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I'm working on installing an amateur radio (Yaesu FT-857D) in my 2017 Volt. I was planning on connecting the power for the radio to the screw terminals, which is fine, but I noticed what appears to be an unused connection coming off the battery. Does anyone know what type of connectors the blue, brown and purple connectors are? They appear to be some kind of quick disconnect terminals. It might be nicer to attach to that unused "gray" one, if I can buy whatever connector that is.
IMG_20171227_111450.jpg
 

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They look like female locking PAL type fuse holders to me, but I could be wrong. Have a look at your local large auto parts store - they should have one that fits. But obviously the right size- probably 25 or 30A for that radio, right?

That's what I would do - it is obviously an unused position and makes sense to use it rather than unscrew the battery terminal.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, I'll look for those. 25A should be plenty, the radio has a max draw of 22A when transmitting. As you said, I'd rather use that unused connector than connect directly to the battery terminal. Keeps things looking cleaner.
 

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IMPORTANT!

You really have to be extra careful as to what you use for a ground in the Volt. Don't use -any- of the existing grounding studs, they all go straight to computers, especially the one in the attached photo.



Someone who knows more than me can jump in and recommend how to properly ground things in a Volt. Don't repeat my mistakes!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'll be wiring directly to the 12 volt battery's screw terminals. The radio body fits nicely in styrofoam organizer under the trunk floor.
 

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Where are you going to attach your antenna? I tried to use a trunk lip mount on the side of the hatchback for a VHF/UHF antenna, but there is a ridge of hard sealant or something so the trunk lip mount wouldn't have a flat surface to bear against where you tighten the little allen head bolts. I don't want to drill any holes in the roof so just gave up on the idea of putting a radio in the Volt.

edit - I see you have a Gen 2 Volt, maybe it has better options for antenna mounting than my Gen 1.

de KH6IDF
 

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The terminals you reference are not really available commercially, unfortunately.

One other approach you could do is buy an EV Extend kit. It would give you the ability to have a quick disconnect with a DC connector. They would make a custom pigtail for your HAM radio needs, and a nice bonus is you'd also have a simple backup power setup available if ever needed.

http://www.evextend.com/Gen2-Chevrolet-Volt-Kit.php
 

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Where are you going to attach your antenna? I tried to use a trunk lip mount on the side of the hatchback for a VHF/UHF antenna, but there is a ridge of hard sealant or something so the trunk lip mount wouldn't have a flat surface to bear against where you tighten the little allen head bolts. I don't want to drill any holes in the roof so just gave up on the idea of putting a radio in the Volt.

edit - I see you have a Gen 2 Volt, maybe it has better options for antenna mounting than my Gen 1.

de KH6IDF
This Stainless Mount may be an option:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AR09UXQ
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I bought a (relatively cheap) through-glass antenna (https://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/hamantm/5079.html). It won't have the greatest performance, but for this application it'll be fine. I'm going to attach it on the rear glass near the top on the driver's side. It needs about 2 inches of clearance from the window frame or window defogger heating wires.
 

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Sure, but it's cheaper than buying another radio. I don't really do HF these days since I don't have any good spots around my home to put up a larger antenna. Might as well use what I have.
 

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I bought a (relatively cheap) through-glass antenna (https://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/hamantm/5079.html). It won't have the greatest performance, but for this application it'll be fine. I'm going to attach it on the rear glass near the top on the driver's side. It needs about 2 inches of clearance from the window frame or window defogger heating wires.
I didn't see a good place on the rear window to install a through-glass antenna. On the Gen 1 the glass is covered by those black dots.

I used to have one of those through-glass antennas on another hatchback car (Honda Accord). I mounted it at the top center of the rear window. It was a 5/8 wave, which does not need a ground connection to the car, so it was a good antenna for mounting this way.

By the way geoffeg, I have had good results from temporarily putting up a PAR end-fed Z antenna (10/20/40) in the back yard. I just elevate the driven end near the house with a 20-foot pole (painter's pole or similar) and slope the other end down to about 4 feet off the ground at the back fence. I made a board with some weatherstripping and a hole for a SO-239 feedthrough. I use two 25-foot pieces of coax, one inside the house and one outside, joined at the window feed-through. I can put the antenna up in about 10 minutes, leave it up all day then take it down just as fast. I have a Yaesu FT-817ND and like operating digital modes, SSB, FM and CW on low power (1-5 Watts).
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I've wondered about those black dots. If they're non-metallic I could attach the inside part of the antenna to that part of the glass. I tried scrapping one off with a pocket knife but they're very well adhered.

I may start getting back into some HF stuff. I discovered my employer has a long-standing amateur radio club with a very nice shack. I might have room for an antenna like that, thanks for letting me know.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Fantastic, thank you! I'll try attaching to that shaded area first and see how it goes.
 

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I put a pair of Diamond K400 series mounts on both sides of the hatch. One is NMO for the dual band vhf/uhf antenna and the other is uhf style for the 20M stick. I had to carefully bend the "tab" on the mounts where it contacts the body until it was just right when closing the hatch. If done correctly no damage results and the mount is well supported by both body and hatch.
 

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Nicely done. I installed the through-glass mount yesterday without any problems. Drove on the highway and went through a car wash without problems. May I ask how you attached the head unit to that area under the environmental controls? I'm planning on using 3M double-sided tape but I'm wondering how well that will hold.
 

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Nicely done. I installed the through-glass mount yesterday without any problems. Drove on the highway and went through a car wash without problems. May I ask how you attached the head unit to that area under the environmental controls? I'm planning on using 3M double-sided tape but I'm wondering how well that will hold.

Thanks! Head unit attached with Velcro. Top and sides, stays put but easily removed and stashed in console out of site. I put the radio where the tire pump was and connected directly to the battery + terminal. For ground I connected to the unused threaded hole pictured.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
One more question for you, 48Volt. Did you route the wires under the back seats? I can't seem to get my back seats off, even after following a few videos I found online. Maybe the premier has a different style of clip to attach the seats? I tried using a flat wooden tool to press in on the clip but to no avail.
 

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geoffeg: I feel I should throw my comments out here about your choice of through-glass antenna, given my past experience with one of these. I installed one on the side glass window of a small fiberglass bodied RV as I did not think there would be enough "ground plane" by using the mirror mount near the driver's door. The performance of that 2M glass mount antenna was quite poor. I then borrowed a 5/8 wave antenna, mounted it to the metal frame of the side mirror and grounded it to the chassis. The performance of the properly grounded 5/8 wave antenna was like night and day - so much better. I could key up repeaters a hundred km's distant that the other antenna could not touch. Distant direct channel contacts were also so much better with the proper 5/8 wave.

I will never own another through glass antenna. 48Volt's post above shows it is possible to use a decent lip mount on the Volt. I would do that if I were you. My $.02 worth...

Larry VE7EA
 
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