F350 - Major Install

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KC0QNB

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Nice setup! I couldn't imagine listening to that many radios at once!
Why not?
It is not that hard to keep everything straight with practice, at any given time I have two or more radios on, one on the railroad frequencies, and one on public safety, and maybe one on the ham bands I know who is who and what is going on, all you really need to do pay attention, to one frequency (range) and listen to how the communications are conducted, for a quick example, "G99, Gothenburg", that tells me that one of the ambulances here is calling in to dispatch.
Where on the other hand "dispatcher to UP 8599 west" is the start of a comm on the railroad band, or "KC0QNB from N0VBX mobile" I know that N0VBX is calling me from his car.
then you key into what you are interested in at the moment.
 

pm1072

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Think someone else had mentioned it in previous post in this thread, but where are the speakers, what speakers are used for all of those radios?? I'm curious if there's a mixer setup, or where they're located. Pictures??
 

Grog

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As others have said, "Nice install!". Only one question - why a siren?

Not sure if he has one, I see what I figured is a switch box at the top of the "stack", figured it was for switching various things that just need to be switched :D


Of course I do know a guy who had a siren mounted for just the horn function. He disabled all the other switches just in case the man saw it.
 

Julian1

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Birmingham, AL
Great set up

Seeing a rig so well done, and with so many great radios.... I'm speechless!

If radios were a religion, that would be an alter.
 

tmfok7

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Back in Paradise!
Did you do anything under the hood as far as getting a larger capacity alternator or adding a second battery?
Part of your question is answered in Post #3....


This is one Sweeeeeeeeeeeeet install!!!!!!!!!!!:) I would like to see some pics with the low profile antennas installed! Think you can accomodate us?
 

ChatoB

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San Marcos, CA
Hey Guys,

I went to Vegas for the weekend (three hours away); sorry it took so long to get back to your questions. Here are the answers I think your looking for:

When I said “lag bolts”, I just meant ‘bolts’. Poor choice of words on my part. You can see from the picture below that I bolted through the console, then the ¼” shims (orange color) then through the floor-board and then used washers and two nuts. I also used red lock-tight on the threads. I forced black caulking into the bolt holes to seal everything up before tightening the nuts to help with road noise/heat/moisture. It was messy, but I felt it was necessary.

I did my homework and picked up my supplies from several places on the net and locally. Here is a list:

I used two different types of power distribution blocks. The first one distributed the large line from the batteries to each radios main power and also to the other three blocks which were smaller. The smaller blocks (which were switched) broke-out to the radios remote power leads and other, lower-amp accessories such as the map light, computer power, etc... So, following the flow of 12-volt power, the radios had breakers from the batteries, then were fused in the console. Some of the equipment was double-fused because of the two distribution block plan. The sources are:

For the breakers: http://www.awdirect.com/high-amp-ci...fety-technologies-1310012/battery-protection/ But I have found that they are cheaper here: http://www.wiringproducts.com/index1.html , Catalog number: CB-HCBP-50

For the larger distribution block: http://www.newenglandsolar.com/catalog_pages/catalog59.htm It’s the ATC fuse block about half-way down the webpage; model number: 354-006

For the smaller distribution blocks: http://www.wiringproducts.com/index1.html which is the same site as above. They are catalog number: AF-CFB8

I have to say that although I supplied the above information for what I did with regard to the power distribution of my truck, if I had to do it again I would probably use West Mountain Radio’s Rig Runner distribution systems, along with Anderson Power Poles. Look at this site: http://www.westmountainradio.com/RIGrunner.htm
I use the bigger Rig Runners for the home set-up and love them.

Auxiliary batteries, heavy cable and copper connectors: “Powerstride Battery” in San Diego, ask for ‘Russ’ at: (619) 260-1211

As mentioned before, the console is: Troy Products

The PDRC mount and docking station is: Gamber Johnson

Most of the radios and NMO antenna mounts: Ebay or HRO

Antennas: www.Tessco.com
and HRO

Did I leave anything out?

I do indeed have a siren/PA amp installed in the truck. It was an option with one of the radios and I did install it. I never use it, but it’s there. Maybe I’ll hook it up to the car-alarm. (LOL) The amp is installed behind the back seat next to the big radios. You can see it in the fourth picture on the first post. It’s the horizontal black box under the white box that has “Zap” written on it. The siren/PA speaker is not visible from the exterior… it’s behind the front bumper on the driver-side of the truck. For the record, the white “Zap” box is the wireless remote-control receiver for my hydraulic [towing] lift… I did not install it; someone else did.

The switchbox at the top of the radio console is not for siren control. It is a Motorola ‘wildcard’ switch and is connected to a custom-made relay matrix (not pictured) and used to power everything in/on the truck. I got the wildcard switch and relay matrix on Ebay… it’s awesome.

Listening to all the radios at once was easy. Most of the time at-least two of the radios were on fire dispatch talkgroups, while the others were scanning specific law talkgroups. I had nine radios and each radio had its own speaker somewhere in the cab of the truck. One nice thing about this set-up is that I usually have the radios on the same talkgroups/frequencies all the time and at the same audio-level. When a specific talkgroup/radio is active, I know who it is instantly because it always came from that same speaker. (You know what I mean?) If I had to do this installation again however, I would look into audio mixers and use less speakers. I like the sound of the standard large Motorola speaker, so all of the radios use those. I have three of them sort-of flush-mounted in the console, three more across the back window (see picture), one over each of the driver and passenger shoulder seat-belt loops and one on the passenger-side kick plate.

All of the pictures below were taken during installation.

~Chad
 

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ChatoB

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FYI: The gold “car-stereo” power distribution block visible in the second picture above is NOT used in the console as shown. I did however use it in the back (as visible in picture four in the first post) to distribute the high-amp power to the radios mounted there.
 

W9WSS

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One Of The Nicest

Chad,

Your installation is one of the nicest I've ever seen. You should be doing this professionally. You put a lot of time and thought in the project before putting your equipment in the vehicle.

I posted some updates pics of my car today in this same topic, but of course under my post that I started back in 2006.

The difference is that I had a professional do my car entirely. I used to put in most of the equipment in my cars I owned in the past, but with age, my eyesight is failing, and I don't have the energy to crawl under the dash and lay down in the trunk to pull wires and make connections. My friend who's the installer had my car for a week, and did a bunch of work each evening after his regular job, and on the weekends. It was a work of art, but then again, so is yours, Chad!

Best wishes and enjoy your beautiful install!
 
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KC0QNB

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Ok I see the bolts, no audio mixer though, that is something I would build to fit the rack and run all the audio through a transformer direct box, (to eliminate hum)then split the audio to a dual 5 channel mixer (one spare for expansion) a dual channel 25 watt amp output the audio from the amp to a left and right speaker, have teh mixer easily reachable for adjustments. That is my dream, but alas the odds of it happening are slim to none.
Real Nice job! :wink:
 

AlexC

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Couple comments:

Power Distribution:

I happen to like Blue Sea Systems. They also make the Circuit breakers, but I don't know what their prices are like. You should consider checking out your local west marine or other marine supply store for power distribution equipment. They are often not thought of places to source this stuff but they often have better selection than the car stereo shops and Tessco.

Here's an example of the Blue Sea ATC fuse block:



They are a bit larger than other blocks, but they provide adequate coverage of distribution points for high voltage.

RE: The poster asking about the other guy who had an expidition with a bunch of radios in it and an audio distribution amp. That was done by: http://www.allcommtechnologies.com/ up in Revere, MA. I've seen the truck before and it's an amazing setup. The photo's that were (if they still not currently are online) were examples of some fantastic work by the technicians there. I don't actually know the guys who did the work, but I do know the guy who drives the vehicle for work. I think they are working to build a replacement one now, but I'm not 100% sure. I think all in all it has around 35-40 radios installed in it.

-Alex
 

313RADIO

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WOW!
these installs are very nice
I showed my wife, she said "WOW I WANT THAT IN MY CAR" hahaha
nice job guys
 

scanbc780

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You should consider checking out your local west marine or other marine supply store for power distribution equipment. They are often not thought of places to source this stuff but they often have better selection than the car stereo shops and Tessco.
True, I was actually surprised at what I have found in marine sections and stores. Stuff you can never find at a auto parts store but would expect to find there.
 

OldDeadOne

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Do you cover those radios up so when your truck is not in use so no one will know they are there and not get stolen?
 
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