New Install Ram 1500

Joined
Apr 8, 2018
Messages
4
Location
Lake Worth, FL
#1
I am getting ready to install a VHF/UHF system in my 2016 Ram 1500. I have a radio, G2ANTPF fender mount, Larsen NMOK, and Comet CA-2X4SRNMO. I was wondering if anyone had tips for the install. Planning on running power and ground from the radio directly to the battery. Also running a ground wire from the antenna mount to the battery ground. Any other ideas or would any of this be incorrect procedure?

Also I plan on having the radio accessible so I could also pull the antenna from the mounted radio and hook it up to my Kenwood TH-D74A for APRS and digital use. Is there any problems with doing that as the Kenwood would not be hooked to the vehicles power source(battery)?

Thanks
KN4LMX
 
K

KK4TRI

Guest
#2
@Joshwaa, I would recommend using a solenoid or 4 pin relay to control your power for your radio from a fuse box. It makes things much easier when tracing faults, also if you wire an accessory or key-on hot to the relay you will avoid ever running your battery down from something being left on drawing the battery after your vehicles engine is off. The antenna ground wire to the battery is not necessary, RF grounding does not necessarily follow DC grounding physics, all that is necessary is a solid connection between the shield or mount bracket of the mount to chassis or body. Electrically it is ground, but in the RF world it will complete the capacitive load that the transmitter must see to reach peak efficiency. I.e. SWR mounting in different places on the vehicle will produce different SWR's center of the roof is best for optimal radiation L-Bracket on fender is less suitable.

KK4TRI
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
9,715
Location
WTVLCA01DS0
#3
I am getting ready to install a VHF/UHF system in my 2016 Ram 1500. I have a radio, G2ANTPF fender mount, Larsen NMOK, and Comet CA-2X4SRNMO. I was wondering if anyone had tips for the install. Planning on running power and ground from the radio directly to the battery. Also running a ground wire from the antenna mount to the battery ground. Any other ideas or would any of this be incorrect procedure?
Check the Dodge website for install guides. Sometimes there is some pointers in the owners manual. I know Ford and GM have some stuff on their Fleet websites that can be helpful. Often it has to do with where you they suggest mounting antennas based on frequency and power levels, where/how to connect power, etc. Go by what it says.


Don't connect the negative power lead at the battery.
Most newer vehicles have sensors on the negative lead from the battery to the chassis that keep tabs on how much power is being drawn from the battery. Bypassing this with a negative lead to your radio, and grounded at the chassis can cause issues.
Ideally you want to connect the negative lead to the vehicle chassis, and you shouldn't need to go all the way to the engine compartment to do that. Find an existing ground point near the radio, or along the path to the battery and use that.

As for the antenna mount, don't ground that to the battery, either. Put a star washer under the mounting bolt, maybe scrape a bit of the paint away under it, and make sure it's all snugged down well. That should be sufficient.


Make sure all your wiring is in split loom tubing to protect it. Any where you pass through metal, like the fire wall, make sure there is a grommet.
Install the fuse on the positive side as near the battery as you can get it, that's where it'll do the most good.

Make sure you crimp all your connections properly. Crimp them, then pull on them hard to make sure they don't come loose. A touch of solder isn't a bad idea if you are adept with a soldering iron. Just a touch of solder on the end.
I usually do this with any of mine. I use a full cycle crimp tool, add a touch of solder on the very end where the stranded wire protrudes, and follow that up with a piece of marine grade (adhesive lined) heat shrink tubing. That will give it a good mechanical and electrical connection as well as protect it.

Grommet and split loom over your coax, too. Make sure it's routed in such a way it won't get pinched in the hood. Careful use of split loom can make the added wiring blend it with the factory stuff and sort of disappear.
Keep the coax away from existing wiring and electronics.

Grounding the radio chassis is a good plan. It can solve a lot of intermittent issues. That can be accomplished through the mounting bracket.

Also I plan on having the radio accessible so I could also pull the antenna from the mounted radio and hook it up to my Kenwood TH-D74A for APRS and digital use. Is there any problems with doing that as the Kenwood would not be hooked to the vehicles power source(battery)?

Thanks
KN4LMX
Not an issue. Just make sure you connect it back up when you are done.
 
Joined
Apr 8, 2018
Messages
4
Location
Lake Worth, FL
#4
Thanks for all the info. I know about the current sensor on the negative at the battery. I had planned on installing on the other end of that. Still not a good idea? Also I looked through the manual for my truck and it did not mention about radio installs (CB/HAM/Two-way). Maybe there is an up-fitter guide for that but my google searches did not return much.
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
9,715
Location
WTVLCA01DS0
#5
Thanks for all the info. I know about the current sensor on the negative at the battery. I had planned on installing on the other end of that. Still not a good idea?
Nope, that's OK. Just don't connect directly to the negative battery post.

Also I looked through the manual for my truck and it did not mention about radio installs (CB/HAM/Two-way). Maybe there is an up-fitter guide for that but my google searches did not return much.
Yes, check with the upfitter guides and see what it says.
 

jasday

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Apr 9, 2008
Messages
209
Location
Ponder Tx
#6
One easy place to drill for the antenna is the 3rd brake light. Remove the two screws on the outside, pull out the assembly and there it is. I only dropped the rear of the headliner, mostly to help with running the coax to the passenger side C pillar.

If I remember correctly, there was a rubber grommet I punched through to the left of the steering system against the firewall.

There is a spot for grounding to the chassis on the driver side right kick panel. You'll have to pull the plastic trim back. If you do not have the full length console, it'll be behind the drop down cup holders underneath all of the AC components. It'll be just about to the right of the gas pedal.

I'm trying to remember everything from my 2010 Ram 1500. I no longer have the truck, upgraded to a Ram 2500 last December, otherwise I'd get some pics for you.
 
Joined
Sep 3, 2014
Messages
79
#7
There is a plate that blanks the no longer used clutch cable. I made a nice hole in this for all my power and antenna. I did a fender mount and also have two mounts on each rear corner of my bed (RAMBOX configuration). Of course dead center of the roof is ideal. I may do this some day. I currently have three total antenna mount options. Kenwood TM-V71A going to a Comet SBB-5NMO. I mounted the radio portion of the Kenwood under the steering column. You can tap some holes there to provide easy means of anchoring. Icom IC-7100 goes to each corner of the bed - one is NMO and the other is 3/8-24. My IC-7100 lives under the rear driver's side seat in my quad cab. Positive and negative #10's go direct to the battery. I also read after my install about the manufacturer recommendation to ground radios to nearby sheetmetal. I may change in the future. But, I am sharing a post at the battery with leads that ground to the body already.

Use this link to see all my pics.........

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/uznxewm1gfzoyth/AAA70vje-jfI24sYjl5jiLHWa?dl=0
 

Attachments

Joined
Apr 8, 2018
Messages
4
Location
Lake Worth, FL
#8
Nice setup KD2FIQ. I used the clutch cover also. However I just drilled two holes just big enough to get the coax and power wires through then used clear RTV to seal just in case. I made a bracket with some foam padding to hang the radio of the side of the center console. Not the whole console but the little I guess map pocket on the side. So far so good. All I have left to do is solder my PL 259 connector and it will be done. I will try to snap some pics when it is completed. Now I just have to find a place to mount another antenna for my next radio.
 
Joined
Sep 3, 2014
Messages
79
#9
Sounds good! All the radios with the detachable face / remote head unit make things so easy. The Ram is nice. Plenty of hidden space. Same could not be said for my old Jeep Wrangler!
 
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