Friday, September 01, 2006

Yaesu FT-7800R Remote Mounting

I took today off to make this a four day weekend.

Yaesu sells a kit to allow you to mount the detachable face of their FT-7800R mobile 2M/70cm transceiver on your dashboard, while the rest of the radio is placed out of sight under a seat or in your trunk. The remote mounting kit is basically two cables, one to connect the faceplate to the radio and one speaker wire. Even though I use my FT-7800R as a base radio, I wanted to do something similar to free some desk space. The only problem is that Yaesu wants about $65 for the kit, which IMNSHO is ridiculous.

Thankfully, the Yahoo Groups FT-7800R mailing list to which I subscribe supplied the answer. The cable to connect the faceplate to the radio body is nothing more than a flat 6 conductor telelphone cable terminated with RJ12 plugs. Unlike a phone cord, the Yaesu cable needs to be wired straight through, not crossed. So, today I picked up an appropriate cord and some RJ12 plugs. The cord was already terminated so I had to replace an end. Instead of the $65 I spent about $12, split evenly between the cord and the package of RJ12 plugs, the unused portion of which I added to my network cabling kit.

I moved the radio to the top of my gun cabinet and attached the faceplate which incorporates the controls to Bagend's monitor with some double-sided Velcro tape. The setup is a big improvement. If I buy or make an extension for my headphone cord I'll be able to move the radio a little further over to the other side of the room. The other option I'm considering is putting the radio and power supply on a shelf above and behind the monitor.

Another ham radio related project I did today was to make a 2M Slimjim antenna, based on plans I found at Ham Universe. Rather than the copper pipe construction described at HU, I used the ground wire from some Romex in my electrical parts box. Last year I made a J-Pole from it and it worked great. Since the wire isn't rigid, I taped it to a piece of 5 foot long 3/4" PVC water pipe, with the coax cable fed through the bottom and out through a hole I drilled in the side of the pipe at the feed point. I drilled another hole up near the top and looped a cable tie through it so that I can hang it. I hope to try out the Slimjim with my VX-5RS over the weekend.

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