I purchased a Motorola CDM1250 a while ago and finally got around to installing it in my 2103 F-150. Here’s the final result:
This radio is a GMRS radio – it’s is kinda like CB, but operating on higher frequencies and with more output power. In addition to the greater allowed power, another advantage of GMRS over CB is the ability to access repeaters. For those who aren’t familiar, a repeater extends the range of mobile radios with a radio and large antenna (usually on a mountain top, a tower, or building roof) that re-transmits your audio over a large area. 50-100 mile range between radios is common when using a repeater.
I mainly use GMRS when traveling highways or when camping and off-roading. I’m also part of a GMRS club that maintains repeaters for use by club members. There are also many owner-operated repeaters across the country which are open for use by the general public, check out mygmrs.com. This radio is also compatible with the cheap “bubble pack” walkie-talkies you can get at Wally World for close range trail comms. An FCC license is required to operate at the higher power and access repeaters in the GMRS band, however no test is required and the license is valid for 10 years. Get your GMRS license here!
I chose to install the radio in the center console, so I made a mount from some 3/4″ MDF and some 1″ pine:
I laid on a few coats of Krylon textured flat black paint after a quick test fit. The whole unit drops in and out of the center console easily and fits snugly inside. To power the radio (and future radios) I installed a 50A sub panel inside the center console. I ran 10ga wire from the battery, through the firewall, and up the transmission hump to get power to the panel:
For now I’m running a mag mount with a 5/8 wave antenna. My truck has a sunroof which complicates antenna placement a little bit. My work also has underground parking, and the truck has about 1″ of clearance with the stock ride height. Any roof mounted antenna will be damaged if it is not removed before entering the garage. Not sure what I want to do about that yet… I’m also planning on installing a scanner in the console as well, using a front fender mounted antenna placed near the stock AM/FM antenna which I have removed.