As I mentioned before, finding a suitable spot in the vehicle to
safely mount a radio can sometimes be a challenge. After I kicked around a
number of ideas, I decided on putting it center stage right behind the manual
transmission's stick shift. I grabbed a ruler and made sure I would have
the necessary clearance with the front seats in their usual position.
I won't even try to explain this. Trust me when I say it
was made from some scrap plywood I had in the garage, a few small diameter wood
screws, and a tube of Elmer's glue. The clamps and bungee cord are there
to keep things in the proper position while the glue dried. After it was
fully assembled, a can of black spray paint, left over from the last Jeep fender
flare touchup, was pressed into service. Most of my handy work would be
hidden under the seat so I wasn't too worried about the overall looks.
OK....you can see my mounting platform under the radio. it is just a plywood shelf, so to speak, sitting at a 45 degree angle. The bottom board that the shelf is attached to extends back underneath the seat. The transmission hump and seat brackets causes it to become wedged in place. It works for me!
I grabbed my 30 something year old JC Penney SWR meter and installed it between the radio and the antenna. Hey, don't laugh....that meter works very well and has been used on more antenna adjustments than you might possibly imagine. There was a time I use to keep it in the TJ just to help out the folks that showed up for the group trail rides. Since I already have a write-up on adjusting the CB antenna, I won't cover it again. You can find details on how to adjust the antenna here.
Note the radio's display in the above photo. It shows "C2" which means it is on weather channel #2. I can get a couple of the weather channels at my house. To get the weather, just push the CB/WX button on the front panel and the radio will switch from CB mode to NOAA weather channel mode. Here is a short (~20 seconds) sound byte (hey, it is a digital recording) of what the synthesized weatherman sounds like. My recording isn't the best so don't worry about nominating me for a Grammy (just in case you were considering it).
A close-up shot of the radio on it's hand crafted, low carbon footprint, high speed, low drag mounting platform. I had the microphone keyed and the SWR meter indicated a solid 4 watt output.
I liked the operation of the radio. Both the squelch and RF gain controls have very usable range. You'll find the RF gain especially handy when you are on the trail with a group of folks and you are all close to each other. Decreasing the RF gain control will prevent those radios that are very close from over loading the front end of the radio and causing poor reception quality. If you are in a busy area, say Moab or some other popular off-road location, backing down the RF gain will reduce or eliminate the signals from other groups that may be nearby.
The automatic noise limiter (ANL) works as designed. It helps cut the ignition and/or fuel pump noise that is commonly encountered in vehicles. Of course, just like all ANL equipped radios, you will loose some sensitivity. Try it in the on and off positions and see which works best for the situation at hand.
So....that is about it for the Midland 1001LWX, at least for now. I'll report back again when I get some more air time with the radio. I did a quick signal check and got a solid copy from another operator that was several miles away.....that works for me in a metropolitan area. It will be better out on the road or trail with a clear signal path.
4x4 Off-Road Homestead Firearms RC Flying