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Athena

Discussion in '3rd Gen. Builds (2016+)' started by Athena32, Sep 17, 2022.

  1. Sep 17, 2022 at 8:56 PM
    #1
    Athena32

    Athena32 [OP] Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2022
    Member:
    #388215
    Messages:
    27
    Vehicle:
    2021 Tacoma Super White DCSB OR 6MT
    Athena: 2021 Toyota Tacoma Double Cab Short Bed TRD Off-road
    Hello, all. I found myself with some time on my hands and drink near by, so I figured I'd start a build thread. The truck is a Super White 2021 Tacoma DCSB TRD Off-road with a manual transmission. I purchased it with 1,375 miles on it in January 2022 and as of this writing it has just over 12,000 miles on it.

    The idea is to build a capable daily driver that can go anywhere at any time. As such, you'll see modifications that either improve upon stock capability or add capability where there is none. I live in Colorado, but I don't do much wheeling. Instead, my focus is navigating mostly paved roads and some fire roads and the hazards that come with them. Also, because I live above 5000 ft., winter here can be kind of dicey. As such, a lot of the build is focused on winter. Finally, I spend a lot of time in this truck. My daily commute is approximately one hour roundtrip and that doesn't include the side quests, weekend road trips and errands, etc. So, interior comfort and capability is usually the first thing I tackle.

    Upcoming Mods:

    So far, the mods are as follows:
    Interior:
    Comms:
    Exterior:
    Electrical:
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2022
  2. Sep 17, 2022 at 8:57 PM
    #2
    Athena32

    Athena32 [OP] Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2022
    Member:
    #388215
    Messages:
    27
    Vehicle:
    2021 Tacoma Super White DCSB OR 6MT
    Exterior Pictures
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2022
  3. Sep 17, 2022 at 8:57 PM
    #3
    Athena32

    Athena32 [OP] Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2022
    Member:
    #388215
    Messages:
    27
    Vehicle:
    2021 Tacoma Super White DCSB OR 6MT
    Comms Install
    This project took about 30 man-hours in two stages over four weekends. The components used are listed above in the "Comms" list and I should give some credit to the guys at XOverland for the inspiration.​

    Amateur radio has been a hobby on mine since before I could drive. Now that I live in the mountains of Colorado, I'm fortunate enough to have access to a variety of well-maintained repeater systems. HAM, as it is often termed, is a form of communication that can reach where cell towers often do not. This is imperative when you're off-grid and need to be able to call for help or check in with loved ones.

    The radio (and other accessories) are being ran off of a West Mountain Radio RigRunner 4008, which is the power distribution unit located under the passenger side rear seat. I put the RigRunner here specifically because of the Goose Gear system that is on order. My thought was that I wanted the electronics to be easily accessible should I have to replace a fuse or add something new to the unit in the future. The transceiver is also located here because I believe in keeping power runs short for HAM radios—less distance, less chance of picking up interference through the power cables. The data cables, along with everything else, is under the center console and through the dash.

    The mic was disassembled and the button removed in favor of a Nite-ize steelie magnet mount—this idea was taken directly from the XOverland team and it works exceptionally well. I wanted to mount the mic in a way that it was reachable without having to lean over and I wanted to see it out of my peripheral so that I could keep my eyes on the road. With this method, I can reach over, grab the mic, do what I need, and then get it back in the general vicinity of the magnet and it just clicks on. Time will tell if holds up to the forest roads.

    The mic is also plugged into a Forty2 keystone that is mounted in place of the Qi charging switch. The Qi charger is next to useless with how slow it charges, so I have no qualms about removing this function. However, I'll be replacing the switch mount with one that is recessed into the center console near the transmission tunnel in order to make room for the switches for the heated seats.

    You’ll notice that the radio components are located on the passenger side of the vehicle. That is because, if needed, I can have a radio operator in the passenger seat so that the driver can focus on driving. All they have to do is swing the head unit around on the RAM mount.

    The head unit is mounted on a shorty RAM arm which is attached to a RAM diamond ball mount which is attached on to the Expedition Essentials 3TPAM. The 3TPAM’s USB power block is powered via the RigRunner in the rear and is always on. I also have a cheap-o Android tablet mounted to a RAM mount that is attached to the passenger side Seat Jacker MOLLE panel. This tablet runs APRSDroid which is directly fed by the TM-D710 Head Unit.

    For those who aren't familiar, Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS) is protocol that allows for data transmission via digital and analog means. Most often, APRS is used to beacon vehicle position. The result of this data can be seen at the aprs.fi website. This is really useful when you're out exploring solo or with a group of friends and you have someone who wants to watch your position. APRS also allows for sending of SMS messages via SMSGTE, weather station data reporting, radio-to-radio SMS messaging, and more.

    Finally, the antenna is a Larsen 2/70 NMO and is mounted with a Laird MABTO NMO base on a Victory 4x4 hood mount. SWR for this setup is less than 2:1, so it gets the job done.

    Lately, I've been giving consideration to mounting the antenna on the roof for better performance and also installing a WeBoost Drive Reach Fleet. By mounting the radio antenna on the roof, the antenna has better line-of-sight to the free air thus more of the emitted wave will propagate out. Currently, the passenger side a-pillar is blocking some of the emissions and it's also radiating the occupants of the vehicle. Just as well, some of the areas my daily commute take me through have lackluster cell service--the WeBoost should help with that.

    Some pictures of the install follow this post.

    A long post to be sure. But, hopefully this helps with any one who is thinking about their comms setup in their vehicle.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2022
  4. Sep 18, 2022 at 8:15 AM
    #4
    Athena32

    Athena32 [OP] Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2022
    Member:
    #388215
    Messages:
    27
    Vehicle:
    2021 Tacoma Super White DCSB OR 6MT
    Comms Install Pictures
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2022
  5. Sep 18, 2022 at 8:46 AM
    #5
    Athena32

    Athena32 [OP] Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2022
    Member:
    #388215
    Messages:
    27
    Vehicle:
    2021 Tacoma Super White DCSB OR 6MT
    Vehicle EDC
    • Chem Lights
    • Two Safety Vests
    • Safe Jack Bottle Jack and Manual
    • Four-way Lug Wrench
    • NOCO Jump Pack
    • Duct Tape
    • 100 ft. 550 Cord
    • Viair 88p
    • ARB Tire Patch Kit
    • Cowhide Gloves
    • Spare Headlight Bulbs
    • Spare Fuses
    • Big-ass tarp
    • Electric Road Flares
    • Bungee Cords
    • Mylar Blankets
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2022
  6. Sep 18, 2022 at 5:34 PM
    #6
    Athena32

    Athena32 [OP] Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2022
    Member:
    #388215
    Messages:
    27
    Vehicle:
    2021 Tacoma Super White DCSB OR 6MT
    Vehicle EDC Reorganized
    Decided today to move the EDC to Packout cases in order to keep the seats folded down. I never have rear passengers, but I always have packages, groceries, a rucksack, etc. that sit better on a large flat surface in the rear of the cab. As such, I usually kept the rear sets folded down but I always had issues with things bouncing out of the storage compartment. So, I bought a two-drawer cabinet and an organizer from Home Depot and shifted everything into that. Next, I need to get a tool kit and an 18V 1/2" impact with sockets which may necessitate another toolbox.

     
  7. Sep 22, 2022 at 7:19 PM
    #7
    Athena32

    Athena32 [OP] Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2022
    Member:
    #388215
    Messages:
    27
    Vehicle:
    2021 Tacoma Super White DCSB OR 6MT
    Electrical: Rearranging the Clazzio Heated Seats Harness
    Given the fact that I have an electrical distribution panel already running in the cab of the truck, it made sense to me to run the heated seat elements off of that as opposed to running the main power cables through the firewall and direct to the battery. However, the layout of the harness makes this a little complicated as the factory is expecting the switches to sit in the middle of cable run. As such, I went to town on the harness with a variety of tools to make it better suited for my application.

    This is what the harness looks like from the factory. It's actually two harnesses--one for each seat. Towards the rear is vehicle connection points: main power (12 AWG red), main ground (16 AWG black), illumination (16 AWG yellow), and switch power (16 AWG red with orange stripe). In the middle are the relays and the connectors for the heating elements. Towards the front are the switches.


    These are the wires that are about to sacrificed for greater good:


    And here is where they terminate at the opposite end of the harness:


    Prior to de-pinning, cutting, soldering and so on, I did test the connection points with a multi-meter to ensure that the wires didn't rely on something I couldn't see. I pulled the relays out which should have broken any hidden points. The multi-meter indicated that the wires were still connected, so we press on.

    The illumination and switch power wires on each harness were de-pinned and cut at the point where the switch harness connects to the main harness. This ensured I had enough wire to extend. The illumination wires were then stripped, twisted together and soldered into one wire thus allowing me to use just one factory illumination wire for both switches. The same was done for the red/orange switch power wire, just with a long piece of red wire.

    Once the switches were effectively connected together, the harness was wrapped in Tesa Tape making sure to keep each bundle of wires coming from each switch separated so that I have enough length to put the switches on both the left-most side of the factory switch panel for the driver side and the right-most side of the factory switch panel for the passenger. Note the little L and R indicating which switch is which.


    And here's the finished product:


    I still need to cut to the factory main power and ground and solder on my own cable to the correct length and crimp on the Anderson PowerPole connectors. But, that'll be done on Saturday.

    Bonus pic of the chaos for making it to the end:

    EDIT: Linked up with a guy on another forum who has done a similar install. I asked him how he went about the process and he noted this fun fact: “The way the circuit works is the switch controls a relay that doesn't work like you think a relay normally works. If you switch it to low, the relay passes +12v to both elements but wired in series. If you switch it to high, the relay passes +12v to both elements but wired in parallel.”

    This means that when the switch is in the low position, the heating elements for both the bottom and back of the seat are connected together. In turn, this increases the resistance of the circuit thus lowering the wattage. Lower wattage means less power means less heat. When the switch is in the high position, both elements are connected independently. This results in a lower resistance which means more power can flow through the circuit. In turn, the elements are able to achieve a higher temperature. Very neat way to use the properties of resistance elements to your advantage.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2022
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