Nov 10, 2018

Golf Sportwagen Mobile Setup

It has been a couple years since the Volkswagen v. EPA fiasco, and now Volkswagen diesel TDI buy-back cars are finally hitting the market. I have been eagerly anticipating getting another TDI since selling my 2003 Jetta Wagen TDI to my son. With this recent opportunity, I was able to pick up a 2015 Golf Sportwagen SEL TDI with all the goodies and the DSG transmission, almost exactly what I was looking for. I would rather have a manual like the '03 TDI, but I do like the DSG, and it sure is nice to enjoy the +40 mpg again, especially after driving the Jeep at an average 17.5 mpg!

Moving my mobile rig into the Volkswagen presents a number of issues. Unlike the Jeep which has a multitude of places to mount equipment, the Golf Sportwagen is much more refined and makes efficient use of all available space for VW gadgets and options. Finding even a little real-estate for the FTM-400XDR without blocking the use of VW gadgets, or sitting out of reach up on the dash, is quite a task. After doing a significant amount of Googling, I finally found a great solution.

ProClip makes a perfect solution for mounting the radio head in a great place, with only minor other control conflicts. The ProClip angled dash mount (PN 855238) is specifically designed to clip onto the passenger side of the console next to the HVAC controls in the MkVII Golf, with no holes or damage. I added ProClip's tilt-swivel mount with AMPS face plate (PN 215453) so the radio head can be adjusted for best use. The radio head is attached to the mount with some Scotch permanent clear mounting tape (UPC 51131 76272), a thick, conforming, double sided sticky tape that, in spite of it's name, is not permanent in this application. It's like sticky-booger kind of stuff that cleanly rolls off if need be.

Fortunately, the Golf Sportwagen has a great place to mount up to a few radio bodies. On the driver's side of the rear cargo area, there is a trap door in the sidewall, located behind the rear wheel well. Remove this trap door and you have a solid, removable mounting platform for radio bodies and accessories. It makes for an out of the way mounting location that is easily accessed for servicing the gear in your mobile "utility room". The bodies remain in the climate controlled area of the car, and are hidden when the rolling cargo cover is pulled to the rear.

Currently I have power supplied by the fused, ignition controlled, power outlet on the passenger side of the rear cargo area. In the near future, I plan on installing a RIGrunner 4005H on the top of the panel above the radio body as an expandable, fused power supply for the FTM-400 and any other rigs I may install. Maybe my MARS modified FT-7900, or a drop-in charger for the FT-70D, or FT-60, or MD-390 portable radios. Even power for the FT-991A or other HF rig on a field day. All of the wiring is temporary until I run everything hidden and protected in the car's wiring harness raceway. The main power supply will be running straight off the battery and back to the RIGrunner 4005H.

Coming up with a suitable antenna location is yet another dilemma. For the time being, I have my Comet SS680SBNMO antenna on a Tram 3.5" magnet mount located at the back of the roof, right behind the Golf's shark fin antenna. Who knows what the future holds...

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