2011 Toyota Tacoma Ham Radio Installation

Control Head Mounted in ConsoleWell, the project is done and I think it turned out pretty well.  I wasn’t able to take any “in process” photos but I did take a series of pictures after completion and I’ve posted them on Picasa at the link below.

I was able to complete the install without doing any “permanent” changes to the vehicle aside from the hole drilled in the roof for the NMO mount.  The cup holder insert and the storage compartment in the back are both replaceable if ever needed.Fully Stocked Storage Compartment

Toyota makes some nice little plastic retainers for cable routing that are installed under the kickplates.  Using a flat blade screwdriver I was able to pop them open and route my cables through with no problem.

The GPS antenna receives a good signal on the back window and is mounted with the same Radio Shack SuperLock I used for the radio body.  I also mounted the 12VDC accessory outlet temporarily with SuperLock until I come up with a solution I like better.

All in all the installation went very well.  Some may feel that the control head is mounted too low to be very useful but I’m happy with it.  I wired the audio directly into the sound system, mainly because it was there, but it has actually worked out very well for me.

Hopefully there is another Ham out there that will find this useful.  If you have any questions I didn’t cover, please ask!

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New truck…let’s take it apart and add some radio equipment…

This past week I purchased a brand new 2011 Toyota Tacoma.  It’s always nice to purchase a new vehicle, but as a Ham Radio operator it creates a lot of work.  I removed all the radio equipment I had in my 2002 Tundra a few days ago and this evening I began the project of reinstalling it all in the Tacoma.

Marcus, the new guy...
The New Tacoma

The first decision generally is where to mount everything.  I normally prefer mounting the radios under the seats if possible but, in the double cab Tacoma, there are vents under the seats.  As I started poking around I discovered storage areas behind the back seats and decided I would use the drivers side storage area as the mounting location for the radio body.

I purchased another Diamond NMO antenna and mount and have already run the cable to the radio and the center of the roof above the dome light.  Haven’t drilled the mounting hole yet but will get to that later.  Routed the cable straight back from the dome light, over to the rear drivers side column, and then down inside the storage compartment through holes I drilled in the back of the enclosure.

Ran the power cable from the battery back to the firewall, across the firewall to the passenger side, and then through a small penetration plug (that looks like it was placed there just for this purpose).  Routed the power cable down the passenger side all the way back to the rear of the cab, across behind the seats, and into the storage compartment.

Ran out of time and daylight so the project will have to continue until next week…no time in the schedule this week to continue working on it…

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Amateur Radio Bill Passes Senate, Moves to the House

I think this is great news for the Ham community.  We’ve been a terrific resource available to the communities we live in for a long time.  Unfortunately, modern technology has led many to feel that our services are no longer needed nor desired however I think that the results of the study will show otherwise.

The biggest thing I would like to see out of this extra attention is for everybody to just get along.  We as Hams have a desire to put up antennas and communicate, no surprise there.  Homeowners and city officials have a desire to maintain property values and aesthetics, no surprise there either.  We can, however, coexist and meet in the middle.  Maybe it’s limiting antenna size, maybe it’s just agreeing on the placement, but whatever we can do to work together will be welcome.

I hope this Congressional attention will help all of us to start communicating.

Source: ARRLWeb: W1AW Bulletin ARLB037 (2009).

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