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Discussion Starter #1
Spent way too much time today trying to figure out where to install a bus strip to wire radar, gps, CB and two amateur radios. There's space inside the dash panel inside the driver's door.for me to install the bus. Now, how do I get the antenna and new power wires to that location?

Best I can figure is I will cut a hole in the boot next to the emergency brake cable. Thread homemade4 power wires I will make to the battery for the bus plus add all the antenna wires. Still It's not easy as hand access behind that brake diaphragm and next to that computer thing is near impossible.

Anyone else dealing with how to get things through the firewall and do you have any kind of reasonable solution?

This truck is miserable for access through the firewall. Every place I looked had some kind of doo da electrical/computer box blocking things and wiring bundles out the gazoo. Lord help us if there's trouble in all that wiring/computer mess.
 

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According to an amateur radio website there is an OEM grommet for bringing power into the cab on Rams. It is on the driver's side on the firewall and is just a plain rubber oval grommet without a hole. You have to drill through it. They recommend a high-current solenoid, mounted under the hood, to bring switched-power into the cab. 8 AWG wire from the battery to the solenoid, then 8 AWG from the solenoid into the cab to a fuse block of your choosing. A fused switched-power wire from the truck's fuse block under the hood to the solenoid provides power to energize the solenoid when the truck is turned on.
 

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I agree with Bigfoot, the routing is as he says. One caution make sure the Power line going into the cab is fused at the solenoid, not in the cab. I have watched a lot of police cars burn up because the cable shorted under the hood while someone was working there and the fuse in the cabin did not blow. Most commen is when someone knocks the cable on to the exhaust system and it burns through.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys. I'm going to have to find this grommet now. I did NOT see anything like that but did see a round hole from the inside. It did not seem visible from under the hood.

As for all the solenoid set-up, that's something I will have to research as it's not something I ever did. Was just going to run two wires off the battery with a 30 amp fuse close to the battery and then smaller ones inside going to each radio.

Sure appreciate the whole package. Waiting for antenna mounts so it will be a while before I punch the hole and do the wiring.
 

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There should also be a plug for where clutch items would go through the firewall.
 

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Ooooh, a 3 year old thread dredge up! No sense in starting a new one, this one is SO relevant.

I'm putting in a remote head type radio. The main body of the radio is going to go under/behind the rear seat (2015 1500 CC). Of course I know the best and proper way is to take power straight from the battery (I want full time power but I'll live with ignition/accessory switched power if it makes it easier). However, this radio draws a maximum of 12 or 13 amps (most of the time it will be MUCH less) so I was wondering if I could tap into an existing 15 or 20 amp circuit. Maybe something nearby like the rear 12 volt cigarette socket or maybe the power going to the 7 pin socket for trailers? Anyone know of that kind of circuit nearby?
 

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Hi, I hate cutting anything, so I run my coax, and power leads through the top drivers side fender. Worked well for 10 years on my Ram 2500. I tap straight on the circuit breakers, Positive side of the battery. Looks like the Negative post has a circuit interrupt for a low battery condition, great idea!! Definally use that, no more dead batteries. I also added 300A breakers for my winch. Glad we have a high amp alternator, I always connect straight to battery, with fused protection. Eliminates or drastically reducing AC ripple from alternator. Ham radios require pure DC, or filters.
 

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Ooooh, a 3 year old thread dredge up! No sense in starting a new one, this one is SO relevant.

I'm putting in a remote head type radio. The main body of the radio is going to go under/behind the rear seat (2015 1500 CC). Of course I know the best and proper way is to take power straight from the battery (I want full time power but I'll live with ignition/accessory switched power if it makes it easier). However, this radio draws a maximum of 12 or 13 amps (most of the time it will be MUCH less) so I was wondering if I could tap into an existing 15 or 20 amp circuit. Maybe something nearby like the rear 12 volt cigarette socket or maybe the power going to the 7 pin socket for trailers? Anyone know of that kind of circuit nearby?
You don't want to tap into a circuit which has a 15 or 20 amp rated fuse if the device you're trying to power can draw up to 13 amps. The rule of thumb that circuit designers use is to design a circuit to be able to handle double the expected maximum current. So a circuit with a 20 amp fuse has an expected 10 amp maximum current draw. If you add your 13 amps to that potential 10 amps you will be exceeding the rating of the circuit. With that kind of current draw you're better off running dedicated power wires from the engine bay (fuse protected of course).
 

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Ooooh, a 3 year old thread dredge up! No sense in starting a new one, this one is SO relevant.

I'm putting in a remote head type radio. The main body of the radio is going to go under/behind the rear seat (2015 1500 CC). Of course I know the best and proper way is to take power straight from the battery (I want full time power but I'll live with ignition/accessory switched power if it makes it easier). However, this radio draws a maximum of 12 or 13 amps (most of the time it will be MUCH less) so I was wondering if I could tap into an existing 15 or 20 amp circuit. Maybe something nearby like the rear 12 volt cigarette socket or maybe the power going to the 7 pin socket for trailers? Anyone know of that kind of circuit nearby?
A bit too late to answer but this is what I did. I got gauge 4 cable from battery, under the truck close to the chassis, and through the box under the floor at the rear seat (I think they call that "ice box"?). In that box I installed a 6 fuse fuse box that is getting power from the 4 ga wire. If you don't need any switched power for your device, you can use one of the fuses in the fuse panel to power up your device. I use that fuse box to power up the relays for aux lights, custom heated seats (my truck didn't come with that stock), the cb Cobra, gmrs midland radio and aux usb chargers.
 

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Discussion Starter #10




This is an oldie. Kept these pictures from years ago showing the wires through the firewall and the buss attached behind the dash above the emergency brake location. You can't see this from the front as it's behind a removable panel right there.
 

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Another idea, I used the ice boxes I mentioned in the previous post.

 
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Discussion Starter #12
Creative location for the fuse box and the ground strap.

From those locations anything needed power inside the cab would take a separate wire/wires through the firewall. That would not be the case with another buss mounted inside the cab with just those two wires coming in. If so, good. If you need a strong amperage draw, not so good. The wire gauge is light for anything more than gps/radar, extra outlets etc.
 

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The front fuse box is just to power up a 20inch light bar for now. The battery to front (under the hood) fuse box and battery to ground will be replaced with 4ga wire when needed (it's 10ga now, still plenty and also about 1ft long, so I don't see any issue even going to 30-40amps of current draw. When I wired it up I was on my wife's driveway (she has a house in SC and we were running from Cleveland's cold weather) and I didn't have the supplies I have in my Cleveland garage to use straight the 4ga wire.

The in cab fuse boxes for high current draw are powered up with 4ga already. There is a manufacturer limit of 100amps per fuse box, so the roughly 7ft long 4ga wire from battery to in cab "ice box" is plenty for that amperage. The other fusebox in the pic (in cab) is for switches (powered up when ignition is on) and they have very low amperage as they just turn the relays on. The radios are both unswitched (have power all the time) since I wanted to be able to use them without ignition on.

The only downside of this setup that I see, side of not being able to use the ice boxes for anything else but electric gadgetry, is when taking the cab off of the chassis, since the wires can't disconnect easily in the current setup, but I can think of using some connectors when I do some upgrades.
 
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Discussion Starter #15
If my next truck has that silly box and bucket seats, gonna have to remember how you mounted your radios.

You did a good job.
 
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