The wife had a couple rules for this project going
in. First, there were to be no visible holes inside the car. The
second was that there would be no impediment of the passenger side
seat. The third was that there would be little or no visible wiring.
The last was that the drink holders would remain unobstructed.
She had no problems with drilling holes on the roof for antennas
After I bought the new 2009 Honda Pilot I left the radio control
heads in the car for a couple weeks to play around with various
mounting location solutions. I finally decided on putting the Moto
heads under the arm rest door, a hutch that also contains an AC
outlet, an iPod connection and a cigar cord socket. It was just
the right size for a stacked set of CDM heads mounted on a short
piece of 2x4. This brings them to a perfect height within the console
hutch. Since I don’t change the channels on these often they can
reside under a lid.
I then decided to mount the RH-96’s in 3 spots. One will be mounted
with its regular bracket to the forward side of the hutch behind
and clear of the drink holders. The second would be mounted somehow
to a small cubby below the radio/AC controls and the third would
go forward of the drink holders in the center console. I later added a fourth scanner there, originally a PRO2096 and now a BCD996XT. This is used mostly as a data radio for PRO96Com.
This left the dual bander head. I came across a mention on RadioReference
of a company called ProClip that makes custom clips to allow radios, cell phones etc. to be mounted on cars without drilling holes.
They snap onto the dashboard’s trim pieces where they come together.
I ordered the one for my Pilot and it arrived today. I will mount
the Kenwood head to this.
I then bought 5 3”x3” speakers at a hamfest. I chose these speakers
due to their size and that they had a great sound after trying
one out. These were mounted to a piece of aluminum stock and fit
perfectly under the front passenger seat without getting in the
way of the seat motors or other moving parts. I eventually replaced them with full sized Motorola speakers as the volume just wasn't enough otherwise. I had to then place these alongside the center console, while visible they are out of the way.
The actual radios themselves will go into a storage compartment
at the rear of the car. This compartment is under the floor and
the deep part of the well is just right for the radios to be mounted.
I cut a piece of ¾ inch plywood to fit, along with a slot to allow
access to the spare tire and painted it flat black. I then put
felt furniture runners on the bottom and sides to avoid scratching
the plastic well as much as possible.
Next I mounted 2 handles on the board to make it easier to pull
it in and out of the well for work or security. Then I mounted
the radios and accessories to the board, leaving room for a fuse
block. All this was done in the garage, that is a lot easier than
working in a cramped vehicle. Quick Connects will be used to allow
easy removal of the board for service or security.
I ran the bundle of wires along the passenger side floor and,
after the installer installs the power leads, will encase the bundle
in wire loom. There are control head cables for all 6 radios, speaker
cables for all 5 speakers, an auxiliary antenna cable (that allows
me to connect a handheld scanner to the multi-coupler), an extension
for the Kenwood mic, and power cables for the rear radio tray.
My installer, a company that builds police cars and fire engines
etc., will be installing 5 NMO mounts on the roof of the car and
running the power cables. Since the power cables will need to breach
the firewall and the holes drilled in the roof I will have them
done professionally. I don’t want to set off a side cushion airbag
or drill thru an AC vent or something, if he does it then his insurance
can fix it…