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kenworth t680 install.

Discussion in 'Station & Mobile Pics' started by phantom309, Aug 24, 2015.

  1. Slowmover

    Slowmover Elmer

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    Took nine hours wait to get unloaded. Then it was a Chinese Fire Drill back to the CB Shop after three other stops. Long day.

    1). Galaxy 979 back in business. Cooked protection diode & jack a few years ago. Fits KW tray, is a single-final radio, and has adjustable power. DK now adjusted down to 2W, swings 9W. Ideal match to the brand new KL-203 waiting.

    This circa 2015 model was always the intended radio: AM/SSB, modest price ($165.00), great talker on AM; hopefully stable on SSB.

    0E131B3B-77EA-4932-B01E-71AB9635CFE0.jpeg



    2).
    I’ll be using the Astatic 636L actually goes with my 99v2 until some testing of other microphones reveals best choice pair to carry aboard.

    3). Will pick up a BUSSMANN ADD-A-CIRCUIT Fuse Tap tomorrow. Run the amp separately from KW binding posts (which run radio and speaker). Found some 10-AWG zip cord at home yesterday. 15’ and cut to length. (Two power cords, not one).

    — I am very encouraged by how quiet is the vehicle electric once I wrapped DC Power Cord in a ferrite. Had moments of silence today during Skip that King Mudduck was bad breath distance away. ( Dead quiet.)

    This gives me hope that the radio + amp above (near 100W AM; 120W SSB) will be the EASY upgrade for someone following along. Simpler, compared to a 6-AWG to BATT. (All DC Power sourced at same fuse box; big trucks may have 3-4 of them).

    — New coax will be that much easier not sharing space with welding cable going up the A-pillar.

    Keep fingers crossed. This’d be GREAT news for other company drivers it comes together this easily . . . if coax installs from overhead console outward to cab shell without binding or pinch points . . and theres no run thru the mirror arm (simplifying cab egress/ingress) then the work should be fairly fast.

    .

     
    #76 Slowmover, Jul 13, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2021

  2. Slowmover

    Slowmover Elmer

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    Radio Example:

    The Galaxy 979 features easy-to-memorize dial or switch controls (no menu screen) and has the Starlite backlit panel (brightness adjustable) which gives even illumination at night (no searching for pocket torch while driving at dark o’thirty).

    Whatever radio chosen to use in a KW t680, these type of features make radio use FAR more intuitive. Easy. No glare. No hidden controls. No need to look to make adjustments.

    Not everything is measured by Sherwood Laboratories.

    Some other radios may have better numbers or glowing user reports (base station with beam antenna), but, truck driver mobile is a world of its own.

    And requires adaptation.

    Proper tool for the job.

    Don’t be in a hurry to buy a radio until size, power draw, ventilation needed, and operating controls + adjustable brightness are accounted for in your plans.

    High-speed decision-making doesn’t need bad radio controls when problems — maybe multiple problems — have cropped up needing accurate information for you to proceed farther.

    This particular radio brand & model “fit” as I see the solutions to using an AM/SSB mobile.

    .
     
    #77 Slowmover, Jul 13, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2021
  3. ForestRunner98

    ForestRunner98 917 SoCal

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    Which brand of coax and type are you going with??
     
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  4. Slowmover

    Slowmover Elmer

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    Believe I wrote it earlier that I’d purchased an Aries cophase harness. BELDEN cable plus AMPHENOL ends. Hand-assembled. Bells CB. $45.00 (their website). 18’ legs.

    Edit: If the terminated ends won’t clear obstructions I’ll again purchase a WILSON truckstop MINI-8 cophase harness with FME ends.
     
    #79 Slowmover, Jul 13, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2021
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  5. ForestRunner98

    ForestRunner98 917 SoCal

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    Ah...I just saw it. The other page. I missed it. Quality cable and ends!!
     
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  6. Slowmover

    Slowmover Elmer

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    Course Change

    Okay, have swapped the 979 in place and learned it suffered more damage than I’d realized. Works, but . . . I’ve not the leisure to track down potential performance issues.

    My goal on this thread was to take a fairly ordinary low-to-mid-price AM/SSB radio and pair it with an RM ITALY KL-203 Amp as a cost-effective way — using a WMR DSP Speaker— that rivals or beats a high-dollar radio as favored by those using that approach as first step to upgraded CB performance.

    So I’m stopping by home again to drop off the gear/tools/supply needed for that approach and will stay with the President Lincoln II (and DSP).

    No need for changes to power, easier packaging, etc. (But it’s a $300 radio once shipped; compare it to an ANYTONE 5555 or 6666 at slightly lowered price).

    For sake of argument let’s call it a small HAM Radio (10-12 Meter) with function choices not necessary on an AM/SSB 11-Meter Radio. Too many control choices, and many almost impossible to change while underway.

    OTOH, it’s new, it’s new-to-me, and has its own challenges my getting the best from it (detailed on another thread entirely).

    Antenna Performance was always the big change needed on a company truck, and it’s where work will proceed as time allows. With this category RF Bonds also apply.

    The end result changes not: a radio rig which will capture and interpret every signal within ten miles or more (conditions) such that truck driver routing decisions — while on the fly — can be accommodated. Safety & Timeliness.

    Companionship, the difficult hours of making a living aided — eased — by intelligent use of Radio will be a new experience for the majority. You don’t “need” the virtual world when the real one is present all around you, every moment.

    The next 100,000 experienced drivers don’t understand the performance potential of Eleven Meter in a big truck. Nor do CB Shop techs. Nor do the YouTube geniuses.

    Their opinions got cast in concrete during the Clinton years or before. Outdated. Obsolete. No help to you, truthfully as it’s possible to have a heads up a dozen miles farther than they believe. A company driver in a fleet-spec truck.

    The HAM Radio crowd has tools the Internet made it easier to find which DIRECTLY BENEFIT mobile Eleven Meter users.

    No Super Whack-Pack Golden Screwdriver gear.

    I use these improvements to Signal-to-Noise Ratio weekly to run AROUND road problems. Sometimes, daily. One has MORE choices available EARLIER is the result of my approach, and all other CB radio uses are MUCH more enjoyable through the day.

    Is your CB Radio turned on EVERY minute of EVERY hour you are on Line 3? What qualities would need to change such that constant monitoring wasn’t fatiguing after a few hours? It’s always ON (not turned down)?

    Are you a passive listener wanting others to carry the weight, or do you desire to be part of a community of men solving problems to the benefit of everyone who can hear & respond?

    Are you a Driver, or a Steering Wheel Holder?

    That’s the end result of this thread: an experience with CB so different than before it can’t rightfully be called the same in HOW you use it, or in WHAT it offers to you, the truck driver.

    Hear, and Get Heard.


    The Mobile Reference Guide: (click)

    www.k0bg.com


    .
     
    #81 Slowmover, Jul 13, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2021
  7. Slowmover

    Slowmover Elmer

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    Ran the backwoods yesterday to avoid the jam-up at West Memphis, AR, due to the Hernando De Soto Mississippi River Bridge crack closed IH-40.

    Traffic must use IH55, but that’s caused jams on both sides of the river, even from far away at the Interstate split on the West Bank.

    Wound up on roads I’d rather not travel again, but even up to 15-miles from the problem nothing induced me to want to join them listening to the grouching.

    My next passage will feature a farther detour. Hoxie to Hayti.

    Understand that these detours add time & distance. Yet I much prefer knowing the valid alternatives.

    The Prez has hellacious ears. But it’s hard to tell near from far. Sometimes Skip from local. Clarity enough for ya? (ClrSpkr: Don’t leave home without it!)

    Edit: The return trip ought to give me some time to start the coax runs as dispatched miles is low for a two day trip. Figure out if I can run same with PL-259s already installed. Also need to shower, shave, do laundry and buy groceries. Miles not bad, “trucker life” is what’s coming up short on these hot days..(Shaded parking would be great).

    One month now into this thread.

    Antenna change plus use of Lincoln II & West Mountain Radio CLEARSPEECH DSP Speaker have made real change over an ordinary CB working thru factory antennas without DSP. But noise floor still high. Mid-day or in otherwise difficult conditions, modern radio tech has a difficult time: it’s hard to hear what’s available.

    24/7 “best performance” is the thing.


    .
     
    #82 Slowmover, Jul 16, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2021
  8. Slowmover

    Slowmover Elmer

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    Nope on radio work. Housekeeping took too much time given high heat at midday and later. OTOH, truck is now well-stocked and was able to get into a Lowe’s next to a Wally where I could actually park this morning.

    — Found the rubber splice tape F-R/98 recommended (and will use Scotch 88 over it).

    — Found some off-brand Dremel-style wire brushes to hit RF BOND contact points.

    — Still need some split loom for coax.

    —And an ADD-A-CIRCUIT to run amp.

    Happyest of all, though, laundry done & larder stocked. Harder than you’d think to get those done..

    Had to drive almost 90-miles farther last night than I wanted. Checking out a different route for a standard run. Gonna take more planning, that one. (No easy or free parking). That meant was late to arrive at destination TODAY where it’s WAAY too damned hot on the parking lot past 1100.

    Every decision in a big truck means a trade-off somewhere else. Every aspect of operation. This loaded run had enough elbow room, but radio job ran out of time to start.


    The radio rig at present can be exceptionally quiet at times. When it is . . voices boom in with no warning. Awesome thing to have going. A motivator.

    Still, on most days and for most hours, the noise floor is intrusive. Mid-afternoon can be terrible conditions (only hear Skip at that point the last three weeks).

    Squelch wide open (always) and adjusting RF Gain is what remains. DSP stays at 12:00 position this past week. There’s not enough noise-cancel to kill what’s baked-in.

    Yet. I have high hopes for new coax plus RF Bond antenna mount to body.

    .
     
    #83 Slowmover, Jul 18, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2021
  9. Slowmover

    Slowmover Elmer

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    78983572-803F-436A-8AD9-24A0814D3CE2.jpeg

    Here’s a t680 with’em bull horns from this morning at Texarkana.

    el cuerno de toro (or something)

    talkin’ to the cockroaches is more like it.

    Ha!, got out of truck to take a leak after posting. Have another t680 reefer with bull horns just backed in next to me. Wilson 5000s this time.

    Just heard on AM-19 that the cousins of these antenna geniuses have caused two (2) wrecks on IH20W into Dallas just now:

    Changing lanes last second in heavy traffic to take US80W at the split,
    (SOP for paperwork “Americans”), and the resulting massive brake check from the first caused the left lane tailgaters two miles back to create another.

    Six-plus vehicles — left lane — both scenes.

    Anyone wants to tell me CB is useless I’ll laugh in their face.

    The last “reasonable” diversion north to IH-30 to get to Dallas is twenty-five miles back east (drove it opposite way to get here; TX-19). That Interstate ALSO wall-to-wall traffic, but it’s moving.

    Upgrade radio rig or else.

    Wrecks are at MM501 & 503. Warnings are given about five (5) miles (MM510). I’d hear last of warnings when I was at MM520. (Not unusual to hear from farther).

    E-Z to divert north to other Interstate at twenty miles from accidents. Will be impossible once close-in. Or, take the old highway (US-80) depending on where in the Metroplex I’m headed AND dependent on where WAZE will send the stoopids.

    At the very least, stop to take a leak, pour fresh coffee and make a sandwich. Then proceed in comfort.

    Upgrade and have choices.

    .
     
    #84 Slowmover, Jul 18, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2021
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  10. Slowmover

    Slowmover Elmer

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    Found out yesterday this truck may be replaced in 10-12/weeks (lease). Hopefully, another t680.

    So, running new coax isn’t likely.

    May still try Bandpass Filter, but that’s about it for the time being.

    Never say “never” is that I bought a WILSON Mini-8 cophase harness with FME ends against pinch points being difficult to get PL-259s thru.

    I’d leave it behind (wouldn’t be first time I’d sacrificed $40) versus the disassembly needed to retrieve it. Probably cut the ends off.

    10-12 weeks is easily 30,000-miles. Incentive remains, but summer heat is no ones friend. Big truck parking isn’t known for having shade. Looks like I’d need a long morning — stationary — to make it happen.

    .
     
    #85 Slowmover, Jul 25, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2021
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  11. Slowmover

    Slowmover Elmer

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    658BAB50-C99C-4C36-B045-801099F34ED7.jpeg

    And this ain’t half the mess, ha!

    More pics plus text to follow. New antenna mounts and power run is to be done today. Not “finished” in the sense of all details done, but ready to connect to the current radio rig as highlighted above.

    104F on this parking lot. Siesta time till past 1600. Started at 0600 and — with breaks — now have drivers door shut. Mirror remounted. Bond & Coax yet to connect. Get kickpanel fuse box reinstalled and then switch to starboard.

    Much easier than 579 Peterbilt.

    Pro-Comm PC-A68-02 Mounts seem good design.

    Differences exist from the JRich t880, this sister truck model may be easier. Exterior cover panel under mirror doesn’t need to be removed, just moved aside (using different grommet for coax).

    KW uses same small diameter crap coax as Peterbilt. BNC connectors. Corrosion at every termination.

    Glad I’m doing this truck. Next go-round on a newer version will be easier.

    More later.
     
    #86 Slowmover, Jul 30, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2021
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  12. ForestRunner98

    ForestRunner98 917 SoCal

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    Fun stuff!!! The more times you do the faster you get at it.

    I can remove side panels, rear floor strip, drop the headliner and do whatever I need to do and reinstall in less than 20 min. First time took forever!!! LOL
     
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  13. Slowmover

    Slowmover Elmer

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    EB1DE7E8-635B-44B0-A5B2-621E802DA709.jpeg 4A2295A0-8152-47ED-979E-F08FB8644BF5.jpeg

    Here’s the WILSON coax chosen. Package details shown. (Screw-on PL-259 not shown; be sure package contains them!)

    FME ends make install reasonable. PL-259s just too big to make it past two points:

    The install is ALL about getting the coax past two points:

    1). From overhead center console to A-pillar.

    2). From truck cab interior to exterior.

    All the PITA is for these objectives.

    .
     
    #88 Slowmover, Jul 30, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2021
  14. Slowmover

    Slowmover Elmer

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    55C33290-C916-447A-B4AA-0C517B46BA9F.jpeg 9B683091-AFC6-4BAF-AD63-E07411CCF668.jpeg 685F33EB-CBF2-4F93-B59E-3B69A0EBB541.jpeg

    Showing the DXE 10-AWG zip cord (red) as easy emphasis.

    1). Center console faceplate & radio removed.

    2). Two views of feedpoint from A-pillar to overhead.

    Coax follows same path.

     
  15. Slowmover

    Slowmover Elmer

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    4EE2BEE1-6FB2-4B8A-B29D-5A4F84234E0D.jpeg
    With mirror removed on exterior, larger grommet cover used for coax. This is ABOVE the interior fuse box.

    2F5AA32D-0E6A-4CA4-B32A-C14B5C48EBE4.jpeg

    Access to cab wall is past this dead pedal. Note screw head (must be removed). Another behind clutch on THAT panel.


    *** Single worst screw is behind grab handle lower double-bolt attach point. Recommend you get recip saw to cut off. No reason to re-attach. This is on dead pedal panel. Otherwise you’ll remove lower grab handle which ain’t fun.***


    — Must also remove panel goes behind pedals (another screw).


    Fuse panel on firewall lowest. Be aware of HOS & tracking device connectors hanging loosely.

    This is the hardest part of the job. Where not to screw up. Access & sight lines are awkward.

    6773E01E-3B8F-4D61-A086-6DFB924360F7.jpeg

    MOST OF THE JOB IS FROM THIS POSITION.

    — For the non-drivers: fuse panel is firewall-left, raised a few inches above floor. Green plugs are additions to diagnostic port plug. This particular truck is “uglier” than normal in this regard. (Panels removed in this pic).

    Air line panel is behind pedals.

    — Main power feed to the cab is on opposite side of this; higher up.

    Pretty much EVERYTHING related to truck ops comes right thru here.


    Other working positions are:

    1). Seated & standing, inside, working thru overhead console and at A-pillar .

    2). Ground, outside, standing at hood latch area.

    .
     
    #90 Slowmover, Jul 30, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2021
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