Barrett 550HF - What size fuse?

Submitted: Saturday, Apr 02, 2005 at 22:34
ThreadID: 21727 Views:4249 Replies:7 FollowUps:8
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Getting ready to install our recently purchased 2nd hand Barrett 550 HF with remote head. Scoured through the users manual including the section on installation but can't seem to find what size fuse should be used. Manual does say "Not less than 12.6 VDC @ 20 amp peak supply is necessary..." so I'm guessing the fuse must be bigger than 20 amps but what size. Can anyone shed some light please?

:o) Melissa
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Reply By: Bob of KAOS - Saturday, Apr 02, 2005 at 22:46

Saturday, Apr 02, 2005 at 22:46
Go with the 20 A fuse. 20 X 12 is 240 watts. The max power output of radio is 125 so it would be unlikely to draw the full 240Watts. If the 20 keeps blowing try a 30 A fuse.
AnswerID: 104847

Reply By: Member - 'Lucy' - Saturday, Apr 02, 2005 at 22:52

Saturday, Apr 02, 2005 at 22:52
Evening Melissa

I really have to 'fessup' that I have no idea what so ever what size fuse it would take.

However, you seemed to have sourced yourself a bargain here as I have kept an eye on your previous posts querying same.

May I please ask where did you get it from and if not to rude a question, what was the end price.

I am going to start the same project and previous experience is gold in a situation like this.


Ken Robinson
AnswerID: 104848

Follow Up By: Member - Melissa - Saturday, Apr 02, 2005 at 23:53

Saturday, Apr 02, 2005 at 23:53
Hi Ken,

Don't mind your questions at all if the answers will help...we sourced the HF through WA's premier trading post the Quokka. We'd been watching it for quite a while before something came up and it was quite an educational experience in itself. As we discovered beware the HF novice as some of the units advertised would have been dead losses due to age, cost/difficulty of re-tuning, lack of available parts etc and some of the prices being asked for these units was outrageous.

Anyway, we ended up paying $800 for the Barrett 550 with remote head, selcall, user manual and a good tapped antenna with spring base. Unit and antenna were all tuned up with the desirable frequencies (VKS737, RFDS etc). We were able to see the unit operating so had peace of mind on that aspect. All indications are that this was at the very least a fair price, perhaps even a bargain. We recently met and chatted with Stewart Gillam of VKS737 Perth base and he reckoned it was a steal and also that the 550 is an excellent model, very reliable etc.

Ken, we are still HF novices but a little more experienced than when we started out. My advise is to ring VKS737 4WD Network (either head office or a state base) and have a chat with them about what your needs are in a secondhand HF. We found them very welcoming, informative and willing to share some of their vast experience. Also, I rang a couple of HF dealers in Perth and also found them happy to discuss the merits of various makes, models and prices (remember even though you may not ultimately purchase a HF through them, as a future HF owner you're a potential customer). As to sourcing a second hand HF, keep an eye out in your local trading post, the VKS737 market page and contact your local HF dealers as I discovered most of them sell secondhand HF's (subject to availability) and may even have a website with a trading page.

Lastly, figure out what frequencies you definitely want (in our case VKS737 and RFDS) and make a note of them. When you inquire about a unit ask the seller to tell you specifically if the unit is tuned to these. With many of the later models its not a big deal if not because they can usually be easily retuned but you will most likely have to pay someone to do it for you. Also is the antenna tuned to the unit/frequencies, particularly if it is a tapped antenna as a tuned HF without a correspondingly tapped antenna is useless. You would be surprised how many sellers we contacted made claims such as "tuned to all 4wd and emergency channels" when in fact this wasn't the case or was very loosely interpreted. Sorry if I'm telling you how to suck eggs...

:o) Melissa
FollowupID: 362112

Reply By: Member - 'Lucy' - Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 01:43

Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 01:43
Thank you for the time and effort and information Melissa.

I was just telling another member that I have jammed so much stuff (good stuff mind you) into a our Troopy Pop Top that it is now 'squeezed for space to fit a HF.

In the end I might have to buy a new one with a remote head and the smallest set box available.

Whatever, your info has given me food for thought and a starting point for asking questions etc etc.

Thank you again.

Ken Robinson

AnswerID: 104861

Follow Up By: GOB & denny vic member - Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 08:17

Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 08:17
goodday lucy
i also recently purchased a unit but got mine off ebay reasonably priced thru the auction as melissa said be careful as most of the early sets had crystals which are becoming hard to get and expensive to get installed vks737 s/h shop currently havea few and there are a couple on ebay also a couple that shouldnt be touched (although i havent looked in the last few days )

FollowupID: 362118

Follow Up By: Member - Melissa - Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 10:17

Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 10:17
No worries Ken. We had to make an overhead console for our GU to house radio's etc as there is just no room in the dash. As luck would have it we copied a commercially built console that happened to be fitted with a remote head Barrett HF and at the time we thought we'd reserve that spot in the console because you never know, maybe one day...

:o) Melissa
FollowupID: 362131

Follow Up By: Member - 'Lucy' - Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 16:51

Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 16:51
Thanks for the above

FollowupID: 362155

Reply By: Member - Davoe (WA) - Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 08:24

Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 08:24
All the Hf setups I have seen use a house fuse set up under the bonnet.
AnswerID: 104868

Follow Up By: Michael Carey - Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 08:52

Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 08:52
One of the things that Codan used to be "hot" on was using a decent fuse holder. They recommended a 32A "house type" HRC fuse. Not for the HRC capability, but for the solid, reliable contact with the actual fuse.
NEVER be tempted to use a plain old 3AG fuse (or even a blade fuse) and holder with HF, it will let you down when you need if most. HF radios draw ~20A on voice peaks and if you use selcall, this is a constant current draw! Do a few selcalls and a "hot" joint in you DC cable or fuse holder will heat up enough to be felt, possibly enough to melt and cause damage...
Bear in mind too, that the fuse is also there to protect the cable incase it get shorted to the vehicle. Always make sure the current rating of the fuse is less that what the cable is able to handle. No good sticking a 32A fuse on 1.5mm cable!!
I am quite paranoid with my HF power cabling. I'm in the process of running a 40mm cable to where my transceiver is mounted, not for it's current handling ability, but to lower any voltage drop on transmit. It's no good having 13.8V at the battery end of the cable if you only get 11V or less at the radio end! Also in the near future, this cable will be extended to the tray of my Hilux for a dual battery setup.
FollowupID: 362120

Follow Up By: Member - Melissa - Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 10:25

Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 10:25
Thanks Michael,

The seller gave us a "house" type fuse holder (15-20A, 500V) with the unit and based on your answer it sounds like we should stick with this type of holder. I'll ring Barrett tomorrow though and have a chat to them about correct size fuse and cable. Thanks for your help.

:o) Melissa

FollowupID: 362133

Reply By: Member - Banjo (SA) - Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 09:17

Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 09:17
M....Just had a look on my fuse set up for my "Outback Traveller Pack" Barrett 950 system (bought my system used) - guess the fuse system is ex Barrett factory supply. The actual fuse is 25A - Its in a HD black plastic fuse holder made by MEM - 32A - 415V - Vertex. Numbers inside are: BS2476 / AS2005 / BS88. The actual fuse is a barrell type with large blades on each end - 25A PN 25SN2 - it simply slots into the MEM holder which has metal receivers for the blades. Its the sort of thing that is trouble free once set up - well designed, heavy duty - is not going to rattle to bits. I reckon its the sort of fuse and holder commonly used on fixed machinery applications in industry.
AnswerID: 104879

Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (WA) - Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 09:36

Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 09:36
yep sounds about right but dont bother looking in your auto parts shop for the fuse - it is a house fuse so get it from your electrical supply shop
FollowupID: 362124

Follow Up By: Member - Melissa - Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 10:23

Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 10:23

Thanks for your replies. The seller gave us one of these fuse holders with the unit. I've just had a look though and it is only rated at 20A but 500V. Think I'll ring Barrett tomorrow and get their advice re fuse and cabling ratings. Will buy a bigger fuse housing if necessary but will stick with this type of fuse. Thanks again.
FollowupID: 362132

Reply By: Footloose - Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 09:48

Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 09:48
For the prospective HF users, this site may be of interest

For the not so novice users, you may get a smile out of this

AnswerID: 104892

Reply By: Peter 2 - Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 18:06

Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 18:06
The big house type fuse holder and a 25,30 or 32 amp fuse is correct for anormal HF installation and is what Barrett supply in the fitting kit.
I've installed dozens of HF's over the years and all with that type of fuse and the supplied heavy power cable.
A few points to note before installing the unit.
Read the accompanying installation notes that come with the radio.
NEVER connect the negative power lead to the battery, always connect it at the chassis end of the negative battery cable. This is done to prevent the HF providing the negative leg in the event of a loose or broken vehicle negative cable. Believe me the HF will never work again after the cranking currents to the starter have passed through it!
If mounting antennas on bullbars or rear tyre carriers/bumpers make sure the component is well connected electrically to the chassis/body, most aren't and nay resistance here will degrade signal and prevent autotune antennas tuning correctly.
If mounting on or near rear tyre carriers make sure the auto antenna body is above the tyre case other wise the steel belts in the tyre act like a faraday cage degrading signal and causing tuning problems.
AnswerID: 104945

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