Barrett 950 & Engine Electrics issues??

Submitted: Monday, Jan 07, 2013 at 10:52
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Hi all

I have a Barrett 950 HF fitted to my L'Cruiser 4.5TD V8 but never have it on whilst engine running...simply because at the time of fitting it to the new vehicle..I was led to believe that it the radio) may cause some issues with the electronics on the vehicle

It would be convenient to have it on whilst driving on a forthcoming trip as I need to be able to sched with the camp

Any comments on the pros and cons of trabsmit/receive whilst driving with this vehivle/radio set up?

I had no issues in the old Hilux but was not common rail

Thanks
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Reply By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Monday, Jan 07, 2013 at 11:10

Monday, Jan 07, 2013 at 11:10
The general thrust of the advice you received is true, in that TX on that radio (probably others as well) can spook the computer signals in many modern vehicles. I can TX voice on my 950 in my LC100 series GXL while mobile*, but I once sent a selcall while cruising and it killed the engine ! Had to coast and restart (scary - dangerous - not again). Technicians (I'm not one) suggest a meticulous installation that satisfies various protocols (shielding and earthing mainly, as I recall) can avoid these issues. I simply did a basic install and ensured that all relevant components were well earthed throughout - this setup suits my circumstances. Seeing the 950 is getting 'old' now, it may well be that the current generation HF's in the big brands might do a whole lot better.
*In-car circuit noises while mobile make both Rx and TX impractical for me a lot of the time; I just stop if I have to comm. with someone (many others do the same).
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Follow Up By: Member - bungarra (WA) - Monday, Jan 07, 2013 at 12:44

Monday, Jan 07, 2013 at 12:44
Thanks everyone for your input

So based on the replies would I be best doing

1) as I do now .......engine off and then turn on use it then and only then
2) monitor for sellcalls in whilst driving BUT then pull over shut down engine before answer

thanks
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Follow Up By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Monday, Jan 07, 2013 at 17:18

Monday, Jan 07, 2013 at 17:18
In my view, your conclusion is practical and effective - you can run the selcall scan while mobile (anyone who needs you can trigger your alarm - that incoming can be discerned by the 950 among the 'noise' your car may create - I have experienced that on mine, while mobile). As for pulling over and turning off to make comms with someone - the only question there is how hard your turbo has been working - in general, they don't like a hard working / high heat level stop. If that was a concern, you could probably Tx back while it is running, and you are pulled over, and ask the caller to "stand by for 2 minutes' etc..
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Follow Up By: KSV - Monday, Jan 07, 2013 at 21:55

Monday, Jan 07, 2013 at 21:55
I would agree with Darian - HF emits so much stuff it is no joke. If you intend to transmit at full power on the move (to be precise when engine running), my advise will be do proper grounding. You MUST ground tuner to body in best possible way and with shortest possible cable. Mounting tuner on swing wheel carrier often suffer from incredibly bad grounding. Best pre-made installation that I seen is brackets on rear door hinges. Or you could make your own one.
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Reply By: Stu & "Bob" - Monday, Jan 07, 2013 at 11:17

Monday, Jan 07, 2013 at 11:17
I am interested in this myself, as I am toying with the idea of updating both HF and vehicle at some stage.


.
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Reply By: Ozhumvee - Monday, Jan 07, 2013 at 11:32

Monday, Jan 07, 2013 at 11:32
I used to install HF's as a living and basically yes if the engine is running then the radio will be picking up lots of interference which can overload the receiver and in turn can also affect the engine electrics to the extent that as others have said it can stop the engine.
In some vehicles you can limit the extent to which they affect each other but to completely stop interference in both directions on a modern EFI vehicle is nigh on impossible or financially feasible.
Attention to earthing ALL panels, doors and bonnet, including the exhaust and all mechanical components including the diffs, gearbox and transfer case individually to the chassis and in turn the engine/battery ground by fitting individual braided tinned copper earth straps. To do this correctly you remove mounting bolts, remove all paint etc back to shiny metal and refit the bolt ensuring that the braid makes a good electrical contact.
Don't forget the bullbar and towbar either. Individual electrical items like instrument and warning light senders will all need individual suppressing and you will also need to somehow shield the injection wiring and ECU.
As most customers did not wish to outlay the much larger cost of an installation on EFI vehicles we used to advise that the radio would be virtually unusable whilst the engine and other accessories were running.
Even in our 1HZ powered troopy with all the above done the wife and I had a shutdown procedure if we ever received a selcall whilst travelling which culminated in being stopped on the side of the road with everything switched off including UHF CB and GPS. Basically anything with a CPU like all the things we have these days will cause interference.
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Reply By: Robin Miller - Monday, Jan 07, 2013 at 11:44

Monday, Jan 07, 2013 at 11:44
It shouldn't and doesn't need to be an issue Bungarra.

You can have a lot of fun with that stuff , one of my setups can output around 400w and will make the indicators of nearby commodores blink faster or will simply overload nearby phones.

But my 950 does not do these things , they only run 125w peak - and I regularly check beacons while mobile using it without issue.

You just need to use good practices like running 4mm sq minimum + & - power cable direct to battery (6mm if more than a couple of meters) also have properly tuned antenna's.

I came across several bad setups over holidays - one spliced power into a high powered audio system to an unknown loom and it turned out that the load on TX was pulling down the +ve line to some electronics and causing some strange effects like shutting down the fridge.

The owners are working on getting 4000w of audio to work - and I sort of made a few comments , but wasn't anywhere near as helpful as I could have been, although I did re-wire the fridge for them.
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Follow Up By: Member - mechpete - Monday, Jan 07, 2013 at 12:44

Monday, Jan 07, 2013 at 12:44
that to me is not something you have fun with !!!
in some cases it could cause safety issues with other motorists
cheers mechpete
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Monday, Jan 07, 2013 at 13:21

Monday, Jan 07, 2013 at 13:21
.


"You can have a lot of fun with that stuff , one of my setups can output around 400w and will make the indicators of nearby commodores blink faster or will simply overload nearby phones."

You wouldn't even believe what it does to the neighbour's pacemaker!!! LOL

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Follow Up By: Member - MUZBRY(Vic) - Monday, Jan 07, 2013 at 16:43

Monday, Jan 07, 2013 at 16:43
Gday Allan
Makes you wonder what will happen with the new type digital hearing aids..

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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Monday, Jan 07, 2013 at 19:04

Monday, Jan 07, 2013 at 19:04
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Hi Muzbry,

In general, hearing aids, digital or analogue, are not unduly affected by RF fields although maybe they could be if the field strength is high enough.

I actually wear a pair of late model digital aids that communicate with each other by NFC (Near Field Communication) but that is short-range electromagnetic and is wireless* but not radio. They have not reacted to any interference since I have been using them.

I can say that if they did react to an RF field I would be worried about the power of that field and promptly move my body away from it!

* Wireless meaning 'without wires'.


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Follow Up By: Member - MUZBRY(Vic) - Monday, Jan 07, 2013 at 20:18

Monday, Jan 07, 2013 at 20:18
Thanks Allan

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Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Monday, Jan 07, 2013 at 13:26

Monday, Jan 07, 2013 at 13:26
.

Oh, blessed am I with a mechanically injected 1HZ Troopy and my Codan 9323.


Pass me that bit of fence wire, will you?

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Allan

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Reply By: The Bantam - Monday, Jan 07, 2013 at 13:29

Monday, Jan 07, 2013 at 13:29
I'm very interested to hear what the RF immunity levels are like on modern vehicle electrics.

I can quite imagine that some of the manufacturers may not have consider high power transmission soo close to their electronics.

100 Watts of RF is quite a lot of schnaps.

I worked a rural show where we had some army boys where playing with tanks and APC's for the amusement of the public.
We had a bloke fire up on 50ish meg to the tune of 100watts meters away from our sound gear...of course our radio mics where useless, but I was not getting intrusion into the small signal audio cables lke we would get from the digital mobiles at the time.

Some of the sensors in the engine management and the ABS brakes will be running pretty small signals.....I would have thaught they should all be pretty solidly shielded and properly nailed down.

But then again some of the american vehicle electronics is dodgy at the best of times.

So you guys that work with HF all the time.
Tell me what is the extent of the problem and is it air borne or ground and power supply borne.

I'm just thinking about the implications for someone firing up on HF at 100+watts, right next to another vehicle on the highway that has electronic management systems.

Surely not???

cheers
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Monday, Jan 07, 2013 at 14:29

Monday, Jan 07, 2013 at 14:29
It is essentially not an issue Bantam , probably the most you see these days is a crackle in your car radio (espically if aftermarket) when your phone is switched on and it txers max power to talk to local tower.

HF is much longer wavelength and very roughly issues go up as frequency does. As per my reply above, issues mainly arise due to bad installation.

RF immunity now has standards , which went from nothing to what we have now during my RF career.


I remember as a young engineer doing some of the first tests on cars (locally made Toranas ) around 1970 and they were terrible but now it has basically all changed - even hundreds of watts I can generate from my home amateur radio gear then feed into gain antenna's to put out peak powers over 1000w isn't a problem anymore.

You can always find an exception - but realistically there is no cause for concern.

RF fields drop off massively with distance and I get amused when some get concerned and then pick up there mobile phone and put it within 5cm of there ears.
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Follow Up By: The Bantam - Monday, Jan 07, 2013 at 15:30

Monday, Jan 07, 2013 at 15:30
Yeh I'm well aware of the electromagnetic compatability framework and all that comes with it.

BUT there is, how things should be and how they are.

So ya recon most of the problems that exist are power and earth related, rather than airborne.

Yeess..it is amusing to her people talking about the radiated fields comming from mobile phone towers and power lines...yet spending hours a day with a phone stuck to their ear.

My wife still thinks I'm silly for stepping away from the microwave when its running.

NOW...where did I put my alfoil beanie.

cheers
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Monday, Jan 07, 2013 at 16:20

Monday, Jan 07, 2013 at 16:20
Yes Bantam , particularly with the long HF frequencies which are more prone to conduction.

Mind you this is one reason why I have my UHF aerial as a short whip on top of the cars roof - and never, as most do on a pole
off the bumper with direct line of sight to ones brain.

However the standards required for products to be approved include seperate and specific conduction tests down connecting power cables as well as radiation tests and these provide reasonable protection levels.

One simple test that most could perform would be to lift there bonnet and run there engine at idle and place their mobile phone near any elctronics they suspect.
Then turn on the phone and monitor there cars behaviour while the phone accquires a network lock.
Looking of course for any hesitation etc.




Of course you might always come across the odd situation where some think an alfoil beanie might provide additional protection - however the danger now becomes one of keeping their mobile phone out of their pockets as RF energy may radiate upwards and be focussed by the parabolic shaped
beanie to a point which would then be of very high amplitude.
Fortunately the focal point would be a few cm below the beanies surface in the region of the hippocampus
destroying local memory cells and hence no longer presenting a problem that would be remembered !
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Follow Up By: Member - MUZBRY(Vic) - Monday, Jan 07, 2013 at 20:21

Monday, Jan 07, 2013 at 20:21
Magnapourius Robin

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Follow Up By: The Bantam - Monday, Jan 07, 2013 at 23:21

Monday, Jan 07, 2013 at 23:21
Of course the real question is....how do you ground an alfoil beanie......hmmm

cheers
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Follow Up By: Ozhumvee - Monday, Jan 07, 2013 at 23:50

Monday, Jan 07, 2013 at 23:50
We used to pull up next to a Pajero at the lights in the old troopy, select the correct frequency as as the lights changed hit the tune button. The Pajero quickly got the staggers and we could easily drag him off at the lights in the old 1HZ. could do the same with quite a few different vehicles. The bloke I installed the HF's for had a HF in a Subaru wagon, he always had it on scan and we could selcall him from anywhere and the RF from the radio would shut his engine down.
Peter
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