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Thread: Installation spec?

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    Default Installation spec?

    Anyone here have any written installation specs you could forward for APX mobile installations?


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    Specifically looking for stuff like correct screws to use, grounds and placement, underhood wiring, antenna placement, all stuff like this.

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    The APX mobile installation manual covers all of that in a general sense. There is no "official" mobile communications equipment installation standard that I'm aware of.
    "The Girl Scouts found several hungry REACT members at the finish line..."

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    Quote Originally Posted by motorola_otaku View Post
    The APX mobile installation manual covers all of that in a general sense. There is no "official" mobile communications equipment installation standard that I'm aware of.
    Tnx, I was hoping someone might say oh hey I wrote this and could use for ideas. I've pulled a bunch out of the manuals so far and am going to start working on this.

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    Donít overthink it. Just follow the manual that came with the radio. Run the main power cable to the battery ( fuse closest to the battery) and attach the ground to a good point on the frame. Attach the accessory cable ( for dash mount) to a reliable acc switch and youíre all set. As far as the antenna? Well that depends on the type of vehicle itís going on and what your preferences are. My preference is smack dab in the middle of the roof with a 1/4 wave.


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    The "rules" i follow are essentially, high power to the battery, both leads fused (at 125-150% of amperage needed) within 12 inches, preferably less, from the battery terminals. Low power can be obtained from the "protected" side of a switched source in the fuse box. Makes sure your wire gauge is sufficient for the amperage of the maximum power rating of the radio for the distance needed. There are calculators on line.

    Any wires through metal must be grommeted, and wiring should be routed away from heat sources and secured approximately 8 to 12 inches apart.

    As for antenna, be careful with the coax routing. Avoid pinch spots, and judicially secure it when possible. Best to drill into the metal of the body, and mount the antenna as best in the middle of the roof. Trunk lid is good also. Next best is probably trunk lip mount, but make sure you make good metal to metal contact to assure a good ground plane. Avoid adapters for the antenna connection, use the proper connector as much as possible.

    I prefer to mount the radio body in the trunk, but under the seat isn't too bad (and usually takes about half the wire length of a trunk mount.) No matter where its mounted, make sure it is securely mounted. You don't want it flying around in an accident.

    Always check for proper SWR on the antenna. Also, I like to check voltage positive and negative 3 or for times before making the connection to the radio. I also check voltage with the car running, to make sure it is sufficient. Then, I connect to the radio, and with the voltage meter still attached, I transmit on high power, to make sure there is little, if any, voltage drop. There will be some, but anything more than 2 volts for me is worry some.

    That pretty much what comes to mind, and of course, is barely worth 2 cents.

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    This is one of those things that everyone has a slightly different opinion on. There is no one correct way, but there are certainly lots of wrong ways.

    How to properly ground a radio seems to be a typical point of contention in mobile installs. I typically run all grounds to a single chassis point, i.e. a bolt in the trunk area for my last SUV install. Some people prefer to ground directly to the battery (it works but is bad practice) and others like to run all grounds to the factory chassis bonding location (this can get messy with lots of equipment). In most instances all three are equally valid. The XTLs I know could get very picky about voltages between brick and head, and you typically wanted to make sure every part was referenced to the same +12V and GND locations. Not sure if the APXs are a little more tolerant or not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by motorola_otaku View Post
    The APX mobile installation manual covers all of that in a general sense. There is no "official" mobile communications equipment installation standard that I'm aware of.
    R56 Appendix G Mobile Installation Standards & Techniques

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    We also included a requirement for the installer to have the Motorola Learning Center mobile radio installation course certificate. It's an online M course and mighty basic, but it kept Cooter Davenport from the Hazzard County garage from installing our $$$ APX8500s. Disclaimer: Total respect for Cooter, Ben Jones and the whole Duke family...even Boss...but just making a reference point. P.S...not one of the '01 General Lee' haters, either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by that guy View Post
    R56 Appendix G Mobile Installation Standards & Techniques
    This is not included in the 2005 version that has circulated widely on the internet, fyi.
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    Quote Originally Posted by clbsquared View Post
    Don’t overthink it. Just follow the manual that came with the radio. Run the main power cable to the battery ( fuse closest to the battery) and attach the ground to a good point on the frame. Attach the accessory cable ( for dash mount) to a reliable acc switch and you’re all set. As far as the antenna? Well that depends on the type of vehicle it’s going on and what your preferences are. My preference is smack dab in the middle of the roof with a 1/4 wave.


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    Had some problems recently with some new installs done by a vendor. Got some pushback on it so want to put a spec together. No wires in front of airbags in ceilings etc type of thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by motorola_otaku View Post
    This is not included in the 2005 version that has circulated widely on the internet, fyi.
    I believe it was added in 2017, sorry that document is still $$.

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    A large utility company in the PNW put their fleet migration installation out to bid with a +20 page installation procedure and specification book covering all the different vehicles they had in service. In some respects it was an interesting and informative guide for mobile radio installation. But, during the job walk where potential bidders could view the current fleet, it was obvious the guide was merely a suggestion that was largely ignored by their own group.

    For example, the requirement all wiring be loomed was not reflected in their existing installs. Tech screws were forbidden in the spec, but used in all their trucks rather than the required nut and bolt for every attachment. Specific power and ground points detailed per vehicle in the spec were not used in practice.

    We submitted a bid with pricing based on meeting the spec rather that following common practice, and it got pretty expensive. In the end, no one was awarded the contract. We think they wanted a price comparison to their internal costs of doing the work versus subbing it out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by axel View Post
    This is one of those things that everyone has a slightly different opinion on. There is no one correct way, but there are certainly lots of wrong ways.

    How to properly ground a radio seems to be a typical point of contention in mobile installs. I typically run all grounds to a single chassis point, i.e. a bolt in the trunk area for my last SUV install. Some people prefer to ground directly to the battery (it works but is bad practice) and others like to run all grounds to the factory chassis bonding location (this can get messy with lots of equipment). In most instances all three are equally valid. The XTLs I know could get very picky about voltages between brick and head, and you typically wanted to make sure every part was referenced to the same +12V and GND locations. Not sure if the APXs are a little more tolerant or not.
    Anyone that has run into ground loops causing alternator whine knows about differences in return potentials especially in older vehicles. They can be maddening to resolve.
    Bow wow wow yippie yo yippie yay

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    My practice is to run a power bus, figuring all projected need then doubling that to find wire gauge in the chart. Fat wire now is a lot cheaper than having to add more wires later.

    I run both positive and negative straight from the battery to fuses within a foot or so, then to a local fuse block at the radio / electronics bay, then hook up radios to the block.

    I bond ground points to the negative cable at strategic locations on body and chassis, but NO load is grounded solely on structural or sheet metal.

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    The upfitter guides may be off some help.
    They also cover air bag protection.

    Ford, Dodge and Chevy all have an upfitter guides.

    Here is fords as an example.
    http://www.fordservicecontent.com/fo...fier-Guide.pdf
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