89 Dodge 3500 w/ BCT15X and Austin Spectra mobile antenna

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AronDouglas

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This is a BCT15X with an Austin Spectra mobile antenna I recently installed in my friends dodge 3500. The scanner in mounted where the stereo would normally go (he didn't like the stereo so I removed it). I made a custom audio plug so the scanner now powers the truck speakers. (actually, right now only 2 speakers work, I need to do some trouble shooting as to why that is the case). The rear audio jack on the BTC15X is amplified for external speakers and it is plenty loud for any gasser, but since this truck its diesel it is just barely loud enough. I have a 300watt amp I'm going to put in so I can turn up the bass and equalize everything (scanner has NO bass, everything sounds very tinny). The auto dimmer is also hooked up so the scanner back light will dim with the rest of the dash lights.

The antenna is mounted with a NMO mount and the coax is fed under the headliner, down the A-pillar and behind the dash.





















 

SCPD

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Now heres a guy whos serious about his scanning!I like using the truck's speakers for listening !
If the speakers are tinny you may have them "out of phase" try reversing the Plus and Minus on ONE of the speakers at a time.If only two out of four work ,you need to find the other 4 wires that control em and add them in make the two on the left in series and the two on the right the same then take both rights and both lefts and make em in parallel this way the impedance is matched.4+4=8 x2 in parralel is 4.
Not loud enough,get a small car eq with an amp built in.Woud be easier if he added a half DIN Pioneer car stereo and went in via an AUX port then put the scanner in with the radio.

https://www.google.com/search?q=car+stereo+and+scanner&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=-o1FU86WJOi2sATNyIDADw&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAg&biw=1024&bih=605#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=lK3Gao5jIf_8WM%3A;LwiXNWQpij9XKM;http%3A%2F%2Fimg218.imageshack.us%2Fimg218%2F2573%2F996tinstall.jpg;http%3A%2F%2Fforums.radioreference.com%2Fradio-equipment-installation-forum%2F151920-mustang-install-question.html;800;536
 

AronDouglas

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@ridgescan, yes its a Cummins, 5.9L 24valve. And its a 1998 (stupid dyslexia), its been a good truck so far with close to 300k on it. I wish I had a 89 dodge, I love the first generation dodge/cummins combos. I'll put some more pics up later showing it off (after its bath, the thing is dirty inside and out from work) and all the mods/extra stuff we've done to it.

@k2rty, Its not so much that hes into scanning so much, but he now uses the scanner as the stereo. I programmed all the FM channels in and set it to its own group/quick key. The stereo that use to be in the truck was not that great, you could only play a CD through once before the thing got so hot it would just shut down. So there was not much loss taking it out. And thats partly why I need an amp/equalizer put in to help balance/tune the audio. It sounds tinny because thats the scanner and the frequencies that are received, not tinny like bad audio/out of phase. The BCT15X is a scanner not a car stereo, but I want to try and get good stereo quality sound out of it though. I do understand what your saying though, I know just enough about audio tech stuff to talk with the knowledgeable people and just enough to get myself into trouble :)

The 2 only working speaker problem is another story though. Dodge did a smart thing and labeled all the speaker wiring (left front positive , right rear negative ect) as well as labled power wiring. I separated all if it and had everything soldered together in the correct order, hooked it up to test and only got audio out of 2 speakers. So I unwired everything and checked connections, everything was correct. So I checked each speaker individually and could only get audio out of 2 of them ( the other 2 did nothing). All 4 speakers work just fine, I just gota figure out whats going on. This truck was suppose to be down for a few days while we changed the power steering gearbox on it, but our other work truck lift pump died yesterday stranding me and a friend on the road, so this truck was rushed back into service. So I've had little time to troubleshoot anything, I was up late one night trying to put the dash back together so it could be taken to work the next day. The pictures posted are how it is in its current state, there will be more to follow (hopefully) soon with a Galaxy 959 mounted somewhere :)
 

WatnNY

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That is a great install. I had a horrible experience with that Austin Spectra antenna though, rusted after 6 months and looked like crap :-(

Mike
 

AronDouglas

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I was on the way home today and decided to take a few pictures of the lit dash with the scanner on. During the day the back light and contrast are set to high. When the marker lights are turned on, the back light auto adjust to medium. From the pictures the light looks bright, but thats the camera taking a 1 second exposure, the lighting is not overpowering at all and the display is still very readable.





 

scannermanner1

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looks awesome....... do you get good performance out of that Austin antenna particularly on 800 megahertz in particular because I'm just about to buy one and I was just wondering what other people think about them
 

AronDouglas

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Again, on the way home from work I gave the antenna a selfie :) This is how far it bends in 65 mph winds coming directly over the windshield.

The other antenna in the background is a 5 foot CB antenna (1 of 2) mounted on a set of west-coast mirrors.

 

AronDouglas

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Finally got the 959 mounted. This is not its permanent home (its going to be built into the dash whenever we rebuild the dash). The mount its hanging off of is a custom built laptop mount. These are low light pics while on the drive home, I'll get some daylight pics and post those as well. This is a custom radio built by SnakeRadioCustoms. GALAXY DX 959 SUPERDX - THE ECHO FOR HENRY - YouTube





 

AronDouglas

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When I removed the radio there was a wire labeled 'dimmer' meaning it would dim the radio lights. I then tied that to the scanner dimmer wire, simple as that.

I have to pull the scanner to wire up an amp for louder audio, I'll be sure to get some wiring pictures when I do that.
 

AronDouglas

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We finally took the truck out to work again (been using the other work truck a lot recently). So here she is, kinda dirty but still working just fine. I wanted to get her all shined up before posting but work trucks are never clean for more than 5 minutes :)

The CB antennas are still holding nicely straight on the mirrors and they dont put too much stress in the frame. Each antenna has a ground wire that runs down to the truck frame instead of using the mirror as the ground. After we mounted both antennas we checked SWR and got a 1:1-1:2 right away with no tuning. After we cleaned everything up and set the radio we checked again and get 1:0-1:1 .....and we still haven't tuned the antennas :)

The Spectra is still working wonderfully after some dusty air, tree slapping and hard wind 6 months of use. I can still just barely pick up 800mhz 25+ miles away while on the highway, so I'm pretty happy.
 

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