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Anyone have a VHF/UHF transceiver in their car? If so, any RFI problems?

reddy

Active Member
Jan 26, 2013
1,037
1,694
Amarillo, TX
I'm a ham operator and have a 144/440 MHz transceiver (50W) in my current vehicle. I've read reports of some cars having RFI issues with one or more of their computers, affecintg operation of the car. Anyone have any experience with this?

I was wondering the same. Where do you have your antenna mounted? I was thinking of a variable mount on the rear hatch, on the right corner to avoid being near the charger port door. I haven't installed anything on the Tesla, but I've had serious RFI on other vehicles. My 2006 Lexus GS would send the tachometer into the red zone sporadically while actual RPM of the engine was stable.

I would expect the Tesla to be even more susceptible to RFI, but perhaps they have better shielding than average.

73, KC5JIF
 
As much as it pains me, I put a Diamond NR770 on a K400S mount on the lower left edge of the hatch near the brake light. It isn't the best for RF, but was the least visible and is easy to remove.

Using a FT-60 at full power with no issues... I am looking to put a 8800R or Kenwood V71a in soon, so we will see :)

Wish the laws of physics would let me install a much smaller antenna :)

photo.JPG


I was wondering the same. Where do you have your antenna mounted? I was thinking of a variable mount on the rear hatch, on the right corner to avoid being near the charger port door. I haven't installed anything on the Tesla, but I've had serious RFI on other vehicles. My 2006 Lexus GS would send the tachometer into the red zone sporadically while actual RPM of the engine was stable.

I would expect the Tesla to be even more susceptible to RFI, but perhaps they have better shielding than average.

73, KC5JIF
 
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As much as it pains me, I put a Diamond NR770 on a K400S mount on the lower left edge of the hatch near the brake light. It isn't the best for RF, but was the least visible and is easy to remove.

Using a FT-60 at full power with no issues... I am looking to put a 8800R or Kenwood V71a in soon, so we will see :)

Wish the laws of physics would let me install a much smaller antenna :)

View attachment 31241

Would it work to put it in the headliner near the glass roof? Just curious
 
But might get decapitated in your own garage or underground parking garages.
They make power folding antenna mounts for just such occasions.

I'm thinking of finding a way to attach a mini-mag mount (1/4 wave VHF). Thoughts are either a bracket on the roof rack mount, or a trunk/frunk mount. That said... I probably shouldn't plan that one in too much detail before getting the vehicle...
 
So, it's contradictory to the title; but I don't want to start another thread, when there's probably something like 10 HAMs on this entire forum … :p

Have any of you got an HF setup on a Tesla?

I've a Model X (yes, I know, wrong forum, but again: new thread seems like a waste); and at the moment I'm just planning on pseudo-duplicating Ditpixs's setup, to start; Diamond ‘trunk-lip’ mount, RG316 through the passenger compartment and firewall up to the frunk, where I'm planning on installing the body of a ICOM IC-7100 (which are on wild sale right now — usually $2,000 MSRP, and $1,100 on Amazon, HRO is selling them for $980, with an additional manufacturer's rebate bringing it down to $880!), both to get it out of my way / give it room to stay cool, and to get easy access to the unswitched 50A terminals; then finally bringing the remote control/head-unit back into the passenger compartment, where I plan on replacing the ‘cubby’ underneath the touchscreen. All tentative, mind you.

However, I'd really like a mobile HF setup (I live in an apartment, in the middle of downtown, in Chicago — there's not really a lot of opportunity to go stringing long antennas, or setting up anything exotic, at home; not to mention that I take frequent and long roadtrips all around the U.S. … so my vehicle is really going to be my only HAM base-station) — probably a screwdriver antenna, mounted to some sort of L-bracket mounted under the rear bumper to the frame of the car? I'm not sure yet. Anyway; I'm very noob, but: I hear horror stories of HF rigs playing havoc with old-school traditional cars … which makes me terrified about what it might do to a Tesla, with all the tech in her! And although I'm just planning ahead right now, if I'm never going to be able to run any sort of worthwhile HF setup on her, then it seems silly to buy an all-band transceiver; I could get a much-cheaper, much-higher-quality UHF/VHF transceiver. (Although, still, woahbuddy, that ICOM deal.)

So, tl;dr have any HAMs here got hamsticks or a screwdriver or something on a Tesla? Is it not worth the effort, slash is it going to screw with all the electronics?
 
and to get easy access to the unswitched 50A terminals
I have been procrastinating on doing anything with mine but plan to soon. :) The only thing I have found in the trunk is the power to the hatchback lift. If I had power in the Frunk, I am thinking that would work a lot better for me. I don't know where the 50A terminals might be in the Frunk. However, I have a mode S the X may be different.

We should certainly stay in touch and exchange information. :)

Mark - WB5SLA
 
Glad that someone brought-up this subject. I got YAESU and ICOM gear waiting to get installed (HF/VHF/UHF).
In an earlier BMW with no problem.
But I wait for M3 as that will be my LAST investment in cars because I urgently want a Tow-hitch to pull a small trailer. Then, a whip antenna mounted on it should not be a problem too. I will watch this thread more close from now on. (what will Elon say about this whole idea of ours? warranty etc.)
73, OE2GLI
 
I have been procrastinating on doing anything with mine but plan to soon. :) The only thing I have found in the trunk is the power to the hatchback lift. If I had power in the Frunk, I am thinking that would work a lot better for me. I don't know where the 50A terminals might be in the Frunk. However, I have a mode S the X may be different.

We should certainly stay in touch and exchange information. :)

Mark - WB5SLA

The Model S's “battery terminals” are in a different location, indeed; they're still accessible from within the frunk, afaik, but it may not be as easy as it is in the Model X.

Glad that someone brought-up this subject. I got YAESU and ICOM gear waiting to get installed (HF/VHF/UHF).
In an earlier BMW with no problem.
But I wait for M3 as that will be my LAST investment in cars because I urgently want a Tow-hitch to pull a small trailer. Then, a whip antenna mounted on it should not be a problem too. I will watch this thread more close from now on. (what will Elon say about this whole idea of ours? warranty etc.)
73, OE2GLI

Wait, you'd rather install your gear in a Model 3 than in your Model S? :O why!?
 
[QUOTE="VerityZooms,
Wait, you'd rather install your gear in a Model 3 than in your Model S? :O why!?[/QUOTE]

Actually, the other reason is that the MS is just a bit too big (for my garage) and I heard Elon say that M3 can also pull a trailer as a Tow-Hitch comes with the other options. And so far I did not dare to install any rig in the MS which I will trade as soon the M3 is available.
 
So, it's contradictory to the title; but I don't want to start another thread, when there's probably something like 10 HAMs on this entire forum … :p

Have any of you got an HF setup on a Tesla?

I've a Model X (yes, I know, wrong forum, but again: new thread seems like a waste); and at the moment I'm just planning on pseudo-duplicating Ditpixs's setup, to start; Diamond ‘trunk-lip’ mount, RG316 through the passenger compartment and firewall up to the frunk, where I'm planning on installing the body of a ICOM IC-7100 (which are on wild sale right now — usually $2,000 MSRP, and $1,100 on Amazon, HRO is selling them for $980, with an additional manufacturer's rebate bringing it down to $880!), both to get it out of my way / give it room to stay cool, and to get easy access to the unswitched 50A terminals; then finally bringing the remote control/head-unit back into the passenger compartment, where I plan on replacing the ‘cubby’ underneath the touchscreen. All tentative, mind you.

Any update on HAM VHF/UHF gear & performance installed to your Model X? Do send an update, as it seems you may be the first to post info on the forums of a working station w/ Model X.

-Karl
 
I have a ID-5100 which needs to be installed in my Classic MS85. I have not pulled the trigger on the install just due to procrastination on my part. I am wondering if we should't have a Amateur Radio specific thread started under general and cover all Tesla models. That would be one place we could go to cover anything Amateur Radio and perhaps GMRS as well.. Thoughts? I am not sure how we could coordinate and get the word out. Perhaps one of the Admins would have some thoughts on how to do this and still be within the rules of the Tesla Motors Club forum guidelines.
 
Ahhh, the project's partially completed, and on something of a hold for the moment.

I'm not licensed yet (finally testing on November 19th in Billings! I'm excited. Wish I had a good practice-resource for the Extra exam.), so I can't transmit, and thus can't test for ingress EFI (trust me, the moment my callsign shows up in the database, I'll be giving 'er the full 100W at some random HF frequencies! I'm not sure what to look for other than flickering screens, crashing computers, or strange Autopilot behaviour, though.), but I'll report back with my experiences.

As for egress … lawl. My girl pukes all over the spectrum. Okay, maybe not literally; but there's definitely some horrid screeching upon even the slightest acceleration. Of note, I don't think this is actually the DC-DC-converter, as others have posited — if you accelerate ever-so-slightly, and are going extremely slow, you can actually hear the ‘fwuh! fwuh! fwuh!’ pattern that I'm pretty convinced is coming from the drive motor's electric brushes. I haven't had the time to conduct a thorough survey of the received interference across the general spectrum, although I *can* do that given time (and maybe access to a chassis dynamometer, so I can sit in one place, and not try to keep one eye on the road while applying acceleration and simultaneously diddling with my transceiver … -_-)

(There's definitely, and specifically, reliably reproducible interference on the CB/11-meter band at or around 26.985MHz — I know this because I was scanning the CB channels on my drive over from Chicago last month, and the channels 1–3 were naaasty. I feel sorry for any truckers a Tesla drives by. O_O)




If you're curious, here's my half-completed setup:

  • ICOM IC-7100 (yes, I pulled that trigger), wired to the battery's own terminal-points on the chassis, behind the frunk
  • A Comet UHV-6 mutli-band antenna, coiled for the 40m, 15m, 10m, 6m, 2m, and 60cm bands, on a CF-706 duplexer,
  • attached with a PL-259 K400-style mount to the frunk-lid, on the passenger-side. (I'd originally experimented with the trunk hatch, again passenger-side, but I didn't like having to put thought into making sure I didn't raise the FWDs while the rear hatch was open. Also, I suspect the metallized front window will help more with RFI than the plain rear/side windows, ditto frunk as a poor-man's ground-plane.)

Some random pics I have handy:





 
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