Flex 6500 Motorhome Installation

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  • Updated 5 years ago

Someone asked me to post some pictures of my setup. Traveling full time, I needed to have my radio setup compact yet easily accessible.  I mounted the Flex 6500 under the seat in my dinette on one of my slide outs. This radio is a perfect match for my needs.  Attached is a link to some pictures. 



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Posted 5 years ago

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James Whiteway

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Very nice setup!!!
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Thanks James,

It was a labor of love!


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Doug K0DV

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Nice and neat.  Do you worry about ventilation?  Unit uses the fans at 100 watts and needs air, particularly on digital.
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Hi Doug,

That is a really good point.  Yes, I am in the process of ventilating the area with a couple of small in/out fans,  I am waiting on some thermal couplers so I can set the fans up on a temperature cycle.

Going to have the fans vented on the inside of the MH so that I can push cool air from inside the coach. The slide out can get warm from outside temps so when in hot climates I want to be able to pull in cooled air when we have the A/C on.


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Brent Parker

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Doug - Good plan. Pulling the already "dry" air from the coach is the way to go. Blow the heat back into the coach, pulling in the relatively cool air from the cabin. The radio is only creating sensible heat, which the a/c can easily deal with. If you pull or push air to the outside, you'll be pulling in moisture and the latent heat (water) takes more energy to remove!

I have a IT room that's 5x8' with one of those mini-splits. The server rack in there generates sensible heat and I've never seen a drop of water at the condensate pipe, as there is never water in there.

Very nice install. Thanks for sharing!

Brent W8XG
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Nice job Doug.
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Lee - N5LN

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Good job.  My Flex 6500 is on order.  Bought it at HamCation week before last.  I have to make my installation as neat as yours.  You set the standard.  We have a 38 ft. Holiday Rambler with a dinette, not booth. We are not full-timers.  I think I'll mount mine in the rear wardrobe or even under the air mattress as I will use it in the home QTH, too.  You may know about the Amateur Radio Chapter of the FMCA.  Check out www.fmcaarc.com if you do not. 

Oscar N5LN

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Thanks for the kudos and the FMCA link.  If you have any questions, feel free to email me directly N6DMR at dmreese dot com

I hand crafted all of the panels using a hand drill and manual saws.  The one "tool' I miss the most full timing is a drill press.  If you are not mounting in a slide out side panel you can just us bulkhead SO239 / BNC connections through the MH wall. I am hard pressed to QSO when the dinette slide out is "in" but our travel style is such most of the time the slide is out. 

One criteria I have tried to stay true to is to run everything on battery power.  So far I have been able to keep everything at DC voltage. this includes my 1Gb LAN network as well as all the wireless / LAN routers. I just upgraded my wireless internet booster radio to a WiFiRanger Elite.  Yesterday I logged onto an open wireless network over 2 miles from my coach with good speeds. 

Another project I am trying to implement is no wall wart transformers around the coach and to suppress as much electrical noise as I can. This is a challenge when having to run the big 12Vdc to 110Vac inverter, but I have been knocking down the noise bit by bit. Ferrites, ferities and more ferrites..........


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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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It was I who asked for pictures of your setup.
Thanks for sharing.

We used to have an outback 5th wheel and sold it when we moved overseas, so I am always interested in rv setups. We miss rving and will definitely look into a nice radio install when we get back into it. This provides inspiration. Good job.
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Steve W6SDM

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Very nice.  I can see why you wouldn't want a lot of clutter in a motor home, and you've certainly accomplished that.  Hope to hear you on the air.
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Robert -- N5IKD, Elmer

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The latest Ham Radio Now episode is on this topic. http://youtu.be/T0VXZLwYtko
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Burt Fisher

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I usually find Gary to be terminally talkative and an inability to edit for content, taking 10 minutes of content and making a 60 minute video from it. But this time I actually watched the whole thing.
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Ken - NM9P

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Awesome!  Now you need a way to operate it safely while in motion!  Preferably when someone else is driving!  Perhaps you can use K6TU's ipad controller as a mobile controller when in motion?
I need to figure out a way to do this in my little Class 'B' Roadtrek.

BTW, I second the suggestion NOT to vent the fan outside, as it would tend to draw air in to the cab from other vents and leaks, adding to the humidity in the coach.  In my book, the rig wouldn't generate enough heat that it would be a significant load on the house A/C.   And it is one hole that doesn't need to be made in the RV.

Ken - NM9P
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Thanks to everyone for the great comments.

Ken, the wife has forbidden mobile commuications while under power. Probably a good idea, a lot of stuff happens while driving such that I find it better to keep my focus on defensive driving. Some folks do things that make impossible to counter unless I stay way ahead of the traffic situation. I realized I did not post a picture of the overall MH so I will do that this evening.