Mobile radio in the car

I finally have a radio installed in my car!

The radio is a Yaesu FT-1802 2m rig that I picked up at the Charleston Hamfest a few years ago. After using it in the shack for a while, it’s finally going mobile thanks to a lot of help and advice from my father-in-law.

I thought running the wires from the radio to the battery would be the tough part, but the hardest part turned out to be finding a decent place to mount the radio. Using a fuse tap to run power from the in-cabin fuse box to the radio turned out to be pretty easy. No need to fish wire out into the engine compartment and to the battery.

Fuse tap connected to the in-cabin fuse box to run power to the radio
Fuse tap to run power to the radio

The best place we found to mount the radio turned out to be against the side of the center console on the driver’s side. It provides reasonable access to the radio and is pretty out of the way. The side panel popped off pretty easily and the radio’s mounting bracket attached quite nicely.

Mounting bracket attached to the center console panel
Mounting bracket attached to the center console panel

The white thing peeking out from behind the console panel is the power connector from the fuse tap. The ground wire is attached to a metal brace behind the console panel.

Installing the radio was just a matter of attaching the radio to the bracket.

The antenna is a simple mag mount stuck to the trunk of the car. I was able to tweak the antenna so that the SWR was in the 1.3 – 1.8 range across the 2m band.

The audio cable I have plugged into the AUX input of the car (normally used to plug into my phone) just happened to be long enough to reach the external speaker jack on the back of the radio, so the radio’s audio gets piped into the car speakers. Sounds pretty good.

Now I need to figure out where to hang the microphone.

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