Installation of HF radio

Submitted: Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 07:53
ThreadID: 67285 Views:4162 Replies:5 FollowUps:4
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Have ordered new Codan HF radio hoping to get it installed next week. Am looking for some advice on the best positioning for the radio components and aerial. Firstly I have heard that it is now illegal in some states to have aerial on the bull bar. For me that is my only option at the moment unless I spend a lot of money and fit a new bumper and spare wheel carrier on the rear of the vehicle.
Secondly not sure where to mount the radio unit my vehicle is a crew cab with a canopy on the Ute tub. Is it best mounted in the cabin or possibly in the canopy?

Your advice on the above would be very much appreciated
Regards
John
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Reply By: Member - Alastair D (NSW) - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 08:30

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 08:30
John,
I have a Codan NGT and autotune aerial.
1. I spoke to an RTA vehicle inspector and he advised that it was legal to mount it on the bull-bar provided no part projected forward ie it must all remain behind the leading edge of the barwork. Also it must not obscure vision. Mine is mounted on the passenger side on the built in mount on my TJM bar.

2. Do not underestimate the weight of the autotune aerial. The mount needs to be very strong. Also make sure the aerial earth strap is bolted to a good clean spot and has a good low resistance path. This is critical for good performance.

3. Mount the main unit in a place where it is out of the way and not at risk of getting wet. You do not need to access it for normal use.

4. The power feed must be good and it is preferable to use the Codan cable. Run both the positive and negative back to the battery. You should also earth the main unit to a convenient spot where you mount it.

5. It is preferable to not run the aerial, control cables and power all together. This can cause problems due to crosstalk when transmitting. Try and keep a bit of separation for the majority of the run.

6. There are issues that can cause noise pickup from ignition or injectors etc but these tend to be vehicle specific. In most cases on modern vehicles it seems ok. Have been told that the injector systems on some of the new CRD cause problems but can be sorted.

Good luck the NGT is a great unit. Take your time and do the install well and all should be good.

alastair
AnswerID: 356800

Reply By: HappyCamper - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 09:04

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 09:04
G'day John

A few years ago I had a Codan in a Hilux DualCab and it was mounted vertically on the rear wall behind the seat (which tilted forward). There was 'just' enough space although I stuck some foam onto the radio with double sided tape for protection.

Keep the unit up off the floor in case you have to cross deep water at any time...saves taking the radio for a swim!! LOL Not sure I'd put it in the canopy 'unless' your canopy is more waterproof than mine was. Also, how secure is your canopy? Only you can answer these questions.

The autotune antenna was left of center but on the bumper section of the bullbar as it's quite heavy and needs somewhere substantial to mount.

Hope this helps?
Bronwyn ;-)
AnswerID: 356804

Reply By: Zebra400 - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 09:10

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 09:10
John

I see you live in NSW. The RTA state that an object fitted to a vehicle must be designed, built and fitted to the vehicle in such a way that minimises the likelihood of injury to a person making contact with the vehicle, and

a motor vehicle must be built to allow the driver a view of the road and of traffic to the front and sides of the vehicle so the driver can drive the vehicle safely.

From this it looks like it is up to the authorities whether the width of your auto tune antenna restricts you view.

Down here in Vic, the wording is different in that the antenna cannot be wider than 30mm. Therefore autotune antennas are generally wider than that so are illegal.

Most 4WD's mount then on a rear wheel carrier. Of course the best place for an antenna is in the middle of the roof, but that is not possible with standard 4WDs.
AnswerID: 356806

Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 09:35

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 09:35
Same in Qld
I have mine on the rear spare wheel carrier.

Made a bracket and put it where the worklight nomally slides into.



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FollowupID: 624891

Reply By: oldfart1953 - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 10:18

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 10:18
Hi John,
You have purchased a great radio, I have an NGT myself & thet are a great unit & very easy to use once you have mastered the keypad on the hand piece.....if I can,.. anyone can.
Aerial positioning... I believe in Victoria & SA the powers that be are against the mounting of the antenna on the front of the vehicle...possible obstruction to vision. Here in NSW as already mentioned as long as it doesn't protrude forward of the bullbar you will be OK. In NSW there are State Government vehicles running around with aerials mounted on the front bar...so until they get rid of these vehicles the coppers cant book you, here in NSW at least. Having an HF radio fitted of course you are going to be travelling, touch wood I havent been questioned or booked whilst driving interstate withe aerial mounted on the front. I currently have a LC 200 series with the aerial mounted on the bullbar, on the same side as SWMBO. Well didn't she perform when she saw it mounted there....I don't want that big bulls dick in front of me....but very quickly she got used to it being there.....it's as it you see right through it. (I also have the phone & UHF aerials mounted on the bullbar)
With the aerial you will have two leads going to the aerial & one earth strap coming from the aerial. The earth strap is nearly a meter long & is designed for universal mounting it will have three positions along the strap where you can earth it out In my first vehicle that I had this radio fitted to (LC100) I earthed it out at three points (overkill I know) BUT I cannot over stress the importance of having a good earth. To enhance the fitment of the aerial astheticly I fitted a length of heat shrink over the cables & earth strap (base of aerial to where it goes through the grill). Pay particular attention when sealing the leads to the aerial with the special tape supplied you don't want moisture/dirt getting into the pug & sockets
A suggestion also don't cut any cables or leads during the installation, coil up neatly any excess cable length as you may need it in you next vehicle when you install the radio into that vehicle. As mentioned in a Alistair's post earth out the cradle that supports the 'base unit'. I have always hard wired the power lead directly to the battery.
The remote speaker I mounted under my seat tied on with cable ties to the seat springs....works for me.
When driving/using the vehicle leave the radio on 'scan' so that you can be reached by selcall if need be.
You possibly have already considered a network to join?...if not have a look at www.hfradioclub.com.au a very friendly & active group (yes I am a member).
In closing enjoy your radio (participate in sked's practise make perfect) & MAKE SURE your partner also knows how to use the radio as well!!!
Make sure when you drive into a servo or bottle shop you don't take out a row of fluro lights with the aerial....very embarrassing!!!

Tony H
Hunter Valley
Insanity doesnt run in my family.... it gallops!

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AnswerID: 356823

Reply By: blue one - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 12:31

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 12:31
John,
I have the 9350 mounted on a back door bracket, the aerial sits next to the spare tyre and the bracket is mounted between the door and the spare. The bulk of the aerial is protected by the body and the roof rack and it has a stainless whip on it. This makes the unit bullet proof in the bush with regards to being knocked by trees etc. If the whip cops it then you just bend it back into shape. You can't even knock it if reversing.

The location of the aerial doesn't affect its performance as I can easily talk to Albany from the NSW coast.

This is my second HF radio and it has done over 12,000ks on some rough tracks without missing a beat. The NGT is a great unit.

Cheers

Steve
AnswerID: 356846

Follow Up By: Angler - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 15:52

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 15:52
Mounted mine on an extension of the spare wheel mount of my Patrol.

Works fine with my codan.

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Follow Up By: Member - Mike DID - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 19:27

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 19:27
"The location of the aerial doesn't affect its performance"
- detailed tests by Codan show that rear-mounting caused significant signal loss in some directions.


" as I can easily talk to Albany from the NSW coast. "
- all that shows, is how well HF signals are reflected by the Ionosphere.

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FollowupID: 625169

Follow Up By: blue one - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 22:03

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 22:03
Mike,
At the end of the day I can hit Albany at 10.00am and 7.00pm whilst mobile in all directions and states inclusive of NSW, VIC and TAS.

This is over a 12 month period.

Get out there more.

Cheers
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FollowupID: 625225

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