Monday, September 5, 2016

Labor Day Rig Installation

Antenna Installed
Took advantage of the US Labor Day Holiday to finally install my Kenwood dual bander & APRS equipment. Since my old truck was similar to my new truck, the install was pretty much the same with only a few challenges and changes. I had less room in the engine compartment to wiggle my hands into but it all worked out in the end. Once in the cab, a bit of spousal assistance got the job done. It was not long before I had power to the radio and I was actually hearing stations. My last broadcast on APRS was in February, so it had been awhile. 

Copilot Side
I wanted to tuck as much as possible out of the way and the photo to the right shows how I chose to install my equipment. The power comes in from the battery and first runs into my APO3, which automatically powers down my equipment so I don't kill my battery. From there, it feeds into my RIGrunner 4005 fused distribution box. This is the main power feed for anything in the truck. Using Anderson Powerpoles makes quick connections of anything that I have in the cab. I have one 25 amp fused connection left for my HF rig.

From the Driver Seat
My internal layout is a bit different only because I have Upfitter switches and onboard navigation. I did not want to block either one. My sacrifice was two of the four cupholders in the front center console. No big deal as these just normally collect loose change and dust anyhow. I run an older Garmin GPS III as it feeds data to the Kenwood in NMEA format. I also like it as it does Maidenhead Grid Squares so it's pretty simple to know my grid if needed. This is also powered by the RIGrunner. Everything is in view and after passing the spouse test, it's here to stay. When it comes time to install my HF rig, that will be installed on the driver side of the center console similar to the Kenwood seen in these photos. Just not sure where I'll mount the remote head as of yet. 

One of the biggest things I try to keep in mind with any install is, of course, airbag deployment. I hope to never experience that in our truck, but any piece of equipment can become a deadly projectile if mounted in the path of any airbag. 

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