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Author Topic: Radio installation questions  (Read 8916 times)

carson

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Radio installation questions
« on: September 16, 2007, 04:16:39 PM »
Finally getting around to putting my rigs into mobile operation again.

My first project is to get my antenna system in place. Plan on using individual tunable antennas such as hamsticks or equiv. Placement would be on rear ladder, removed during transit.

My question: When connecting the ground wire from the antenna to the frame of the RV, what are the best washers, if any, to use between the steel frame and the wire connector; trying to prevent electrolysis, oxidization etc.  Would they be zinc coated, stainless steel, or???
   Most ring connectors are zinc plated, will that suffice?
I guess copper wire against steel is NOT the best way to go.
carson

Carson, 
 West Central Florida
Ex RV'er. (1995 Winnebago Adventurer)
2007 Buick Rendezvous, SUV / CROSSOVER

...Logic works like a charm...

ph terry AR

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Re: Radio installation questions
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2007, 05:04:51 PM »
I'd go w/ stainless. If you know any electricians u might get a dab of antioxidant compound from,  that would be preferred method. Different names such as penetrox, no-alox, de-ox, etc.
I'm retired thanks to cancer. I am busy staying alive and living each day to its fullest. Recently purchased a 5th wheel to tour some of the USA and soak it all in. I am also, a parrotthead (Jimmy Buffett nut) and am restorining a 1977 Ford Bronco. Happily married and a dog lover.

John From Detroit

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Re: Radio installation questions
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2007, 07:01:41 PM »
I use stainless.  I'm not sure it's best but for my Long wire connection I use stainless.
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

phil-in-nc

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Re: Radio installation questions
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2008, 06:01:02 PM »
I do some marine wiring and the best thing I have found is the marine ring conectors.  (stainless I think)  The other thing I usually do is to make a disconect in the ground wire somewhere in line other than the bolt conection to the frame and then a shot of a good rust-o-lum paint to cover the conection will help with weather corrosion.

I have done it this way on several vehicles and boats and never had a problem with my connections I by no means am an expert but it seems to work OK for me.

73

phil / KI4GBN
Phil York
2005 Flagstaff 28RLSS
kI4GBN

rovinsteve

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Re: Radio installation questions
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2008, 09:36:10 PM »
The ladder may be well grounded already, but check with an ohmmeter to be sure.
--Steve, NO7V
Steve

King

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Re: Radio installation questions
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2008, 08:09:39 AM »
The best electrical connection is with an internal star (or internal tooth) lockwasher.  Then cover it with rtv.
Art

King

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Re: Radio installation questions
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2008, 08:10:52 AM »
That's between the ring terminal and the grounded metal.
Art

carson

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Re: Radio installation questions
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2008, 02:21:45 PM »
Thanks all who checked in,

    I haven't gotten around to the project yet ( you know how it is...time flies  :) )

The ladder is heavy-duty but is hanging strictly on the Fiberglas body so I will have to run a ground.

The star washer idea is good, especially if coated with a bit of anti-oxide grease. I will use my AUTEK antenna RF Analyst to see if the length of the ground wire has any effect on tuning.

Check out this AUTEK link

Works like a darn.

Thanks again guys, 73  carson
Carson, 
 West Central Florida
Ex RV'er. (1995 Winnebago Adventurer)
2007 Buick Rendezvous, SUV / CROSSOVER

...Logic works like a charm...

rovinsteve

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  • Ham: NO7V
Re: Radio installation questions
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2008, 04:46:19 PM »
I talked with a group of motorhome mobile hams today here in a park in Alabama and one had a unique solution for his antenna.  He decided that, since the ladder isn't grounded, why not use it for the antenna?  He mounted his SGC auto tuner inside the rear panel and tunes it with that.  When stopped, he adds a whip on top of the ladder for a little more surface.  Seems to work well for him.  That's such a neat idea I may try in myself!

--Steve, NO7V
Steve

Smoky

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Re: Radio installation questions
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2008, 02:16:39 PM »
I am hoping someone will give a detailed description on how to attach to the frame.  I assume you mean chassis frame.

Do you need to drill a hole, or do you use an existing ground point?

I have also often wondered why the negative terminal of the chassis battery cannot be used?  The battery cable itself is a heavy duty cable (required for all ground connections) and I assume it is attached to the chassis like in a car.

I am always told this will not work, but no one has yet offered me an understandable explanation why the negative terminal cannot be used.

I am looking forward to further education on Motorhome ground connections for ham radio.

Smoky S  Ham radio - W3PY

The magic of a campfire
where the fish get bigger
the mountains get higher
the hike was uphill both ways
and new friends become old friends

2005 KSDP3910 Newmar Kountry Star
Toad - Taurus wagon w/ axle lock
On our way to the Poudre River in Colorado for the summer!

John From Detroit

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Re: Radio installation questions
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2008, 04:04:45 PM »
The answer depends on  your rig,  On my rig the frame rales extend almost all the way to the rear of the rig, and the trailer hitch is attached, rather well, to said frame rails

There is a hole, I can bolt to already drilled in the frame rail or I can "U" (Well "D bolt) to the trailer hitch rail as well

If I add an antenna that needs that kind of mounting, I'm going to use the frame hole I suspect but might use what amounts to a clamp on bumper hitch on the tow hitch rail
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

Smoky

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Re: Radio installation questions
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2008, 06:23:37 PM »
Since my rig is mounted in the front, I need to find a front end frame access point.

Also, does anyone know why you can't ground to the negative chassis terminal?  I have easy access to the negative terminal right under the driver seat.

Smoky S  Ham radio - W3PY

The magic of a campfire
where the fish get bigger
the mountains get higher
the hike was uphill both ways
and new friends become old friends

2005 KSDP3910 Newmar Kountry Star
Toad - Taurus wagon w/ axle lock
On our way to the Poudre River in Colorado for the summer!

carson

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Re: Radio installation questions
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2008, 06:51:27 PM »
Hi Smokey,

    I have never heard of a reason not to connect to the neg terminal of the battery.

On my RV the negative cable is about 2-3 feet long and connects directly to the chassis via a special heavy duty bracket on the frame. Unless I someone can give a good scientific reason not to do so, I would not hesitate to connect there.

    You may want to look where your cable connects to the frame and make up your mind at that point.

carson FL  (been hamming since 1958)



Carson, 
 West Central Florida
Ex RV'er. (1995 Winnebago Adventurer)
2007 Buick Rendezvous, SUV / CROSSOVER

...Logic works like a charm...

John From Detroit

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Re: Radio installation questions
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2008, 07:24:09 PM »
Depends a bit on the radio, however running different paths affects the inductance of the wires some.  IN SOME CASES this can result in increased ignition noise or alternator whine in the radio IN SOME CASES

and with very high power radios (Full gallon basically) it might affect key status changes (Switching from Transit to Receive and back) as the wire is reluctant to change the amount of current flowing.

However,  99.9 percent of the time, I suspect it will work just fine

What I can not understand is alternator whine in my CB radio

Understand that it runs off the house batteries, 10ga wire all the way back to a pair of Interstate U-220's.  How the whine is getting past those suckers I don't know... The ham rig (Same power path) is not bothered, nor is the other cb
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

carson

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Re: Radio installation questions
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2008, 09:17:50 AM »
John,... re your noisy Chaos Box (CB), here is what I would do:

Determine if the noise is getting into the radio via power leads or via the antenna system.

   1. Use a separate, freestanding battery for power temporarily to check out the RV wiring system as a source of the problem problem.

   2. If noise is still there, then it must be radiated alternator spikes feeding into the antenna system. Perhaps your antenna coax routing is responsible, or the coax is defective/poorly grounded shield via the connectors, etc.

    It is even possible that the alternator has an exceptionally spiky output, ie. bad diode?

If all else fails, cut all wires to the CB and leave it that way.  ;D

FWIW,  carson FL



Carson, 
 West Central Florida
Ex RV'er. (1995 Winnebago Adventurer)
2007 Buick Rendezvous, SUV / CROSSOVER

...Logic works like a charm...

John From Detroit

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  • ^My New Home^
    • Diabetics Forum
Re: Radio installation questions
« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2008, 01:05:23 PM »
You know ... Trying a stand alone battery for a short time is easier than you might think, as the way it's wired it is a matter of one plug.  (Anderson Power Pole) I can do that.

I do not think it is the antenna cable routing, the antenna cable does not go anywhere near any 12 volt wiring,  Long way off.

However that said, Since I normally cruise on auto-pilot the tone turns into a constant drone and the mental audio filters notchitout faster than you can say "BE GONE" so it's not that much of an issue. After 25 years on the Police Radio desk, and 40 as a ham radio operator, I've got 1st class mental audio filters :)
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

Smoky

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Re: Radio installation questions
« Reply #16 on: March 25, 2008, 09:17:31 PM »
I am gonna give the neg bat terminal a try.
Smoky S  Ham radio - W3PY

The magic of a campfire
where the fish get bigger
the mountains get higher
the hike was uphill both ways
and new friends become old friends

2005 KSDP3910 Newmar Kountry Star
Toad - Taurus wagon w/ axle lock
On our way to the Poudre River in Colorado for the summer!