How do you have your radio wired in your car/truck?

Joined
Sep 3, 2014
Messages
79
#2
I run straight to the battery. With my IC-7100 I used #10 wire. With my TM-V71A I used #12 wire. I also ran the negative back to the battery for each. Make sure you provide fuse protection at the battery!

On another mobile installation, I have a Blue Sea fuse panel so I come off of that with my two radios. The fuse panel is fed with #2 wire. That's on a 40 year old truck.

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Joined
Jul 19, 2013
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Petersburg, Virginia USA
#3
I'm waiting for my son to get back in town later today from college for the weekend. I have to take a look at his car battery to see exactly how it's set up. It's a Honda so I would imagine it's one of the typical side terminal batteries.
I guess I could loosen the terminal bolt and tuck the wire underneath and tighten it back down. But I'm sure there's something out there to use to do a more professional job. Some type of an adapter perhaps?
Any ideas?
 
Joined
Sep 3, 2014
Messages
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#4
I would recommend crimping a proper diameter ring terminal on the end of the stripped wire and then heat shrink around the terminal.

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jwt873

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#5
100 Watt HF rigs can draw over 20 Amps. Because of that, like others, I have my IC-7000 wired directly to the battery of my Jeep Wrangler.
 

ladn

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#6
Going to be hooking up a Yaesu ft100d in my sons car this weekend.
Do you guys prefer to wire the power straight to the battery or to the fuse box?
I always wire directly to the battery (positive and negative) and use a relay in the engine compartment to power the circuit on/off. 10 ga stranded red/black "zip" cord, positive fused (30A) near the battery. Crimp terminals (soldered) at battery end, Powerpole connectors inside the vehicle.

My biggest challenge on my newest vehicle install (2019 4Runner), besides running the wires, was finding a suitable switch to control the relay that also fit the vehicle's dashboard knock out .
 
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Mar 12, 2014
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#8
I wire directly to the battery (via fused conductors). I try to keep them as short as possible while steering clear of ignition components and the ECU (car computer) I also like to bump the conductor size up above NEC requirements (#12ga =20A max, #10ga =30A max) Although increasing the size isn't necessary, Using the proper wire is. Make sure its suited for automotive use. You don't want to use zip cord. Engine bays can be hostile environments and using wire that can't handle the heat or chemicals that are encountered around a vehicle can lead to problems you don't really want.

For added protection, I also like to place my wiring it split loom (Google it if needed). I'd also recommend a permanent antenna mount rather than a mag mount, keeping you coax out of places like door, hatch and trunk jambs. You don't want to put an antenna in a position that requires the coax to have to flex all the time.
 
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Sep 3, 2014
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#11
Wire that comes with the radio is fine. It just may not be long enough. Home Depot or Lowes should sell all the basic terminal rings, crimps, etc.
 
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Jul 27, 2005
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#12
Yeah, you don't want to tap any radio into the vehicle fuse block.

Wire the positive directly to the battery with a suitably sized fuse within a few inches of the battery.

Connect the negative lead to the vehicle body. Newer cars have sensors that watch power consumption, and running the negative directly to the battery can cause some issues with that. The new Fords I have at work and at home specifically say not to connect at the negative post.

The included wiring should be fine if it's long enough.

Just make sure you route the wiring correctly, away from heat sources, grommets anywhere it passes through sheet metal, proper fusing, etc.
And, check the owners manual to see if they have any requirements. Some manufacturers have a section of the owners manual that can provide good advice.

Always use proper sized crimp terminals. Auto parts stores, hardware stores, or electrical suppliers will have what you need.
Use the correct crimpers. If you don't have the correct ones, solder the connection. Marine grade heat shrink around it will help, too.

I always run a large power feed directly to the positive battery terminal to a separate distribution block near the radios. Doing it right the first time saves a LOT of headaches.
 
Joined
Sep 3, 2014
Messages
79
#13
Connect the negative lead to the vehicle body. Newer cars have sensors that watch power consumption, and running the negative directly to the battery can cause some issues with that. The new Fords I have at work and at home specifically say not to connect at the negative post.
That's very interesting info!
 
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Nov 18, 2017
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Phx, AZ
#15
I like adding my own fuse boxes rather than tapping into a factory location for vehicle accessories. In my 2013 F150, I ran 10ga wire from the battery and chassis ground, through the firewall, up the transmission hump and to this fuse panel which I installed in my center console:



The total run of the wire is about 10' so I should be able to draw ~30 amps on this circuit. I have an inline fuse near the battery, and each connection to the box has its own fuse. Running off this panel is a Uniden BCD996P2 which has negligible current draw. I also have a Kenwood TK-8180 and TM-281A, each drawing about 15 amps, though I would not be transmitting on both radios at the same time. Currently on the to-do list is adding a relay to power the panel on/off with the truck ignition.
 
Last edited:

KK4JUG

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#17
Yeah, you don't want to tap any radio into the vehicle fuse block.

Wire the positive directly to the battery with a suitably sized fuse within a few inches of the battery.

Connect the negative lead to the vehicle body. Newer cars have sensors that watch power consumption, and running the negative directly to the battery can cause some issues with that. The new Fords I have at work and at home specifically say not to connect at the negative post.

The included wiring should be fine if it's long enough.

Just make sure you route the wiring correctly, away from heat sources, grommets anywhere it passes through sheet metal, proper fusing, etc.
And, check the owners manual to see if they have any requirements. Some manufacturers have a section of the owners manual that can provide good advice.

Always use proper sized crimp terminals. Auto parts stores, hardware stores, or electrical suppliers will have what you need.
Use the correct crimpers. If you don't have the correct ones, solder the connection. Marine grade heat shrink around it will help, too.

I always run a large power feed directly to the positive battery terminal to a separate distribution block near the radios. Doing it right the first time saves a LOT of headaches.
What he said. Whatever other gadgets you use, be careful. Hams have used direct positive hookup to the battery for years and it continues to work just fine, Also, my Sorento also says no direct negative hookup.
 
Joined
Dec 5, 2008
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1,600
Location
Sonoma, CA
#18
I'm waiting for my son to get back in town later today from college for the weekend. I have to take a look at his car battery to see exactly how it's set up. It's a Honda so I would imagine it's one of the typical side terminal batteries.
I guess I could loosen the terminal bolt and tuck the wire underneath and tighten it back down. But I'm sure there's something out there to use to do a more professional job. Some type of an adapter perhaps?
Any ideas?
For a side mount battery get a replacement bolt that has outside threads to attach a common 3/8" ring terminal.

https://www.parts-express.com/streetwires-bagmt-gm-truck-adapter--263-631
 
Joined
Jun 13, 2018
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Colorado, New Mexico- and now in Washington DC
#19
Hi TRX.... :)
.
This subject was brought up about this time last year---
.
https://forums.radioreference.com/r...lation-forum/355457-power-mobile-install.html
.
You might find this additional reading insightful-- we explored the topic quite extensively last summer.... :)
.
There is some controversy about whether to connect the negative (black) wire directly to the battery, or to ground it on the vehicle frame-- read the pro's and cons carefully and you decide (I favor both of them going directly to the battery) -- but if you do run both to the battery, make sure the negative is also fused.
The wiring harness that came with your radio should have fuses in both leads :)
.
Lauri............ :)
.
.
 
Joined
Jul 19, 2013
Messages
112
Location
Petersburg, Virginia USA
#20
turns out its a old fashioned type top terminal.
And it has a convenient place on the positive terminal to bolt on the positive wire


Now.....finding a place to run the wires through the firewall is going to be fun.

 
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