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Battery and Firewall pictures

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wogggieee

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I was wondering if some people would be willing to post some pictures of how they have their radios connected to the batteries. Either directly connected to the battery or through remote terminals or whatever they have connected. And also I'd be interested in seeing pictures of how people got the wires through the firewall. I know there is a grommet on many vehicles that can be used, I'm just curious to see how that goes and how people route the cables in the engine compartment until they get them through the firewall. I'm thinking about getting a 2m/70cm rig pretty soon, so I've been thinking about how to install it. There's lots of pictures of antennas and the radios in the car, but nothing of under the hood and how it is supplied by power to use as examples. Thanks.
 

SLWilson

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Firewall....

Depending on your vehicle.....On my 2004 Tahoe, I just ran through at the same point my speedometer cable comes in. There's a rubber boot that I had to "cut", after which I ran the hot wore through. Then I re-sealed the "cut"....

I've found its best to NOT to have to cut your own new firewall holes if you can avoid that....In my 1988 Blazer, we DID cut through. That's been about 18 years ago. We put a rubber gromet in & sealed around it. That STILL works fine !!!!

Steve/Gallia
 

RISC777

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MacombMonitor said:
I don't have pictures of installations, however, Universal Radio picked up a new line of battery clamps that you may be interested in!

http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/parts/0793.html
The one on the left that Macomb posted, you find similar at auto parts stores too if you do a direct to the battery connection. There are also piggy-back adapters to use at your fuse block, then you can shoose whether it's provided a constant hot or a switched (by the ignition) hot.

And as far as the direct battery connects, whatever you find the least expensive. Mobile audio has same/similar that sit on the post and have points where power line(s) can be connected (held in place via a set screw).
 

crazyboy

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Although tapping in the fuse panel is ok for low current devices ie scanners do not do that for a two way radio. Going through the firewall is totally dependent on the vehicle. Take a look along the firewall and see if there are any empty grommets that may be installed for this purpose, if not then just find one that isn't too crowded and slip your wire through there. The hood release cable grommet is usually fairly good. Once your under the hood you can just crimp a ring terminal onto the positive wire. Undo the bolt on the battery lug and then slip it through the ring terminal then back onto the lug and tighten it up. There are other and better ways to do it but this is easier.
 

hoser147

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Any of the above are good suggestions and I have done it all ways if it is something that is going to draw diffenatly go straight to the battery. Just a suggestion use the newer style fuse holders with the pronged fuses, no spring problems and they have a weather resistant cap on them that will seal out moisture and dust under the hood. Fuse both the hot and the ground on 2 way radios unless you are talkin about a cheap CB then dont worry about it. I believe if you go check some of the previous posts there are a couple in the recent past that show under the hood, Good Luck hoser147
 

2112

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I use a Streetwires (www.streetwires.com) BT2PF with the built-in AFS fuse holder on my positive battery terminal. From there, I take a 0-gauge wire through the firewall in the only place possible on my car (98 Taurus) without drilling a new hole. Once it's in the passenger compartment, it goes to a Cole-Hersee continuous-duty solenoid that is master-switched by a CarlingTech Contura-series SPST rocker switch.

The other side of the solenoid goes to two fused distribution blocks: a console-mounted 6-position ATO-fused distro block (for powering low-power console-mounted accessories, www.wranglernw.com catalog page 59), and a trunk-mounted Streetwires CBR44S AFS-fused distribution block (for powering the RF decks and other high-power trunk-mounted accessories).

The ground from the console-mounted distro-block is 8-gauge to a clean-metal hole in the floor. The ground from the trunk-mounted distro-block is 0-gauge to a Streetwires GT0 ground terminal mounted to clean metal in the trunk.

Yeah, I had some hangups at first about using audio accessories in my installation, but I'm quite happy about what they provide, and they've worked flawlessly so far.

The important things here are:

1. Use a sufficient wire gauge and as short a length as possible to avoid burning up your cables and voltage drop.
2. Fuses are IMPORTANT on all positive lines. Some fuse on ground wires. I don't, as it is not SAE-compliant to do so.
3. Grommets, tie wraps, and heat-shrink tubing are IMPORTANT where necessary.
4. Use crimp terminals and spade lugs, but avoid wire taps. Soldering is usually considered better than crimping. In either case, use the right tools for best results.
5. Be sure that all wires exposed to high-heat conditions (such as those found in engine compartments) are rated to handle those conditions.
6. Keep your wiring neat, and don't route wiring where it'll be in danger of mechanical damage.
7. Don't tap the vehicle's fuse block for anything with a current pull greater than about 0.5 amp. Some cars can be finicky even about this kind of pull from the fuse block.
8. Take pride in your installation and *do it right*. You'll thank yourself for doing so. :)
 

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crazyboy

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hoser147 said:
Any of the above are good suggestions and I have done it all ways if it is something that is going to draw diffenatly go straight to the battery. Just a suggestion use the newer style fuse holders with the pronged fuses, no spring problems and they have a weather resistant cap on them that will seal out moisture and dust under the hood. Fuse both the hot and the ground on 2 way radios unless you are talkin about a cheap CB then dont worry about it. I believe if you go check some of the previous posts there are a couple in the recent past that show under the hood, Good Luck hoser147
I would not run the neg to the battery. If you arn't running the negative to the battery then there is absolutly no reason to ground the negative. You should connect the ground to a chassis ground point near by. I personally like the seat bolts.
 

cschmit

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crazyboy said:
I would not run the neg to the battery. If you arn't running the negative to the battery then there is absolutly no reason to ground the negative. You should connect the ground to a chassis ground point near by. I personally like the seat bolts.
For my FT-7800R radio I ran the Positive to where the fuse block under the hood get's power from the battery and for the negative I tied it in to a screw on the engine bay side where several other things were grounded out. Unfortunatly without tearing lots of out of my truck their weren't any good grounding places and with being in a winter area I don't like grounding to seat bolts due to corrosion.
 

RFJammed

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What is the purpose of the solenoid? I'm relatively new to the wiring thing. Thanks!
 

crazyboy

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RFJammed said:
What is the purpose of the solenoid? I'm relatively new to the wiring thing. Thanks!
It is used to turn the positive wire "off" when the key is in the off position and turn the positve "on" when the key is in the on or run position.

2112, Where are you purchasing youe solenoids from? I know alot of people are using the Bosch relays, any thoughts/opinions on them?
 
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hoser147

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Crazy boy i never mentioned running the ground to the battery I did however state to fuse the ground as electricity always follows the shortest path. I learned to fuse the ground from a commercial radio technician that services all the public service radio s in our county. If you have a short in the electrical system you dont want it to back feed thru your radios......................hoser147
 

OpSec

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hoser147 said:
Crazy boy i never mentioned running the ground to the battery I did however state to fuse the ground as electricity always follows the shortest path. I learned to fuse the ground from a commercial radio technician that services all the public service radio s in our county. If you have a short in the electrical system you dont want it to back feed thru your radios......................hoser147
Then I'd love to hear his opinion on why all the radios he's installing from Moto, GE etc. do not have fuses on the ground wire.

This topic (fusing ground wires) has been discussed to death on other forums but to make a long story short if you fuse the ground wire and that fuse is compromised (i.e. blown), then the electricity will seek a new shortest path to ground - usually through internal components and the mounting bracket(s). Once this occurs, often the magic smoke is let out and the radio ceases to function.

I had this happen to me with a Yaesu FT-8100R mobile radio back in the late 90's. As many of you know, ham gear is shipped with a power cable that is fused on both sides. In my case, the radio was subjected to a power spike from a dying alternator and for whatever reason only blew the negative fuse. Problem was, before the radio was disconnected, the alternator sent out 15v for about 10 seconds before I could shut it down. This didn't hurt any car electronics but because the positive fuse held, the radio found a new ground path through itself and out the mounting bracket and coax braided shield. Poof! No more radio. It was a smokey mess inside.

The ground wire should be as short as possible, without a fuse in it. There is a reason that the land mobile radios do not have a fused ground wire. The same should go for any two-way radio installation, whether it's a 4w CB or a 110w Motorola.
 

2112

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RFJammed said:
What is the purpose of the solenoid? I'm relatively new to the wiring thing. Thanks!
Normal switches aren't rated to carry high current, so instead of switching the powered accessories directly, solenoids and relays allow the user to toggle on/off the high-current circuit using a more-or-less standard switch. Then, you connect your high-powered accessories to the high-power output of the solenoid. When you throw the switch, the solenoid/relay is activated, which turns on the high-current bus, which in turn powers all the radios, etc.

crazyboy said:
It is used to turn the positive wire "off" when the key is in the off position and turn the positve "on" when the key is in the on or run position.
Right. Except that I don't run mine through the ignition switch... I like separate control, so I've master switched the main power bus. Same difference, though.

crazyboy said:
2112, Where are you purchasing youe solenoids from? I know alot of people are using the Bosch relays, any thoughts/opinions on them?
I purchased my last solenoid (a discontinued Cole-Hersee 200A 12V continuous-duty jobber) at shipstore.com for something like $65. As far as the Bosch relays are concerned, I haven't used them, but if I had an application that required a switchable current on the order of 75A (or less), I would strongly consider them; I've heard alot of people have had good results with them. I'd have considered them for my recent high-current project, but I couldn't find anything rated to carry 150-200A continuous.
 

crazyboy

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hoser147 said:
Crazy boy i never mentioned running the ground to the battery I did however state to fuse the ground as electricity always follows the shortest path. I learned to fuse the ground from a commercial radio technician that services all the public service radio s in our county. If you have a short in the electrical system you dont want it to back feed thru your radios......................hoser147
Hoser, Stateboy said a lot of what I'm going to repeat but here goes nothing. Fusing ground=bad news, running ground to battery is also bad news which opens up a whole new can of worms. I'll give you an example why not to fuse a ground. The fuse in you ground blows but the fuse in your positive is still good. You then still have power going to your radio which wants to find a ground. It does not care how it gets there it just wants the ground. The path to the ground maybe through the internal circuitry, antenna connector, mounting bracket, etc. Another reason why fusing ground is rather pointless: If you fuse the ground wire the radio is still going to have another path to ground. Your antenna is touching the car body & the mounting bracket is connected from the radio to your car forming yet another ground path. You will also notice that everything factory installed into your car does not have a fuse on the ground wire. This is for a reason. If something happens where a fuse in the ground could prevent damage then you are going to have much bigger problems to worry about than your radio(like everything in your car)
 

MB

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crazyboy said:
Hoser, Stateboy said a lot of what I'm going to repeat but here goes nothing. Fusing ground=bad news, running ground to battery is also bad news which opens up a whole new can of worms. I'll give you an example why not to fuse a ground. The fuse in you ground blows but the fuse in your positive is still good. You then still have power going to your radio which wants to find a ground. It does not care how it gets there it just wants the ground. The path to the ground maybe through the internal circuitry, antenna connector, mounting bracket, etc. Another reason why fusing ground is rather pointless: If you fuse the ground wire the radio is still going to have another path to ground. Your antenna is touching the car body & the mounting bracket is connected from the radio to your car forming yet another ground path. You will also notice that everything factory installed into your car does not have a fuse on the ground wire. This is for a reason. If something happens where a fuse in the ground could prevent damage then you are going to have much bigger problems to worry about than your radio(like everything in your car)
Interesting! The installation directions that came with my Icom radio says to run the ground directly to the battery. The radio also comes with a power cable that has a fused ground.

I always thought if you ran the ground directly to the battery there will be a lot less interference from the electronics in the vehicle itself.
 

hoser147

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It sounds as if the Companies cant figure it out either thats just the way I was told to do it by the commercial radio tech, no biggy Thanks for the info and the examples to bad you had to fry a good radio to learn i think I would rather learn from your experince than have to go thru it on my own. Ive always ran short ground wires but the fuse links are comein out of the ground. Thanks hoser147
 

crazyboy

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hoser147 said:
It sounds as if the Companies cant figure it out either thats just the way I was told to do it by the commercial radio tech, no biggy Thanks for the info and the examples to bad you had to fry a good radio to learn i think I would rather learn from your experince than have to go thru it on my own. Ive always ran short ground wires but the fuse links are comein out of the ground. Thanks hoser147
If you have your ground run directly to the battery, then there is some reasons to fuse it along with the resons not too.
 

hoser147

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No I have always ran short grounds without fusable link in them ,till our commercial tech was installing some new radios and ran short ground with both fused a smaller fuse in the ground. On scanning 2wys you had to run a ground to the mike clip so it had a common ground and that made it scan when you hung up the mic. I agree that the ground should be short as possible. But it sounds as if there has been a long running debate on here as to the way it should be done. Ive never had a radio fry and dont want to, that is why I took the advise of the commercial radio tech and went to fusing the ground which I have removed today after reading the info in above posts ......Good scannin hoser
 

SLWilson

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Firewall - Battery Pictures....

wogggieee said:
I was wondering if some people would be willing to post some pictures of how they have their radios connected to the batteries. Either directly connected to the battery or through remote terminals or whatever they have connected. And also I'd be interested in seeing pictures of how people got the wires through the firewall. I know there is a grommet on many vehicles that can be used, I'm just curious to see how that goes and how people route the cables in the engine compartment until they get them through the firewall. I'm thinking about getting a 2m/70cm rig pretty soon, so I've been thinking about how to install it. There's lots of pictures of antennas and the radios in the car, but nothing of under the hood and how it is supplied by power to use as examples. Thanks.
Better LATE than never.....Anyway, We used an existing Gromet and went through the firewall with power and coax wires. We DIDN'T hook anything directly to the battery. GM provides a HOT connection point to use for jump starting their Tahoe's so I figure all the other Tahoe type trucks are the same. Photo of that & an L-bracket mounted antenna. The vehicle is a 2004 Chevrolet Tahoe Z-71...See Below. Steve
 
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