaker c/w plastic housing (commercial type) with hook velcro and it sits under the drivers seat (no nav in car) stuck securely to the carpet. The mic is stuck under the control head with a small bit of velcro.

    Power is routed to the radio across the back of the hatch under the floor via a relay triggered by accy. power from the console. Use fuses in all power leads! The accy. power feed uses a 1 amp fuse as it just actuates the relay. The lead coming from the battery +ve has the "stock" ICOM 15 Amp in-line fuse.

    Although the antenna (dual band) is at an angle (I layed it back a bit to match the cars' antenna), it has low VSWR and pretty good coverage. I did have to add a dual band bandpass filter to keep the local commercial paging etc. transmitters out of the radio front end as I drive in the downtown area!

    Pictures are posted elsewhere on this forum.
  8. flash

    flash Long time lurker

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    Location:
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    Plug-in Advanced
    I have an Icom 2820 in mine...I've had no problems...prior to that I had a Yaesu 8800, again no problems. I have the radio in the small box located on the drivers side in the rear of the car. The detachable head is mounted where the sunglass holder used to be (i removed the casing) The microphone is routed to the center dash and is located in the small drawer in the front of the console....(I love the radios but hate the cords---They're all nicely hidden)
  9. KK6PD

    KK6PD _ . _ . / _ _ . _

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    Sounds intresting, lets see a pic
    I always enjoy a good install!!!
  10. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    Location:
    South OC So Cal & the Flathead Valley, MT
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    Model:
    IV
    Oh, I forgot one of the ridiculous overkill features on the Kenwood 742. Not only dit it have the remote / detachable face ... the display on the face actually detached from the control buttons below it. Now THAT REALLY let you have options ... controls down by your center console, with the frequency display up overhead. That radio will never see it's match ... 2 decades later. Not only could it cross band repeat ... you could remotely control it, like a remote base. That was the beauty of the 1.2 gig module ... it'd work on 1 watt, which was the only band rated at 100% duty cycle, because the fan was horribly under powered while leaving no air space inside to do any cooling. They still get an arm & a leg for 'em on ebay when they come up.
  11. larrypcmc

    larrypcmc Junior Member

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    I have a 2010 prius. I am using an ft100 and have the ant. mounted off my trailer hitch, K9ZSQ, Larry

    Attached Files:

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  12. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Haven't seen many Prius with HF radios. Do you notice much vehicle-related noise?
  13. KK6PD

    KK6PD _ . _ . / _ _ . _

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    I had to blow the pic up to notice what I thought was a White tophat on the HF antenna, only to discover it's a basketball board and hoop perfectly inline with the antenna! Nice Pic!!!
    Like Patrick W queried, what kind of noise levels are generated by the car??
  14. KL0RN

    KL0RN New Member

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    Location:
    Missoula, MT
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    2005 Prius
    Model:
    II
    I will be using my Prius for the event known as the Tour of the Swan River Valley. I will be having my radio installed in the rig (toolbox mount w/Radio shack mag-mount) and a Arrowstik (Traffic director) in the back window hopefully. Will try to post on the forms so it will let me post photos of my rig and setup, and maybe some action shots.. Will see.. lol, my Iphone is not the best for photos.
  15. larrypcmc

    larrypcmc Junior Member

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    The noise was s9 to 10 over. By grounding and shielding I got it down to s2 to s3. Many hours of work but now I can use it while in ready. K9ZSQ
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  16. larrypcmc

    larrypcmc Junior Member

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    I tried a magmount on 40 and 20 meters. It was very noisy!!!!!
    The noise level was cut in half when I built a mount on the hatch hing and had a real ground at the antenna. I used small homhrew antennas on that mount for a short while with some success.
    . Now I am using a home brew screwdriver antenna with good results.
  17. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    If you could pls document what you did with photos, I believe other Prius-owning hams on HF would appreciate that.

    Patrick Wong AK6C
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  18. KK7PW

    KK7PW Junior Member

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    Location:
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    Yes, pictures please! With the help of my friend, N7OEP, my 2007 (#5) is now wired with #8AWG cable (dual fused) from battery, along wire channel on passenger side, to under dash. I ordered a Power Pole bracket from PowerWerx to terminate with one or two pairs of PP's to be mounted somewhere under dash. I then can simply plug in / remove my rigs as desired.

    Do I understand correctly that I can run my antenna cable, and perhaps head cable and mic cable along a driver side channel? Thanks for any advice -- hope to "see" all on the air! Oh, and more PICTURES PLEASE.

    BTW, the WA8LMF install narrative is great! Thanks! :rockon:

    73.

    de KK7PW
  19. larrypcmc

    larrypcmc Junior Member

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    Sorry I didnt get back on here for a long while. I will take pictures today and get them posted soon, Larry K9ZSQ
  20. larrypcmc

    larrypcmc Junior Member

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    Here are a few low res pictures. All this helped . The most help was sheilding around the traction.battery. I used a portable hf am receiver tuned to 7mh to find the hot spots.

    Attached Files:

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