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Old 02-15-2018, 02:27 PM
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Biggest mod yet attempted - feedback welcomed

This is the first mod I'm attempting that involves electricity, and I'm not an electrician or audio/radio tech. I'm going to dump the whole thing here because I seem to get conflicting answers to certain questions as I hop around this site and the rest of the internet.

Right now I won't add photos. If anyone wants a photo to better understand what I'm describing, please let me know.

What I'm looking for is confirmation, correction or suggestions to improve this plan BEFORE I start putting the pieces together. Thanks.

Here is the plan and a bit of background:

Pre-conditions for this project:
  • Cannot drill holes anywhere on or in the vehicle. This is my wife's DD, and while she understands why a CB would be useful, she doesn't like people to make permanent holes in "her" Jeep.
  • CB and accessories (except power lines and antenna cable/mount, which have to be routed through various holes in the body) must be removable if we are not using them (daily driver situation)
  • CB, mike and mike cord cannot block vision through the windshield
  • No external speaker Ė must be able to hear the internal speaker (which is pretty good), or have the sound signal go through the 130 radio and audio speakers via the Aux input
  • Cannot disassemble the dash board, or tie power into the ignition system/cigarette lighter. Wife doesn't trust that I can get it back together correctly (yet).


Equipment and accessories choices:

Midland 77-106 Radio (Vintage 90ís) with 2 pin allen-type power plug and lead which is about 4 inches long. The allen-type lead is similar but not identical to a 2-pin Molex plug.

2 pin allen-type power power lead cable with 2 amp inline fuse holder (needed to connect the radio so it can be removed from the vehicle. Matches the plug type that came on the radio. Total length is about 18 inches.

12 gauge red/black audio-vehicle wire (twisted copper) to bring power from the engine compartment through the firewall. Iíll put ring terminals on the end and connect the radio straight to the battery. I also plan to solder a 2-amp inline fuse holder on the ground side, closer to the battery than the radio. The hot-side fuse is in the power lead. Would it make sense to solder in another fuse on the hot line (red), just closer to the battery?

90-degree PL259 male to SO239 female adapter Ė allows the antenna cable to be 90-degrees off from the radioís SO239 antenna plug, so the coax cable can run straight back toward the firewall. Keeps the antenna cable out of the passenger side foot well.

Quadratec JK-CBM11 Quick Disconnect CB Radio Mount Ė made for the Uniden Pro 510XL radio which matches the dimensions of the Midland 77-106 and is smaller than the similar but larger Quadratec Quick Disconnect mount for full-size CBs. This mount is why I want to redirect the antenna 90 degrees as it comes out the back of the radio. The CB will be nearly vertical, and I didnít want the antenna cable to come straight out the back of the radio heading toward the floor. Love this Quick Disconnect mount! Solid, easy to install, easy to remove the radio when not in use. Will ditch the wing nuts it came with and use Nylock nuts instead for a cleaner installation look.

Mopar passenger grab bar microphone mount for Cobra 75WXST radio. Turns out, the microphone button for the Cobra 75W is the same type used on my vintage Midland CBís microphone. Totally interchangeable, and I now have a spare.

Firestik Fire Ring coax antenna cable with FME/PL259 adapter Ė this is the weak link in this plan. Reviews arenít consistently positive; but, I wanted to first try the smaller FME end to get it from the spare tire carrier through the tailgate before giving up and going with standard PL259 plugs at both ends.

Teraflex Spare Tire Antenna Mount (stainless steel version) Ė wonít need to scrape off powder coating.

Correct Firestik K-stud for the Fire Ring. Had to buy a stainless steel bolt ľ inch longer than the one it came with to make it work with this thicker spare tire mount and the lock washers that came with the stud.

Firestik Antenna Quick Disconnect (have to be able to remove the antenna to park the Jeep in our garage)

Firestik 4-foot tunable tip antenna. Could have gone with a shorter antenna, but want to get up a foot or two above the roofline.

6 or 8 gauge twisted copper wire (black case) and two ring terminals Ė appropriate length to function as a ground(ing) wire. Will attach one end to the Antenna Mountís bolt holding the mount to the tire carrier, the other to an appropriate screw in the vehicle suitable to function as a ground to the chassis. Best location Iíve found so far is in the back, passenger side, under the Torx bolt that holds down the forward most cargo tie down. Donít need to scrape paint if the ring terminal is under the tie down. Run this in parallel with the antenna cable through the tailgate, into the cargo area.

OTHER STUFF

SWR meter with patch/testing cable
Multi-meter (check continuity and for potential shorts)
Resin core solder
Soldering iron
Shrink tubing
Heat gun (for shrink tubing)



Anything missing? Questionable (besides the Fire Ring)?

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Old 02-15-2018, 02:49 PM   #2
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I wouldn't use the fire ring. Just get a SO239 mount and use a PL259-PL259 cable.

Get braided cable if you are trying to ground the antenna mount , making a good RF ground. You ideally want to go to the frame from the mount.

Buy a good RT angle SO239. I had some cheap ones from Amazon that caused intermittent antenna issues.

That mount should be fine, not seeing an issue with thats.

Honestly, I would get that quadratec lighter Y cable and go there. To get to the battery from where you are mounting this is a lot of cable. Certainly doable and you can eventually go thru the hole in the fender mount that is just filled with expanding foam, then the battery is right there. I do understand your dilemma. Happy wife, Happy life. Same reasons I don't have a mobile ham rig in the WK2.

I would fuse the positive lead at 3A. I have several CB's and all of them are 3A. It won't hurt to fuse the ground side but it's not necessary.

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Old 02-16-2018, 11:09 AM   #3
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With all of your limitations and conditions perhaps you should use a Cobra 75 WX ST and a brand name mag mount antenna.

It will be an easy install with no holes or permanent modifications to upset your wife.
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Old 02-16-2018, 12:41 PM   #4
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Do non-visible holes count as 'holes' in your world because I also use a Quadratec mount for my 510XL. Power comes thru the foam behind the passenger door, runs across the bottom of the dash, then down behind the center dash and around to the mount. When not in use the radio is stored with the off-road gear while the power/coax is pushed up behind the center dash and is never seen again until needed. The 9' coax runs out thru the 'clutch hole plug' up on the firewall and out to a fender mount.

By the way, the Quadratec cigarette lighter power adapter can be installed by removing just the glove box.
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Old 02-16-2018, 01:24 PM   #5
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Only hole I made in mine was to the plastic of the rear license plate holder. I figured if I ultimately didn't like it, that was really easy to replace. Behind it was a nice ground, and it was easy to run the cable under the carpet to the CB. I mounted the CB next to the console with a slick side mount. https://www.quadratec.com/products/96080_212.htm.

I already had power coming in from the battery via one of the common firewall pass-thru points, so mine is available when the Jeep isn't running.
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Old 02-17-2018, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spag View Post
Only hole I made in mine was to the plastic of the rear license plate holder. I figured if I ultimately didn't like it, that was really easy to replace. Behind it was a nice ground, and it was easy to run the cable under the carpet to the CB. I mounted the CB next to the console with a slick side mount. https://www.quadratec.com/products/96080_212.htm.

I already had power coming in from the battery via one of the common firewall pass-thru points, so mine is available when the Jeep isn't running.
Was offline the last couple of days and had laparoscopic abdominal surgery yesterday afternoon, so am just now seeing these replies. Thanks!

That is the exact mount I bought, Spag. The reason for the 90 degree adapter for the antenna cable shows up really well in the first picture. It is a slick and well-made mount for sure. The only issue I encountered was that the thumb screws for the radio had threads just a shade wider than the Uniden's, and I had to ream out the holes in the mount a shade to get the Midland mount screws through the mount holes. Not a biggie.

I like the Cobra 75 as a concept. Went with this Midland for two reasons: 1.) I have some nearing loss and everything I've read says that the speaker in the 75 is small so an external speaker is needed for people like me, and 2.) I already had the Midland 77, so I saved $$$ reusing it. Bought it back in 1992 for a small sports car I had, way before cell phones because pocket-sized. The speaker in it is really good, and the only downside was that I forgot to remove the fused power lead when I took the radio out and sold the car.

If you can really get to the cigarette lighter's back side just by removing the glove box, I'm interested! Is it this adapter:

https://www.quadratec.com/products/96080_98.htm

or this one?

https://www.quadratec.com/products/96080_9801.htm


I know there is the firewall hole with foam that is accessed by removing the side dash panel. The hole she doesn't want are holes I drill in plastic or metal.

The local auto parts store carries grounding straps. I would take two or three to reach the frame (and I'd have to find a good bolt or screw within reach - or drill a hole for one. . If I did that, any suggestions for a solid ground attachment point back there? Because I'm recovering from being blown up like a balloon, I can't be crawling around under there for a few days. But I've also seen installations that use a larger gauge insulated twisted strand wire, and the person posting said it worked just fine.

Am also pondering taking pictures and making an installation post if anyone is interested in seeing how this turns out.
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Old 02-17-2018, 02:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
If you can really get to the cigarette lighter's back side just by removing the glove box, I'm interested! Is it this adapter:
I was wrong, you can't really get there. Almost but not enough to undo that awful jeep connector. Sorry for the bad info!
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Old 02-17-2018, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobchase View Post
I was wrong, you can't really get there. Almost but not enough to undo that awful jeep connector. Sorry for the bad info!
No prob. That's why I wanted to discuss it here and get the wisdom of others with experience before attempting anything in actual practice.

Experience is that thing you get after the situation where you originally needed it.
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Old 02-19-2018, 01:15 PM   #9
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This is the one I used. https://www.quadratec.com/products/96080_9801.htm I used it to get power to my video camera's and heated seats.

No, you can't get to it from the glovebox.

While you could install that adapter in less than 30 minutes (it's not hard to pull the dash apart and the wife probably wouldn't know you did it).

The advantage is it's easy to use once it's installed. The bad thing is you could get excessive noise in the power line.

As long as you don't mind running the wire out the dash and into the engine compartment, I would go the direct wire route.
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Old 02-19-2018, 11:07 PM
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The potential for noise and interference was the biggest reason I was planning to go direct to the battery through the firewall.

And maybe this is a completely idiotic thought, but having the radio - arguably a piece of safety equipment - connected to the ignition... well, what happens if something happens out on the trail and the ignition craps out? No power to anything, but the battery is fine. I'm not sure if that could ever happen in the first place. I guess I'd rather have the radio pulling direct from the battery. You could even carry a smaller 12V battery (motorcycle, alarm system backup battery, etc.) and in a real emergency still be able to use the CB.

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