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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Installed an Icom ID-5100A Amateur Radio today in my 2020 Premier.

Item 1: Antenna(s) Install. Ordered some 3rd party roof rack bars, really well built and top quality parts, Chose them mainly because of the aerodynamic shape. BUT I could not find a commercial mount that would work with the 3" front to back size. (TurtleCan for Chevrolet Bolt Premier Cross Bars Carrier Rails Roof Bar Silver | eBay)

Item 1A: Self Fabricated Antenna Mounts. 1/16" 1x1 angle aluminum, cut to fit the existing nutserts that are in the side rails. Spacer Washers added to distribute the stress of the M6 screws onto more of the side rails length. The aluminum was installed flush with the top of the rail so that the antenna mounts would press on both the rails and the added aluminum brackets. The antenna wires were fed straight back on the inside of the rails, and over the weather seal and tucked under the edge of the weather strip into the lower area of the storage well. The 1x1 angles, when flush to the top of the rails do not touch the painted surface which was a goal. The spacers (1/2" inner diameter washers) were ground to be flush with the rail. The locking washer part of the mount was ground as well to place the mount closer to the rail. The washer is necessary because of the thickness of the aluminum angles necessitated it.

Still to do: Find some clips to neaten up the wires along the rails, currently small tabs of tape to hold the wires for now.

Item 2: ID-5100 Install. Fabricated a .063 aluminum sheet, bent a step, trimmed to the width of the ID-5100 control head and depth of the underside of the cup holder and attached to the bottom of the cup holder with VHB and a single #10x1/2" self tapping screw up through the bottom, It is unseen and is short enough to not intrude on any functions or the bottom of the cup holder, and while the only hole added in the project, it wont be seen.

Item 3 Locate the main body of the ID-5100. Since I have a Premier, prime real-estate in the bottom of the storage well is consumed by the subwoofer, its too thick to mount on top of the woofer or space above whatever the module in the back right of the storage area. I currently have the unit laying in the foam inset for now till i get a clear idea on how to conquer that mount. Maybe shave the underside of the block of foam?

Item 4: Wires. 12V 12AWG wire attached to the 12V battery, Fused on both leads, and fed through the rubber plug above and to the left of the brake pedal. It is fed under the dash, across to the right side of the center console and is tucked under that edge to the back of the center console, under the carpet then over to the right side of the back seat following the existing wire looms and behind the rear seat and into the back area in the area of the center hinge. The bottom carpet cover is shaped in that area so no problem with that. Also there are 4 cables following the same path from the back unit to the front to the control head. 2 speaker cables (its a dual vfo radio so 2 speakers are best if you can manage it. Also the control head cable which is a flat 6 straight wire, and the microphone cable which is actually an ethernet male/female extension. These 4 cables feed in the middle channel under the center console (4 10mm bolts hold the back/upper portion of the console and you can lift the console (the floor portion stays in place) The upper console has some locating pins where it meets the floor portion, and the 4 cables spread apart fit into that space between the two posts where the lower and upper console meet, the upper console is reinstalled, and all four cables are now located under the cup holders where it meets the upper console. The speakers are vhb'd facing up in the back of the floor console. The microphone is plugged into the female ethernet jack, and the flat 6 cable comes up to the control head.

Bonus 1: Since I now have full time 12V in the storage area, I added a rear view dashcam
Bonus 2: Hard wired a front dashcam following the guides on the the forum, albeit switched power. Maybe change that in the future.
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Bonus 3: Installed Reddy Kilowatt on the charger door, Since adding racing stripes adds 5-10 HP to an ICE, I expect that this should add 2-3KWH to the charge rate.

I'll add more photos, ran out of daylight as it was a 1 day project and light ran out before the job was done.
28554
 

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Any issues with having the antenna not centered to the vehicle. The Motorola guys at our radio shop are always doing calculations for antenna placement. Making a science out of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Oh wow that is a really clean install.

Will you get radio operator plates too?
Kind of conflicted on doing that. I really don't mind the publicness of the US licensing system, but I dont think that I want to put a publicly searchable number on the back of my car,
I do have a Amateur Radio Club logo on the lower left back window, so another operator could call out that callsign and I'd reply and then my callsign would make me identifiable to a fellow ham.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Any issues with having the antenna not centered on the vehicle. The Motorola guys at our radio shop are always doing calculations for antenna placement. Making a science out of it.
I'm sure that there are issues with the non centered position of the antenna, but I think it is a matter of degrees and goals.

Had the roof rack worked out it would have been centered side to side, and if I put the antennas on the front rack cross rail then it would have been pretty close to center front to back. But this car is a compromise from a classic ICE that had a big mass of metal in the engine bay that helped with forming a ground plane so compromise it is.

The cross rails would have added wind resistance so this is a better compromise efficiency-wise, it allows me to put a second antenna separated about as far as possible side to side so a fair compromise in that way. I dislike the damage that long term magnetic mounts cause, and all of the options no matter how compromised beat a handheld by a mile.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Some observations after 1.5 days, No discernable wind noise from the antennas.

The Bolt seems RF quiet at least in the 2m and 70cm radio spectrum.

On the other hand, my EVSE and or the Bolt does appear to have RF noise while connected and charging. And when full charge is reached (target 90%) the EVSE pulses about .5 seconds every 2 seconds in the 2cm band. The noise is enough to almost take the indicated signal strength to S3, but only when charging, and only in the vehicle as I cant see that noise in my house or on my property. Could be that the 12V power crosses pretty close to the charging port, and is unshielded for RF. But no apparent RF noise in the Bold in normal use.
 

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Hi Solock. Thanks for taking the time to post. I am getting ready to do the same thing on the same car. Glad to know there is an easy wire chase from the battery to the center console. Also good to hear it is RF quiet when you are not charging. I don't have any need to use the radio while charging.

Does the cup holder, upper part of the console, just pop out of the console unit?

Stay Healthy. JohnnyF WJ0NF
 

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Starting same project over the holidays. Will upload pictures once I get started. I was thinking about mounting along with phone to the left of the steering wheel as seems as there is always something in the cup holders. Was also contemplating adding dashcam(s) as solock mentioned. Is there switched 12V in the back? Was also thinking about running the sound/speakers through the existing speakers either through the aux port or a bluetooth transmitter. Any comments? JohnnyF, did you finish your install?
 

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Some observations after 1.5 days, No discernable wind noise from the antennas.

The Bolt seems RF quiet at least in the 2m and 70cm radio spectrum.

On the other hand, my EVSE and or the Bolt does appear to have RF noise while connected and charging. And when full charge is reached (target 90%) the EVSE pulses about .5 seconds every 2 seconds in the 2cm band. The noise is enough to almost take the indicated signal strength to S3, but only when charging, and only in the vehicle as I cant see that noise in my house or on my property. Could be that the 12V power crosses pretty close to the charging port, and is unshielded for RF. But no apparent RF noise in the Bold in normal use.
Where did you put the mic? Did you ever come up with a solution to the antenna wire on the roof?
 

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Starting same project over the holidays. Will upload pictures once I get started. I was thinking about mounting along with phone to the left of the steering wheel as seems as there is always something in the cup holders. Was also contemplating adding dashcam(s) as solock mentioned. Is there switched 12V in the back? Was also thinking about running the sound/speakers through the existing speakers either through the aux port or a bluetooth transmitter. Any comments? JohnnyF, did you finish your install?
I did get mine installed. Was pretty easy getting the power through the firewall. I then fished it down and under the door sill so it came out next to the drivers seat. I put the ID-5100A unit under the seat. I got two trips of velcro and put the grippy side on the bottom of the radio. That gives it a good grip on the carpet and it does not slide around. The mic sits in the cup holder or in the center council where it is easy to pick up without looking down.
ID-5100 in Bolt 2.JPG
I then fished the wire for the Head Unit back along the power wire path. It comes out next to the steering column and then plugs into the head. The excess is zip tied under the dash.

I tried a number of different mounts but they all failed to stick to the dash or the window. I think a combination of the heat, cold and weight was to much for them. I just got this unit that clamps onto the lip of the dash. I was surprised just how strong it was at clamping down. Some pretty heavy springs in this thing. It has only been on a week but so far I really like it. Holds the head steady and I doubt it will come off easily.

ID-5100 in Bolt 1.JPG
I set the clamp off center so it blocked a little less of the window. The clamp part also blocked the top of the speed readout so moving it off center cleared that up. The clamp head swivels on a ball so you can set it to any angle. Which makes the viewing very clear.

So far, I am really happy with the setup.

73, JohnnyF, WJ0NF

Note: Clamp came from Amazon, $17: Amazon.com: Car Phone Holder Mount, Upgraded Phone Car Holder for Dashboard, 360° Rotation Adjustable Car Phone Mount for 4 to 7 inch Smartphones (Black)
 

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I did get mine installed. Was pretty easy getting the power through the firewall. I then fished it down and under the door sill so it came out next to the drivers seat. I put the ID-5100A unit under the seat. I got two trips of velcro and put the grippy side on the bottom of the radio. That gives it a good grip on the carpet and it does not slide around. The mic sits in the cup holder or in the center council where it is easy to pick up without looking down.
View attachment 32812
I then fished the wire for the Head Unit back along the power wire path. It comes out next to the steering column and then plugs into the head. The excess is zip tied under the dash.

I tried a number of different mounts but they all failed to stick to the dash or the window. I think a combination of the heat, cold and weight was to much for them. I just got this unit that clamps onto the lip of the dash. I was surprised just how strong it was at clamping down. Some pretty heavy springs in this thing. It has only been on a week but so far I really like it. Holds the head steady and I doubt it will come off easily.

View attachment 32811
I set the clamp off center so it blocked a little less of the window. The clamp part also blocked the top of the speed readout so moving it off center cleared that up. The clamp head swivels on a ball so you can set it to any angle. Which makes the viewing very clear.

So far, I am really happy with the setup.

73, JohnnyF, WJ0NF

Note: Clamp came from Amazon, $17: Amazon.com: Car Phone Holder Mount, Upgraded Phone Car Holder for Dashboard, 360° Rotation Adjustable Car Phone Mount for 4 to 7 inch Smartphones (Black)
Looks good! I haven't made as much progress as I would have liked. I do have the head unit mounted along with a holder/wireless charger for my phone. I used a base from ProClip Chevrolet Bolt Left Dash Mount but it didn't have enough space for both and wasn't stiff enough so I fabricated a piece of aluminum sheet shaped like an "L" with a foot sort of section that rests on the dash (with some closed cell rubber in between.) Then mounted the base for the magnetic mounts to that. I have had the head unit on there for over a week now, seems to be real stable. Nothing wired yet but hope to start that this weekend. Will post more details and pictures as I progress.
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