Ham Radio Install in a Prime?

Discussion in 'Prime Accessories and Modifications' started by thorn, Mar 17, 2018.

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  1. thorn

    thorn Junior Member

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    I just got a Prime and was looking to install a VHF/UHF radio and antenna. I was briefly looking at the firewall and don't see any access (rubber plugs) through the firewall for connecting to the 12v battery. My 2004 had the 12v in the back and was easy. Also, the hatchback is not metal and no way to use a lip mount on it, not much of a ground plane for an antenna. :(

    I never had any problems with the 2004, I wonder about RFI on the Prime?

    Anyone had luck installing a ham radio system in the Prime?

    Thanks
     
  2. ct89

    ct89 Active Member

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    I was able to run a wire out the rubber plug used for the hood latch release. Remove many of the fasteners holding the plastic liner of the front left wheel well and you can easily fish the wire from the plug across the top under the plastic and into the side of the engine compartment. It emerges right behind the outside edge of the battery.

    This was a while ago so I don't have pics but as I recall it was pretty easy once the wheel was off and the plastic liner mostly removed. I don't think I needed to take plastic liner completely off but maybe. Use a flashlight and you can see the path forward from the wheel well into the engine compartment. If memory serves, I used a thin screwdriver to poke a hole through the rubber plug from the outside in and then taped a wire to the end of the screwdriver and pulled it back through. But as I said, that was a while ago.
     
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  3. thorn

    thorn Junior Member

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    Thanks. I'll take a look tomorrow. There's not much room in the engine compartment! At least the battery is easy to get to and on the left.
     
  4. Mark57

    Mark57 Senior Member

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    Be sure to update your vehicle type in your forum profile to reflect your new Prime.
     
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  5. thorn

    thorn Junior Member

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    It won't let me add the new one? What happens if you have 2 or more cars?

     
  6. Mark57

    Mark57 Senior Member

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    Sorry that panel only allows for one, but you could put it in your signature line. Knowing what you have helps others give better answers.
     
  7. cirruspete

    cirruspete Junior Member

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    Just found this thread... I'm a ham too, and would like to install a 2/440 Kenwood in my 2017 Prime Advanced next week. Did you ever try to connect a radio in your Prius? I had the same rig in my 2004 and 2012 plug-in. Like you, I had a trunk-lid mount on the hatch, but now what do we do to get a good antenna ground? Thanks, Peter KM6U
     
  8. SR-71

    SR-71 Member

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    I ran a Yaesu FTM-400DR in my 2004 Prius for a few years. Unfortunately not much room for this control head in my Prius Prime Advanced. I'd be interested in seeing any installation photos. Butch KF4HR
     
  9. thorn

    thorn Junior Member

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    I did not get notified about any new posts in the thread.
    I still have not run the wire from the front to under the seat where I have the rig. I'm just using the 12v cig lighter plug in the back for now. I took off the wheel well plastic liner partly off today to look. I'll have time tomorrow.

    I'm using a mag mount for now, there's no easy way to use a lip mount on the back, it's thicker and made of composite. There are a couple of bolts on the back on the side of the hatchback, I was thinking if there is a way to bend some metal, drill some holes and mount a ant mount to it, that might be the way to do it. Or drill a hole in the roof. :eek: Not an easy car to install a radio in.



     
  10. Guy in WNY

    Guy in WNY Junior Member

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    I used a Comet RS-720 mount and ended up putting it on the one small, flat spot near on the rear drivers side door. I had a mount for my hamsticks on the door on the 2007. It's one of the few places on these cars that has metal to secure the setscrews to.
    I have the Alinco RT-735T and SR8T for HF/VHF/UHF in my Prius Prime and use the Lido seat bolt mount for the control heads. That is, for now, because with it bolted on you can't slide the passenger seat all the way forward.
    Will work on the power and speaker locations today.
    Just got the car 2 weeks ago.
    I'll post up a few pictures when I log in with my phone.
    Guy, KC2PMM
     
  11. Guy in WNY

    Guy in WNY Junior Member

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  12. Guy in WNY

    Guy in WNY Junior Member

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    That's it so far. Will try to get more done today, at the very least a cigarette lighter plug adapter for the dual bander.
    It's a work in progress....
    Guy, KC2PMM
     
  13. thorn

    thorn Junior Member

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    Thanks for the photos, looks good. I guess that's a possibility, I think our the kids won't like getting into the back with the ant there. I was thinking of the channel on the roof that's for a roof rack. If I can find a "T" slot bolt or something that I could use it may work.

    How does HF work? I tried it in my 2004 and the noise was 59+ on HF.

    tnx 73

     
  14. Guy in WNY

    Guy in WNY Junior Member

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    Yes, HF was very noisy in the 2007 with the car turned on. Almost unusable. However, I did only have everything in the '07 for a few months, with the lido mount and the separation kits. I had the radio bodies in the trunk tray, and pulled the power for the MFJ power strip right off the 12vdc battery in the back.
    With the Prime, the radio bodies have to go under the front seats, and the power will have to come from under the hood. Just a bit different.
    I have a dozen bonding straps to stick all over the place. I talked to a guy at Dayton this year, and he was having mild success in his Prius plug-in, and what he had done was bond everything with short straps and even cut the exhaust pipe in two and bonded each section! He had the VHF/UHF dual bander, then a Baby Tarheel on a custom bracket he designed.
    I'll try the hamsticks first.
    Guy, KC2PMM
     
  15. thorn

    thorn Junior Member

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    It was much easier to get power from the back in my 2004 Prius. I have not taken the time to run the power from the front yet. I wonder in electric mode if there will be less noise? In the 2004, it was very quiet in neutral. I might stick to just VHF and UHF. :(



     
  16. Ron in CNY

    Ron in CNY New Member

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    Here is an antenna solution that takes about 30 minutes to install and does not require any firewall penetrations.

    Antenna bracket is a Diamond K400SNMO mounted and routed as follows (pictures provided):
    • Mount the bracket to the passenger side of hood (rear of hood)
    • Route coax counter clockwise around bracket to the passenger side vertical rubber windshield gasket
    • Scoot coax vertically under windshield gasket up to the seam between side and roof panels. 1 sticky back retainer required)
    • Scoot coax into the seam towards the triangular black plastic side panel
    • Scoot coax clockwise under the triangular black plastic side panel. A plastic pry tool will provide enough clearance for this. No need to remove the panel
    • Transition to the door jamb and follow the door jamb down until just below the travel limit mechanism (2 sticky back retainers required)
    • Transition under the glove box towards the center console. The coax can be routed above the plastic panel at the bottom of the dash
    • Route between the dash and the center console then follow the space between the console and the driver's seat right side.
    • Exit the rear of the center console, loop to the under seat space where the rig is located and cover the half loop with the floor mat

      Rig is a Yaesu FTM-400 with sticky back Velcro (hook portion) attached to rig's mounting bracket. That secures the rig to the carpeting under the driver's side seat. Front panel is mounted with the Lido seat bolt mount. I believe I had to reverse and bend the bolt bracket to eliminate mechanical interference with the seat mechanism.

      Ron, WB2WGH
    • IMG_20200212_142806.jpg IMG_20200212_142816.jpg IMG_20200212_142826.jpg IMG_20200212_142901.jpg IMG_20200212_142912.jpg IMG_20200212_142938.jpg
     
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  17. cirruspete

    cirruspete Junior Member

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    I recently installed a Kenwood TM-742A tribander in my 2017 Prime Advanced. I followed the advice of another poster above in routing the 12V positive cable from the battery, through the rubber flex grommet through which passes the hood release cable. I worked from the battery end first, piercing the grommet from inside the car with a thin screwdriver, then taping the 12V + wire to the and of the screwdriver to pull the wire in the passenger compartment. I'll post some more pics, but here are a few pics showing how you have to remover the left front wheelwell plastic liners to expose the grommet.


    Regards, KM6U


    Prius Ham Radio Install (3).jpg Prius Ham Radio Install (10).jpg Prius Ham Radio Install (11).jpg Prius Ham Radio Install (3).jpg Prius Ham Radio Install (10).jpg Prius Ham Radio Install (11).jpg Prius Ham Radio Install (3).jpg
     
  18. route246

    route246 Member

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    I'm also thinking about this. I'm leaning towards going full field day mode using something like an Anker Powerhouse 200 (or similar). It is a hassle to connect directly to the battery so why not just bring your own? These portable power units come in all shapes and sizes now.

    73 NB6Q
     
  19. cirruspete

    cirruspete Junior Member

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    well, if you’re running a 50 W VHF radio, you will soon exhaust that little portable battery....
     
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