Jeep Ham / CB Radio Setup

Wanted to share my setup for my HAM and CB Radio.  With the Jeep, I specifically did not want to drill into or damage the interior in order to mount the radios.  I also wanted to make sure the install looked ‘clean.’  I didn’t want wires visible.  With this install, the only wire you really see is the wire that goes into the Kenwood’s Head Unit.

2014-07-23 19.49.49I had already installed the Smittybilt MOLLE Overhead rack, which was the perfect location to hang / mount them from.

I’m not going to go into a lot of detail on wiring; there is a great write-up here and here.  (@ Project-JK.)  I followed that, and so far the Jeep hasn’t blown up.

The radios I use are a Uniden Pro 520xl and a Kenwood D710.

2014-07-23 19.51.26Highly advised you fuse your lines, and keep it as neat as possible.   Both of my radios are wired directly to the battery and grounded in the same spot.  (Passenger side pic – the Black / Yellow ring under the ‘foam’ circle are the grounds.)

Both radio antennas are mounted in the back of the Jeep.  One off the door on a Spare Tire CB Mount, one on the tire swing.  Not the greatest location for antennas, but the setup works and I have adequate comms when / where I need them.

2014-07-23 19.50.15The CB uses the speaker from the CB unit itself, it’s a bit muffled with the D710 head unit mounted over it, but it works and I can still hear it fine at 70mph with the soft-top on.

The D710 is wired directly into the car stereo via the Aux port.  I chose this so I could listen to music / GPS and still have HAM comms.  (I may eventually wire separate speakers to the Kenwood unit, but for now, the Aux setup works.)  2014-07-23 19.50.36The head unit is what you see hanging from the MOLLE rack.  I inverted the mounting bracket in order to get it to hang.  The main unit is tucked under the passenger seat.  All the
2014-07-23 19.51.01potentially ‘visbile’ radio wires are tucked under the interior molding / trim.
The rest are a bit of a mess under the passenger seat.  Also installed a ground loop isolator to help with alternator whine etc.

Instructions

  1. Make sure your Jeep is Dirty, like it should be.
  2. Hang the radios where you like.  I used Velcro straps to cinch them down / together.
  3. Run wires across the top panel, and down the passenger side.
  4. Remove air vent cover, punch out side dash panel.
  5. Ground neg wires, use a coat hangar to punch through the firewall into the engine bay and run power lines.
  6. Hook lines into battery.
  7. HAM / CB Away – just make sure you turn them off when you park your Jeep or they’ll drain your battery.

2014-07-23 19.53.09