Sunday, 11 March 2012

Pop, pop, pop rivets!

OK, so not pop rivets, as yet. Planning the mobile installation, ive decided that a 'cage', in effect, is needed in the boot within which to mount the radio and ancilliaries. This is to prevent anything else in the boot from banging into them. The intention is to fabricate a L shaped frame from sheet aluminium or steel, and bolt this to the wheel arch and the floor of the boot. Within this, a shelf/frame will be fitted. The radio, tuner, fusebox, junction box, interfaces etc, will bolt to the frame or the inside of the cage. A DC socket will be provided as well.

This is where the pop rivets come in. They will be used to attach the framework. To attach the cage to the car, ordinary machine screws will be used, but the car bodywork will have 'nutserts' installed. These are rivet in threaded tubes, and provide a secure and simple mounting.

The tool and inserts to do the nutserts is on order. The pop riveter i'll pick up from ASK when next that way out. The only other thing i might need is a bending brake, to form the bends and flanges of the cage.

The 2.5mm2 DC cable has been routed along the left hand sill, but has not yet been fed through the firewall into the engine bay. This will be done when i have the necessary crimps and fuseholders to attach to the battery.

I had intended mounting everything on the left hand side of the boot, as this seems intuitive. But its not to be, as the spare wheel carrier goes right over to the left! On the right however, there is a 9" space between the wheel arch and the carrier cover board, just enough for the cage. It means i have to route the DC cable around the inside of the boot to the right hand side, but the signal and control cables (head cable, mic cable etc) can run up the right hand sill. Mounting on the right makes perfect sense, in a country who drive on the left, as it means the antenna will be mounted on the right of the tailgate, away from pedestrians, bikes and low branches. Its also, on my car, diametrically opposite the fuel filler cap!

I have to finish the HF mounting. This will need bolting to the car, then continuity testing to make sure the ground path is good, before final paint spray to match the car body, and laquering. Ground strapping will also be needed on the hinges of the tailgate.

I have installed the first Panorama M8 mount, roof center, for VHF/UHF. It currently got the 5/8th 2m whip on it, and working fine. But, I installed it with the view of the equipment being mounted on the left, so the coax routes down the left hand pillar. I'll need to correct this over to the right (which will also mean it doesnt cross over the washer tubing to the rear window!) but that means yet again dropping the headlining. I might wait to do that when i have the next mounts ready for the roof! I'll post the pictures of that install job in the next update.

As regards mounting the control head, i searched every possible location in the car, and short of getting a new stereo with DIN sized fitting, so i can mount it to the blanking plate, the only sensible place is to the right of the steering wheel, where the rig was in the old car! I havent decided on the speaker location yet.

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