This my 2007 Toyota Tacoma Double Cab. I’ve now owned four different Toyota trucks as well as numerous other vehicle brands including Ford, Nissan, Mitsubishi and Mazda. I still keep coming back to the Toyota trucks. This truck is my “Emergency Communications” project truck. Which basically means I like to tinker with it and add all kinds of silly gadgets and radios. You might notice that along with the stock VHF radio antenna on the right front quarter panel, I’ve added two 2 Meter radio antennas (left and right) and a single dual-band (2M 70cm) antenna (center) to the roof. I’ve also added two additional “hard mounts” for HF antennas to the right side of the hood seam. Currently one is attached to a CB radio, the other is dedicated to a portable HF radio which I can mount or dismount as needed.
The two 2M antennas on top are attached to a ICom F5021, and a Radio Shack 164Pro scanner. The Icom is programmed with both the local Public Service frequencies (with the approval and permission of the County Sheriffs Department) and the local HAM radio repeaters. The dual band antenna in the center is attached to a Yaesu FT-8900R. My portable HF rig is a box mounted Icom 708MkIIg. I never really use the Cobra CB radio, but the built-in PA system has been put to use once or twice and it’s nice to have the CB “just in case”.
The radios are all powered by a second “back-up” battery system. This backup battery is one of the Optima sealed deep cycle batteries. To keep it charged, I used a Hellroaring BIC-95150B battery isolater. This keeps the battery charged while completely isolating it from the rest of the trucks electrical system. The isolator also comes with the option to add a switch to “join” the two batteries in case one goes dead. This give me the capability to “self jump start” the truck if I happen to run the main battery low. A very nice feature to have.
I added a switch to my custom center console (see here) to switch the radios on and off together, and additional “map reading” lighting and speakers to the head liner console. More to come on that.