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big_d
07-29-2009, 12:36 AM
I thought I'd share some of the frustrating prep work we do on our Sprinters before we put them into service.

First, we take out the front headliner. Anyone done this? You pretty much have to disassemble the front of the vehicle, starting with the driver and passenger side stepwells. After peeling the a and b posts, you can drop the headliner.

Once we've got that out, we install some antennae: one for gps big white antenna with gps antenna, cellular antenna, and wi-fi antenna [unused] in it, another for gsm cellular for mobile broadband, which we use to provide wi-fi in our vans, and a third antenna mount for the next thing that I need an antenna for which I have not yet anticipated. The broadband on our older vans makes use of an antenna mount which I installed in all of those, not knowing what I'd need it for.

Then, we install mobile broadband in the goofy console thingy in the headliner, or in the passenger seat pedestal of vehicles with no console thingy. And we put GPS in the passenger seat pedestal. The seat pedestal has a separate fuse block in it, and a time-delay relay that keeps all the gadgets powered up for 10 minutes after ignition is turned off - mostly to bridge the gap at stops, so we can have wi-fi active without running the engine and wasting fuel.

Anyhow, here are some pictures.

Dennis

big_d
07-29-2009, 12:41 AM
Here are the pictures that belonged with the last post.

Turns out I don't have an exterior shot showing the prickly roof.

Also, I got to experience the joy of installing power/heated mirrors in this Sprinter. If you want to waste a week of your life, try to track down all the correct parts for that. Uggh. Who knew that 09 Sprinters don't come with power mirrors? I'll never make that mistake again.

big_d
07-29-2009, 12:43 AM
Please accept my apologies for the multiple posts. I think I've got pictures figured out this time...

Douglas Hicks
08-02-2009, 04:06 AM
Big D, to what use to you put those Sprinters?

Tell us more about the GPS you use. Brand, cost, can the info be downloaded to a desktop computer or a laptop computer?

What do you like and not like about the GPS you use.

I think I have a couple of techs who have been writting down false information on their timecards.

maxextz
08-02-2009, 01:16 PM
hey big_d looks like youve got yourself an antenna farm there:hmmm: is that your job?

that blue looks nice.thanks for pics:thumbup:

max...........:popcorn:

big_d
08-03-2009, 06:20 PM
Howdy,

Our Sprinters are in regular-route, scheduled service in Illinois, between University of Illinois and Chicago airports and suburbs.

The GPS units are Airlink Pinpoints. Sierra wireless bought Airlink and the device is now discontinued, although they have similar models with more digital and analog inputs (and a higher price than these). The Airlinks have 24 x 7 IP connectivity. They send their position, velocity, and input status every 30 seconds (configurable) and we store the data in an SQL database. The data is accessible from an internal web page. We use the data to refute customer claims, mostly, ie the van wasn't there and I was and I want a refund of my non-refundable reservation, and to supervise drivers.

Antenna farm: yup, antennas everywhere. It takes about 30 swear words and 1-2 gallons of sweat to install each antenna.

Thanks for the questions.

Dennis

bikergar
08-03-2009, 06:37 PM
Dennis

Do you have a dealer in the Chicago area you would recommend for warranty work?

gary

big_d
08-04-2009, 04:33 AM
We were very happy with Napleton Dodge 708 636 5800 until they were closed in the wave of Chrysler dealer closures. We're now adrift. :-(

South Oak Dodge in Matteson seems ok.