You can never have enough 12V ports, well, at least in our EcoSport. I have installed three additional 12V ports or sockets on the underside of the glove box, in the front passenger-side foot well. As with every other 12V ports in our EcoSport, this one is also wired such that it has a fuse protection, and turns off once the ignition switch is off—a useful feature to prevent battery discharge.
After 2 years of waiting, the license plates (or more accurately, the registration plates) of our EcoSport have finally arrived (you can check availability of plates in the LTO website).
In this video, I have discussed how I installed the front and rear license plates using a theft-deterrent type of screw called security screws. Security screws are no longer supplied with the plates, thus, must be purchased separately (you can buy 4 stainless-steel security screws complete with nut and washer for 100 pesos or 2 US dollars). Installing the plates with security screws requires some effort since you need to drill through the plastic material then place and tighten a nut on the other side.
I am currently testing a Transcend DP110 Dash Camera, purchased locally for about 4900 pesos. Among all models produced by Transcend, DP110 is the cheapest one with a screen (display). I prefer stand-alone dashcams with dedicated displays over ones with no screens at all, or even those that connect with smartphones and use the phone’s screen for displaying video feed.
DP110 is good enough for the task of recording and has the following basic functions of a dash camera:
Time-stamped video is clear, both daytime and night time recording (it has enhanced low-light recording, but no infrared night-vision mode found in hi-end models).
It has an “emergency save button”. You’ll find this very useful in case of an emergency.
Saves automatically when bumped (sensitivity can be adjusted).
Loops 3 or 5-minute videos (with audio). The oldest video gets overwritten with the newest video (except if the video is tagged as important—if it is saved manually by the user by pressing the emergency save button, or saved automatically when the camera detects vibrations).
Has a built-in battery, allowing the dash camera to save the current video if power suddenly gets disconnected (some prefer capacitors over batteries though).
Has a dedicated display (for me, this is a must)!
The camera comes with a power adapter, a mount, and a user’s manual. Installation takes only about 5 minutes! I would recommend Transcend DP110 to anyone looking for a low-cost yet fully-functional dash camera.
I have recently finished building (DIY) and installing a motorized antenna mount for two-way radio, using a geared stepper motor with a stepper motor driver (I have made a detailed post about stepper controllers in my other blog). This motorized mount allows me to raise and lower my antenna with the touch of a button. The mount’s motor is waterproof and has enough torque to carry heavier loads such as 5/8 wave antennas. It can also be modified to become an antenna rotator, or add another motor to build a two-axis satellite tracker, perhaps for a future project.
Six months after passing the amateur radio technician class exam (Class C), I have now finished setting up the two way radio in my EcoSport. I have made a number of improvements from my first version such as an increased range (with better SWR) and seamless integration with the vehicle.
I have been using this setup for more than 4 months now, and made consistent and reliable contacts with stations within a 30-km radius. The farthest contact made with this setup in this configuration is 135 km (simplex).
Since I do not often use the AM/FM radio, I’ve decided to modify the stock antenna and replace it with an antenna that is tuned to amateur radio frequencies. This antenna shall allow me to use a hand-held transceiver (HT) for scanning and occasionally, for transmitting signals in the amateur band.
Recent tests showed that this antenna is capable of extending the range of my Motorola CP-1660 to about 30 km range, even with obstacles (I was in our garage in Bacoor Cavite, yet I can still use my HT to contact stations in QC, 30 km away, with just 5W!) .
AM/FM reception was not totally lost, as the stock antenna was relocated to the front left pillar of the vehicle.
In the video, I have drilled through the stock antenna mount, and hand-tapped a thread to make it compatible with several of my antennas. Proper coaxial cables and connectors were also made to bring the signal to the HT, located at the left side of the driver.
New gadgets and accessories may be safely added to an EcoSport by utilizing the fuse box. Knowing which fuse slots remain powered when the engine is running, and which fuse slots shut off as the ignition key is switched off, may be useful to DIY enthusiasts who want to add new gadgets that turns on and off with the engine.
To watch the video demonstrating how the fuse box of an EcoSport behaves as the ignition switch (key) is turned on and off, head directly to Ecosport’s Fuse Box.
To view all EcoSport tutorial videos, click here.
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