CB radio installation

……so, we decided that the next add on would have been the CB radio and the driving lights. Both safety devices the way we see it. The first, not only allows us to communicate with other vehicles around us when in convoy, it can let us send emergency requests or distress calls in case something happens (hope we never have to use it for this purpose). We chose the GME TX3100 because it is extremely compact and has the same features of the larger counterparts………and we did find it on offer for $300 with the antenna which turned out to be a very good bonus.

We installed it at the same time as the driving lights (Opposite Lock 100W halogen depth and width) because we had to drill a hole in the firewall, this way we were able to fit 2 cables in the same opening instead of drilling a second hole on a later date (not recommended) .

The tools needed are, screwdrivers (Phillips and flat), drill, grommets, cable ties, spanners, silicon and anti rust spray.Firewall

firewall 2We began by choosing the right spot for drilling a hole which, in our case, turned out to be on the passenger side, under the carpet, 5 cm. Next to the air con water discharge pipe. Better drill from the inside, there is a lot more space to move around than sticking your hand and drill in the engine bay in a contortion that will give a whole new meaning to the expression “grease monkey”.

The choice of drill bit depends on the size of grommet you`re going to use, and the size of grommet depends on the size of cable you`re going to put through it.  Measure the size of the cables put together, including any attachments they may have on them such as plugs or terminals, add a couple of millimeters and that`s the size of grommet you will need. Then the size of the drill bit will be a couple of millimeters larger than the grommet`s center hole. Remember, before inserting the grommet into the hole, pass the cables through it first, then through the hole in the firewall and finally insert the grommet in the hole ( I`ll let you discover by yourselves what happens if you don`t follow this procedure, hahahahahaha). You will have to push a bit with the tip of a screwdriver, it`s a very tight fit, but it`ll keep dust and water away.

Anyway, first things first: disconnect the battery terminals, fit the antenna into the supportAntenna which already exists on your bullbar, pass the coaxial cable through the front grill of the car and in the engine bay. In our case we made it pass on the right side of the car (facing the vehicle) next to the battery and along side the engine bay internal wall (note that we disconnected the terminal off the cable for easy passage through the hole).engine bay

When you have established the right position of the lead inside the engine bay, follow the process described above, to fit the cables through the firewall.

The hardest part is over. Find a suitable location for the radio, make sure that it`s not in the way of your legs, arms or movement while you`re driving; find a place for the microphone and its holder. Mark the spots for the screws and, if you can, remove the parts of the dashboard on which you`ll install the radio and microphone on. Drill the holes, mount the supports and fit all the parts back on. Make sure to leave enough space to connect the cables behind the radio.

Now it`s time to connect the power leads. I found that the easiest way was to connect them to the cigarette lighter. I took off the front panel, disconnected the 12V inlet from its original red and black cables, unified the positive of the radio and of the lighter and did the same with the negatives, then reconnected to the cigarette lighter.

The last step of the installation will be to reconnect the terminal of the coaxial cable. You`ll notice from the pictures that it`s composed by 4 different layers: the first black insulation, the layer of crossed wire, a second white insulation and the main wire.caxial cable section You`ll need to strip the first insulation making sure not to cut anything else. Then loosen up the crossed wire and roll it around the white insulation (don`t cover it all). Strip whatever is left exposed of the white insulation without cutting the main wire and roll the latter between you fingers to tighten it up. Finally, with a bit of pressure, insert everything inside the terminal.

That`s it. You work is complete!!!!!!!!!! You radio should now turn on when the keys are turned, and should hopefully work a treat…………….or at least mine did 😉


Let the fun begin…

meanwhile_in_australia_34So, we have just bought our new 4WD camper trailer and are saving and slowly preparing to leave Sydney across and around Australia.  Myself, my husband and our 2 year old Son….

First of all comes the downsizing!  From a 2 bed house with Garden Shed into a Nissan Navara and Leisure Matters Ranger 4WD Trailer.  What a ball ache!

Lets just store it all.  We came to the decision that with the value of our white goods and household furniture the approx spend of $2000 for 12 months storage is worth doing rather than buying everything from new at the end of the trip. (If it ever ends!)

Modifications to the car. So far my husband has put a GME (TX3100) CB Radio with ground independent antenna, Opposite Lock 100w Halogen Driving lights, XD 9000 Warn Winch a Nissan Snorkel, bullbar and towbar.  We have other all purpose general recovery gear bought from Opposite Lock over 1 year ago that has served us well so far.

Note to self – Opposite Lock vs ARB – Opposite Lock wins hands down for customer service, prices and helpful information.

To be continued…………….