FT-60 Speaker/Mic Extension Cord--Success

Discussion in 'Microphones, Speakers & Audio Processing' started by N7BKV, Nov 12, 2019.

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  1. N7BKV

    N7BKV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I use my FT-60 as a mobile rig sometimes. I clip it to a sturdy plastic drinking cup set in the cup holder. Part of the cup is cut away for ergonomics. Works trick. Simple. Cost effective. But the location is just out of reach with the standard FT-60 speaker/mic curly cord. So I needed an extension. Four contact 3.5mm m/f extensions are not everywhere. Had to do some looking.

    Some success. Some fails. FYI. Heard of these same trouble from others.

    First I ordered an 18" Cable Creation brand. Worked fine. So I ordered two more for some friends with same radio. Those two were fails. Intermittent unwanted TX. Would not stay in position properly. So Cable Creation was 2 of 3 fails.

    Then I ordered two additional different ones. Had to go a bit longer. First was made by Dukablel. Wow. This thing looks well made! Plugs in and works pretty good. No issues so far. A bit stiff though on account of the rugged woven outside.

    With that I ordered a Startech.com brand just for comparison. 3 foot length. Right suppleness. Not too stuff. Plugs in great. Seems to be the least fussy of all of them. It gets my vote.

    These are all in the $7 range.

    (Additional tip is to run the mic and power cable under the belt clip up near the hinge to assist in strain relief etc)

    Mobile operating is easy and comfortable with the mic and extension, the power adapter that plugs into car power, and the Comet CA2X4 SR antenna mounted on the Jeep's roof gutter. (Old School. Old Jeep). Lots of antenna gain. 5 watts works like 15!

    Simple, effective, good quality mobile rig that fits.
  2. KO5V

    KO5V XML Subscriber QRZ Page

  3. N7BKV

    N7BKV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Both the Dukabel as you noted, and the one from Startech.com work fine. The Dukabel is a bit stiffer and more burley. Startech is flexy and easier to use IMO.
    I am glad I was able to help someone out. I know this has been an issue with FT-60 users.

  4. KO5V

    KO5V XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks Brian! That will make using the FT60 as a "base station" with the external antenna, a LOT easier.

    73, Jim KO5V
  5. N7BKV

    N7BKV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi Jim--

    FT-60 makes a great mini-base station. I carried the idea a step further by powering if from a 12V 14AH battery that gets continuously charged from a 5 watt 12 " by 12" solar panel. Never have to plug it in to house power. System provides operating power as well as FT-60 battery pack recharging.

    Also I found good results connecting the radio to a Comet GP3 antenna outside up on a 30' mast. Really extended the capability.

    Brian N
  6. WA2NWN

    WA2NWN XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Post some pics of the Jeep setup! I want to see this! I love my FT60!!!! I just got a lithium ion battery pack and charger- thing lasts weeks on low power. I saved the old battery NICD packs- I may hallow them out and solder some wire to the internal contacts and hook up to a battery like you. I'd have to step the voltage down to about 8 volts.
  7. N7BKV

    N7BKV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for your interest. I will post some pics when the weather clears up. Too wet out right now to fuss about with the Jeep.
    But for the power to the FT-60 I use the Yaesu SDD-13 vehicle cigarette lighter cord/plug that lets you operate your HT from the vehicle's power/battery.
    This does the power reduction and has noise filtration as well.

    It's only about $24 at Universal Radio. https://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/ht/61620060.html. Plugs right into the side of the radio for operating. This bypasses the radio's onboard battery. It is different than the Yaesu power supply for charging through the back of the desk top cradle.

    Did you home brew your lithium ion battery packs, or are these now available commercially for the FT-60? It is a great upgrade, as the FT-60 has been around for 10 years of so. It's a great radio that avoids the digital mode/internet connection war going on between the manufactures. I'm kind of old skool, so "lets just do radio" and skip the internet stuff.
  8. N7BKV

    N7BKV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Here's the installation. I made a small clip board from some thin plywood. Velco attaches it to the hand brake well.


    Look carefully at the bottom clip board stop. Mounts like this:


    All within hand reach, but out of the way:


    Gutter mount antenna bracket. These are not so easy to find anymore:


    Comet CA 2X4 SR antenna. Great gain!


    Feed line just runs over the tailgate gasket which is cushy enough to not bind the line.

    Hope this helps you.

  9. WA2NWN

    WA2NWN XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Looks awesome! I agree I stick with my FT7900R and my FT60...I just prefer the ease of use with out all the digital garbage. So easy to program and use on the fly.

    As for the battery packs, I bought a vertex commercial battery and charger. I have the part numbers written down if interested. Probably costs about 75$ total.
  10. N7BKV

    N7BKV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Great comment on the FT7900 etc. As you can see from my QRZ page I installed one as a base station in my shack. It's totally powered by 14 AH AGM deep cycle battery that is continuously charged by a 12" x 12" solar panel. Keeps enough current in the battery that I never have to plug it into utility power. Totally perpetual off-grid comm!

    And I think those FT-7900's are hard to find new. Not in most catalogs anymore. Yaesu and the distributors are really pushing the con-Fusion digi stuff. Head to head with D-isa-Star! I like what I read about C4FM, but they have not seemed to have won the digi war yet. It should all go P25 IMO, but the entry point is pricey for typical ham interest. Few digi FM 'peaters around here.

    And please send the battery and charger info for the FT-60. I would like to go for that. Makes sense if it all works well.


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