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Mobile Radio in truck powering up on its own.

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N5JMC

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For reference. My truck is a 2013 Silverado Z71 Crew Cab. If you'd like pics of the wire under the hood I can post those.

I stopped by the local radio install shop to buy some power cable and they were nice where M enough to run in though the boot into the truck for me. He said just join connect the positive to a post on the box where fuses are under the hood that it's the same as to the battery which is on the other side of the truck. He told me to connect the negative to a post where another wire was connected on the metal right on other side of dash under the hood. They gave me a fuse that I put inline the positive that runs to the post where the fuses are. On inside I put at connector on the wire coming in to the truck and hooked it to the radio. I knew I'd have to manually turn the radio on and off until I had someone connect to a relay and whatever. This is the third time I've made sure the radio is off when exiting the truck truck but it's somehow on when I get in the truck the next day. I have no idea when it was powered on but does anyone have a clue how it is powering up on its own?


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What's the radio and does it have an accessory connector plugged in?

You don't need a relay if it's a commercial radio. Just tap the BCM block next to the brake pedal. You can either use ignition or RAP for ignition sense. Ignition comes on with remote start where RAP does not. (I prefer RAP personally but mine is on ignition currently).


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N5JMC

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It's an Icom IC-F521. http://www.icomamerica.com/en/products/landmobile/mobiles/f521_series/default.aspx

No accessory plugged in. Just the power cable to radio and the hand mic. I have it Velcrowed to the side of the console until I get a newer one with remote head.

It's the wildest thing and I don't know why it's powering up.

When you say tap RAP or BCM do you mean run a cable connecting to one of those to the power wire? Or unhook the power wire from where I have it now and power it from one of the places you listed. Since I'm going to be replacing with an amateur radio do you think a relay is best? I'm using this radio as someone local bought a bunch of them from an agency and they can be used on ham band and I got it for $50.


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mmckenna

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It's an Icom IC-F521. IC-F521 / F621 VHF / UHF transceiver - Features - Icom America

No accessory plugged in. Just the power cable to radio and the hand mic. I have it Velcrowed to the side of the console until I get a newer one with remote head.

It's the wildest thing and I don't know why it's powering up.
Likely a fault in the radio power switch circuit. The on/off switch doesn't really control the power, it basically tells the radio to power up. The radio itself is powered up all the time, just basically asleep. Various issues can cause it to fail and either power up on it's own or not power up at all. Might be something as simple as a dirty power button contact. Could be a failing component.

One thing you could try is running a short ground lead from the radio chassis (not the negative power wire) directly to the vehicle body. Keep this as short as possible. I had a radio that would occasionally turn itself on/off and it turned out it was a grounding issue. Yes, I can see you have the negative lead connected under the hood, but sometimes that long lead can cause issues. It's a long shot, but it's an easy thing to try.

When you say tap RAP or BCM do you mean run a cable connecting to one of those to the power wire? Or unhook the power wire from where I have it now and power it from one of the places you listed.
No, use the RAP (Retained Accessory Power) circuit to control a relay. The relay would be used to control power to the radio.

If you are getting a new radio, wait until you know what you are getting. Most commercial radios will have an ignition controlled circuit that will handle this for you. The IC-F521 has it, but you'll need the accessory cable.
 

N5JMC

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Likely a fault in the radio power switch circuit. The on/off switch doesn't really control the power, it basically tells the radio to power up. The radio itself is powered up all the time, just basically asleep. Various issues can cause it to fail and either power up on it's own or not power up at all. Might be something as simple as a dirty power button contact. Could be a failing component.



One thing you could try is running a short ground lead from the radio chassis (not the negative power wire) directly to the vehicle body. Keep this as short as possible. I had a radio that would occasionally turn itself on/off and it turned out it was a grounding issue. Yes, I can see you have the negative lead connected under the hood, but sometimes that long lead can cause issues. It's a long shot, but it's an easy thing to try.
Thank you for that info. I may test by bringing it in and putting it on my power supply I use for my mobile base and leave the power supply on and radio off and see if it powers up. That would also have a short negative wire so would help determine if it was something in the radio.







No, use the RAP (Retained Accessory Power) circuit to control a relay. The relay would be used to control power to the radio.



If you are getting a new radio, wait until you know what you are getting. Most commercial radios will have an ignition controlled circuit that will handle this for you. The IC-F521 has it, but you'll need the accessory cable.
I updated my previous post when you replied. I plan to replace it with an amateur radio so is it best to have a relay done? Would that also keep the radio from turning on?




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N5JMC

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Also, it's never turned off on its own. Only turned on. If it was a faulty component inside the radio wouldn't it power off too sometimes?


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I honestly can't believe the shop ran the negative lead like that. Takes significantly less time to loosen a bolt under the dash and ground it there but I guess that's just me.

The RAP circuit tap point provided by GM is only rated to 350 mA. Works fine for ignition sense on commercial radios (my Astro Spectra is rated at 3 mA on the ignition sense current for example) but much more than that and a relay becomes required.


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N5JMC

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I honestly can't believe the shop ran the negative lead like that. Takes significantly less time to loosen a bolt under the dash and ground it there but I guess that's just me.

The RAP circuit tap point provided by GM is only rated to 350 mA. Works fine for ignition sense on commercial radios (my Astro Spectra is rated at 3 mA on the ignition sense current for example) but much more than that and a relay becomes required.


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They didn't do the ground or anything. They just ran it through the boot for me. I asked where the best place to run it through was and they showed me. Then they said if I have time pull it in and they'd run it through for me. They did it for free. I am the one that hooked it up.


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mmckenna

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I updated my previous post when you replied. I plan to replace it with an amateur radio so is it best to have a relay done? Would that also keep the radio from turning on?
Depends. If you can remember to turn the radio off, then it's not necessary. However, if you are likely to leave it turned on, then a relay is a good idea.

I haven't seen an amateur radio with an ignition control circuit, so the relay will be necessary. Make sure the relay is rated for the full power draw of the radio, or more if you plan on adding more radios. I'd go with at least 20 amp rated relay.
Other option is to get something like a Lind Timer unit https://lindelectronics.com/products/shutdown-timers/ . These are basically a relay with a timer. They'll power the radio when the ignition turns on and leave it powered up for a selectable amount of time after the ignition turns off.

The RAP circuit MCore mentioned is a good solution.
The other option I have used on GM trucks with a sun roof is to steal that circuit. You'll need to install a fuse in the sun roof slot in the fuse box and then find the wire, often left up inside the "A" pillar on the drivers side. You can use that as the circuit to power the relay or timer.

Since many radios will draw a bit of power even when turned off, adding a relay can sometimes be a good idea, especially if you leave your truck for long periods of time.
 

mmckenna

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And grounding a radio is really important. It's often overlooked. Installers assume that radio is sufficiently grounded through the power lead or coax shield, but this can sometimes lead to problems. I usually run a piece of braid direct from the radio chassis to the vehicle body.
 

N5JMC

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Thank you very much for all your suggestions. To ground the radio, how do you connect to the radio chasis? Would you connect the wire to the chasis of the radio with a screw in the side where the mount screws go, or is there another way?


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N5JMC

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Does anyone know what to tie the relay into so it uses the timer like function on the radio? When I turn the engine off, the radio stays on , even if I take the key out of the ignition, until I open the door or 10 minutes, whichever is first. The same applies to the power windows as well. It would be nice to tie into this so whenever that happens, power to the radio is blocked.


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mmckenna

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That's the RAP power that was mentioned above.

Like I said, if you truck doesn't have the sun roof option, you can often steal that circuit. Install a fuse (3 amps or less) in the sun roof fuse slot. Find the taped off sun roof power wire, often in the drivers side A pillar. That's worked on a few Chevy Colorados I've done. If your truck is different, you'll need to search for different options. I think MCore25 probably has some better ideas than I do on the subject.
 
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That's the RAP power that was mentioned above.

Like I said, if you truck doesn't have the sun roof option, you can often steal that circuit. Install a fuse (3 amps or less) in the sun roof fuse slot. Find the taped off sun roof power wire, often in the drivers side A pillar. That's worked on a few Chevy Colorados I've done. If your truck is different, you'll need to search for different options. I think MCore25 probably has some better ideas than I do on the subject.
In the up-fitter's guide for 2013 C/K series chassis' there is a pinout for using the RAP tap in the BCM. It'll require a .125" female blade connector and is only rated to 350 mA. SilveradoSierra has a few articles on the subject tucked away in the Electrical sub archives for some accessory or another.
 

KK4JUG

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I've never installed a ham transceiver without hooking the power and ground line direct to the battery, If the radio is on and I start the car, I usually have to re-start the radio. That's a minor inconvenience.
 

N5JMC

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Thank you and MCore25 very much. I will by no means doing this as I want to make sure it's done right so I'll be going to my local radio shop and asking I'd they know of this. I will also search for those on SilveradoSierra. I need to find you two on that forum. It's a really good forum.


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I haven't been on that site in awhile…haven't had to do anything to my Sierra in over s year…


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