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Old 08-20-2016, 1:53 PM
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Default 2015 Mazda CX-5 and 436HP Install

Long ago, I posted my first real install involving a 125AT and a Mercury Milan.

http://forums.radioreference.com/pic...r-install.html

I've long since retired the 125AT to Air Band only scanning (and back to handheld status) replaced it with a 396XT and most recently (January 2016) a 436HP. Didn't document those installs since it was only involved swapping out one scanner for the other.. Now, the Milan has been traded in on a Mazda CX-5 and required an all new set up.

The most concerning for me was the antenna install. Drilling through the trunk lid on the Milan was easy. Not so on an SUV, at least relatively speaking. Eventually, I plan on having a professional drill the roof but that will have to come later.

Pictured is the Comet RS-720NMO mount on the rear hatch. Coax routes easily into the passenger compartment from here:





I use multiple antennas depending on my location. In the ABQ metro area, I use the one pictured, a Laird TRAB7603, since most of the traffic I listen to is on the joint ABQ/BernCo TRS. It's also car wash friendly. I've noticed that in this configuration, reception is a bit better than it was when trunk lid mounted on the Mercury.

Elsewhere in the state, I'll use either a Laird QWFTB120 or some unknown model from Antenna Specialists. Performance out of both antennas is comparable to their previous location on the Mercury. I also have the Larson antenna seen in my previous install, but I haven't tested it yet. None of the longer antennas make contact with the body of the vehicle when the rear hatch opens.

Now for the scanner:





The metal bracket came in one of those Wal-Mart special cell phone holder and is the same I used in the Milan, though with screws this time. The 3M adhesive that came with that holder is worthless. I also attached the same type of 3M Dual Lock fasteners.

Antenna Coax and USB power cord were easily tucked in underneath the console molding. Power for the scanner and the speaker (BC23A) is provided by the 12V outlet (not pictured) in the center console.

Speaking of the speaker....



It's under the driver's seat and secured to the floor with simple Velcro. The speaker was also in the Mercury and mounted to the back side of the center console/armrest. Under the seat in the Mazda, I've found that I didn't need to adjust the volume on the scanner from the setting I used in the Mercury.

Overall, I'm happy with this install. The only negatives, for me, are the antenna placement (need to get a hold of a pro shop at some point) and the mounting of the 436. In it's present spot, its kinda hard to access the buttons on the side (MENU, FUNC) but since I don't access them frequently, it's something I can live with. That is until I find a better place to mount the scanner, but there aren't a lot of options in this vehicle.
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Old 08-20-2016, 5:15 PM
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Nicely done! Antenna looks good where it is but I agree about drilling when you can. It would be less noticeable, too, to most people up on the roof. But as I said, nice job!
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Old 08-20-2016, 5:23 PM
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djones87401 runs a comms company with offices in edgewood and abq.

Call or email him, tell him you're from RR, get a quote on the NMO.

505 407 2310
sales@code3service.com

That be my first choice if I wasnt doing it myself.

And I assume you have the provoice upgrade on the HP?
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Old 08-21-2016, 12:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 03msc View Post
Nicely done! Antenna looks good where it is but I agree about drilling when you can. It would be less noticeable, too, to most people up on the roof. But as I said, nice job!
Thanks! I was initially concerned on how it would look, but the end result is pretty good. There also wasn't much choice on where on the rear hatch to put it, so that gave me some concern too, but the bracket works really well where I put it.


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djones87401 runs a comms company with offices in edgewood and abq.

Call or email him, tell him you're from RR, get a quote on the NMO.
I didn't know that. Thanks for the referral!

I do have the ProVoice upgrade. That feature was what made me purchase the 436. Otherwise I would have just stayed with the 396.
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Old 08-21-2016, 12:25 AM
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if and when i ever decide to get myself a "nicer" truck and dont want to do my holes myself, i'm sure thats who i'll give the business to.

normally, i scan abq fire using a provoice radio, but i recently upgraded the truck from a analog only scanner to the 536, so i'm sure at the end of the summer i'll do the provoice upgrade myself. one less radio to deal with.
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Old 08-21-2016, 9:57 AM
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Transit-style antennas, such as the one you currently have on your vehicle, are extremely band-specific, and at best, work satisfactorily. I had several of them. Performance on transmit (ham bands) and receive was worse than a typical quarter-wave antenna. Many hams and scanner hobbyists are extremely limited to space because of low garage door clearance, and visibility factors. If it works for you, then you are very fortunate.

Attached is my CVPI with 11 NMO mounts (on trunk lid and roof). I have pro-quality performance on every radio and device connected to them. I have no garage door-clearance issue, and limited my trunk-lid mount for my Yaesu ATAS-120 screwdriver-type HF antenna.
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Old 08-21-2016, 10:00 AM
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Will, how many of those are transmit?
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Old 08-21-2016, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madrabbitt View Post
Will, how many of those are transmit?
All of them except for two. One is for my 996T scanner, and the flat disk is for my GPS which used for APRS on the Kenwood TM-D700, and my 996T which is used for Starcom21 tower-tracking.

I have two Motorola MotoTRBO XPR4550's, two Motorola P25 Astro Spectras, Kenwood TM-D700, Yaesu FT-857D, Alinco DR-235, two Motorola VRS-750 cross-band in-car repeaters, and something else that I probably forgot to detail here.

Everything was professionally installed using genuine name-brand NMO mounts, barrier strips, plastic looming, and a heavy-duty 100 amp circuit breaker (along with each radio & accessory individually fused).

I used to have several emergency lights which have since been removed because I no longer rep for an install/supply vendor. I still get lots of questions such as, "Why do you have so many antennas?" My first response is, "I have a lot of radios, and yes, they all work." Used to have a few wise-crack answers, but that only gets more confusing trying to come up with more funny responses.

Thank you for the bandwidth.
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Old 08-21-2016, 2:44 PM
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He has it connected to a scanner and though he didn't say, I would suspect it is an 800MHz antenna and scanning an 800MHz digital system. I have used similar antennas on my scanner and the performance on an 800MHz system was great.

The low profiles (phantoms) are terrible for VHF, yes, but many people find they work surprisingly well on 400MHz and above. Many have shown their setups on here and used the phantom type antenna for UHF and 800MHz (and up) radios and reported excellent results while maintaining a low profile appearance.

Again, on rx I suspect he is getting good results.
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Old 08-21-2016, 3:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madrabbitt View Post
normally, i scan abq fire using a provoice radio, but i recently upgraded the truck from a analog only scanner to the 536, so i'm sure at the end of the summer i'll do the provoice upgrade myself. one less radio to deal with.
One thing that I've noticed when listing to ABQ Fire is the difference in volume (on the 436) in the Dispatcher (broadcasting in analog) and the responding Units (Broadcasting in ProVoice). Alarm Room is always lower than the responding units. Not sure if it will be that noticeable on the 536.


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He has it connected to a scanner and though he didn't say, I would suspect it is an 800MHz antenna and scanning an 800MHz digital system.
That's it exactly. I've used the Laird Quarter Wave on that system as well with good results.
Albuquerque / Bernalillo County Trunking System, Albuquerque, New Mexico - Scanner Frequencies
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Old 08-21-2016, 3:49 PM
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do you have any of the "intercom" talkgroups enabled?
If so, disable them.
On the primary alarm talkgroup, alarm and field units shouldnt have any noticible volume difference. They dont on my radio, and they dont on AFD radios.

Also, its a simucast broadcast, digital on the edacs, and analog on the UHF intercom frequency. Alarm shouldnt be broadcasting in analog on 800.

I'll let you know what i hear when i get back, probably october sometime
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Old 08-21-2016, 4:10 PM
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I don't have the Intercom TGs programed, just Alarm Room (City) and Fire Control (County). Alarm Room dispatchers are always in Analog. Fire Control dispatchers do as well, but not all the time.

It's not surprising that a "real" EDACS radio would have better audio quality than a scanner. I have a county issued LPE200 and it performs much better than the 436, both in reception performance and audio quality.
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Old 08-21-2016, 4:18 PM
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They were supposed to have changed that last year.

Originally, the entire talkgroup was simulcast to UHF for the station intercoms. Both the tones on digital, alarm in analog, and field traffic on digital (digital came across as static or white noise, obviously)
When they upgraded the console equipment, that changed, and it was *supposed* to take the dispatch side of the audio direct to the UHF base, and that was also supposed to let them keep the entire talkgroup on provoice.

Of course, plans change. Not surprised.
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Old 08-21-2016, 6:39 PM
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I'm in ABQ and I can also confirm the lower dispatch on AFD Alarm only on my 436. BCFD seems to be normal volume for dispatch.
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Old 08-29-2016, 6:53 PM
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I found the issue with AFD Alarm and analog channels. Modulation needs to be changed to NFM. Hold on channel, click Function then Channel again and select NFM. Night and day difference between Auto, NFM and FM.
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Old 09-01-2016, 5:15 PM
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A very "low impact" install
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Old 09-02-2016, 6:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisABQ View Post
I found the issue with AFD Alarm and analog channels. Modulation needs to be changed to NFM.
Thanks for the tip. I'll give it a shot next time I do some programming work.

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A very "low impact" install
Thank you! :-)
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Old 03-25-2017, 2:58 PM
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UPDATE!

The antenna mount was swapped out for the preferred roof mount. I tried to get in touch with DJones's Code 3 in ABQ, but couldn't get messages returned, so I had a buddy of mine do the drilling (back in October). Performance was noticeably better, but not by a huge margin.

In the first image, you'll see the two antennas that I regularly use. Now that I live in Colorado, the stubby Laird stays in use nearly all the time. When I travel down to NM, I swap it out for the Larsen quarter wave. Both antennas perform great on the CO-DTRS, but the Laird is obviously more car wash friendly.





More recently (this week), I changed out the flimsy L-Bracket for a RAM-brand mount. I use 3M Dual Lock fasteners to attach the scanner to the plate (RAM-B-202U). Attached to the side of the console is a RAM adhesive base (RAM-B-378U). I added two screws to the base as the adhesive, while strong, wasn't quite strong enough when I stress tested it. The arm in-between is RAM-B-201U.





The end result is that the scanner doesn't wiggle nearly as much, is angled for better viewing while driving, and is more stable while pressing buttons. Cable management needs a bit of work though.
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Old 03-25-2017, 7:52 PM
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Like the info and the new mount. Good photos, too.
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Old 03-25-2017, 9:51 PM
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try something like this to clean up all those adapters: https://www.amazon.com/RF-cable-wate...+to+bnc+female
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