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Im a little concerned

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WQAJ741

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I took my radio to be installed by a tech at best buy. He said everything was working, and I got home and checked the battery for connections and there was nothing connected to the battery. The radio wont power up when the car is off, which is ok..but how else can someone power a radio if its not through the battery or 12V outlet? Should I be concerned that this connection could cause my any problems? I dont want to use the radio if my car is gonna catch fire or something.. :/
 

WQAJ741

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It is a RELM mobile radio, I believe its out put is 40 watts. operates 450 to 470mhz....I am paranoid to even start my car again with fear that somethings gonna blow
 

jackj

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I installed commercial two-way radios for years and I very seldom hooked to the battery directly. These radios were current hogs, pulling as much as 50 or 60 amps on Tx. There is too much chance of corrosion causing a bad connection when you hook directly to it. Most of the time, if you follow the heavy lead from the battery, it will hook up to a post either in a power distribution box or fuse box under the hood. That point is the best place to tap for power. Go look again or follow the power leads from the radio to see where they go.
 

mulveyr

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I took my radio to be installed by a tech at best buy. He said everything was working, and I got home and checked the battery for connections and there was nothing connected to the battery. The radio wont power up when the car is off, which is ok..but how else can someone power a radio if its not through the battery or 12V outlet? Should I be concerned that this connection could cause my any problems? I dont want to use the radio if my car is gonna catch fire or something.. :/

It should be relatively easy to look and see if the radio is connected to the fusebox.

If it is - for a 40 watt mobile, that's the crappiest possible way to do it. Direct connection to the battery ( properly fused, of course ) will eliminate a whole host of potential issues like ground loops, induced noise, etc.
 

mulveyr

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I installed commercial two-way radios for years and I very seldom hooked to the battery directly. These radios were current hogs, pulling as much as 50 or 60 amps on Tx. There is too much chance of corrosion causing a bad connection when you hook directly to it. Most of the time, if you follow the heavy lead from the battery, it will hook up to a post either in a power distribution box or fuse box under the hood. That point is the best place to tap for power. Go look again or follow the power leads from the radio to see where they go.
Any bets as to whether it turns out to be bare wires soldered to an empty fuse socket? ;-) Oh, the terrible installations I've seen...
 

ka3nxn

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Why would you take a 2-way radio to best buy for installation? They know nothing about these things. They don't even sell them. I have to say that this is your biggest mistake. If you can't install it yourself take it to a local 2-way radio shop, and I mean a Motorola or commercial radio place, not a CB shop. Sorry for sounding stern, but no tech at best buy will ever touch any of my radio gear.
 

WQAJ741

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Why would you take a 2-way radio to best buy for installation? They know nothing about these things. They don't even sell them. I have to say that this is your biggest mistake. If you can't install it yourself take it to a local 2-way radio shop, and I mean a Motorola or commercial radio place, not a CB shop. Sorry for sounding stern, but no tech at best buy will ever touch any of my radio gear.
True, an old friend of mine did it to my other car many years ago, and had it wired to the battery. I was under the impression that this guy was going to do the same thing....I thought about taking it to my local motorola dealer but I didn't have a lot of money to spend on the installs and that's why I figured this was the next best thing..I don't know how to do it, so I thought that someone who works on car installations all day might have a better understanding.

Should I just try to undo it on my own then and leave it until I can get it done professionally?
 

mulveyr

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I think so....what kind of problems is this going to bring?
I'm presuming that the red/black cables are from the radio.

Are the wires from the insulated crimp connectors seriously soldered into an empty fuse socket? Because if they are, not only do you have a transmitter that isn't fused, it looks like they've used a far smaller gauge of wire than the one on the radio for the power run. And that's never a good idea.
 

WQAJ741

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the red and black wire are in fact part of the power cable and they have been soldered in. Because of that should I just cut the wires and leave it? My concern is that should I keep it as it is and use it, that I will get my self into a situation that will be very costly. That's why I am almost ready to try to reverse what he did, to the best of my ability and just wait for a pro installation.
 

mulveyr

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the red and black wire are in fact part of the power cable and they have been soldered in. Because of that should I just cut the wires and leave it? My concern is that should I keep it as it is and use it, that I will get my self into a situation that will be very costly. That's why I am almost ready to try to reverse what he did, to the best of my ability and just wait for a pro installation.

No, don't just cut them. You need to continue tracing the power and see where it's ultimately connected, and then report back on where they terminate.
 

WQAJ741

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Can you get help from someone at the local Ham Radio club? They should be able to help you and not charge you anything.
I am going to try to contact the guys I used to volunteer with and see what they might say about it. Well I learned from my mistakes....I did find a place in Irvine, which is about 20 minutes away, and all though they charge 100 I might be doing that in the next couple of weeks.
 

ka3nxn

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From the pics I can tell you that I wouldn't transmit that radio because the much smaller wires probably will heat up and possibly cause a fire. A 40 watt transmitter on FM will pull about 10 amps on transmit. I would at least get my money back from best buy. How could they accept a job not knowing what the requirements are of the equipment that they are installing?
 

WQAJ741

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I've unhooked the radio from the power supply and will try talking to best buy to get my money back. Sould I do anything regarding the short length of wire now, or just leave it?
 

ka3nxn

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I would just tape off the ends of the wires that are left and make sure that there is NO exposed wire to cause a short anywhere. Darn shame you aren't in Virginia, I would be happy to fix it up right for you. Rule of thumb is that you should ALWAYS use the same gauge or thicker wire than the wire than came with the radio. From your pics alone the installer broke this cardinal rule. He used a much thinner wire than what came with the radio, BIG MISTAKE!!!!
 
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