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Re: [TowerTalk] Station Ground

To: "Michael Tope" <>,"Tower Talk List" <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Station Ground
From: "Jim Lux" <>
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2005 09:39:35 -0800
List-post: <>
----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael Tope" <>
To: "Tom Rauch" <>; "Jim Lux" <>;
"K8RI on Tower Talk" <>; "Tower Talk List"
Sent: Sunday, January 16, 2005 7:45 AM
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Station Ground

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Tom Rauch" <>
> > Connecting to the battery, however, sets the person up for
> > EXACTLY what you were complaining about earlier. I find it
> > puzzling that you first say too good of a ground is a
> > problem, and now you seem to be telling people to do EXACTLY
> > what would cause the problem that couldn't be caused by a
> > good chassis ground!
> How are most factory installed radio's and other accessories
> wired up? Do they use a dedicated return wire to the battery or
> are they all chassis returned. If anyone would have the insight
> and experience base with regard to proper wiring and the
> reliability of chassis connections, it would be the factory
> engineers. If that practive varies from vehicle to vehicle depending
> on the chassis/body/frame design, then perhaps the best thing
> to do would be to follow the factory wiring practice for that
> particular vehicle.

That practice may not be all that easy to determine, short of major
dismantling of the car.  It's not documented in the owner's manual (nor
would I expect it to be), nor, interestingly, in the regular shop manual for
my car.  It's apparently documented in some other manual having to do with
installation of options.  At the dealer, it's no problem for them, because
all the manuals are online in some sort of snazzy hypertext system merged
with ordering systems, stock keeping, etc..

When I installed an aftermarket CD changer (pin compatible with the stock
item) that there was an explicit ground wire for it (and for the AF power
amp that sits underneath it) in the compartment at the back of the car.  The
wire disappeared into the wiring harness, and went I know not where.

My questions to the dealer about installing "two-way radio" were met with
"that's not recommended, and we don't have any information."  Not
withstanding that they use Passats as police cars in Germany, with radios

I suppose if you're buying a Ford Crown Vic, you'd have no problem...there's
probably a whole book on installing radios in them.

I'd hate to be an installer for high end car audio systems these days.
Someone who spends several kilobucks for that nifty DVD player surround
sound GPS nav system to be installed into their $50,000 SUV is going to be
mighty cranky when the dealer tells them that replacing the $2000 fried
computer isn't covered under warranty because of the aftermarket sound

But, this brings up an interesting idea.  There might be useful information
on modern car electrical systems available from places catering to the
aftermarket installation of radios (like Crutchfield?).

Jim, W6RMK


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