[RFI] Buying New Vehicle - RFI issues with these models?

Hare, Ed W1RFI w1rfi at arrl.org
Fri Aug 31 07:55:18 EDT 2007

One of the quietest vehicles I have used was a 2004 Trailblazer.  There was a bit of injector noise on 7 MHz, but on 14 MHz, it was barely noticeable.  I drove the vehicle into a local state forest, on a dirt road about a mile from any power line. I measured the ambient noise level with the vehicle off, then again with the vehicle on. I saw a fractional dB increase in the noise level on 14 MHz, and about a 3 dB increase in noise level on 28 MHz.
Ed Hare, W1RFI
ARRL Laboratory Manager
225 Main St
Newington, CT 06111
Tel: 860-594-0318
Email: W1RFI at arrl.org


From: rfi-bounces at contesting.com on behalf of Larry Benko, W0QE
Sent: Sat 8/4/2007 2:19 PM
To: rfi at contesting.com
Subject: Re: [RFI] Buying New Vehicle - RFI issues with these models?


Don't believe the gloom and doom for a minute.  I know literally
hundreds of folks running HF mobile via my association with the County
Hunters.  While there are occasional issues running HF at the 100w
level, the fixes are generally quite easy.  We have many members who
rent vehicles and do a temporary install of a 100w HF radio when going
on extended trips.  These are brand new cars.  There are quite a few who
run 500w in their own personal vehicles.

Larry, W0QE

digital-conjurers at roadrunner.com wrote:
> Al,
> I hate to be the bringer of bad tidings, but all new vehicles have so many
> computers in them that are susecptible to RFI/EMI, hardly anyone I know
> puts mobile rigs in them any more.
> You were lucky not to have any issues with the Chrysler. (Assuming you had
> rigs in them.)
> Voided warrantees, engine stalls, accessory equipment malfunctions on
> keydown, man, you name it, it's happened.
> As for me, well, it started with a 1990 Mazda Protege, and it hasn't gotten
> any better with the newer models.  To cut this short, I have up and went to
> carrying a 5W 2M/440 HT in the car with me, and I make calls during stops.
> Doubtless others on this list will have different responses, but I just
> gave up.  The new cars just aren't like your old 1980's versions, the last
> decade I remember where this sort of thing didn't come up.  The minute
> computer controls came out, well, that did it.  I fought it for years
> before giving up.  Maybe the solution is to buy a used 1980's Ford van,
> rebuild it and stock it the way you want it; a number of Hams in our local
> club have done this, just out of being worn out by problems.
> The ARRL has a list on their website (somehwere) of car manufacturers, and
> their degree of cooperativeness on this issue.  Maybe someone here will be
> able to come up with it.
> -Lin/KJ6EF
> At 06:05 AM 08/04/2007, you wrote:
>> I am getting ready to purchase a new vehicle to replace my trusty 2000
>> Chrysler mini-van that now has 157K miles.
>> I am considering the following smaller / more efficient vehicles:
>> Chevrolet Cobalt
>> Chevrolet HHR
>> Pontiac Vibe
>> Does anyone on the reflector know of any RFI issues that would impact HF
>> mobile operation in any of these, and any hints at how to correct?   I
>> plan to install my IC706MK2G and mounts for my hamsticks and ATAS100
>> antennas on the new car.
>> Thanks and 73,
>> Al  N5UM
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