FTM-400XDR install - RAM 1500

Discussion in 'Mobile Radio Systems' started by VA3KXS, Apr 4, 2019.

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  1. VA3KXS

    VA3KXS Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Since I was pulling everything apart, I decide to move the loud speaker as well. The Bayou Goat mount I purchased was clearly not built for the weight of the Yaesu MLS-200-M10. If I had ordered the "triple mount", I may have been OK as it appears to lay flat on top of the console, while the "single mount" I ordered is entirely supported by one leg on a flexible cross member. It bounced around quite a bit and was fairly distracting.

    There is quite a bit of room behind the center console under the screen. In addition, there is a little storage near the bottom with a "ceiling" that slopes back into the console. The "ceiling" is not visible from the front seats, so I decided to drill it full of holes and mount the speaker to drive down towards it. In the picture below, the storage area is holding my sunglasses. There is quite a bit more depth to it. In the second picture you can see it from the back, full of holes.



    There was a handy cross-member below the radio screen that I used to mount the speaker. The bottom half is just plastic, but the top two holes I had to drill through a metal support (which is great - the speaker is heavy and I was worried about the plastic holding it).



    I was a little nervous putting it all back together, but everything went together perfectly. I do need to drive it at a higher volume level, but it's not as bad as when it was installed under the seat.

    Overall, I think I am happy with the current state of affairs. The antenna looks great and works great too. It seemed like reception is better than with the 1/4 wave mag mount I was using previously.

  2. K6CPO

    K6CPO Ham Member QRZ Page

    My only comment is that I think the control head is mounted too low. It means you have to take your eyes off the road to look at it. That momentary glance away from the road could be fatal. I tried a seat-bolt mount in my 1998 Dakota and I didn't like it for that very reason. The head of my FTM-400 is now mounted just below the top of the dash where it's closer to my line of sight.
  3. VA3KXS

    VA3KXS Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks for your comment. When I'm driving, I really don't want to be looking at the radio regardless of where it is mounted. Keeping it out of my peripheral vision helps with that. It's also right at my hand, so operations like adjusting the volume, start/stop scan (button moved to lower right corner) and skipping a memory location when scanning can be done without having to reach up to the dash or look at the radio.

    Relative to the other screens in the truck, this thing is very bright at night (even at the dimmest setting). Having it out of my field of view is a good thing in that case as well.

    I get your point though, if one intends to use the screen while underway.

    K6CPO likes this.
  4. KC9ONY

    KC9ONY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Looks nice and clean! Guess you did luck out with the NMO hole. :)

    Are you still looking around for a different mic holder solution?
    Can you latch/unlatch it without looking down as well?
    VA3KXS likes this.
  5. VA3KXS

    VA3KXS Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Definitely lucky with the NMO hole!

    I'm happy with the mic holder for now. It takes some practice, but I am able to unlatch it without looking or any issues. Latching it again takes some hand contortions to not accidentally key the mic while I'm doing it. There's a trick to it I haven't totally committed to muscle memory yet.
  6. KE5MC

    KE5MC Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    My latch location was more a storage position when I was not in the vehicle. When in the vehicle I typically left it in an unused cup holder or laying on the passenger seat. Yes, it would have been FOD in an accident, but that would have been the least of my problems. Get to know the mics buttons and reprogram as needed for best tactual operation. There is a lot of functionality in the mic without eyes leaving the view ahead.

    Nice install!

  7. K0BG

    K0BG Ham Member QRZ Page

    If nothing else, you're to be congratulated for taking time to do the job correctly! All too often, amateur radio installations are hurried, clap-trap accidents ready to happen, and justified with lame excuses.
  8. W5GX

    W5GX Ham Member QRZ Page

    That is a fantastic install of the speaker. I'm wanting to use the center speaker mount on my dash board but will need a separate amp to drive a bigger speaker. You just barely missed that cross member for the NMO mount. Lucky!

    Looks good.

    That control panel is yuge, though. :p
  9. VA3KXS

    VA3KXS Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks. I've been using the mic buttons as well and reprogramming some of them to perform different functions. It is definitely easier to use hands free, although I don't think I can make it do volume adjustments.
  10. VA3KXS

    VA3KXS Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks. I do have a bit of an OCD streak, which means I spend what feels like way too much time trying to come up with the perfect solution and usually spending way too much money! Worth it in this case though, I'm happy with the setup.


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