As you saw in the disassembly section, the previous console we had was nice, but it was barely big enough to hold our electronics. So we were elated when Havis joined our team of sponsors and offered to supply Project Responder with a custom 30" Consolidator Console. Consolidator® Consoles simplify installation of communications equipment and control heads in vehicles. Their unique "slide tracks" and easy-to-use mounting systems leave a vehicle's equipment well organized, conveniently located, and fully adjustable. Consoles are constructed of heavy-duty anodized aluminum extrusions, and vinyl-coated aluminum panels. Mounting brackets are made of 11-gauge steel and finished in black powder coat.
Ours arrived as you see in the top photo. A 'blank canvas' ready to be customized. We received with the console, various mounting plates for our equipment as well as the brackets to secure the console to the center hump of the cab. Some of the accessories we received with the console include the bendable map light with two 12v accessory outlets, a mic bracket, two cup holders which mount to the outside rail, several 'blank' pieces which we could cut to fit and install our own options and a pre-wired switch panel with seven Carling brand switches..
To mount the console, we first had to wait for the carpeting and wiring to be installed. Once the carpeting was in place, the various cables and wires which will be switched from the console were run underneath the carpeting and our through either the rear of the cab or through the firewall. Because we are using TST's power distribution modules, we only need to run 22ga wires from the console to the "pdc's".
With the wires and cables run, we located the area where we wanted to install the front mounting bracket. Using the same gasket punch we used to make the holes in the carpet for the seats and seat belts, we punched two holes in the carpet and then drilled through the hump. Using some 3/8" stainless bolts, we secured the bracket to the hump. Next, we put the console in place to mark the location of the rear mounting bracket. With the console out of the way, we punched the holes in the carpet and drilled into the floor. Again we used stainless hardware to fasten the bracket to the floor of the cab. Now we put the console in place and secured it using the very unique built in fastening system.
Now came the fun part, installing the electronics and other accessories. The Vertex radio was the first to be installed closest to the driver. Next was the V-Con II siren which was previously removed. We had to mill down the brackets a bit to get a tight fit. Otherwise there would have been a noticeable gap between the radio and the siren. Now we installed the Havis switch panel. From here, we skipped to the end of the console and installed the map light and power receptacles. Below this we placed two 3" blanks in which we had two 2 1/16" holes cut for our VDO instruments as well as a rectangular hole for another Carling switch in each section. The final task was to install the remote control and display for the Xantrex Prosine 3.0 inverter / charger which we located in the cargo door at the end of the console.
Now we have all of our electronics, switches and other instrumentation neatly and professionally installed thanks to the Havis Shields Consolidator Console. It looks great and the best part was the elimination of the "birds nest" of wires which we had previously. The consolidator certainly made the job easier and the outcome is absolutely fantastic.