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Clean VHF/CB radio installs

Discussion in '3rd Gen. Tacomas (2016+)' started by FoleySwampPlotts, Feb 10, 2016.

  1. Jun 2, 2020 at 4:46 PM
    #1581
    HisDad

    HisDad Well-Known Member

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    Great pictures in that post. The only suggestion, which you probably don't need, is to use a "drip loop" in the antenna cable where it enters the truck. Drop loops keep water from traveling along the cable and into the truck. Yet another tip I picked up along the way.

     
  2. Jun 2, 2020 at 4:48 PM
    #1582
    fatfurious2

    fatfurious2 IG: great_white_taco

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    I dont have any switch blanks left. But I just purchased a 2012+ lower trim panel which gives me one more.

    I actually decided that Im going to remove a button that I am not using anymore (train horn button), next to my shifter, and put that plug there. I should be doing the install this month, as I have a trip on July 4th that I will need to use GMRS
     
  3. Jun 4, 2020 at 2:57 PM
    #1583
    1988Mercedes

    1988Mercedes Well-Known Member

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    Got the COMPACtenna installed today. On the P25 system I monitor my RSSI came down about 8 or 9 compared to the inside the rear window antenna I was using.
    IMG_3089.jpg
     
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  4. Jun 5, 2020 at 2:59 PM
    #1584
    HisDad

    HisDad Well-Known Member

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    That's interesting although rear window mount antennas aren't known for great reception, especially at lower frequencies.

    I've started ordering the parts for the Tacoma. Hood antenna mount, Laird cable, Panavise In Dash mount and AMPS adapter for the cell phone, extra USB outlet that will go in the dash. I also ordered a small speaker. My plan is to add an old Motorola window mount hook to that back of that. It should hang at the top of the Center post into the plastic trim.

    I think the SDS200 will fit into the cubby at the front of the console. There's a small area that seems to be molded to hide a piece of wiring harness. I took the console out and there is plenty of room behind the cubby for wiring. If can heat the indent on the cubby and push it back 1/2 to 3/4", the scanner will fit fine.

    Does anyone know how much that cubby costs from Toyota? Or of any used ones that someone might not need?

    The wiring seems pretty straightforward. There a several always hot points the under hood fuse/relay panel but I'm hesitant to drill a hole in the cover. I might go direct to battery for the scanner, USB, and when I get to it, the ham radio power.



     
  5. Jun 8, 2020 at 7:04 PM
    #1585
    fatfurious2

    fatfurious2 IG: great_white_taco

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  6. Jun 12, 2020 at 11:32 AM
    #1586
    fatfurious2

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  7. Jun 12, 2020 at 8:32 PM
    #1587
    Old Marine Cal

    Old Marine Cal Well-Known Member

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  8. Jun 12, 2020 at 8:40 PM
    #1588
    fatfurious2

    fatfurious2 IG: great_white_taco

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    I did mount it as shown. I plan on getting a rubber stopper to protect it when not in use.

    Everything got wired and tested today. You wouldn't even know anything was there, minus that plug.
     
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  9. Jun 12, 2020 at 9:09 PM
    #1589
    Old Marine Cal

    Old Marine Cal Well-Known Member

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    Pics of the finished project?
     
  10. Jun 13, 2020 at 6:54 AM
    #1590
    fatfurious2

    fatfurious2 IG: great_white_taco

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    Hard to get the "brain box" but it's under the seat. All the wires are run under the carpet- power, antenna, RJ45 panel extension wire. Then the plug sits on the center console as you saw, and the mic plugs into that. The mic has all of the buttons that are needed

    5DE64AFA-9519-419A-85A7-E50CCF1C7902.jpg
    5D8941FD-0F19-4F43-B64B-3B8A1DC11036.jpg
    D47A6DF5-347D-4A10-B61F-62D59A03DB81.jpg

    2FEBFE22-6D3D-457D-A7D6-AAC63B1D327C.jpg
     
  11. Jun 13, 2020 at 7:58 AM
    #1591
    Hiyudurin

    Hiyudurin Senior rooster, instructing in the art of roostery

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    Here is my setup. I mounted the radio head unit to the rear view mirror post using a bicycle reflector clamp. I zip tied the radio brain to the underside of the driver’s seat. I zip tied an external speaker to the fins on the rear of the console. I mounted the antenna using a no drill fender mount I found on eBay.
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/No-Holes-Antenna-Mount-Solution-for-Toyota-Tacoma-2006-2015-/372732713775
    I did all this without drilling any holes anywhere, I just couldn’t bring myself to drill a hole in my truck. Right now I have the mic cord running from the brain under the seat and just laying the mic inside the console. I’m still trying to figure out a way to mount a plug-in for the mic in a clever way.
    558EE748-F39E-48DD-BFD1-36349DFC1222.jpg
    C7E994B3-E882-42A1-9983-FDD60764C167.jpg
    98082B46-BD48-46F2-92F8-11AB6C7FC954.jpg
    04BAC85D-FE1E-4E53-8395-462A889B0AE6.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2020
  12. Jun 13, 2020 at 12:24 PM
    #1592
    C41n

    C41n Gandalf Da Grey

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    I love this no drill setup. Very nice. Can you hear the speaker well from the front seat?
     
  13. Jun 13, 2020 at 1:25 PM
    #1593
    Hiyudurin

    Hiyudurin Senior rooster, instructing in the art of roostery

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    It points straight up, so sound is great.
     
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  14. Jun 13, 2020 at 6:35 PM
    #1594
    HisDad

    HisDad Well-Known Member

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    I used a similar set up for the SDS200 scanner I had in my Tundra. Sound was very good. For the Tacoma, I'm going with a smaller speaker on the B Pillar as far up as I can get it. It will be attached by Velcro as I'm trying to minimize the number of holes I'm drilling in the new truck. The added bonus is that I'll be able to run the scanner when my wife is in the truck with me.

    Most of the parts I ordered for the install will be arriving Monday (I hope). The weather is going to be nice and I have nothing much on my schedule so I hope to have everything except the Ham radio installed by the end of the week. I'll have pictures galore and will post what I did.

     
  15. Jun 15, 2020 at 6:23 PM
    #1595
    fatfurious2

    fatfurious2 IG: great_white_taco

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    @RUSSELLTACO
     
  16. Jun 17, 2020 at 8:21 PM
    #1596
    HisDad

    HisDad Well-Known Member

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    Got most of the install done today. I have some pictures and will post them along with some comments when I have some spare time.

    I will say that stranded center connector wire for RG58 is a bitch to solder. I should have bought the Laird mount without cable and installed my own. Other than that, it was pretty straight forward to get everything wired and installed.

    One question though. Does anyone know where I can tap into a dash lighting wire? My scanner has an auto dimmer option, but it needs to sense off of the instrument and switch night time illumination. What color is that wire?
     
  17. Jun 20, 2020 at 5:06 PM
    #1597
    HisDad

    HisDad Well-Known Member

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    All of the parts finally came in so I decided to tackle the install of my scanner, antenna, cell phone mount, and a couple of extra USB ports.

    Three of my goals for this were to keep it as clean as possible, drill the bare minimum number of holes, and minimize tapping into the factory wiring (with one exception).


    First up was powering all of that. As part of not touching factory wiring I decided to add in an auxiliary fuse box. I found one on Amazon that had good reviews, wasn't overly large, and was suitable for under hood mounting.

    Looking under the hood I noticed two threaded holes intended for some device that my trim level doesn't include.

    First, I fashioned a mount for the fuse box that would use those two holes. I also put in two nutserts so that I could mount the plate and then install the fuse box on top of that.

    Here is that mount, made from the bottom of an old computer keyboard.

    [​IMG]

    The fuse box as mounted under the hood. No interference on test fit, so on to running the wiring.

    [​IMG]

    First, power and ground. The red power wire went directly to the battery, while the ground went to the body ground right next to the battery. I may not use the ground posts, but they are there in case I need them.

    I disconnected the negative wire on the battery and put the terminal into a plastic bag. I didn't want to accidentally energize the vehicle while I was removing interior panels. I'm always afraid that the airbag will detonate for some airbag reason.

    The red wire will go to the scanner, the green to the front USB ports, and the blue to the USB ports at the rear of the console.


    [​IMG]

    All loomed up and installed. I used a sharpened coat hanger and Xacto knife to get through the wiring harness boot. No issues at all getting the wires through.

    [​IMG]


    Wires through the grommet.

    [​IMG]

    Front lower dash removed. Here is where I got a surprise. There is a knee level airbag. I treated it like a coiled rattle snake and worked around it.

    [​IMG]

    The loom all tucked up and secured with wire ties. Not pictured is the speaker wire extension that I put in for the scanner so I could mount the speaker out of the way.

    [​IMG]

    With the console removed I was able to run the wiring for the scanner. This picture was taken while I was doing test fitting with the scanner (not pictured).

    [​IMG]

    I ran the blue wire all the way to the back of the console. Then I took the back half of the console into my work shop and installed the USB port.

    This is for any rear seat passengers, especially the grand kids when we travel south to see them later this summer. The panel of the console comes off pretty easily. That made installing the outlet easy.

    [​IMG]

    Next up was the antenna install. I used a Victory 4x4 under hood antenna bracket. Installation was easy. Then the Laird NMO antenna mount and cable. Following another members lead, I ran the cable through the grommet for the AC drip tubing.

    Just remember to wire tie the cable out of the way and make sure that the cable isn't crimped by the hood closing.

    [​IMG]

    The antenna installed. The antenna leans forward a little bit, but I didn't want to chance trying to bend the bracket. It doesn't bother me and it's mounted more or less where the factory antenna would go if I didn't have the shark fin antenna on the roof.

    One bonus of mounting the antenna at this location is that the scanner receives a lot better than it did in my Tundra. There, I used a mount on the bed rail and thought it did well. I can only guess that the hood provides a much better ground plane because I receiving much more than I did in the Tundra.

    I was worried that there might be RFI generated and picked up by running the wire through the engine compartment, but there is none. Automobile electronics have improved quite a bit, probably because everything in modern vehicles is run by computers and they hate RFI.

    [​IMG]

    The front USB port went in and was wired, followed by the scanner. I drilled two holes in the back of the cubby in the front console for the power, speaker, and antenna wiring. I also took the cubby out and used my heat gun to stretch the right side of the cubby for a better scanner fit. No pictures, because frankly it looks like a mess. Still, it work.

    The scanner and cubby had heavy duty Velcro attached for a more secure fit. It works and didn't require fabricating and installing a panel to mount the scanner in. I might do that later if I can find a used front console section (no Qi pad) to put aside for whenever I trade or sell the truck. Since I had my last truck for 14 years, I don't expect that to be soon.

    Scanner and front USB installed.

    [​IMG]

    Rear console installed with new USB port. During this process I discovered that unlike other versions, my Tacoma doesn't have a heater installed. Heat to the rear is provided by ducts under the front seats.

    That space might end up being where I mount the scanner speaker or maybe the speaker for my ham radio.

    [​IMG]

    Next, the scanner speaker. It's small, but sounds good and gets loud. I put it on the B Pillar because I just couldn't really find another place. A bonus is that I should be able to hear it without the sound disturbing my wife when we go out together.

    [​IMG]

    I used Scotch heavy duty fastening strips. It's like industrial strength Velcro. The only problem is that the glue didn't want to stick to the B pillar plastic. I scuffed the mounting spot up a bit with Scotch abrasive pads and then cleaned the area with alcohol. If that doesn't work, I'm going to have to come up with a different location. Or if I can figure out how to remove the upper part of the trim I could put through a couple of small bolts from the back side and use the bracket. Less than ideal, but it might be an option.

    The last part was a Panavise In Dash mounting bracket for my smart phone. I used that and a Arkon smart phone mount. The phone mount came from my old truck and was about the only thing I reused other than the scanner antenna.

    [​IMG]

    I still need to find a place to tap into the dash illumination for the sensing wire for the scanner display. There is an option to control the display via the interior lighting. I like that feature and would like to use it if I can.

    So, if anyone knows what color that wire is and where I can pick it up, I'd appreciate the information.


    I haven't figured out where to mount the ham radio yet. I'm not sure I'm going to keep the ancient FT8800R or buy something newer. Plenty of time for that.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2020
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  18. Jun 20, 2020 at 5:16 PM
    #1598
    Mr.Pink Taco

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    Minor stuff.

    Looks great! I have my radios (dual band and CB), antennas & fuse box (already installed). All I am waiting for is my 3TPAM from CaliRaised and then I can install it all.
     
  19. Jun 20, 2020 at 6:20 PM
    #1599
    HisDad

    HisDad Well-Known Member

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    I thought about getting one of those accessory rails, but have held off at least for now.

    In total, I think it took me about 8 hours to get everything installed. As always seems to be the case, it's the wire running that is the most time consuming.

    I spent over an hour trying to get the BNC onto the antenna cable. Laird uses a stranded center connector on that wire. Solid wire is much easier to solder the center pin on to. I think it took four tries before it was right. Good thing I cut that cable longer than I thought I needed. :(

    Even though I have most of my accumulated auto install tools and equipment in my garage, my main work shop is in the basement. I think I made about 100 trips through the garage and down to the basement and back. ;)



     
  20. Jun 21, 2020 at 2:52 PM
    #1600
    Ruminator

    Ruminator Chairman of the Bored

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    Lots of good stuff.
    Welp, this looks like the best thread to post this question though it's not for 2-way radio. Any and all insights would be appreciated.

    Wanted an actual FM rod antenna and to get rid of the ugly shark fin. Planned this out over the winter (I thought). Found a flat oem XM antenna to fill that shark fin purpose, great. As for the FM whip, didn't really want a front fender mount or one of those ditch-light-like hood mounts as the windshield is already hard enough to scrape the ice off of in winter.

    Roof wasn't a good idea, too tall and the rod would be hard to reach to remove if necessary. Bed rails were out because I've got a rigid bed cover that I kinda' like. That left the rear bumper. So I picked up a Rago Fab tail gate bracket, antenna, NMO mount, coax, connectors, duct, etc. Since I've got some new tail lights coming in, I started seriously looking at what I needed to do to get this going.


    [​IMG]
    ["See, it fits fine." photo courtesy of Rago Fab]

    First thing I notice is that there is very little clearance between the tail gate and fender. There's no way that Rago bracket is not going to scrape on the tail gate. So I start searching around to see if others have used this bracket. Ended up at the Rago Fab site and find a note saying "You need at least 1/8" clearance... most but not all vehicles have this... check before ordering". I SWEAR that note wasn't there when I ordered this bracket months ago.

    Anyway, is there some way I can create more clearance between the tail gate and fender, or does anyone have any better ideas as to how I should mount this antenna?

    Back of the cab, to one side of the rear window, I guess is an option, but I was really, really hoping not to have to drill any mounting holes in the body.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2020
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