HAM radio mounting options (1 Viewer)

Joined
Oct 10, 2017
Messages
1,281
Location
Phoenix AZ
With push form my local cruiser club I finally got my HAM license last weekend. I really have done very little research on radios, but a few guys recommended this as a good, reliable, affordable, tough option.

Kenwood TM-281A


This looks like a good option to me to get started and see if in the future I really need something fancier. The one thing it doesn’t have is a detachable faceplate. So I’m a little lost as to where to mount it in my 200. Anybody have any photos of what radios they have and how and where they mounted? I searched old threads and only photo I saw was one Slee built 200 that had a detached faceplate down on the ashtray.
 
Joined
May 3, 2015
Messages
136
Location
SLC, UT
Probably not much help. Mounting a full radio up front is tricky. I went with the FTM-400XDR (detached faceplate). I mounted the radio on the underside of the wing fit kit of the ARB drawers and the faceplate on a RAM mount mounted to the silver trim piece on the right-hand side of the radio unit.

Good luck! You'll never go back after using the HAM.
 
Joined
Oct 10, 2017
Messages
1,281
Location
Phoenix AZ
Probably not much help. Mounting a full radio up front is tricky. I went with the FTM-400XDR (detached faceplate). I mounted the radio on the underside of the wing fit kit of the ARB drawers and the faceplate on a RAM mount mounted to the silver trim piece on the right-hand side of the radio unit.

Good luck! You'll never go back after using the HAM.
You mind sharing a photo if you faceplate mounted at some point? Curious where the microphone goes too. One of the other club guys that also just got a license did a ton of radio research and also bought the same radio you have. Quite pricey, but sounds like a winner
 

619TOY

SILVER Star
Joined
Jun 27, 2006
Messages
2,030
Location
San Diego
We went with a detachable face plate model as well, just because of that additional flexibility it offers, so if you're not set on that Kenwood, the additional install flexibility may be worth the investment.
IMG_5385.JPG
IMG_5387.JPG
IMG_5388.JPG
 
Joined
Oct 10, 2017
Messages
1,281
Location
Phoenix AZ
We went with a detachable face plate model as well, just because of that additional flexibility it offers, so if you're not set on that Kenwood, the additional install flexibility may be worth the investment.View attachment 1966626View attachment 1966627View attachment 1966628
i really like how clean and simple your setup is with the mic holder. This looks like this would work good for me and not interfere with the iPad i use for my Gaia maps. . The Kenwood model i like just based off recommendations (and price), but the recommendations were all from 80 series guys that had more mounting options. from what i've seen on the 200, the ashtray is a good spot to put but only fits with a detachable faceplate. Anyways, a couple questions for you:

what model radio do you have?
where do you have the radio itself installed?
where and what type of antenna did you go with?

Let me know and thanks so much for the help
 

dmc

SILVER Star
Joined
Apr 6, 2004
Messages
903
Location
Wandering the Western Hemisphere
Let me see if I can find a picture of the set up I had in my Tundra and also how I plan to mount my radio in my 200. I have the same Kenwood radio as you. While I look for a pic I'll briefly describe it. I only use my radio during races to keep in touch with the truck and other chase rigs. So I didn't want a permanently mounted set up. I looked at the detachable face option, but as I use it only a dozen days a year didn't want to spend the money. I cut a piece of particle board to slide between the passenger seat and center console. Covered it in carpet that matched the factory carpet, (or closely too it. I didn't actually pay for either of those things, got scraps from home depot and a carpet store), then mounted my radio to it. I tapped into a 12v plug in the dash and ran a pigtail beneath the console that allowed me to plug it in for power. No holes to drill, no permanent mounting, was super stable and easily reachable from the driver's seat. For the 200 the board will need to be an L shape and slide between the seat and console down low as there is less room than the Tundra but should work just as well.

Edit: Not a great photo but you get the idea.

20170722_132309.jpg
 
Joined
Oct 10, 2017
Messages
1,281
Location
Phoenix AZ
very creative. I haven't bought the Kenwood yet, so still debating whether i want to shell out for detachable faceplate. I like how you made it removable. Also nice no drilling and damage to the truck
 

dmc

SILVER Star
Joined
Apr 6, 2004
Messages
903
Location
Wandering the Western Hemisphere
very creative. I haven't bought the Kenwood yet, so still debating whether i want to shell out for detachable faceplate. I like how you made it removable. Also nice no drilling and damage to the truck
I don't plan to sell my 200 anytime soon but I think as soon as you start drilling holes in the dash or center console you instantly limit your buying audience if you ever do sell. I stole this idea from a friend so I can't take credit for it but glad I did. It worked out very well in my Tundra. I'll probably have the radio mounted in my 200 by June. Other projects have taken priority. As I mentioned I basically did it free. This go around I'll probably spend a little money to make it exactly how I want it.
 
Joined
Oct 10, 2017
Messages
1,281
Location
Phoenix AZ
I don't plan to sell my 200 anytime soon but I think as soon as you start drilling holes in the dash or center console you instantly limit your buying audience if you ever do sell. I stole this idea from a friend so I can't take credit for it but glad I did. It worked out very well in my Tundra. I'll probably have the radio mounted in my 200 by June. Other projects have taken priority. As I mentioned I basically did it free. This go around I'll probably spend a little money to make it exactly how I want it.
awesome. I'm in the same boat, no plans to sell, but still dont love drilling dash or console just in case. Also in the same boat where "Other projects have taken priority", my rear bumper is going to be done soon and i gotta change my cracked radiator out. both projects will come 1st over radio. Post up pics and what you learn when you do get to it, i very well might not have one installed by then
 
  • Like
Reactions: dmc

619TOY

SILVER Star
Joined
Jun 27, 2006
Messages
2,030
Location
San Diego
what model radio do you have?
where do you have the radio itself installed?
where and what type of antenna did you go with?

Thanks. The radio is a Yaesu 8800, but it’s discontinued and I think replaced with the 8900. The magnetic mic is only held with double sided tape and no screws. The antenna is a Laird NMO2/70B I think with a mount hanging from the roof rack as close to the roof as I could get it for a pseudo ground plane. TR pack is in rear cubby below subwoofer enclosure.
 
Joined
Oct 10, 2017
Messages
1,281
Location
Phoenix AZ
Thanks. The radio is a Yaesu 8800, but it’s discontinued and I think replaced with the 8900. The magnetic mic is only held with double sided tape and no screws. The antenna is a Laird NMO2/70B I think with a mount hanging from the roof rack as close to the roof as I could get it for a pseudo ground plane. TR pack is in rear cubby below subwoofer enclosure.
Sorry, new to this. What is the “TR pack”? Is that the actual radio? I’m really digging your setup. Still trying to wrap my head around if the faceplate is on the ashtray, where the radio would be, and where I’d need to run coax
 

empty80

SILVER Star
Joined
Sep 18, 2016
Messages
495
Location
ABQ, NM
I have the Icom ID-4100. I have the display/controller mocked up to be mounted to the overhead console. It is very clean place and will be an easy mount.

I have the head stuck to the rear of my ARB drawers with hook and loop fastener. I ran the head unit cables up the B-pillar and over the curtain airbags to not interfere with the airbag operation. The moonroof area makes it really easy to route that cable under the headliner.
 

619TOY

SILVER Star
Joined
Jun 27, 2006
Messages
2,030
Location
San Diego
Sorry, new to this. What is the “TR pack”? Is that the actual radio? I’m really digging your setup. Still trying to wrap my head around if the faceplate is on the ashtray, where the radio would be, and where I’d need to run coax

It’s just what we call the “Transmit, Receive” pack, or “the actual radio”. Coax being the antenna cable, I ran it through a watertight grommet through the trough in the roof with all of the other wires run to the roof. But I completely get that that makes some people cringe :p
The ashtray itself was removed and I made a little bracket to give me the angle I wanted.

41D90587-99DD-4EB9-B201-6C8A197C2A7D.jpeg


4E774C37-EF27-4F8E-87D0-0428ED18350B.jpeg




Sorry all the pics I have:
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 10, 2017
Messages
1,281
Location
Phoenix AZ
I have the Icom ID-4100. I have the display/controller mocked up to be mounted to the overhead console. It is very clean place and will be an easy mount.

I have the head stuck to the rear of my ARB drawers with hook and loop fastener. I ran the head unit cables up the B-pillar and over the curtain airbags to not interfere with the airbag operation. The moonroof area makes it really easy to route that cable under the headliner.
Excited to see what this overhead mount looks like for an alternate option
 

Overland Tailor

Boltripper
Joined
Jun 24, 2012
Messages
1,135
Location
Birmingham, AL
In my 80 I run a Ram mount / Jotto desk setup... When I travel a Jotto Desk mount gets bolted on top and then the tablet is placed for Nav.

With some good click lock 3M and some custom bent brackets I've come up with the below -

I'll do the same in the 200 as its a solid setup.

Cheers -

john

1967344
 

empty80

SILVER Star
Joined
Sep 18, 2016
Messages
495
Location
ABQ, NM
Excited to see what this overhead mount looks like for an alternate option
1967355


It’s not really a mount. I have the Icom ID-5100 magnetic plate mount tucked behind the console and the faceplate connected magnetically for the time being. Long term solution will be some heavy duty hook and loop holding the 4100 magnetic faceplate mount. Pretty simple for an overhead solution.
 
Joined
Oct 10, 2017
Messages
1,281
Location
Phoenix AZ
In my 80 I run a Ram mount / Jotto desk setup... When I travel a Jotto Desk mount gets bolted on top and then the tablet is placed for Nav.

With some good click lock 3M and some custom bent brackets I've come up with the below -

I'll do the same in the 200 as its a solid setup.

Cheers -

john

View attachment 1967344
very nice, what Icom are you using?
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom