FTM-400xdr Mount in Enclosed Space

Discussion in 'Mobile Radio Systems' started by KN6JTN, Jul 25, 2020.

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  1. KN6JTN

    KN6JTN Ham Member QRZ Page

    How is the heat output on the FTM-400xdr? Can I mount it in a little enclosed area behind my center console? There are a few little air vents cut in it but by no means is there a lot of airflow. It's in a Toyota Tacoma, the little trim panel at the back pops off to expose the built-in power inverter and the space above would fit the radio perfectly. Or does the heat output really require mounting where there's more airflow like under the seat or under the dash?
     
  2. WB2LBV

    WB2LBV Ham Member QRZ Page

    When installing any of the compact mobile radios there has to be enough space for proper ventilation and air circulation around the unit. This is common sense and your owners manual also states this specifically in the section on mobile installation. The radio WILL get hot when transmitting, especially at higher power and for extended periods.
    I would place the main unit under one of the front seats as long as there is sufficient clearance around it, this has been my preferred location for the last couple of mobile installs I have done. Also rather than just place the radio on the floor under the seat you can attach it to the mobile mounting bracket to allow for some air clearance underneath. Some velcro strips on the bracket will hold it in place on the carpet so it doesn't move around. The trunk is also an option but the cable runs for power and control will be longer and more time-consuming. I would not place it under the dash, there isn't as much space available there in most vehicles and that location would also place it closer to the vehicle electronics and wiring.
     
  3. KE5MC

    KE5MC Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Following in WB2LBV footsteps I mount the bracket to a sheet of aluminum an inch or two bigger than the radio. This increased the stability and limited movement under the driver's seat. Everything was securely fixed in place, but not hard mounted. It took about 10 minutes to remove all of the radio except the cord to the power source and the antenna. With the mic attaching to the main unit a mic extension was typically an additional requirement. At the time I was doing special events and moving my radio to different vehicles. I've read reports of FTM-400 having PA failures, but no clear indication of limited air circulation in those cases. Better safe than sorry...
    Good Luck with the install.
    Mike
     
  4. KN6JTN

    KN6JTN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thank you very much! Looks like it is going under the front seat. I wanted everything as hidden as possible, but it looks like the heat output wins in this case. Very much appreciate the input.
    Aaron
     
  5. WB2LBV

    WB2LBV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Depending on where the radio actually goes under the seat and where you run the wires, it may not be that visible from outside. Mine are pretty well hidden although not totally invisible, but you have to take a really good look to see them and what you do see doesn't make it obvious that it's a radio. Of course there are the control panels which are visible but if need be those are easily removable.
    An added benefit of mounting the radio under the seat is you can use a seat bolt as a grounding point which keeps the negative power lead very short.
     
  6. KN6JTN

    KN6JTN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thank you!
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2020

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