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Thread: Radio mounting question

  1. #11
    50 caution yump DatsunZguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by starion887 View Post
    Wherever you mount it, make sure the main body of the unit has free air flow. Overheating results in the same thing in all of these mobile units: The unit reduces transmit output power to protect itself. (They all have temp sensors inside of them.) It will cut back from 50W to 25W to 10 and even down to 5W if it has to. Mounting one under a seat in a tight spot, or in anotherwise convenient looking 'pocket' in a dash or center console will be a problem in this way. The glove box mount pictured is very good for airflow.
    Mark is spot on with regard to his main assertion of ensuring good airflow to curtail onset of the overheating protection regime he described -- and he is an engineer, with far better credentials than mine. Those issues were on my mind when I mounted my radio under my WRX seat -- right next to a heat vent. Additionally, I was worried about the accumulation of dust which might cause heat build-up and fan failure -- and that passengers might damage the radio or cabling with their feet. Thankfully, after a number of years of use I can report that none of my worst-case scenarios have cropped up. I did check the radio more often when first installed, but now I just make sure to give the radio a good vacuuming a couple of times a year. My air-conditioning is not up to snuff, so I do have the windows down a fair bit and the fan on alot, but still no big dust issues. I have worked Sno-Drift a number of years and had the heat running a fair bit, with no issues. I have even run my SWR/wattmeter in-line for a number of rallies and never saw thermal protection implemented. Most radios will display some type of error message, so you shouldn't typically have to do what I did.
    Dave Moore - KB3IEC, STPR Comm. Co-Chief, rally worker, '02 WRX Wagon + '03 Forester, "once upon a time" Datsun Z owner - go RWD!, too poor to race ... Blessings to all!
    "Do not vomit on the finish control workers." (his emphasis) From the section on motion sickness in "North American Performance Rally Codriving" by Dave Shindle.

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  3. #12
    don't cut
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    Some things are learned by experience or experiment more than college degrees Dave...LOL...so I won't gainsay your experience one bit. And before folks get too panicky about my comments, I'll qualify it all by saying that this type of overheating in a ham mobile typically will only occur in heavy duty cycle usage, and can happen even if the unit has good airflow. Most rally control location radios will not see that type of high duty cycle use, and marshall locations will usually see even lower duty cycles. So for rally use only, it may not be too big a factor; just be aware.

    A long rag-chew on the mobile while cruising around will put a higher duty cycle use than most rally use; the one time that a mobile in rally use will see a high duty cycle is if it is a temp net control or a mountain top relay. If you use it for 30 minutes or more almost constantly then you will need a fan on it regardless. But good cooling contributes to long life in electronics, so as a practice, keeping good airflow on a radio is a good idea.

  4. #13
    50 caution yump DatsunZguy's Avatar
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    Linking with Mark's theme about long cycle use, I have a couple of 4 inch 12 volt computer system fans (scavenged from dead power supplies) that I can zip-tie to my radio in a pinch, should the duty cycle issues he has described rear their ugly head. Pretty cheap and easy accommodation... I have seen and/or worked the temporary net-control and mountain top relay scenarios Mark described, they are more common in rally communications than we would all like to admit, unfortunately.

    I should have offered the caveat that my scenario of under the seat clean & cool operation (and no damage from feet/"cargo"), could well be a statistical aberration, and Mark's guidelines are definitely the more preferred protocol.
    Dave Moore - KB3IEC, STPR Comm. Co-Chief, rally worker, '02 WRX Wagon + '03 Forester, "once upon a time" Datsun Z owner - go RWD!, too poor to race ... Blessings to all!
    "Do not vomit on the finish control workers." (his emphasis) From the section on motion sickness in "North American Performance Rally Codriving" by Dave Shindle.

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