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Mounting a Ham Radio

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Beta V

Author, Dad, Mentor, Technology Critic
Nov 8, 2017
232
165
Redmond, WA USA
I want to hard-mount the radio portion of my FTM-400 ham rig. It's about the size and weight of a 2" book. I would like to place it at the passenger's feet on the side of the console hump. I've been using velcro but it's not holding on the carpet well enough. If I drive some short sheet-metal screws through the carpet and metal, what am I likely to hit? Something critical?

Thanks for the advice.
 
I want to hard-mount the radio portion of my FTM-400 ham rig. It's about the size and weight of a 2" book. I would like to place it at the passenger's feet on the side of the console hump. I've been using velcro but it's not holding on the carpet well enough. If I drive some short sheet-metal screws through the carpet and metal, what am I likely to hit? Something critical?

Thanks for the advice.

I have a Yaesu FTM-400 and just got back from a 4000 mile road trip through Canada then back to Texas in my Model S.

I use the Lido cup holder mount on the center console driver side cup holder for the control head. It is infinitely adjustable and very easy to view without problems. FSD doesn't bark at me when its in this location.
LM-803 Cup Holder Mount With Height Adjustment Control For Yaesu FTM-300 FTM-350 FTM-400 FT-891

I have the radio in the trunk with the mount screwed down onto a wood charcuterie board that I bought at Target for $8. The board is velcroed to the floor of the trunk so it is easily removed and adjusted. I have an extension for the microphone and control head running underneath the full coverage floor mats I bought from Tesmanian, and they are completely hidden. I also have 12v power to the unit from a splitter inserted into the 12v accessory cigarette receptacle in the center console, also routed under the floor mats, along the left passenger seat, and into the trunk. This has a 14 amp fuse, and the unit draws a max of 10 amps. So not ideal, but I have had zero problems with it.

The antenna is mounted on the left trunk lip with a Diamond K400C DIAMOND K400C Antenna Accessories Mounts Lip, K400C
The antenna itself is a Diamond AZ507 RSP DIAMOND AZ507RSP Antenna Mobile Dual Band 2m-70cm, AZ507RSP

This is small enough that raising the hatch on the Model S doesn't snag the garage door, and still gives me good reception and good signal reports.

I have had zero interference with the Tesla controls or FSD while transmitting at 5, 25, and 50 watts.

I can hear the speaker decently even though it's in the trunk, but I also use a Blue Parrot B-450 headset. It covers only one ear and connects nicely to the Yaesu by bluetooth. (It also does a really nice job connecting to my iPhone and I get comments using it on how it sounds like a corded phone rather than a car speakerphone. If I am on a road trip and my wife is sleeping, I will use the B450 for phone calls.) You could easily run a speaker connection along with the other cables to a speaker under the front seats if you prefer that.




Good luck on your installation. 73, KC5JIF
 
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Hi, I already posted this to the IC-7100 thread, but allow me to cross-post the same question here.

I want to ask about your experiences with the RFI from Tesla vehicles. I have a Model X Plaid, and I operate primarily on 7MHz. I have a Yaesu FT-891 (50W) with a Diamond 7MHz mobile whip antenna mounted on my upper trunk lid with a motorized K9000 mount. I'm getting almost no RFI while stationary, but the noise level goes up to S5-S6 when the car moves regardless of speed. The preamp (IPO in Yaseu's terms) is turned off.

Does anybody have RFI experience with the new Model S/X?

I have done the following tests:
- There's no noise if I remove the antenna from the car. The noise seems to be coming through the antenna, not from the body or chassis.
- If I drive the car slowly, the noise gets minor, but from 10mph and above, I get the same S5-S6 level noise. Maybe the AGC is kicking in to keep the noise level the same.
- I put a DC line filter before the radio's 13.8V, almost no change.

My DC line is wired like this:
Accessory socket - DCDC converter to 13.8V - DC Line Filter - FT-891
 

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Hiroshiy,

I would be hesitant to try to use SSB in a Tesla. I have operated SSB Mobil in the past on older vehicles, but gave up as a result of the high levels of static generated when in motion.

FM works fine though.

I had my 2020 Model X totaled in a rear end collision last month (no one injured), and had an Icom 4100 mounted in the car. It was mounted under the right front seat with the control head just below the screen on the center console.

I never had any concern about mounting the radio, it was trying to determine how to non-invasively mount an antenna on an aluminum bodied car. I finally settled on one of the through glass antennas on the rear quarter glass. But it never worked very well, an I am struggling with what to do in my new 2024 Model X replacement which just arrived two weeks ago.

I have operated my Kenwood TH-D75 through a D-Star hot spot connected through my iPhone in WiFi hotspot mode, and this may be the best I can do. But it will require reasonable cell data coverage, likely restricted to cities and towns.

But still curious if anyone has successfully mounted an 144-440 antenna to a model X without damaging the vehicle.

73s,
Bill
ARS KK4C


Hi, I already posted this to the IC-7100 thread, but allow me to cross-post the same question here.

I want to ask about your experiences with the RFI from Tesla vehicles. I have a Model X Plaid, and I operate primarily on 7MHz. I have a Yaesu FT-891 (50W) with a Diamond 7MHz mobile whip antenna mounted on my upper trunk lid with a motorized K9000 mount. I'm getting almost no RFI while stationary, but the noise level goes up to S5-S6 when the car moves regardless of speed. The preamp (IPO in Yaseu's terms) is turned off.

Does anybody have RFI experience with the new Model S/X?

I have done the following tests:
- There's no noise if I remove the antenna from the car. The noise seems to be coming through the antenna, not from the body or chassis.
- If I drive the car slowly, the noise gets minor, but from 10mph and above, I get the same S5-S6 level noise. Maybe the AGC is kicking in to keep the noise level the same.
- I put a DC line filter before the radio's 13.8V, almost no change.

My DC line is wired like this:
Accessory socket - DCDC converter to 13.8V - DC Line Filter - FT-891
 
Bonus points if anyone figures out how to packetize the signal and send it over to the MCU, maybe as a fake XM radio signal.

Double bonus if you use any of the on screen buttons to control it. Or even the next / previous track and play / pause from the steering wheel.
 
Hiroshiy,

I would be hesitant to try to use SSB in a Tesla. I have operated SSB Mobil in the past on older vehicles, but gave up as a result of the high levels of static generated when in motion.

FM works fine though.

I had my 2020 Model X totaled in a rear end collision last month (no one injured), and had an Icom 4100 mounted in the car. It was mounted under the right front seat with the control head just below the screen on the center console.

I never had any concern about mounting the radio, it was trying to determine how to non-invasively mount an antenna on an aluminum bodied car. I finally settled on one of the through glass antennas on the rear quarter glass. But it never worked very well, an I am struggling with what to do in my new 2024 Model X replacement which just arrived two weeks ago.

I have operated my Kenwood TH-D75 through a D-Star hot spot connected through my iPhone in WiFi hotspot mode, and this may be the best I can do. But it will require reasonable cell data coverage, likely restricted to cities and towns.

But still curious if anyone has successfully mounted an 144-440 antenna to a model X without damaging the vehicle.

73s,
Bill
ARS KK4C
It depends on what you consider damage. I mounted an NMO base through the roof, at rear of my 2018 X. One of those long throw NMO mounts that could go through something like an inch thick. The spline appliqué is fairly thick plastic, but it is anchored the steel spline underneath. I think it required a 11/16 inch hole. I traded in the car to Tesla with just a cap on the mount. I did inquire about the cost of replacing that piece of plastic, about $200. But no one asked me a thing about it.

IMG_0449.jpg
 
Hi, I already posted this to the IC-7100 thread, but allow me to cross-post the same question here.

I want to ask about your experiences with the RFI from Tesla vehicles. I have a Model X Plaid, and I operate primarily on 7MHz. I have a Yaesu FT-891 (50W) with a Diamond 7MHz mobile whip antenna mounted on my upper trunk lid with a motorized K9000 mount. I'm getting almost no RFI while stationary, but the noise level goes up to S5-S6 when the car moves regardless of speed. The preamp (IPO in Yaseu's terms) is turned off.

Does anybody have RFI experience with the new Model S/X?

I have done the following tests:
- There's no noise if I remove the antenna from the car. The noise seems to be coming through the antenna, not from the body or chassis.
- If I drive the car slowly, the noise gets minor, but from 10mph and above, I get the same S5-S6 level noise. Maybe the AGC is kicking in to keep the noise level the same.
- I put a DC line filter before the radio's 13.8V, almost no change.

My DC line is wired like this:
Accessory socket - DCDC converter to 13.8V - DC Line Filter - FT-891
I agree. Trying to work 40 meters from a car is going to be a challenge. Me? I only work VHF/UHF 2m/70cm bands as I use the MX for emergency services work. AFA DC, I do NOT use the accessory outlet but the Trailer Brake outlet under the carpet on the driver-side outer wall. It delivers far more current.

If I try to find noise, I simplify. I would power directly from an independent battery to eliminate DC-induced noise. I would also check your antenna to see what it's SWR does when you're in motion. Make sure it's properly grounded to the frame.
 
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I agree. Trying to work 40 meters from a car is going to be a challenge. Me? I only work VHF/UHF 2m/70cm bands as I use the MX for emergency services work. AFA DC, I do NOT use the accessory outlet but the Trailer Brake outlet under the carpet on the driver-side outer wall. It delivers far more current.

If I try to find noise, I simplify. I would power directly from an independent battery to eliminate DC-induced noise. I would also check your antenna to see what it's SWR does when you're in motion. Make sure it's properly grounded to the frame.
I have found Tesla generates no noise whatsoever, very clean. It also is virtually impervious to high levels of RF generated inside or near the vehicle. The only problem I've ever had was with my 2015 S, when I would park near an FM radio tower (where I have several repeaters). There are three 100 KW FM stations, and the key fob detector would be deaf. Could not unlock the doors. I had to use the app over cellular to get in the car. My 2018 and 2022 had no problem. I too, have never attempted HF.

Sure beats the heck out of Toyota, in that they simply say do not attempt installing any transmitting equipment in the vehicle.
 
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