Kenwood TM-D710G Install - Advice?

SmoothLC

Explorer
Got a new Kenwood TM-D710G for Christmas and starting to plan to install it. It will replace the HT Baofeng (see Cheap Ham Install on Mud).

I've got a 99 Land Cruiser and hoping to keep the install clean and somewhat unobtrusive, so I can easily return it to the stock interior when I find a 200 series.

With that in mind, I had a few questions I am seeking advice on. Below is the rough plan for now. I hope to keep the center console clear for a tablet, probably a windshield mount.

- Head unit on the DS A-pillar using a Ram mount.
- Transceiver located in the DS rear panel (subwoofer already removed)
- Mic on center console using a Nite Ize mount
- Larsen 2/70 antenna on DS front hood lip
- PG-5F extension kit
- Speaker SP-50B location TBD

Questions include:

- What are the downsides or trade-offs to installing the head unit on the A-pillar (see the Tacoma World thread)?
- What's a good location for the speaker? A better speaker? (Spressomon's headliner speaker is slick, but may be more work than I want).

Admittedly, while the antenna location is not the ideal, using the Baofeng on the PS front hood lip has worked ok.

Any advice from some of you pros is appreciated.
 

prerunner1982

Adventurer
I can't respond to the vehicle specific questions, but will comment on 2 things.

Control head mounted on A-pillar: I steer with my left hand and shift, adjust the radio, hold the mic, etc with my right so I do not think that I would like having the control head on the left of the steering wheel and having to switch hands in order to make any adjustments. Your driving style may be different and having the control head on the left may work for you, I have seen more than a few set up this way but it's just something to think about.

Antenna mounting position. I am sure you know the roof is the best place and I understand that may not be a possible mounting location for a lot of people but I have witnessed the difference it can make.
My current Jeep has a 1/2 wave (on 2m, like the Larsen 2/70) mounted on the drivers fender. I was on a camping trip with a couple of friends, one of which was near me on the highway and another who was meeting us there. The other two have 5/8 wave 2m antennas on their roofs and were able to talk with each other about 30 miles apart. I on the other hand could not hear or talk to my other buddy. When I swapped from my 93 Jeep XJ with a 1/2 wave mounted on the roof to my current XJ with the same antenna on the fender mount I could also tell the that I was not able to tx/rx repeaters as far away as I could before. I am in the process of building up my 93 XJ so I will be going back to roof mounted antennas. If you can't do a roof mounted antenna the front fender would be my next choice, but until that trip I didn't really realize how much of a difference it could make.
 

Airmapper

High-Tech Redneck
I've installed my D710G in my Xterra but no hands on experience with a LC, not for any lack of desire, but still no help there.

I will say I run an external speaker under the passenger seat and it's worth it. I can run you out of the vehicle with it it's so loud, but I can also leave the front windows down and turn it up a bit, since the unit is directly wired to the battery I can leave the radio on and hear it from outside the vehicle a fair distance. I doubt the internal speaker could pull that off.

I have my control head over the center dash, on a little RAM mount I built into the top of the dash cubby, you may or may not have such a feature, and I was not shy about drilling a permanent solution into my dash for not only the head but also the mic holder. My other hardware fits so snugly under the seat, and is trapped under there, so I did not bother to permanently attach any of it.

I'll second the fender antenna location being next best if the roof is not an option (I have a full GOBI rack and RTT, not an option for me) it performs well, I suspect it's a bit directional though.
 

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DarioCarrera

Adventurer
IMHO and this is my particular taste and operating style:

- The Head unit I would have it near the center, while wheeling, traveling or any other case should the passenger need t operate the head unit, you are screwed. If you add it near the center console that is one less thing to worry about.
- Another reason is safety wise, a HU right by the window calls way too much attention to "goodies inside the car", also its a possible flying object in case of an accident.
- I would add an good external speaker by the passengers feet. It works very well. I own a Kenwood KES-3s and its great.
- Try in as much a possible to add the antenna to the bonnet or the roof. Mine is on the Bonnet and its excellent.
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
I have a Tacoma and put a Ram mount on the handle. It's where I run a GPS receiver (GPSMap 78). I would not want to put a control head there to be honest. It can block your view and is obtrusive. Also being in the sun it's not something you want to leave there all the time.

That said, I have mine on a mount near the broadcast radio in the middle and that's not great either.

430268

It takes your eyes off the road to use it. Personally I think near the instrument cluster is the best place or either left or right of it if not right in the middle.

In my previous truck I had the control head mounted at the ceiling above the rear view mirror. I liked this a lot. I run an FTM-350, which can accept the mic either in the head or in the body of the radio. In that case I had the mic run to the body and that was ideal.

430270
 
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lt1aggie

New member
I prefer my radio on the left side. It keeps the FM radio, AC controls, etc. area from being cluttered. General operation is pretty easy with my left hand even though I'm right handed. Here are some pics from my install. I have a female to female connector that I connect when I'm using the radio. I typically only keep the head unit and mic in the vehicle on trips, etc. and take it out for daily use. The wire between the seat and console for the mic can just push down easily out of sight when not in use. I have an external speaker, but I have not yet found a good place to mount it, so it normally just stays on the floor in the back.

IMAG1409a.jpg

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IMAG1412a.jpg

IMAG1414a.jpg

IMAG1415a.jpg

IMAG1416a.jpg

IMAG1417a.jpg
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
Kenwood's software is free so that's what I use with a TM-V71 I have. I like RT Systems and have some of their cables and software but in this case I'd have to see some advantage to actually buy software.
 

SmoothLC

Explorer
Thanks Dave - how do you like the Kenwood software?

Either way I have to purchase one or the other since the Kenwood cable (PG-5G or PG-5H) costs about $35 plus an adapter cable for the RS-232 end.
 
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DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
The Kenwood software is functional, somewhat better than Chirp (which also works with Kenwood radios). The issue with these radios is the memory is accessed real time using a CSV file so I can't imagine RT Systems being able to really improve on it. I would highly recommend their programming cable, though. Fairly priced relative to the market ($30 before shipping) and has an FTDI interface already built in so no serial to USB adapters needed.
 

Billoftt

Active member
Thanks Dave - how do you like the Kenwood software?

Either way I have to purchase one or the other since the Kenwood cable (PG-5G or PG-5H) costs about $35 plus an adapter cable for the RS-232 end.
The manual for that radio has the pin-out for the RS-232 in it. No need to spend $35 when you can make one for significantly less money and very little time. Someone at your local radio club probably has the parts laying around and will give them away.
 

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DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
The manual for that radio has the pin-out for the RS-232 in it. No need to spend $35 when you can make one for significantly less money and very little time. Someone at your local radio club probably has the parts laying around and will give them away.
The PC port is a DIN 8. I cut apart an old Macintosh printer cable and it fit the radio fine. I'd pay the money for a RT Systems cable just for convenience and having one cable.
 
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