CB Radio Antenna Installation

CB Radio Antenna Installation

So now that I’m slowly catching up with side projects, I was able to get around to completing the install of a different CB radio antenna setup. I used to run a short 12″ magnetic mount above the rear hatch that was pretty much useless. I use my 2m HAM radio much more, but wanted to still have a good CB radio setup for when I run trails with other people who don’t have 2m radio equipment. The radio is just a plain-jane Cobra 19 compact. I didn’t need anything fancy for my uses, and it fits very well mounted to my MPAC Saddle Rack I use for mounting all my radio equipment. It stays out of the way, while also being convenient to adjust and use. The radio is small enough to leave just enough room behind it for mounting my Benchmade Rescue Hook, which is perfect for cutting seatbelts or clothing in an emergency. When it came to mounting an improved CB antenna, the problem I had was figuring where to mount it. I was already using a Boztec mount on the rear door for my 2m antenna, and I didn’t want to mount it on the front bumper or drill into anything since this antenna will only be semi-permanent until I get a roof rack and move my mounting locations around. I ended up taking to the guys at DB Customz about modifying their pillar light mount, and he was happy to sell me a single bracket that he drilled out to fit a CB antenna stud. Since the mount is very low-profile, I decided to use...
Under-Hood LED Lighting

Under-Hood LED Lighting

Since many of the trips I take are on longer remote routes, I’m often stopping every few hundred miles (generally whenever I stop for fuel) and spending a few minutes doing a brief look-over of my vehicle. It helps with catching some of those little problems like leaks and fluid levels before they become much bigger issues. Many of these quick checks are done in the engine bay, where lighting is generally horrible, even if under the lights of a  fuel station or such. Sure, I have headlamps and flashlights, but there is a certain convenience with under-hood lighting, even if it’s just supplementing lighting from a headlight or flashlight it’s still helpful in my opinion. On my old rig, I had retrofitted some cheap led’s I had drilled holes for, however they only worked marginally well and eventually failed. I’ve caught myself wanting something similar in my FJ, particularly after I’ve relocated my winch solenoid under the hood and often have trouble trying to connect it in the dark if I don’t have a light source handy. I spent some time searching the forums and web for a better solution than my last rig, and stumbled across some LED strip lighting on the TacomaWorld forums. After reading some reviews and looking into the product, I decided to give it a shot. A quick email to Brad of Anti-Dark Lights had me in line to receive a kit the following week, and although they’re mostly sold towards the Toyota Tacoma’s, they’re a pretty universal product. At the time of install, I was supposedly only the 2nd FJ running this kit,...
Auxilillary 12V and USB Outlets – Part 1

Auxilillary 12V and USB Outlets – Part 1

During the trip out to Overland Expo and back, I made sure I kept a notebook with a running log of things that worked, things that didn’t, and things I wish I had. This is something I have done for years on nearly all of my trips, and it had became the starting place for many of my modifications and changes to my vehicles. The trip to and from the Expo was no different, with my notebook filling  more than usual with my new-to-me FJ Cruiser. One that stood out the most was the inability to charge most the gear that I brought while I was off the grid during those days. While all my electronics were capable of charging from USB or 12V, I didn’t have the adapters nor the outlets to do so. I run a Go-Pro Hero HD as a dash cam for capturing my travels, and during long days the batteries can drain quickly. I made do this trip with running an extension cord from the back 120V outlet, but that just made for a cluttered front seat and console with chargers and cables everywhere. I wanted some USB and 12V outlets I can use with some short 6 inch USB cords for charging things nice and neat. Naturally, I looked at the products by Blue Sea Systems, which provide some of the nicest 12 volt components out there, and settled on one USB and one 12V panel mount outlet from them. I linked each outlet to the applicable Amazon.com product page The outlets I used are fairly inexpensive at around $20 for the USB model and $8 for...
Overland Expo 2014

Overland Expo 2014

I’ve finally gotten around to going through all the photos from my trip to the 2014 Overland Expo and back. This was the first major trip in my FJ; it’s maiden voyage of sorts. This was my first trip to the Overland Expo, and although I have followed it vicariously through others’ eyes, I was blown away by it’s magnitude over the course of those few days. I met many people, heard many stories, and saw some of the world’s famous expedition vehicles in person. I’ll be going through notes I took during the Expo and it’s classes for months to come as I build up my vehicle. I’ll post some photos of my truck from some of the trails I ran on the way back from the Expo shortly. These are only a handful of pictures, and I wasn’t even able to get around to seeing all the vehicles that I wished, there were thousands of attendees. Enjoy the photos, and those of you that are as adventure-minded as me should make it out there for this event at least once in your lifetime.  ...