2011 Jeep Patriot - newsphotog rig 3.0

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newsphotog

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I officially retired http://forums.radioreference.com/pictures-your-shack-mobile-setup/155173-newsphotog-rig-2-0-a.html on July 1 and replaced it with a 2011 Jeep Patriot. The body was starting to show signs of age and wear and trying to keep the black paint looking good was becoming really tiresome. When I started looking for a replacement, I knew a small SUV with 4-wheel drive would be optimal, although I considered getting another Impala for ease of installing radios.

Used car prices are pretty high right now and I found I was able to lease a new vehicle for not much more than buying a used one. On June 30 I was able to swing a good deal on leasing a 2011 Patriot. Every dealer I had seen had said the Impala was in exceptional condition, mechanically and in appearance. Even with four NMO mounts drilled (one on the roof and three on the trunk lid) I was able to get $2500 more than KBB value on the trade-in (this might be a good time to trade!). It's 4-wheel drive, gets decent MPG for its class, and best of all, the paint isn't black, so it should be a little easier to take care of.

I liked the Patriot enough that I chose it even though the radio mounting options are not the best. The shifter seems like kind of a waste of space for what it is. No one makes consoles for the Patriot, apparently.

My goals were to keep the install clean and unobtrusive. That was actually an easy goal to reach since there was nowhere to mount the radios in the first place. I mounted the Uniden BCD-996T in the glove compartment, leaving just enough room for the owner's manual, insurance card, registration, etc. It works well, but the only downside is not being able to see the screen (still looking for an RH-96 if you have one you're willing to part ways with!) and having to reach over into the passenger's area to use some of the functions. I mounted the Icom ID-800H transmitter under the passenger's seat and then bought the 23-foot separation cable, ran the cable up to where I mounted the remote head just below the dome light and above the mirror. My only complaint about that is it's still a bit of a tight space between the volume knob and the headliner and the viewing angle isn't the best, but it works well.

I ended up sacrificing my Kenwood D-710A and putting those funds into the first few car payments. I do miss the APRS functionality, even though most of it was passive interaction. If I ever add APRS back in the car, I may install a RAM mount on the passenger's seat and use the universal arm and cradle to hold the remote head for either the D-710 or Yaesu FTM-350AR head. So far, I'm not missing it that much, but I haven't been on a long trip yet, either.

The radio and scanner are connected to one Motorola HSN4039 13-watt water-resistant speaker each.

Since it is a leased vehicle, I asked around about others' experiences in drilling NMO mounts (see thread http://forums.radioreference.com/ra...rum/216939-drilling-holes-leased-vehicle.html). From what I gathered, most said that it really didn't matter since it will go to auction anyways (if I don't end up buying the vehicle at the end of the lease). This was affirmed by the fact that all of the appraisers that looked at my Impala with four NMO mounts said that they didn't really matter and appraised it higher than KBB trade-in value.

Two holes were drilled on the roof in between the luggage rack. I am using a generic Motorola quarter-wave (from eBay My World - precision-communications-equipment) for 144-152 MHz that I use on both VHF and UHF ham. Why did I choose this one? Because they look nice and simple, they're more flexible, and aren't very noticeable. Dual-band ham antennas are rarely chrome and if they ever are chrome, they've got crazy traps and coils that, in my opinion, are ugly. If I go any taller than that antenna, I'll be scraping the beams in the parking ramp at work. For the scanner, I'm still using the Laird Phantom Elite ETRAB8063, the 806-866 MHz fin-type antenna, with great results.

So enough words, let's do some pictures:













 

BJ_NORTON

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One of the cleanest installs I've seen!

What kind of camera are you using to take the pics? The first picture could be used by jeep for an advertisement!
 

justinabshire

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External Speaker

How is the external speaker connected to the Scanner. Also, where did you purchase it from.
 

N5TWB

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Please don't take this as criticism, just pointing out some considerations. First off, is the radio a double-DIN size? If so, I'd consider swapping that out for a single-DIN radio and getting the scanner in the other slot (the 996 is single-DIN sized). That would put the controls within reach. Of course, this assumes the slot would be deep enough to accomodate the 996.

As to the ID-800, I have that same radio and used the separation mount with the radio under the passenger's seat but I got the head on dash in a tray just above the broadcast radio (2006 Nissan Xterra). I see you don't have a similar location but how about on the far left of the dash near the A-pillar to get it on a better sight line and easier to access the controls?

Comet and Diamond both make short 2/70 NMO antennas with open coils that look like cell antennas with lengths that will allow you to clear the same garages you clear with the 1/4 wave.
 
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b7spectra

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I don't think I would change out the radio in the vehicle as you would probably lose most of the steering wheel controls, besides, the radio's in the Jeeps are pretty good. If anything, I would look at getting an RH-96 to attach to it and put it above the shifter.
 

N5TWB

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I don't think I would change out the radio in the vehicle as you would probably lose most of the steering wheel controls, besides, the radio's in the Jeeps are pretty good. If anything, I would look at getting an RH-96 to attach to it and put it above the shifter.
Excellent point that I totally overlooked as I have never had a vehicle with that feature.
 

ve1sef

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Difficult to find spaces for radio in the newer vehicles. I've a safety concern with the 996t placement.
Where the glove box is open and hanging down, it may be right in front of an air bag.
The little "cubby hole" in the lower console, would it accomidate the 996?
If so, might be worth tracking down a second hand console "cover" and modifing it for the 996.
 

n8emr

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Hard to tell from the photo, but I think I would have the dual band head turned a bit more twards the driver, its seems to favor the passenger in the photo. Over nice clean look.
 

newsphotog

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Please don't take this as criticism, just pointing out some considerations. First off, is the radio a double-DIN size? If so, I'd consider swapping that out for a single-DIN radio and getting the scanner in the other slot (the 996 is single-DIN sized). That would put the controls within reach. Of course, this assumes the slot would be deep enough to accomodate the 996.

As to the ID-800, I have that same radio and used the separation mount with the radio under the passenger's seat but I got the head on dash in a tray just above the broadcast radio (2006 Nissan Xterra). I see you don't have a similar location but how about on the far left of the dash near the A-pillar to get it on a better sight line and easier to access the controls?

Comet and Diamond both make short 2/70 NMO antennas with open coils that look like cell antennas with lengths that will allow you to clear the same garages you clear with the 1/4 wave.
The radio is double-DIN but I don't want to replace the stock radio. It's a satellite radio and I'd rather not have to spend the money to buy another radio just to put the 996T in there. I never ever place anything on the dash for fear of objects becoming projectiles in the event of a collision and my theory is "out of sight, out of mind" when it comes to any thefts. I did have the NR72BNMO from Diamond and they are black and quite ugly and also they seem to oxidize each winter.

I don't think I would change out the radio in the vehicle as you would probably lose most of the steering wheel controls, besides, the radio's in the Jeeps are pretty good. If anything, I would look at getting an RH-96 to attach to it and put it above the shifter.
I wish I hadn't sold my RH-96 a couple of years ago.

Difficult to find spaces for radio in the newer vehicles. I've a safety concern with the 996t placement.
Where the glove box is open and hanging down, it may be right in front of an air bag.
The little "cubby hole" in the lower console, would it accomidate the 996?
If so, might be worth tracking down a second hand console "cover" and modifing it for the 996.
Air bags were taken into account and it's ok. That little cubby isn't as wide as the 996. In fact I'm not sure what the point of that cubby is in the first place because it's just so small and in a weird location.

Hard to tell from the photo, but I think I would have the dual band head turned a bit more twards the driver, its seems to favor the passenger in the photo. Over nice clean look.
The headliner is a compression headliner and I wasn't able to turn it any more towards me without cutting into the headliner. It was a bummer. It really bothered me because it was at a weird viewing angle but I'm used to it now.
 

WatnNY

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Can you show us the back of the control head on the 800 how you made a mount? I'm having a heck of a time with my 208 control head! :-(
 

newsphotog

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Can you show us the back of the control head on the 800 how you made a mount? I'm having a heck of a time with my 208 control head! :-(
It's just a generic radio bracket that comes with a radio cut into half. The long part goes into the headliner and the short part gets some velcro and the control head is stuck onto that.
 

burner50

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I e never found an airbag that fires from the glovebox.

Next you need an NX-700 in there.

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gewecke

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Nice clean install, but GRMS? GMRS= General Mobile Radio Service :D

Sorry, I had pick on that.

73,
n9zas
 

burner50

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There couldn't possibly be any other explanation? Perhaps maybe the amateur repeater in GRIMES Iowa?

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