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2012 Ford Escape Installation

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jonesyxvii

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It took me a while but I have finally got my two Uniden scanners (a BCD996XT and a BCT15) installed in my new Ford Escape in a way that has them hidden from sight but still fully functional. I've also installed two BC-RH96 remote heads (well, just one at the moment; the second one is still in the mail), a Garmin 18x GPS puck antenna and a Carcam dash camera. It's all hardwired in with a West Mountain Radio RigRunner 4008 and switched to turn on and off with the ignition with a Power Werx APO3 auto switch. Loving it! Here's some pics:

I started with a wiring diagram so that I would remember what the heck I was doing as I went. It's not a full-on electrical schematic, but it served my purposes nicely.


I used an orange crate (tangerine crate, really) that you can get in the grocery store as a base to hold the two scanners. The long side of the crate matches perfectly the width of the scanners once you remove the outer sleeve from them. I "finished" it off with some wood to complete the frame then wrapped it in electrical tape for two reasons: one, it's black; two, when wrapped three times around the electrical tape becomes a bit of a cushion for the scanners to rest on, lessening vibration.


Next I needed to locate a hole in the firewall of the Escape to run power from the battery. I decided I wanted the power for everything to be on a completely different circuit from the built-in Ford electronics. I found a rubber gasket behind and above the brake pedal that could be removed and replaced very easily, yet sat snugly in place. I poked a hole in it with a small screwdriver then ran the wire through it.


The hole from the engine side so you can see its relative position to the battery. There's a ground screw to the left of the white brake fluid jug; that's where I attached my ground wire.


The next step was getting the centre console removed so that I could run wires alongside the transmission shifter and fuse box, out of sight where they wouldn't look ugly. There are six clips holding that sucker in place, and removing them the first time was – honestly – the hardest part of this whole process. In this pic you can see the scanners already loosely in place (a test fit of the orange crate). Ignore the 12V DC splitter, that was just holding the scanners upright.


There's a small hole in the plastic underlining of the console (I assume leftover from the manufacturing process) so I decided I would make this hole larger and run all of my wires through it.


Once all the wiring was done, it looked like this:

There is one wire at the bottom there that isn't sheathed for protection from the sharp edges of the enlarged hole. That's because it's the cable for one of the BC-RH96 remote heads. Once the second one arrives (hopefully by the end of the week), I'll wrap them both up together for protection.

Next I used some industrial strength Velcro to stick my DIY Altoids audio mixer into place. You can see the mixer in this thread: http://forums.radioreference.com/pictures-your-shack-mobile-setup/226060-my-mobile-home-shacks.html


While I had the console cover off, I removed the Microsoft Sync badge from near the front and used the holes as the mounting point for the BC-RH96 remote head(s):


Once everything was reassembled the scanners looked pretty good in place, and with the lid closed would be well hidden.


The last thing I did was hook up the power. The wires from the battery run to the APO3 auto switch and then to the RigRunner. The APO3 monitors voltage and when the ignition is on and the battery voltage exceeds 13V it switches on the power to the RigRunner and from there it is distributed to all of the devices, including the GPS antenna and the Carcam. Here's a pic of all the wiring in place under the dash, well forward in the passenger footwell and close to the centre behind the fuse box. I took the cover off just for the pic so you can also the wires running past:


The whole thing works perfectly. Here's a video of it all being powered on with the ignition: Uniden Scanners Hardwired in 2012 Ford Escape - YouTube. And here's a video of it being powered off: Uniden Scanners Hardwired in 2012 Ford Escape Part 2 - YouTube.

I'm very happy with the way it all turned out.
 

mmckenna

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Looks pretty good. My wife has a 2009 Escape, and I installed a radio in it a few years back. I did a similar run as you, installing the RF deck under the center console and running the wiring along the same path you did. Actually a pretty easy vehicle to install in. Hardest part on hers was the antenna. I had to loosen the headliner in the rear and drop it a bit to see what I was doing. Hers had the sun roof, so I had to install the antenna out of the way of that. Getting the coax down to the radio involved getting around the air bags. Once that was done, it still took a while.

This last weekend I swapped out the radio for a Moto. CDM1250 VHF.

Really nice vehicle. I really like hers.

Nice job on the wiring diagram.
 

jonesyxvii

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Looks pretty good. My wife has a 2009 Escape, and I installed a radio in it a few years back. I did a similar run as you, installing the RF deck under the center console and running the wiring along the same path you did. Actually a pretty easy vehicle to install in. Hardest part on hers was the antenna. I had to loosen the headliner in the rear and drop it a bit to see what I was doing. Hers had the sun roof, so I had to install the antenna out of the way of that. Getting the coax down to the radio involved getting around the air bags. Once that was done, it still took a while.

This last weekend I swapped out the radio for a Moto. CDM1250 VHF.

Really nice vehicle. I really like hers.

Nice job on the wiring diagram.
My Escape has the optional "wet trunk" at the back, basically a moulded piece of plastic that acts as additional storage. However, this has channels running around it for access to its mounting hardware, so I used those channels to run my coax. Avoided the headliner entirely.
 

fineshot1

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Very nice work. I do a lot of commercial radio installs and this impresses me!

I am most interested in the audio mixer - any more details you could provide
on that would be appreciated. TIA......
 

jonesyxvii

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Very nice work. I do a lot of commercial radio installs and this impresses me!

I am most interested in the audio mixer - any more details you could provide
on that would be appreciated. TIA......
Altoids Tin 1/8" Stereo Mixer

These are the plans I followed to build it. I modified it, though, so that the input on the far right is mono to the right channel, and the second one from the right is mono to the left channel. This means the audio from my BCT15 comes out of the right-side speakers in my Escape and the audio from the BCD996XT comes out of the left-side speakers. The remaining two inputs I left as stereo.

Rob
 

fineshot1

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Altoids Tin 1/8" Stereo Mixer

These are the plans I followed to build it. I modified it, though, so that the input on the far right is mono to the right channel, and the second one from the right is mono to the left channel. This means the audio from my BCT15 comes out of the right-side speakers in my Escape and the audio from the BCD996XT comes out of the left-side speakers. The remaining two inputs I left as stereo.

Rob
Thank you - exactly what i was looking for.
 

jonesyxvii

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The second BC-RH96 remote head arrived in the mail today so I'll be installing that in the morning. On the weekend I stumbled upon a bracket meant for a Cobra 29 CB radio but it happens to be exactly the right width and the right height to hold the two remote heads.

Hopefully I'll have pics of the finished product by tomorrow night.

Rob
 

jonesyxvii

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Finished!

I'm done! The bracket worked really well, holds both RH96 heads perfectly, and just fits in the space I have. Here's a pic:


While I was in there running the wires for the second remote head, I took a better pic of the hole I enlarged to run all of the wires through:


I also took a moment to do the USB2 hack of the Sync unit (Escape City - Ford Escape Forums - Ford Escape, Mercury Mariner, Mazda Tribute, Ford Maverick - View topic - Added 2nd USB to Sync for hidden HDD.....mini how to inside.


And just so you can see how well that bracket worked, here's a close up of it:


It took me a while but I'm really happy it's all done now. Thanks for the kind feedback you've already provided. Keep the comments coming!

Rob
 
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