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Zero Motorcycle radio install

This forum is dedicated to helping people with questions about installing radio equipment in vehicles. This can include antenna installs, electrical wiring questions/problems, and mounting systems. Pictures of installs are welcome.

Note: Discussions regarding lighting, sirens, and other equipment now has its own forum in the 'off-topic' section below.

Moderator: Queue Moderator

mmckenna
Posts: 217
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2002 7:01 pm
What radios do you own?: AM/FM with 8 track.

Zero Motorcycle radio install

Postby mmckenna » Fri May 23, 2014 4:39 pm

I've searched the interwebs but no luck…

Our PD has ordered a Zero (electric) motorcycle. Before the jokes start, yes, they have a 10 mile long extension cord, so we should be OK.

But seriously, has anyone installed a radio on one of these before? I see that they offer a radio box on the rear and there are some sort of provisions for a 12 volt supply, but I haven't had much luck finding any other info. Having the officer use a portable is my first suggestion, but the chief is asking about putting a mobile on it. I'm fairly local to them, so I'm going to give them a call and see if they can provide some more detailed info about the electrical system and mounting box. Looking for any info from someone who's done an install on one of these.

Would be a VHF high band, power cranked down to 10 watts, or less if the 12v supply is limited.
"The nice thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from."

KE7JFF
Posts: 270
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2008 7:27 pm
What radios do you own?: MX300 lunchbox

Re: Zero Motorcycle radio install

Postby KE7JFF » Fri May 23, 2014 7:24 pm

One of my friends I know spoke to them about off-road capabilities; in the process of that they were told the radio box is designed for normal motorcycle radio configurations; so I'm guessing 15W on VHF/UHF and 10W on 700/800.
Mountain Wave Search & Rescue http://www.mwave.org
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mmckenna
Posts: 217
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2002 7:01 pm
What radios do you own?: AM/FM with 8 track.

Re: Zero Motorcycle radio install

Postby mmckenna » Fri May 23, 2014 9:13 pm

Thanks. I wouldn't run more than 10 watts on one of these anyway due to the proximity to the rider. 1/4 wave antenna to keep it simple. If I can get some specs from Zero, I'll post them here.
"The nice thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from."

AEC
No Longer Registered
Posts: 1889
Joined: Wed Dec 22, 2004 7:56 pm

Re: Zero Motorcycle radio install

Postby AEC » Mon May 26, 2014 1:08 pm

I don't understand some people's ideas on things.
Why waste tax money on toys?
I know, I answered my own question by silence.

For the radio option, install a battery eliminator and a mount for whatever portables they use.
cabling for the antenna and a proper mount. A 1/4 wave should be perfect, as I doubt this bike will survive long journeys on a single charge.

Mount a plate on the rear fender area, and a 'box' welded to the plate, so the antenna can be attached to the plate without road water and debris causing early failure.
Seal the box to prevent water ingress and grommet the cable opening to avoid chafing and cuts.
Wire loom the cable to the portable and secure the connector with a 'rain cap'.
Cheap, cost effective, and does NOT place inordinately high drain on finite battery resources!

mmckenna
Posts: 217
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2002 7:01 pm
What radios do you own?: AM/FM with 8 track.

Re: Zero Motorcycle radio install

Postby mmckenna » Mon May 26, 2014 2:36 pm

AEC,

I'm not looking to rehash the decision here. It wasn't made by me, and neither my input or yours was solicited. As for it being a "toy", I beg to differ. This is being used on a University campus with miles of footpaths and forested land. Full sized BMW's were used for a few years, but they were not a cost effective solution.

As I stated in my original post, the factory installs a radio box on the back of these, so I don't need to redesign that solution. I'm looking for input from those that have actually installed on one of these before. I'm not looking to get into a discussion about the decision. I've been asked by the Chief about installing a permanent radio, and that's what I'm looking for information on.
"The nice thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from."

tvsjr
Posts: 4113
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2003 9:46 am

Re: Zero Motorcycle radio install

Postby tvsjr » Mon May 26, 2014 5:49 pm

I've never done one, but I would definitely want the manufacturer involved. Many vehicles, even gas-powered, have fairly sophisticated battery charging/monitoring systems. Electric vehicles take that to a new level. The police brochure shows the bikes equipped with Whelen lighting, so obviously there is some support for low-voltage DC power... the question is, how much?

You could always try to add a second battery, charged via a separate system - but that's certainly not as elegant as using the high-energy-density LiIon packs that are already on board.

I actually think the electric motorcycles are great ideas for the Uni's application. Most unis are far better served with Zeros, T3s, Segways, etc. than they are trying to make do with small SUVs and other full-size vehicles. If they are replacing BMW bikes (which do NOT like low-speed riding), the Zeros will likely save them money in fairly short order.

mmckenna
Posts: 217
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2002 7:01 pm
What radios do you own?: AM/FM with 8 track.

Re: Zero Motorcycle radio install

Postby mmckenna » Mon May 26, 2014 8:11 pm

Zero's headquarters are a short drive from here. I've been talking with the County radio shop, since they have a few of these and they are looking at installing on them also. Should be interesting to see how this goes. I'll likely give them a call or see if I can drop by and take a look at one. I was really hoping to find an "upfitters" guide for these.
"The nice thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from."

KE7JFF
Posts: 270
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2008 7:27 pm
What radios do you own?: MX300 lunchbox

Re: Zero Motorcycle radio install

Postby KE7JFF » Wed Jul 02, 2014 7:39 pm

So on a recent trip to the bay area, I saw an officer with one agency down there with one of these puppies; I chatted up one officer and he loves it because it makes no noise; he said this came in handy when there was a recent attempted backpack snatching up a side street and he was able to sneak up on the suspect and well, saved the day. Its got plenty of power and no issues going up hills and everything too according to him

He had the unit charging up at Starbucks while he was getting a cup of coffee; he said he doesn't need to charge it up because the 150 mile range is well over what he covers in his patrols, but since he can charge, its not going to hurt anything. He let me look at it real quick before he zipped off on his patrol; he had a XTL mobile of some sort mounted in the radio box with the usual motorcycle setup; it looks like there was some sort of conversion device installed to give it 12V for the radio. I didn't see anything that would make think its limited in amperage in the radio box.
Mountain Wave Search & Rescue http://www.mwave.org
Support Search & Rescue: Get Lost!

mmckenna
Posts: 217
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2002 7:01 pm
What radios do you own?: AM/FM with 8 track.

Re: Zero Motorcycle radio install

Postby mmckenna » Thu Jul 03, 2014 6:34 am

Thanks. Still looking at our options, but they seem to be leaning towards just using the hand pack at this point. Likely they'll see how well the bike works out for us before investing more money in it.
Nice to know and XTL will fit in the box.
"The nice thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from."

SlimBob
Posts: 911
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2003 11:38 am
What radios do you own?: I sold my soul for a Saber.

Re: Zero Motorcycle radio install

Postby SlimBob » Sun Sep 07, 2014 10:57 am

Impressive given the noise high-power motor controllers can give off.
An armed society is a *polite* society.


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