Mobile Dual Band installation questions (2018 Ram 2500, Yaesu FTM400)

Andy Douglass

New member
Starting to install today. The best spot I can find for the head unit is under the driver's seat near the door. This spot gives me good access for running power/coax to engine compartment. I am mounting a 42" antenna on the fender/hood lip (driver's side). We have a FWC camper that does not live on my truck, so I want the antenna on the front.

I am looking for a spot to run the wires/coax through the firewall on the driver's side and found that the sound system amplifier is mounted next to the steering column, which I did not expect. I am wondering if the amp will put off RF interference that will couple onto the coax which would be passing within 6 inches or less of the amp.

Option 2 would be to run the coax through a plug in the floor board under the seat and in a somewhat protected spot on the bottom of the tub to the wheel well and into the engine compartment. I would prefer to keep the wires inside the cab as much as possible, but this route will put the coax a little further from the amp with some sheet metal in between.
 

dreadlocks

Well-known member
You'll be fine, at worst you'll need a choke right off the transceiver.. my Kenwood is mounted in the spare tire area, right next to the subwoofer, amp and all the premium infotainment controllers.. My remote mic via Cat6 cable picked up a little noise, but a snap on choke took care of it.. I had enough extras i just choked everything going into radio and everything sounds crystal clear.. I'm just in the habit now of putting chokes on everything at radio, and another at antenna, at worst it wont do anything and at best it improves sensitivity and reduces noise.
 

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dreadlocks

Well-known member
ayup plus the remote speaker and power input, my D710 radio is in trunk and remote head unit, speaker, and mic are in the front over two runs of cat6 + speaker extension wire tucked under the carpet.. so I choked em all off, runs parallel and across quite a bit of wiring harnesses, my car has enough wires to wrap around the world it seems.. plus every seat is heated and its running inches away from 2 of em.

When I was testing the install with everything loose I could hear the noise pickup off the mic with my handheld, so I found my bag of chokes and went to town.. afterwords I was very happy with how it sounded.. if your amp is causing issues you'll hear it, but I doubt you'll be blasting music and using your HAM at same time.. transmitting music is really frowned upon.
 
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Oilbrnr

Active member
Assuming you don’t have a manual transmission, you can put a hole through the rubber/insulation where the clutch master cylinder would go for the wires FWIW.
 

Andy Douglass

New member
Assuming you don’t have a manual transmission, you can put a hole through the rubber/insulation where the clutch master cylinder would go for the wires FWIW.
Yeah, I was eyeing that as a possibility, but the cover there is some kind of hard composite and I didn't have any grommets. I ended up running everything down the rear of the fender and under the cab/tub, which was my second choice. I got tired of staring at it so I went the way that was easiest today. Got everything secured above the e-brake cable, which I have never hooked on a branch or anything, so it should be fairly safe.

Now I need a mic extension and a better mount for the controller. I already had a gooseneck tablet mount (not RAM) attached to my passenger seat bolt, which I stopped using because it bounced so bad with my old heavy tablet on it. The mount arm is a thick (1/2"+) piece of aluminum which you can bend into any angle you want, but even with the little radio controller, it stills bounces like crazy. I've seen people use similar style mounts and brace them with another connection point on the side of their console. My truck has the bucket seats with the middle seat/fold down console, not the full console, so that is not an option for me. There isn't really anywhere on my dash that I want to mount the controller, so I need to come up with something better eventually.

I mounted a 40 inch Corona dual band on the driver front fender with a Corona NMO mount that bolts to an existing bolt on the engine bay rail and is bent to mimic the contours of the top of the fender so that the hood closes on it. The bends were close but still chipped a little paint on the fender and the hood when closed, so I ground the mount down a little and glued some rubber on it to provide a little cushion. Good thing I looked closely at the NMO connection on the coax because it was definitely not designed to be outside of the truck. It looked like water would have had a field day getting into the coax there, so I packed it with dielectric grease before I attached it to the mount.

Now I just need to program it. Other than emergency comms, the main reason I got this radio was for family to APRS track us when we are on our trips. We have a month off Aug/Sept and are seriously considering driving to Alaska (from N. California), which will be a good test for APRS coverage.
 

Oilbrnr

Active member
If you haven’t mounted the mic yet, use a Nite-eze Steelie. I stuck the ball in the flat strip of the radio bezel DS. CB mic in same place on PS.

I have a Hawk on a PW.

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jonathon

Active member
I have a 2019 it’s a little different but right in front of the middle jump seat is a plastic tray. Plastic seems pretty heavy duty to me. I’m going to mount RAM ball on it to hold my FT7900 head. I thought about using a Pro Clip center dash mounting plate in the pocket above the radio but I was concerned about it being so visible to thieves and then exposed to the sun all the time. Mounted on the floor facing up its still visible and changing programmed frequencies is easy. Even if its mounted up high you should probably pull over for anything other than dialing a simplex frequency or scrolling through memory banks.

As far as the mic goes I like the Gear Keeper Mic Keeper with the mic hanging from the center of the vehicle. I’ve used one for 3 years now in my work vehicles and they are an awesome way to keep the mic from floating around the cabin and prevents hot mics. Usually mount the D ring on the left passenger side visor mount.

With the RAM ball and Mic Keeper it should take all of 30 seconds to stow the radio head under the middle jump seat out of the prying eyes of thieves.
 

sonoronos

Usually broken down on the side of the road
just don't forget that the speaker of the FTM-400DR is located on what you call the "head unit". If you put it underneath the seat, you'll have voices coming from under your rump :) Might be a bit muffled.

Basically, if you're hiding the box somewhere, you'll probably need some way to get the sound out to somewhere else (a la MLS-200-M10 or something like it...)
 
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