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Communication Equipment....

Discussion in 'General 4Runner Talk' started by Ol'Blue, Apr 15, 2014.

  1. Nov 6, 2015 at 6:43 PM
    #31
    drunner

    drunner New Member

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    It was perfect timing. I had just been looking at a set. I think most of the guys on here are also over there so it's hard to say who else got in.
     
  2. Nov 7, 2015 at 9:51 AM
    #32
    UssMoGn

    UssMoGn That Vegas Dude

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    This will kinda what my Tacoma install will look like.
     
    ramonortiz55 likes this.
  3. Nov 7, 2015 at 2:45 PM
    #33
    MeefZah

    MeefZah Curmudgeonly

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    Well, after playing around with the Cobra 75, I think I'm going to opt for the full size / console mount instead. Uniden 510 (which won't default to ch 9 when turned off :) ), panel mic extension, extension speaker.

    Selling the Cobra 75, new in box. $80. Ad in the classifieds section, or send me a PM.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2017
  4. Nov 7, 2015 at 3:00 PM
    #34
    ramonortiz55

    ramonortiz55 New Member

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    its a clean look
     
  5. Nov 8, 2015 at 7:31 AM
    #35
    drunner

    drunner New Member

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    I was going to go for the Uniden originally, but I wanted a compact radio with weather capabilities for those solo trips in the middle of the desert.
     
  6. Nov 8, 2015 at 10:13 AM
    #36
    MeefZah

    MeefZah Curmudgeonly

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    Things with stuff, but nothing much
    Ung, just pulled the entire console out to see what sort of clearance I have to work with. Man that was a PITA. At least with the whole thing out it'll be easier to install stuff into it on the workbench.
     
  7. Nov 18, 2015 at 12:49 PM
    #37
    MeefZah

    MeefZah Curmudgeonly

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    Things with stuff, but nothing much
    OK, got my stuff installed as cleanly as I could; tested; SWR adjusted. Everything is squared away.

    I went with the following items:

    Uniden 510XL CB - very small, reliable, basic unit, does not default to ch 9 when powered off ($40)
    Trunk lip NMO antenna mount in black stainless ($30)
    NMO 10M ham antenna (same length needed for CB freq) - 53" long base loaded ($30)
    NMO weather cap ($3)
    Midland extension speaker #21-406 ($25)
    Motorola mic clip - the mic clip included with CBs is a total piece of shit, this is a professional / heavy duty unit ($2)
    3' coax extension ($6)
    10" 4 pin mic extension ($6)
    SPST 20A switch ($4)
    Mini ATO fuse Add-a-circuit ($3)
    Misc bolts, washers, nuts, grommets, electrical connectors

    Bought everything on Ebay except the switch, bolts, connectors, grommets, which I had in stock.


    The CB was installed in the console, which was my last choice but really the only choice given the tight space in the cab. I wanted the install to be neat and there was no way to do that with the space available except by concealing the radio. For 5th gens you have to remove the kleenex holder from the inside of the lid by just pulling hard on it, to get clearance for the CB's control knobs and mic. You also have to drill a 1" hole in the bottom of the console to route the coax, power, and speaker wire through. I also used a 3' coax extension here, so I wouldn't have to fiddle under the radio in order to adjust SWR.

    The Midland extension speaker was mounted at the back of the console, facing the back seat, but the sound projects nicely up and is easy to hear while driving.

    I installed the mic extension into the front center of the console and the mic can be removed and stored when not in use, leaving only a 4 pin connector flush mounted in the front of the console. Note that this only goes on one way due to a orientation pin, but if you need to rotate it, as I did 180 degrees so it point out the right way, you can grind that pin down on both the extension cable and the mic's male connectors. Just make sure you orient the plug on each end the same way to ensure that the correct connection is being made.

    I installed the Motorola mic clip onto the top of the console and the mic is pulled towards the back of the truck to remove it from the clip, so the mic in use does not interfere with the shifter or the cupholders.

    I installed the SPST switch in line with the CB power wire, so that I can turn the CB on and off without even opening the console, and since the CB remains on the channel I want it to be on (19) then I can basically "set it and forget it" and just turn it on and off with the switch. Power is wired to the fusebox through an "add a circuit". Ground is to the parking cable tether bolt under the console.

    I hate the look of fiberglass CB antennas so I went with a more "professional" looking base loaded steel whip. I used a trunk lip NMO mount which slides neatly over the edge of the hood and tightens with set screws, just as it would the edge of a trunk. I ran a second ground wire to the underside of the base to make sure the hood was not electrically isolated from frame. Since I don't use the CB all the time, and the 53" antenna bangs my garage door, I take it off when not in use, so I got a weather cap to put over the exposed NMO threads on the hood.

    At the same time I did this, I installed a used Littlite map light on the console. It's cool, and a neat accessory for reading maps at night or just softly illuminating the cupholder area. It has a 5W halogen bulb with a rheostat and the light output can be adjusted, and there is a red cover to slide over to maintain your night vision. It's all aluminum, super tough, and lifetime warranted. They put them in police cars and ambulances - you can find them used on Ebay - this one was $24 shipped and is in very good shape.

    Pics:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    mbbmnlb, Large and drunner like this.
  8. Nov 18, 2015 at 12:52 PM
    #38
    drunner

    drunner New Member

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    I love the switch idea and I may just have to steal that and do the same thing.
     
  9. Nov 18, 2015 at 12:57 PM
    #39
    MeefZah

    MeefZah Curmudgeonly

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    Yeah thanks, it's actually super handy. Once you get the squelch set then you can pretty much never open the console to fiddle with the CB again.
     
  10. Nov 18, 2015 at 12:59 PM
    #40
    MeefZah

    MeefZah Curmudgeonly

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    Things with stuff, but nothing much
    Danny, you think the mic looks okay wrapped around the transfer case selector like that? The cord is just in the way if I let it hang loose so putting tension on it by wrapping it forward was the best / easiest way. I'm kind of OCD and it's bothering me but maybe if other people don't think it looks bad I can live with it.
     
  11. Nov 18, 2015 at 1:00 PM
    #41
    drunner

    drunner New Member

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    Yeah I think it's fine. Mine stays in the console unless I need it and at that point it's pretty much sitting on my lap or on the passenger seat.
     
  12. Nov 18, 2015 at 1:01 PM
    #42
    MeefZah

    MeefZah Curmudgeonly

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    Thanks
     
  13. Nov 26, 2015 at 7:01 AM
    #43
    Tedmaywin

    Tedmaywin New Member

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    Nicely done ! I've been pondering a solution for my 06 for years and yours gives me ideas to work with. I've got an older, larger unit. Perhaps time to downsize.
     
  14. Nov 28, 2015 at 11:52 AM
    #44
    Large

    Large New Member

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    That's a nice setup. Ever think about running a fiberglass antenna? I am trying to find a 5th gen with one but the pics are scarce.
     
  15. Nov 28, 2015 at 1:23 PM
    #45
    MeefZah

    MeefZah Curmudgeonly

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    No, I really don't like the appearance of a fiberglass antenna, and the steel whip will flex a lot for low trees and such. A fiberglass unit requires a spring or you risk breaking it or the mount when you hit overhanging obstructions.
     
  16. Nov 28, 2015 at 1:41 PM
    #46
    Large

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    Heh, I am aware of that! This is my taco, broke a few in my day.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Feb 15, 2016 at 12:49 PM
    #47
    MeefZah

    MeefZah Curmudgeonly

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    My mic extension cable had a short in it, leading to faulty transmissions. I removed it, and ended up replacing the mic with an Astatic 636L (about $25 on Ebay). This has a much longer cord, and the cord is way more flexible, especially in cold weather. Because it is a longer cord, it easily passes through the 3/4" hole in the front of the console and has plenty of stretch to reach. I secured the cord to the inside of the console and the cord is not affected / crimped when you close the lid.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Jun 2, 2016 at 11:09 PM
    #48
    MeefZah

    MeefZah Curmudgeonly

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    Well, I was getting aggravated having to open the console lid every time I wanted to adjust the squelch, or change the volume. Ended up unistalling the CB from there and placed it in the "slot" next to the gear shifter / attached to the rear cupholder. I basically dremel'd out the bottom of that slot and then moved a few wires aside underneath there, and ground down a plastic flange to allow the CB to sit as low in the console as possible.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2017
  19. Jul 16, 2016 at 2:20 PM
    #49
    MeefZah

    MeefZah Curmudgeonly

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    Things with stuff, but nothing much
    Added an ICOM IC-2730a Ham radio, home made RAM mount:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2017
  20. Aug 22, 2016 at 12:50 PM
    #50
    MeefZah

    MeefZah Curmudgeonly

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    I feel like I'm monopolizing this thread, but, maybe someone else who is planning an install can take some ideas from me...

    Since my first few posts in the thread I've revamped my setup.

    Initially, the CB was in the console, and it was acceptable in there, but it got annoying having to open the lid to make adjustments like turning the squelch knob 1.1 micrometers more clockwise to squelch an annoying static burst, etc.

    I moved it to the exposed vertical pocket near the cupholders / shift lever (next posts of mine), and that was a better location for actually using the radio but I was annoyed with how it looked and how it protruded up.

    I removed it and reinstalled it in the console until such time as I could figure out what I wanted to do with a CB. Removing it necessitated buying a new console pocket ($45) because I had cut the bottom off the factory one in order to seat the CB as far 'down' by the cupholder as possible.

    Around this same time I decided to get my Technician HAM license and get a mobile HAM radio, because I do a lot of exploring in the middle of nowhere, with 0 cell service, and a repeater linked radio might be able to get me help when nothing else can... or I might be able to render help when no one else could. I got a Kenwood 2M mobile but could not find a good place to install it, it was just 'too big'. Ended up returning it and got a Icom IC-2730A HAM. This has a removable head unit and installs in a smaller footprint (see next post of mine). This transmits on 2m and 440, but I have no interest in the 440... the dual band radios typically come with a removable head unit while the basic 2M radios do not, so I upgraded only to get the remote head. I installed the head on the top of the console near the vertical pocket, using a RAM mount. I installed the guts under the driver's seat. An external speaker is on the rear of the console. I did also replace the factory Icom mic clip with a Firestik RMB-1 aluminum mic button ($3), to allow use of a standard mic clip and not the retarded "hanger" thing that Icom uses.

    I still wanted a CB though, and I was still not happy with the console install of my Uniden. I wanted a 'remote' style for size, but wanted to have the ability to control the radio without opening the console, so this really only left the Cobra 75 WX ST and the similar Midland 75 as contenders. I had previously bought a Cobra but didn't like it in the anticipated mounting location, so I sold it. This time around, I bought the Midland, which actually turned out to be a pretty crappy radio - it may have worked well, but it is really more of a 'portable', move from car-to-car radio than a good choice for a permanent install.

    So, back to the Cobra. I rethought my originally planned mounting location, which was on the top of the console by the cupholders, and ended up building a double mic hanger bracket and installing the handset next to the HAM mic near the glove box. The guts are mounted out of sight under the passenger seat. The Cobra 75 WX ST is decent enough. The only real cons I can see are the volume and squelch knobs are kind of cheezy. I wish they were on the top of the radio and were actual knobs, not dials. Beyond that, I really have no complaints. The radio mounted easily and works fine, and is the right size. It has a scan feature which is actually quite nice, and convenient.

    I kept the original antenna mounting locations as shown in earlier posts, using 'trunk mount' slip on NMO connectors on the hood, and went to all black antennas for both the VHF / 2M HAM and the CB. I did upgrade the ground for both mounts by replacing one set screw with a bolt / nut arrangement that supports a ground wire going to chassis.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2017
    Palerider likes this.
  21. Aug 22, 2016 at 1:26 PM
    #51
    Ol'Blue

    Ol'Blue [OP] Moderator Staff Member

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    A few things here and there. Still dreaming up stuff
    Nice works sir. I looked at those CB'S but they didn't make the power I was looking for. It's hard to find a middle ground
     
  22. Dec 16, 2016 at 6:22 AM
    #52
    Large

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    Reviving this thread .. I've looked on T4R but can't find an antenna mount I like for a 5th gen .. closest one was someone put a 2' firestik on the lift gate, it was the cleanest install imo.
     
  23. Dec 16, 2016 at 6:10 PM
    #53
    MeefZah

    MeefZah Curmudgeonly

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    Things with stuff, but nothing much
    You basically only have a few options, and bear in mind that for trail work some mounts - roof top ones - are not ideal:

    Permanent mount roof
    Magnet mount roof
    Roof rack mount (requires some fabbing and a seperate ground)
    Tailgate hatch mount (can be mounted anywhere on the vertical seam, high to low)
    Front fender / hood mount
    Fabbing up a taillight mount (FJs, Jeeps, 4th and 3rd gens have some options to look at)

    Obviously the higher and more to the center the antenna is, the better it radiates.

    I assume you saw my hood mounts in the above posts. after a lot of consideration and some trial and error with other setups, these are the ones I am staying with. They offer a decent compromise of cost effectiveness, function, ease of installation, appearance, etc. Obviously opinions vary.
     
  24. Dec 17, 2016 at 12:01 PM
    #54
    Large

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    Might try to fab up my own mount for the lift gate, I don't like any of the others I've seen.
     
  25. Dec 23, 2016 at 6:00 AM
    #55
    Ric

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    What's this antenna mount and where did you get it?
     
  26. Dec 23, 2016 at 6:10 AM
    #56
    Palerider

    Palerider New Member

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  27. Dec 23, 2016 at 6:12 AM
    #57
    Palerider

    Palerider New Member

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    This is good info. What range do you get with this set up? Why didn't you opt for a hand held?
     
  28. Jan 31, 2017 at 7:26 AM
    #58
    bahndrvr

    bahndrvr New Member

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    Changing mine up - still sticking with my modded Uniden 510 with center console mount and external speaker but beyond frustrated with my lil wil magnet mount so going to my Firestick 4' firefly with hood mount and 18' fire-ring cable. will give a shot if I don't like I will be looking for something modable, with scanning weather capability, and possibly SSB but not decided on that one yet.
     
  29. Jan 31, 2017 at 2:14 PM
    #59
    Palerider

    Palerider New Member

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    I agree, It's all about the antenna and correct tunning. Just about any $50. Hand held and super duper antenna will work just fine. Plus you can use it with different cars.
     
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  30. Jun 14, 2017 at 8:14 PM
    #60
    MeefZah

    MeefZah Curmudgeonly

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    Things with stuff, but nothing much
    Added the Icom 2730A and home-brewed RAM mount to the skinny, shallow console pocket on the SR5. Front cupholder and 4WD switch are still easily accessible. The whole assembly unbolts and unplugs in 5 seconds, leaving just the base RAM ball in the pocket. The guts are permanently mounted under the passenger seat.

    I did have the faceplate mounted flat in that same skinny console pocket (it's a perfect fit), and it looked great... but the contrast was wrong and I couldn't read the display while driving. The RAM puts it at a good angle.

    I no longer run a permanent mount CB, I just don't use it enough. I have a cig lighter installed on the Uniden 510 and I plug it in as needed for trail work, antenna is a Wilson Lil Wil.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Midland 21-406 extension speaker, mounted through the rear floor hump liner. Top picture is speaker in use, bottom picture is the underside of the mount. The mount is a cover for an electrical box. The box cover and speaker bracket "sandwich" the floor liner and the velcro grips the carpet under the floor liner.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
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