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IC-7100 Ham Radio Install

Here is how to mount your antenna and route the coax to prevent water in the trunk.
Keep it down in the trough and don't cross the second seal until the bottom of the trunk.
What brand and model of mag mount antenna are you using? It's tiny, just what my xyl wants. I just bought an IC7100 so now Im getting serious about installing it in the model 3. How did you route the 12 V power and control cables to the trunk?
73 gene k5gp
 
This morning I qso'd KA8KCR and W4EDE both in Florida from my home in Austin TX as /m using the above video link setup. I was lite copy for them but I was running just the little whip at 25 watts on 7057 kHz. KA8KCR Richard told me he has a friend with a new truck and ham radio in the truck and when he transmits it screws up the electronics in the modern truck. So cars that are not well shielded have interference both ways, the RFI from the car masks reception, and the RF from the transmitter screws up the electronics. Get a Tesla if you want trouble free operation with no interference in either direction. That Cybertruck truck is going to be the best ham radio vehicle ever with its 120 and 240 volt outlets and RFI free operation!
 
That one drive link was not very user friendly. I made a youtube video. Teslas make ideal ham radio vehicles on high frequency with the transmitter RF not causing interference to the car's electronics. The Teslas may be the only cars this well shielded. See
Hey this is great and I love that you didn't make it happen by drilling a bunch of holes and removing lots of panels. So that ant stays up all the time while driving?
 
This morning I qso'd KA8KCR and W4EDE both in Florida from my home in Austin TX as /m using the above video link setup. I was lite copy for them but I was running just the little whip at 25 watts on 7057 kHz. KA8KCR Richard told me he has a friend with a new truck and ham radio in the truck and when he transmits it screws up the electronics in the modern truck. So cars that are not well shielded have interference both ways, the RFI from the car masks reception, and the RF from the transmitter screws up the electronics. Get a Tesla if you want trouble free operation with no interference in either direction. That Cybertruck truck is going to be the best ham radio vehicle ever with its 120 and 240 volt outlets and RFI free operation!
Too bad magnets won't stick to stainless steel
 
I switched to 2 meters and trimmed the little 1/4 wave whip to get a low swr. It keyed up local repeaters however there was quite a lot of background noise. It sounded like switching noise to me. I spend the afternoon moving the antenna to the back trunk. There was a wide enough gap to install the antenna and it doesn't use magnets. The noise was still present but was not as strong. Its interesting the model 3 has lower rfi noise on HF than VHF. The noise was less on 440 MHz however the antenna did not have a good swr. I'll need to replace that 1/4 wave whip with a dual band antenna. The problem is finding an antenna that screws into a PL259 socket. I'll retest the HF operation and show the routing of wires which has no holes for the back either. I like the rear trunk mounting better. It looks better and the cables are pretty well hidden. I'll do a new video on HF when I get it installed and working well. I'm thinking of changing the fuses to push the output up to 50 watts on HF. It probably will not draw more than about 15 amps. On 2 meters the current is about 10 amps full power so no need to reduce power of the IC7100 on VHF and UHF. 73 de k5gp
 
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There are some stainless steel compositions which are magnetic, although I don't know which one is going to be used on the Cybertruck.
Tesla will use their own special blend of stainless called 30X based off the 301 alloy. If it has similar magnetic properties to 301 stainless, then this statement from AK Steel may be of some interest:
"Type 301 is an austenitic chromium-nickel stainless steel. This alloy is non- magnetic in the annealed condition, but becomes magnetic when cold worked."
Elon has said the stainless is cold rolled, so there is a chance it could be magnetic, but will it be magnetic enough?
 
I made one last video of my final no holes drilled installation in the Model 3. Most importantly it's wife accepted.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8dmpqsuqq8
The repeater background noise was due to a high audio volume, not car RFI. Most of the time I'll have the FT8100 radio off and hidden. This radio has no separate sending unit in the trunk like the IC7100 has.

My last HF video was posted here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asXzkNAl224
The HF rig works nicely in the Tesla and I could put it back in quickly since it uses the same trunk mount and coax feed. However I have decided I don't really need HF except in an emergency operation. I'll be chatting to locals over VHF and UHF.

So the Tesla Model 3 has very low RFI and makes an excellent mobile setup.

I asked QST if they would be interested in an article on it and they said since it promotes just one car they could not accept an article. I suggested it would be nice if hams had some kind of lookup reference they could know RFI levels in new cars before buying one. This seems to be a gap in our knowledge base. Its mostly an accident Teslas have low RFI and is primarily due to the bottom of the car having a flat metal panel which traps the radio waves from switching electronics and shields this from radiating. Elon said the flat bottom is needed to cut down on wind friction.

73 de k5gp gene preston
 
Some local Tesla X and S owners are saying they are getting AM noise. I did some more testing.

This morning I took my Yacht Boy portable receiver out to the car which was powered down. I tuned in a local radio station on 590 and it was full scale on the S meter. I tuned up to 605 kHz and there was some very weak power line noise as well as some audio spill over at times from the satation on 590. The Yachtboy has excellent AGC and high sensitivity.

I got inside the car and noticed the radio had high pitched whine noise. Holding the radio out the window as far as I could reach made the noise go away. Holding the radio closer to the window I could hear the high pitched whine weakly and then I backed the car out of the garage. I could detect no change in the noise driving the car.

Stopping just outside the garage and getting out of the car I could only hear the weak power line noise when a few feet from the car. I then held the radio close to the car and could hear some noise from the model 3. The noise was loudest at the opening for the wind shield wipers. I guess an AM antenna mounted close to that opening might receive some noise although it was a lot weaker than the local radio station.

Moving the radio down to the running lights there was a different sounding noise coming from those lights. But this noise dropped off quickly and a foot from the lights could not be heard.

I walked around to the rear trunk where my 2 meter/HF whip is mounted and there was absolutely no AM noise on 605 noise anywhere around the rear trunk. I opened the trunk and held the radio inside and still no noise. So if you want good AM reception put your antenna in the rear of the car.

I would be interested in someone testing the X and S this way on the AM band.

Gene Preston K5GP
 
Running cables to the 12 volt battery would have required drilling holes. Another ham said there is access to even higher power levels at 12 volts under the rear seat, enough to run nearly a kW. This is beyond my interest level. I was just wanting to get HF and VHF radios on the air in the car with no holes drilled and to check out the low RFI of the car. I'm limited to 25 watts on HF but I don't plan on doing any hamming on HF in the car anyway. The 12 volt power now is just about 1 ft long from the accessories plug to the FT8100. If I operate I take the rig out of the console and lay it on top of the center arm rest. It works very nicely. Im very pleased with the Tesla Model 3 operated mobile on vhf....73 de k5gp gene
 
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SomeJoe7777

Marginally-Known Member
Mar 28, 2015
2,271
6,075
Houston, TX
@DrGene, I've never looked at the hobby of amateur radio before, but I've been researching it lately and it looks like it's something I may want to pursue.

My goal, though, is to get to the roots of amateur radio. I'm not interested in purchasing a cheap handheld to talk on 2m, nor am I interested in spending several hundred dollars on a top-of-the-line HF base station. I have an EE degree, but haven't done analog design work in a long time. But, I want to take on the challenge of building an HF transceiver from parts of my own design, and do CW at low power, probably on 40m.

I've found a lot of resources on QRP stuff, and I think I'm going to try it. Do you have any pointers or resources like online forums where that type of build/homebrew stuff is discussed?
 
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SomeJoe7777

Marginally-Known Member
Mar 28, 2015
2,271
6,075
Houston, TX
I think you missed a digit. :) I wish a top of the line radio was only hundreds of dollars.

Building your own radio would definitely be a fun project.

LOL, it's funy because although I might be able to do my own HF transceiver for under $100 in parts, I'm gonna end up spending a lot more than that for a used oscilloscope, frequency counter, bench power supply, antenna tuner, PC board fabrication stuff, etc.

This is gonna take me months to get something that works, but this is the rewarding EE stuff I used to love to do.
 
LOL, it's funy because although I might be able to do my own HF transceiver for under $100 in parts, I'm gonna end up spending a lot more than that for a used oscilloscope, frequency counter, bench power supply, antenna tuner, PC board fabrication stuff, etc.

This is gonna take me months to get something that works, but this is the rewarding EE stuff I used to love to do.
Check out your local ham clubs, many of them will have equipment you can borrow. Also, look for near by hackerspaces and makerspaces.
 

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