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Unread 10-10-2011, 06:12 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2010
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 36
Default Dual Battery & Ham Radio Install-Pics!!

Just finished up the last major part of my dual battery / ham radio install and Im soooo stoked its over. Lots of time spent poring over pics of Andries install and others. Not necessarily a difficult install but a super time consuming one to be sure.

The dual battery phase took 2 x 6hr sessions and the radio and antenna another 2 x 4 hours sessions. A lot of that time was just spent mentally mapping out where everything was going to go and then figuring out how to make it work. Some minor but time consuming fab work on some brass brackets for the fuse block and battery tray, and then wiring up heavy guage wire with terminals without the best tools in the world. The 200A solenoid is mounted in existing holes on the drivers side and then lowered a little so that the gas hood pistons clear it when closes. 2GA wire was used in the battery-to-solenoid-to-battery connections.

The Trojan AGM deep cycle battery is mounted on top of the wheel well on a ebay plastic battery tray for a group 24 battery. I would have liked to get a nice aftermarket laser cut battery tray but they are all made for the Optimas. I got this almost brand new Trojan on craigslist for $40 (Its a $200 battery) so I had to build my own. Because the wheel well is round and to obtain the necessary clearance between the terminals and the hood, the tray is canted back at an angle. This required more time consuming but easy fab work with some brass strips. The fuse block is a BlueSea Systems SafetyHub150 and is one area where I splurged a little. Its way overkill but is super nice and well made. Its mounted on top of the intake (more brass brackets) because it was kinda too large to fit anywhere else. It will be able to handle any future electrical demands I can throw at it. I used 4ga wire from the battery to the fuse block.

The radio is a Kenwood TS-480HX. At 200w of RF output, this little guy draws 40 Amps, sealing the deal on the need for a dual battery. I really wanted a stealth install but this radio is pretty big even for a mobile so I wasn't sure it would fit under the seat. It does but just barely. When it came to mounting the radio, I was super careful with the under seat mount because you are drilling right on top of a plastic gas tank, brake lines, and fuel lines so not a place to just punch through full speed. I routed the power wires and control head wire up into the center console and then out in the passenger footwell and into the engine bay through an existing grommet. The mount for the control head is a Panavise specifically for the 4runner. I need to bend it a little more because it interferes a little with the glovebox closing properly.

The antenna mount is a K400 with threaded base. It will have a Hamstick attached to it shortly using a quick disconnect base. As you can see in the photo, I park in a parking garage so no room for a long whip.

Some of you may be wondering why I went with a HF radio over a VHF/UHF radio. The answer is I will eventually be getting a UHF/VHF radio but most of my excursions are solo runs out to the desert for a couple days with no cell service. I needed a radio that could reach out if I got in trouble. It will eventually be connected to a Kenwood TM-D710 and setup for cross band transmit from an handheld out through the HF radio. Maybe after Xmas. I know for sure I couldn't have pulled this off without the wealth of information here and elsewhere, posted by people who actually know what they are doing. Thanks a ton!
2009 4runner Trail Edition V6, Daystar 2.5/1.5, Cooper Disco AT3 285/70r17, 4Crawler 1.25 BL w/ radiator drop, ProComp 7098's, Carbon Filter eliminate mod, KurtFab diff bracket, Hayden transmission cooler, Shrockworks Rock Sliders, Dual-Batteries, Kenwood TS-480HX HF radio, Kenwood TM-D710 UHF/VHF radio w/ APRS, Husky floor mats throughout

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Unread 10-10-2011, 06:28 PM   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Bay Area, CA
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Nicely done.

Drooling over the Kenwood. HF is definitely the way to go, if your out in a remote area solo.
2007 4Runner Limited 4WD (Sold)
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Unread 10-11-2011, 07:27 AM   #3
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: SoCal
Posts: 88

Well done...thx for the detailed pics
Forrest - KJ6RKG
05 SE 4x4 V6 | SAW's 2.5 F/R | TC UCA | Big Brake kit | Revos | dual battery | DO bumper | Warn winch | SW sliders | Yaesu 857D | Yukon 4.88 | rear airlocker | Maggiolina RTT | Engel fridge |
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Unread 10-11-2011, 07:47 AM   #4
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Irvine, CA
Posts: 338

Nicely done!
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'06 Sport V8 Built & Sold | LRRB: Expo Trailer Built & Sold

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