Gen 4 Amateur radio installation

Discussion in 'Gen 4 Prius Main Forum' started by AdamK, Jan 30, 2018.

  1. AdamK

    AdamK Junior Member

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    Since our "this is not a drill" missile drill a few weeks ago, I've been re-looking at our general disaster preparedness and am itching to get back into ham radio. I've been examining my 2016 Gen 4 Prius with an eye as to where to mount radio, bring in power from battery, and antenna placement / wiring. The power and radio parts didn't seem to be all that bad (i'll probably place under seat with remote head unit). But the antenna has me stymied.

    My first preferences would be to not drill holes, but go with either mag mount or lip mount. I can probably do the mag mount without too much fuss (exit coax thru top of hatch?). I can't for the life of me find a good place to put a lip mount. But if somebody had a great installation that used a more permanent mount, i'd like to hear about it.

    I also wouldn't mind hearing about anybody's placement of head units in their Gen 4, or even how they routed their power cables.

    FYI - Need 2m/70cm, but would also consider HF though i understand that is tough (noisy) in hybrids.

    --adam, WH6M
    Honolulu, HI
     
  2. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

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    Both GII and GIII worked well for me by:
    Install radio in the side of the hatch -behind- the plastic right at the back of the car. It fits without any mounting holes required (slide in). For GII and GIII with the battery in the back the power cable was easy. It will be a little harder to do this with a GIV. On the GII I used a relay to turn power on/off using acc from the console (tapped the coil into the aux. power socket). On the GIII I just set the radio to auto power off after 30 min.
    Install antenna using a right angle stainless bracket on the hatch seal (outside the rubber). Did have to drill a hole for the coax and two or three for the screws. When I removed the radio from the GII I just filled the holes with black silicone rubber. The hatch seal pretty much hides them, but even when you look hard they look "normal".
    The cables can be routed along the bottom of the door under the carpet. There is a cable tray there and if you want you could even use that. I stayed out of it, just running the cables beside it.

    This was for a Kenwood D710 (APRS is working). I had to extend the mic. cable using a custom network cable and the control head is on the dash far left side stuck down using 3M velcro "tape" (from Home Depot). I covered the back of an external speaker with velcro "hook" and stuck it to the carpet under the seat. In fact, I have two of them, one under the drivers seat and one under the passenger seat. Works well with that radio as the sound comes from the side that is active on the display. ;)
     
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  3. Locksmith

    Locksmith Member

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    Icom ID-4100A on a custom L bracket attached with Command fastener strips.


    (Hard to see in the picture. I must take better shots). Dual band antenna on the left rear corner mounted with an L bracket (custom bent) and secured by 2 "nutsert" fasteners.


    Power direct from the battery 12ga and routed past the left A pillar. I added a relay to kill the power with the vehicle because I'm too lazy to turn it off and on every time I get in the car.

    I also have a 220 1/4 wave whip on the front left corner.
     
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  4. AdamK

    AdamK Junior Member

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    Thank you both for the replies. I'm having trouble visualizing where / how both of you attached the antenna mount bracket. . . . any chance you could get and post photos. . . .that's the part i'm having most trouble with.

    David - Do you know how applicable your Gen3 antenna install recs would be for Gen4 - i was under the impression there were lots of changes (i came from a Gen2).

    Locksmith - I like the placement of your Icom head unit. What is the orientation of the L though? I assume it's attached from above - or is from below?

    Thanks.

    --adam
     
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  5. Locksmith

    Locksmith Member

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    I'll take some better detailed pictures today.
     
  6. AdamK

    AdamK Junior Member

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    Thanks - that'd be great. I never heard of a nutsert - so i looked it up. Interesting - and if i were to go that route i'd DEFINITELY want to know where I should (and shouldn't) be drilling. Is it steel, aluminum, or plastic part of the body you're riveting to?
     
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  7. Locksmith

    Locksmith Member

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    I attached it to the metal panel. The steel is quite thin. I decided that a regular sheet metal screw didn't have enough thickness to get a good purchase. That is why I went with the nutserts, and I'm glad I did. I like the install a whole lot better.

     
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  8. KK6PD

    KK6PD _ . _ . / _ _ . _

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    Have you checked the VSWR on this antenna? How good of a RF ground did you achieve on the antenna mount? Achieving a good RF ground is kind of hard these days. One way I check it to take an ohm meter and measure from the antenna connector, not connected to the rig to the metal at the mounting point. It should read a 0 ohm. Then further expanding the search to the trunk lid, front hood, and other metal points on the car, all with a 0 ohms reading, if not I usually end up installing braided strapping to the front & rear deck lids to make sure the car helps get the signal out! After all the car body is half of your antenna, it's not just the whippy part you see. If VSWR is high, achieving good RF grounding will help resolve the issue!
     
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  9. Locksmith

    Locksmith Member

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    Well, you are correct on all of the above. However, I'm lazy. I get good signal reports, so I'll leave it at that! Also, I don't think you can fairly compare an RF ground to a DC ground. They aren't the same.
     
  10. KK6PD

    KK6PD _ . _ . / _ _ . _

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    True,somewhat, but you can't achieve one without the other!
     
  11. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

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    I have a pic. of the GII. The GIII was the same, and the one already posted is similar. I used silicone rubber behind the stainless bracket, and it's an NMO mount. As far as the VSWR it was nearly perfect. I used a different antenna on the GIII, the one with a one turn loop on it, as it works on 2m, 220 MHz, and 70 cm (though it's not rated for 220). I used it because it looked neat and when it arrived I found it worked well. The one shown in the image is a commercial Sinclair VHF coil, with a nice spring on it, and a whip above. It works well on 2m and 70 cm but not at all on 220. The D710 receives 220 but won't transmit on that band. I needed to monitor it as I look after our repeaters. I used stainless sheet metal screws (3) and it held just fine. The clear silicone rubber added some strength by absorbing any flex and sealed the holes. Because the radio is below and just behind the coax length is very short. On both vehicles (GII and GIII) the antenna is canted back slightly, but range didn't seem to suffer. It looked better that way. ant mount small.jpg
     
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  12. AdamK

    AdamK Junior Member

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    Thanks to both of you for the extra info.Much more to work with. Locksmith, are you using aluminum or steel nutserts? Also, anything i should know about routing coax to come out where i see it coming out from behind the black plastic?

    Still debating where to put the main radio unit - under the seat (short power cable run) or in trunk area (short coax run).

    --adam
     
  13. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

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    The body is steel so use steel nutserts. If the hatch door is aluminum so you would use aluminum nutserts if you were mounting it on the hatch door.

    Here's the radio location I used on the GII and GIII. I'll bet you could do the same on the GIV. This shows the side of the hatch area (the seal you see is the back of the car). The bolt sticking up holds the small storage bin and it went back in with no modification. I just had it out for a "look see". ;)

    amateur radio unit small.jpg
     
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  14. Locksmith

    Locksmith Member

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    Don’t recall what the nutserts are made of. I tend to like stainless, so that might be it. Regarding coax, I bought nmo mounts with the thin cable because the gaps between the body panels are so small. Not like cars of the 70’s and 80’s where you could drive a truck between them.
     
  15. zigzag

    zigzag New Member

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    I just bought a Prius plug-in and started looking today at how to fit my FT8900. I can't see how to get the power from the 12V battery from the engine compartment. I have not had the courage yet to take anything apart. Maybe I need to do that to see the route for the cable. Any pictures would be appreciated. There are some differences here since I am in the UK, the driver's side is on the Right so some things are mirror image.

    Kevin
    G8GOS
     
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  16. Elektroingenieur

    Elektroingenieur Senior Member

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    The Electrical Wiring Diagram, available by subscription to toyota-tech.eu, has a Location & Routing section that shows where the wire harnesses pass through the firewall. The right-hand drive and left-hand drive models are shown separately, of course.
     
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  17. zigzag

    zigzag New Member

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    Thank You!
     
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  18. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

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    Wait, the 12V battery is under the hood? On a 2012? I'm pretty sure it's in the hatch area.
     
  19. RCO

    RCO Senior Member

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    Welcome to Prius Chat @zigzag . You'll find lots of great help from the Prius zealots, engineers and enthusiasts in here. They're mainly on the upper left side of the Atlantic, but you could have a brows around the Generation 3 forum Page Not Found | PriusChat as for car is Gen 3 and this is the Gen 4 forum. There are sub forums which might be more interesting for you over there, but your always welcome to drop in here from time to time.
     
  20. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    The 2012 user posted in the Gen 4 forum with Gen 4 mentioned in the title. The Gen 4 has the battery under the hood/bonnet.
     
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