Schlatter Family Site
My Mobile Radio Installation
|In the left photo, I
applied grease under the nut that secures the VHF connector to
the GeoTool antenna mount -- stainless to aluminum
|In the center photo, I
applied grease under the big brass nut that comprises the NMO
mount and that secures the NMO mount to the GeoTool antenna
mount -- brass to
aluminum contact point.
|In the right photo, I applied grease
the point where the lock washer
contacts the bottom of the stake hole
sheet metal, and, I applied grease between
the lock washer and the head of the bolt --
bare steel to bare steel contact. I used two GeoTool
mounts, one for VHF/UHF antenna and one for
the HF antenna -- apply anti-oxidant compound to
While you are looking around at your installation, you will notice that the sides of your truck bed are hollow -- there is sheet metal that makes up the inside wall of the bed and sheet metal that makes up the outer wall of the truck -- and a big space in between. I crawled under the truck and ran the tape of a tape measure from the front of the bed, through the hollow in the bed wall, over the wheel well, and back to the stake hole. Then, I taped the end of the coax to the steel tape measure and pulled the coax through the bed wall to a point under the truck, behind the cab. I had already drilled a 1-inch diameter hole in the floorboard of the cab, directly under the driver's seat. I cut a slit in the carpet above this hole and plugged the hole with a 1-inch diameter plastic hole plug from Home Depot. I then drilled two 1/4-inch diameter holes in the plastic hole plug -- the two coaxial cables coming from the antennas go through these two holes (tight fit) and into the cab. The next two photos show the details of this installation.
This photo was taken while I was lying on my back under the cab of the truck. The two black cables are the antenna leads coming from the back of the truck. In the center of the photo is a round black object -- that's a plastic hole plug that is stuck into a 1-inch diameter hole that I drilled through the floorboard of the cab, under the driver's seat (actually, I used a 1-inch BluMoly hole saw). BE CAREFUL AND DON'T CUT THROUGH A WIRING HARNESS. After I popped the plug into the hole, I drilled two 1/4-inch diameter holes in the plastic plug -- these holes were just a bit too small for the coax so I widened them with a rattail file -- two strokes of the file per hole was enough. The photo below shows these two cables coming up into the cab.
The photo below shows the coax from the antenna coming up through the hole in the floorboard, through the carpet, and into the cab. The driver's seat is slid full-forward in this picture. The power cable is just out of sight to the left. After this photo was made, I cleaned up the mess, installed coax connectors on the ends of these two cables, laid the rig on the floor, and attached the power and antenna cables.
Now, let's look at how I mounted my radio. The Yaesu FT-857D is like most mobile radios these days -- the front panel separates from the body of the radio. I don't have photos of the front panel and the rig separated -- may put some up later -- but here is how I did it. Yaesu sells as an extra accessory a "separation kit" -- this contains cables to connect the front panel to the radio body and a mounting bracket to mount the front panel to whatever. With the radio mounted under the front seat, I needed to mount the front panel somewhere.
I searched and searched and finally found my solution -- a gooseneck mount used for mounting satellite radio control heads in cars. Here is a photo:
What you are looking at is: (1) gooseneck, the long black thing; (2) lower left corner, a bracket that the gooseneck screws into, the bracket has a foot that mounts to the bolt that holds the front seat onto the floor; (3) right side of photo is a plastic bracket that mounts onto the end of the gooseneck. This link will take you to the place where I bought the gooseneck mount -- as I recall, it was under $20.00. If you have a car audio shop nearby, they may have these in stock.
Here is the gooseneck with the front panel, mounted in the truck.
The front seat mounts on rails that are attached to heavy steel brackets that are bolted to the floor, front and rear. I loosened the mounting bolt under the right front corner of the seat, slipped the foot on the gooseneck mounting bracket under the bolt, and tightened the bolt. I attached the front panel's mounting bracket to the mounting bracket that came with the gooseneck and popped the front panel onto its mounting bracket. The cables that go to the radio under the seat are secured to the gooseneck with nylon cable ties (I have since replaced these white ties with black ones). Run the cables under the seat to the rig and dress them and secure them in place with nylon cable ties.
Here's what it looks like from the driver's seat.
The speaker is the Yaesu M-100 mobile speaker. I put pieces of industrial strength Velcro on it, top and bottom, and forced it under the dash in the space between the ash tray and the front edge of the bezel around the shift lever. I plan to make a small slit in the carpet and run the speaker lead under the carpet. When the front seat moves forward to provide access to the area behind the seat, the seat forces the gooseneck forward -- this is not a problem as I don't move the seat full forward too often. This is a 15-inch gooseneck. If I do this again, I'll get a 19- or 20-inch gooseneck for a little more flexibility in positioning the front panel. The mike lies on the seat next to the driver.
So -- now it's past midnight, 3-4 February, and I did not intend for this to be so long. I'll post this to my website now and come back later to edit it, add a few more photos, and generally clean it up.
I hope something here is useful to you.