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Pictures Of Your Shack/Mobile Setup - Here you can post pictures of your shack, mobile, or portable setup for everyone to be envious of. Don't forget to rate the threads of good setups. Equipment installation questions belong here: Radio Equipment Installation

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Old 04-16-2017, 3:55 PM
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Default 2009 Honda Civic

For two years I've had a scanner in my car but just the simple scanner and mag mount didn't seem worth posting about. Where the 536 is now there has also been a 15x and two 996xt's. This past Friday however I added a 996p2 to the collection. As with many in this hobby I am very limited on space and the 536 was already in the only good spot so my only other option was the center console which the 996 barely fits in as it is. I do experience an amount of glare with the 536 and that's my only disappointment with that scanner. In the sun light the screen seems dim and can be quite hard to read with sunglasses on. The 996 and 15x screens are much more suited to that mounting position.

As can be seen in the picture of the passenger footwell my wiring/install skills aren't stellar. The civic only has one 12v plug so right now I'm running two scanners, two BC23A speakers, and a uniden gps off the one plug. Everything works well so far but at the end of this semester(I'm a college student) I'm going to have everything hard wired and professionally "cleaned up."

On the trunk lid are two Pctel maxrad bmaxscan1000's that I swear by. I primarily listen to vhf and 800mhz but there's some uhf thrown in too and it preforms very well on all bands. I've tried a quarter wave vhf and I still think this pctel does a better job. This is actually my parents car so I haven't drilled any holes but I don't think that hurts me any.

The 536 does mostly convention vhf and the 996p2 takes care of MSCOMMNET(a P25 vhf trunked system) and Portland's conventional 800mhz system which is soon to be p25 as well.
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Old 04-16-2017, 6:11 PM
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Looks like a good working setup! And you're right, for receive only you wouldn't notice much difference between the mag mounts and drilled nmo mounts. Drilled (or even trunk lip) would just look cleaner and do less damage in the long run. But it sounds like you maybe have a plan to move that direction so that's good and it is working for you so that's what's important. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 04-16-2017, 8:32 PM
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Looks like a good working setup! And you're right, for receive only you wouldn't notice much difference between the mag mounts and drilled nmo mounts. Drilled (or even trunk lip) would just look cleaner and do less damage in the long run. But it sounds like you maybe have a plan to move that direction so that's good and it is working for you so that's what's important. Thanks for sharing!


Thanks for the kind words! I certainly plan on cleaning up the inside soon but I'll only have the car for 2 more years until I graduate so I don't think it's worth the investment to drill holes and I'm almost certain my parents wouldn't go for it anyway.


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Old 04-16-2017, 9:00 PM
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Thanks for the kind words! I certainly plan on cleaning up the inside soon but I'll only have the car for 2 more years until I graduate so I don't think it's worth the investment to drill holes and I'm almost certain my parents wouldn't go for it anyway.


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Certainly understand! Sometimes it just isn't possible.
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Old 04-16-2017, 9:08 PM
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Sorry to bust your bubble .. What you have there is a fire waiting to happen.You have multiple scanners plugged into one lighter plug and then into a triple plug and then with a splitter. You are probably close to overloading that lighter plug. If you have not already. There are so many better ways to to this the right way with dedicated power and ground. A properly NMO antenna mount is light years better than any magnet mount.Less chance of interference a solid ground plane overall better performance. It does make a difference. Its an 8 year old car drill a hole and wire the scanners right. Essentially you have a temporary setup that you are use as a permanent solution.
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Old 04-16-2017, 10:07 PM
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The antennas would be a much bigger deal if he were transmitting...nmo is idea, yes, but for rx it isn't as critical as tx/rx.
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Old 04-17-2017, 7:02 AM
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Sorry to bust your bubble .. What you have there is a fire waiting to happen.You have multiple scanners plugged into one lighter plug and then into a triple plug and then with a splitter. You are probably close to overloading that lighter plug. If you have not already. There are so many better ways to to this the right way with dedicated power and ground. A properly NMO antenna mount is light years better than any magnet mount.Less chance of interference a solid ground plane overall better performance. It does make a difference. Its an 8 year old car drill a hole and wire the scanners right. Essentially you have a temporary setup that you are use as a permanent solution.


You haven't burst my bubble because I've talked to my captain who is a professional electrician and has done countless light and radio instals and he said my setup is fine until I have time for him to hard wire it all. And maybe nmo drilled mounts would be better but it's just not possible for everyone. This is a temporary solution as a temporary solution because it will only be there for a few weeks. I installed the 2nd scanner on Friday and everything will be hard wired May 10th. And whether or not I want to drill holes it's not up to me because it's not actually my car. If you really read my post you would've understood my situation and plan and wouldn't have blindly left the comments you did.


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Old 04-17-2017, 10:40 AM
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Don't worry about it, you're fine.

Permanent mount NMO's will work a bit better, but if you cannot install them, then it isn't an option. If you are going to replace the car in 2 years, I wouldn't be concerned.
If this was a long term thing, then yeah, I'd say go for it. Not in this case.

The scanners and speakers are probably pulling 1 amp or so each when receiving, less when idle, and the GPS is probably only pulling a few milliamps at best. You are not overloading your cigarette lighter plug. If you were pulling more than 5 amps, I'd be surprised. Usually the cigarette lighter plugs are rated for somewhere closer to 10 amps or so.

Usually the big issue with cigarette lighter plugs is that the wiring for them is routed in the harness with all the other noise makers in the car. This can lead it interference issues coming from the power feed. If you are not noticing an issue, then you are probably OK, but you'll get cleaner power when you route directly off the battery. If you are going to do more permanent wiring, then you'll be OK. I'd recommend that in addition to the new power wiring, that you run a short wire from the radio chassis direct to the vehicle body. Providing a good low resistance path to ground can overcome some of the noise issues that you can get from less than ideal wiring and mag mount antennas.

As for everything else, what matters is that you are happy with it. Being in college is more important right now. Also, Honda's are less than perfect vehicles for radio installation. So, you do what you can with what you have. Looks like a decent job for fixed income, limited time.
Remember, it's a hobby.
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Old 04-17-2017, 11:19 AM
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I agree with mmckenna - no concern on the electrical. These aren't 50w radios that he's transmitting with, they're scanners and their power consumption is minimal. The post from 571 would be correct if these were radios, though.

As Matt said, don't worry about it.
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Old 04-17-2017, 11:23 AM
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Thanks for the kind words guys. It's awesome to get the nod of approval from people who have been in this hobby probably longer than I've been alive. It's always evolving and a work in progress!


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Old 04-17-2017, 1:03 PM
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Thanks for the kind words guys. It's awesome to get the nod of approval from people who have been in this hobby probably longer than I've been alive. It's always evolving and a work in progress!


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Well, hobby since the early 1980's and employed in the industry for 25 years or so now.

I've seen my share of crappy installs, and some that I'm not sure why the vehicle didn't go up in flames. The worst I've seen usually come from one of a couple of places:
Fire Departments figuring they can do the install cheaper than a professional.
Amateur radio operators. Proof that passing a 35 question multiple choice test does not mean someone knows what they are doing.
Stereo/alarm shop radio installs. Don't get me started.

For hobby use, you are fine. Especially since you are going to do a proper power install.

As for the antennas, not sure I'd waste my time if I was only going to have the car for another 2 years. Yes, permanent mount NMO installs -do- work better, it's proven. But, given your situation, don't get hung up on that. For listening to a scanner, you'll do fine.

What are you taking in college? Got a major yet?
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Old 04-17-2017, 1:30 PM
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.

What are you taking in college? Got a major yet?

I'm a second year civil engineering major at the University of Maine: Orono.




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Old 04-17-2017, 4:48 PM
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I'm a second year civil engineering major at the University of Maine: Orono.
Nice, beautiful country out there.
I've been working for a research university for 20 years now. Sort of used to the cyclic nature of the school year, although it doesn't really impact what I do. It does become a nice quiet place to work when classes are out.
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