Just as when I installed my FTM-400 in my 2017 Model X, I faced a whole new set of challenges when it came to reinstalling the radio in my new 2023 MX.
- I researched the issues first and was advised that the newer models (including mine) had a "16V" bus. I tested the cigarette lighter (CL) outlet and discovered it delivered 15.1VDC.
- I had used the Trailer Brake outlet under the driver-side carpet (US models) so I plugged my custom cable used to power my radio into this socket. It was supposed to supply higher current )20A) than the CL (12-14A) outlet and I didn't want to use that outlet unnecessarily so I could use it for other accessories. That socket also supplied 15.1VDC.
- Suggestions from fellow ham radio operators included installing a Buck converter or several diodes in series. Each diode would drop the voltage by .6 to 1.0 VDC so two or three should get the voltage closer to a tolerable 13.5 VDC. I tried Schottky diodes I had on hand but they only dropped the voltage by .1VDC each.
- I ended up removing both of the console side panels to see if I could install the radio into the rather cavernous forward console. While the radio fit (nicely), I could not find a suitable opening in the back where the power and antenna wires could be routed. I was also concerned with heat and being able to hear the speaker. I chose to mount the radio to the hard-plastic wall at the passenger's feet but up off the floor so the passenger would not kick it. In the FTM400, the speaker is on the radio but that does not seem to be an issue. The new Yaesu FTM500 has a speaker in the control head so I expect to upgrade to that model if it arrives before I'm finished installing the 400. Note that I need access to the radio to connect the programming cable and the memory card.
- Next, mounted the antenna in the only suitable place on my MX. Since the gull-wing doors come so close to the open rear hatch lid, that option was out. I ultimately used the frunk lid on my 2017. I watched a video (Installing a front camera) that had a hint on how to route the thin antenna cable from my trunk-lip mount (Diamond K400SNMO). This required that I removed three rubber/plastic covers from inside the frunk to expose the seam between the outer skin and the body. Once you remove the two panels from just inside the passenger door, and peel back 18" or so of the weatherstripping, you'll be able to run a fish wire through the seam and pull the tiny cable through. (Sure, remove the PL259 adapter first). Thread the wire behind the panels and reinstall the panels--they all snap in place. I have a set of plastic tools used to remove these panels without damaging them. I had just enough antenna cable to reach the targeted installation point.
- Note: I chose NOT to install the antenna on the driver's side as there are several large (I expect high-voltage/current) cables on that side.
- In the 2017 MX, I bought a ProClip control head mount that clipped to the AC duct to the right of the steering column. I had to modify it to move the radio about an inch further away from the main screen. Once modified, it worked perfectly and when I removed it before selling, there were no marks at all on the vent. For the 2023 MX, I found that ProClip had a new version intended to mount to the left of the yoke (it only works for MX models with a yoke.) I have yet to get to that part so I'll update this post when I get it installed. I intend to route the flat control cable under the panels back to the radio. I would be willing to part with this customized 2017 MX ProClip mount.
- I do not have a dedicated microphone clip which I'm hesitant to install (personal preference).
- I leave the USB programming cable connected to the radio and stored in the console as I'm constantly reprogramming it for my volunteer events. Getting to the memory card is too hard on my old, stiff back.