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Syllabus Sections:-

7e Mobile Installations

7e.1 Understand that EMC problems in motor vehicles can have serious safety implications and be able to identify suitable precautions

What is considered good practise for motor vehicles on roads also applies to motor boats on water.


Cars and other motor vehicles rolling off production lines today are so much more sophisticated than even 5 years ago. Whilst 5 years ago installing a radio transmitter in a car was considered relatively simple that is not the case today. EMC with modern vehicles is an area that must be taken seriously

The modern vehicle has radio controlled systems for locking as just one example - overloading the system with your radio transmissions can cause failure of not only the locking systems but air bags and engine management systems to such an extent that it can cause the vehicle not to function properly or not to function at all.

Before trying to install your radio transceiver in your can seek advice from the manufacturer.

General safety

There are several points to consider:-

Installation position of transceiver

The transceiver must be installed in such a way that it will not cause injury to persons in the vehicle in the event of an accident or whilst sitting in the vehicle or entering or exiting from the vehicle.

Installation position of cables

The transceiver must be properly installed so that it does no interfere with the controls of the car nor be a potential fire hazard. The fire hazard is further reduced if both the positive and negative leads are independently fused - and for the fuses to be located as close to the battery as possible. Fuming in the positive lead protects the car in the event of a short circuit to the chassis (assuming negative chassis) and fusing in the negative lead protects the rig in the event that the earth system of the vehicle is faulty and uses the rigs earth to take the full load of the battery negative.

Do not use the cigarette lighter or as it is now called the auxiliary electrical supply socket as it is only intended for intermittent use and is unlikely to be fused on both positive and negative leads further it could provide a direct link into the motor vehicles electrical system for RF..

Installation position of speaker

Similar to the transceiver but you need to be able to hear the speaker when the car is in motion so consider its location relative to other sounds.

Hands free operation

Whilst regulation might allow you to talk on a normal microphone it is still dangerous and really operation without a hands free kit is just plain stupid.

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