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[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

FT-857D Install

Steve Goblirsch (KC0ORD) on January 22, 2008
View comments about this article!

FT-857D in a Suzuki SX4 Crossover

Background

My name is Steve Goblirsch, KC0ORD, and I live in Minneapolis, MN. I recently was laid off from a job I had held for 6 years. I am a network and computer geek. I got a new job, but the new one was 60 miles one way from my house. I had a 1998 Isuzu Hombre (a Chevy S-10 pickup clone) and it was starting to get old. Also, my family could no longer fit into it as my son Andrew is now 15 and getting taller than his mom Beth.

I spoke with my bride, KC0PDS, and we decided to get a new car and a new radio, to give me something to do while driving. I purchased a 2008 Suzuki SX4 crossover for my new wheels. I also got my new Yaesu FT-857D from Radio City in Mounds View, MN. I purchased the radio during the promotion where they gave away the faceplate separation kit as part of the price.

Equipment

Radio = Yaesu FT-857D

Car = 2008, Suzuki SX4 Crossover, Deep Sea Blue Metallic

Installation, Under Hood

One of my requirements on mounting the rig was to allow easy access to the radio head, while making it possible to remove the head and radio to use elsewhere, as I am not a rich HAM. I started by using the default wire harness from Yaesu and crimped (and soldered) a standard eyelet connector to the power end. I passed the wires through the firewall on the passenger side of the vehicle using the existing wire pass-through and a small pointed wire. I connected the eyelets to the battery terminals by unscrewing the entire works and screwing the connector by the head of the bolt. I felt this was more secure than just connecting it to the "nut" side of the assembly. The 2, 25 amp fuses in the Yaesu power cable assembly fit (with a little persuasion) into the battery hold down of the car. I passed the wires along the top motor cover and tied it with a couple of zip ties to keep it in place.

Installation Antenna

I mounted the 2m/70cm Comet antenna I had had on the truck for about the last year. I had the antenna on a NMO magnet mount and since I was now truly broke, will upgrade to a roof mount later.

For my HF antenna, I mounted a Wilson 5000 CB magnet mount antenna, again, until I have some more dough. I received the HF antenna from my "Elmer" KC0NDI. I ran the wires into the rear of the vehicle, and tied them with another zip tie. I then passed the wires along the body panels, under the rear door kick plate, and then under the "B" pillar plastic until it came out under the passenger seat. I grounded the HF antenna to cut down on the alternator noise. Three wires down now to mount the faceplate. In the pictures, the OEM AM/FM antenna is between the two ham radio antennas.

Installation Interior

I started with the power, fishing it through the center console and then under the passenger seat Now that the power and antennas were done, it was time for the faceplate. The faceplate kit contains three wire assemblies and a mount for the faceplate. The wires are the 6 wire control cable, the 8 wire microphone cable, and a 2 wire audio cable. I started with the audio cable, and since I already had a small external speaker with a wire attached, I left that wire in the plastic. The external speaker fit into the "map pocket" just under the cars AM/FM car radio. I am planning on purchasing an audio input to the car stereo and setting up a switch later, again when I have some money. The other two wire assemblies I ran along the speaker wire up to the location I mounted the speaker at. I also purchased a center armrest for the vehicle and while I had the console apart, mounted the bracket and armrest as I re-assembled the car.

I had been thinking about the mount for about 2 weeks. I looked all over the internet for mounts and finally stopped into Best Buy and picked up a generic mount that was meant to fit on the glass. It had a 9" stalk that was very stiff and yet flexible. I drilled three small holes into the console by the cup-holders, making sure that the cup-holders would still work, and screwed down the mount. I zip tied the microphone holder and microphone connector to the stalk and then mounted the faceplate mount to the stalk. The mount kit from Best Buy came with a generic cell phone holder as well as a "square" quick disconnect mount plate. I found that the holes already made into the faceplate mount fit exactly into the holes on this square mount. I used 4, 8-32, 3/8 long screws with 8-32 locknuts, and was pleased when the threads of the screws fit flush to the back of the locknuts when tight. Since the square plate was meant to be a quick disconnect, I drilled a hole into the square plate and mount, and screwed them together. A couple of more zip ties and I was done. After hanging the microphone, I did not like the way the wire hung from the clip, so I cut and bent a paperclip and, using the holes in the Yaesu faceplate mount, hung the wire from this clip.

Conclusion

The installation was complete in about 3 hours. I spent a lot of time as this will be a vehicle that will not only transport me daily, but transport others. I wanted to make sure the connections were done correctly, as failures can be prevented by doing it right. As with most HAM radio projects, this one is a work in progress. I wanted to be able to move my legs while having the head close while driving. I feel I have achieved my goals for the radio and look forward to getting my General ticket shortly so I can use more of this great radio's features. The only thing I would change about the installation, would have been the time of year I started this....dry ground, more flexible wires, and less clothing on would have helped greatly.

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
 
FT-857D Install  
by VK2ICJ on January 22, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
looks great Mate

How are you tuning your HF antenna and to what bands?

Chris
 
FT-857D Install  
by K8CXM on January 22, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
I got an FT-857D last summer and have really enjoyed it in my Civic. I used double side tape to put the head in the center of the dash where a CD is supposed to go (none in my car) and put the rest under the driver side seat. I originally had the radio in the trunk, but felt that there was too much heat there in the summer. The power also goes through the firewall straight to the battery (actually through the driver side door frame I found a small opening to the engine compartment). The antennas come in from the trunk, under the rear seat and rug to the radio. I use a Diamond SBB5 mag mounted for 2/440. For the HF bands I use a collection of mag mounted Shark mini sticks. Currently I have 20,15,10 and 6 and should soon have a 40 and a 17. These little antennas are less than 40 inches and when mounted on the Civic's trunk don't give me any trouble when I go into my garage or a public parking garage. Contrary to what others may say, they work very well and I have no trouble making contacts:Poland, Italy, Estonia and several S.A and Caribbean stations as well as US. All with this little gem on 20 and 10. Native SWR on all bands I use is less than 1.5:1 at resonance, and in the case of 15 1.1:1 (I thought my transmitter was producing no power because I had NO visual reflected power on the FT-857D). NO RF problems in the car.
Under the seat, where the radio is, I do have a 10" braided copper strap to one of the bolts the seat is mounted on, but I've used the radio without it and really have not noticed any difference.
That little 857D is a fine little mobile radio. You made a good choice, hope you enjoy it as much as I've enjoyed mine. It will be with me next month when the wife and I head south to sunny Florida, and I am glad it will be there.
73 ... Jim
 
FT-857D Install  
by K8CXM on January 22, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
I got an FT-857D last summer and have really enjoyed it in my Civic. I used double side tape to put the head in the center of the dash where a CD is supposed to go (none in my car) and put the rest under the driver side seat. I originally had the radio in the trunk, but felt that there was too much heat there in the summer. The power also goes through the firewall straight to the battery (actually through the driver side door frame I found a small opening to the engine compartment). The antennas come in from the trunk, under the rear seat and rug to the radio. I use a Diamond SBB5 mag mounted for 2/440. For the HF bands I use a collection of mag mounted Shark mini sticks. Currently I have 20,15,10 and 6 and should soon have a 40 and a 17. These little antennas are less than 40 inches and when mounted on the Civic's trunk don't give me any trouble when I go into my garage or a public parking garage. Contrary to what others may say, they work very well and I have no trouble making contacts:Poland, Italy, Estonia and several S.A and Caribbean stations as well as US. All with this little gem on 20 and 10. Native SWR on all bands I use is less than 1.5:1 at resonance, and in the case of 15 1.1:1 (I thought my transmitter was producing no power because I had NO visual reflected power on the FT-857D). NO RF problems in the car.
Under the seat, where the radio is, I do have a 10" braided copper strap to one of the bolts the seat is mounted on, but I've used the radio without it and really have not noticed any difference.
That little 857D is a fine little mobile radio. You made a good choice, hope you enjoy it as much as I've enjoyed mine. It will be with me next month when the wife and I head south to sunny Florida, and I am glad it will be there.
73 ... Jim
 
FT-857D Install  
by WW5AA on January 22, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
I'll agree, the FT-857D is a great little radio. Mine is mounted in a PT Cruiser along with TH-D7A for APRS. The antenna is the Little Tarheel II. A homebrew amp running it at 200 Watts works very well. Learned a lot from K0BG's web site (best around). Have fun.

73, de Lindy
 
FT-857D Install  
by KB1IIX on January 22, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Couldn't see most of the pictures. The links didn't work. One picture (very fuzzy) did come thru.

Articles like this REALLY need pictures. Nice write-up.

KB1IIX
 
FT-857D Install  
by KB1IIX on January 22, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Couldn't see most of the pictures. The links didn't work. One picture (very fuzzy) did come thru.

Articles like this REALLY need pictures. Nice write-up.

KB1IIX
 
FT-857D Install  
by KB1IIX on January 22, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
When I tried to post, I got an error message which led me to believe my post didn't go thru. I did it again...that's the reason for the double posts. But the site moderator will delete the duplicate...:-)
 
RE: FT-857D Install  
by K0BG on January 22, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
The number of contacts made, and where they are located, has no correlation to antenna efficiency. It's akin to the statement "I can work everything I can hear". The truth is, you're not hearing half the signals.

Alan, KBG
www.k0bg.com
 
RE: FT-857D Install  
by K0BG on January 22, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
The number of contacts made, and where they are located, has no correlation to antenna efficiency. It's akin to the statement "I can work everything I can hear". The truth is, you're not hearing half the signals.

Alan, KBG
www.k0bg.com
 
RE: FT-857D Install  
by K0BG on January 22, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
The number of contacts made, and where they are located, has no correlation to antenna efficiency. It's akin to the statement "I can work everything I can hear". The truth is, you're not hearing half the signals.

Alan, KBG
www.k0bg.com
 
RE: FT-857D Install  
by K0BG on January 22, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
The number of contacts made, and where they are located, has no correlation to antenna efficiency. It's akin to the statement "I can work everything I can hear". The truth is, you're not hearing half the signals.

Alan, KBG
www.k0bg.com
 
RE: FT-857D Install  
by K0BG on January 22, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Boy, somethings up with the SQL encoding this morning!

Alan, KBG
www.k0bg.com
 
RE: FT-857D Install  
by M0AFJ on January 22, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
I'm getting a new VW Golf (rabbit in the US) shortly and will want to fit my 857D in. Does anyone know if there is a accessable hole in the firewall to get the power cable through?
Thanks
Tim M0AFJ
 
RE: FT-857D Install  
by WI7B on January 22, 2008 Mail this to a friend!

I'm sorry, but where are the photos? I read and re-read the article for a link to the photos. Maybe I'm just blind this morning.

73,

---* Ken
 
FT-857D Install  
by K6YE on January 22, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Steve,

Great article. Ham radio can be a great companion on those long commutes.

Before I retired in 2003, had a 144/440 dual band radio in the Ford Ranger truck and it kept my sanity from leaving the body.

You have a very good setup and I hope you have many enjoyable QSOs.

Semper Fi,

Tommy - K6YE
DX IS
 
RE: FT-857D Install  
by SM5IUF on January 22, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
No Sir, you are not blind since I can't see anything either and I am not blind.

73 de SM5IUF
 
RE: FT-857D Install  
by NA1Q on January 22, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
I've got an FT-857D also and temporarily mounted it to a wooden frame that slides under the bench seat of my Ford Ranger Pickup. I opted for the ATAS-120 and bit the bullet and drilled the aluminum cap for the trunk mount. The nice part is when I pull the cap in the spring, I have to undo a pl259 at the second mount on the bedrail about a foot back from the cab of the truck on the passenger side and thread the ATAS-120 onto the bedrail mount.
Love the radio, just wished the antenna went down to 3.5 Mhz.

73 Matt NA1Q
 
RE: FT-857D Install  
by KD5SFK on January 22, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Alan,

Don't be such a party pooper. OF COURSE a 40" antenna for 20 meters is probably horribly inefficient. But not everyone can nor even has the desire to install the most efficient mobile antenna. If said antenna users were on here whining about not being able to make any HF contacts, then by all means, explain to them why. But don't rain on their parade just because...

 
RE: FT-857D Install  
by AK2B on January 22, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
The number of contacts made, and where they are located, has no correlation to antenna efficiency. It's akin to the statement "I can work everything I can hear". The truth is, you're not hearing half the signals.

If I park my car 20 feet from the Atlantic Ocean at 8:30 in the morning, on 20 meters, I can make the statement "I can work everything you can't hear" even though my inefficient CB whip/AH-4 may not be anywhere nearly as efficient as your antenna on your car somewhere in the Midwest. Band conditions will most likely favor me. On the other hand, someone far from me, nowhere near the Atlantic Ocean, with very efficient full sized phased Yagis on separate towers, running a KW from a mountain top can work God on a dead band. Somewhere in between are you and me. If someone says they can work what they hear I think they are merely making a statement of satisfaction - not of efficiency. The fact that someone is not working what they can't hear is probably of no concern - or, at least, no concern to me. Mobile rigs are always a compromise for a lot of reasons.

Tom, AK2B
 
RE: FT-857D Install  
by N3OX on January 23, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
"On the other hand, someone far from me, nowhere near the Atlantic Ocean, with very efficient full sized phased Yagis on separate towers, running a KW from a mountain top can work God on a dead band."

Only if God resurrects the band first ;-)
 
FT-857D Install  
by KC0ORD on January 24, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Ok, I'll try to answer the questions. The HF antenna is tuned for 10m right now, but I do plan on getting a better antenna.

I just passed my General exam on Monday and will start using my privileges.

The pictures died, because my main hard drive failed at home. I did get a new drive and the backups were restored successfully, so the pictures are back. Also, the Eham.net admins helped with the pictures (THANKS).

Thanks for the comments and I will update the original article at http://sgoblir.dsl.visi.com/home
 
RE: FT-857D Install  
by KE7FD on January 24, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Nice install. I also have an 857D that I used when I drove from Az to PA a few months ago. I much more prefer Ham radio to commercial radio to pass the time and miles. I made the mistake of using an OPEK HVT-400 to start off with but later down the road installed a Hustler whip with three resonators. Big difference in wind drag but a big difference in gain too. But I digress...

I am now in the process of installing a TS-480 and TM-D700a combination in the Jeep and will use the 857D in the shack where I can control it with Ham Radio Deluxe. The comment I have for you is to develop a second nature of operating your 857D (or 706MkIIG) without looking at the face before you take it on the road. These radios are so compact with embedded menus using them causes the operator to take his eyes off the road. Not a good practice and even illegal (taking your eyes off the road...). The one thing that I'll miss with my new setup is 2 meter SSB for mobile contesting (a local tradition here).

Be safe and have fun (notice the order).

 
RE: FT-857D Install  
by W4VR on January 24, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Nice installation! But, you should have spent a few more bucks and purchased an IC-7000...the transmit audio is very superior to the 857D audio. Yaesu also had crappy audio with the FT-100 series.
 
RE: FT-857D Install  
by WI7B on January 24, 2008 Mail this to a friend!

Ah, the photos are now attached!

Looks like a fine installation, and ergonomic set-up. No clutter inside the passenager compartment.

Yep, a tuner can come later as funds become available and the solar cycle warrants it. Have fun on your commute!

73,

---* Ken
 
RE: FT-857D Install  
by K8QV on January 24, 2008 Mail this to a friend!

Jim -

I'm glad you're having fun and working lots of stateside and DX contacts, but you need to replace those dummy load antennas. I don't care if they do work and are convenient. They're just too simple to make for a real ham installation. You really need to go to much more expense and trouble. It might not work noticeably better, but at least in theory it will be an improvement and you can feel pretty good about yourself.

- Chris
 
FT-857D Install  
by WB8YYY on January 24, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Fantastic work and well written. I appreciate your resourcefulness in getting it this far within a tight budget. Yes you likely have more to learn on HF antennas, but I feel you have already done the hardest part. Your mobile station will be more fun on HF in a couple years as the sunspots go up. But this spring do look for E-skip openings on 10 and 6 meters. Meanwhile do work on your license upgrading and continue to enjoy the hobby.
 
RE: FT-857D Install  
by KF4KQI on January 24, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
For cheap HF work, just get some Ham Sticks, they work great on 20m and up... 40meters is pushing it with them, but even they they still work.

 
RE: FT-857D Install  
by K8CXM on January 24, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Wow, I didn't realize how bad my inexpensive, simple, non-obtrusive, wife friendly, antenna is! Maybe I should put an 11 foot whip on that won't nearly clear my garage or any public garage and install multiple ground straps to ever corner of the frame on my Civic. I'm sure my wife wouldn't mind. Or, just yank the gear from my car because others say it is so bad.
Hey, I certainly can't work everything I hear from my home QTH with my G5RV (oops, another bad antenna), but I STILL HAVE FUN with my potent 100 watts anyway.
I've always believed that you work with what you got and use what you are SATISFIED with. Is a 40 inch mag mount a great antenna? No way will it compare with what others might be using, but it's what I want for some of the veiled reasons mentioned above. If you want your car looking like a porcupine on steroids, knock yourself out. I don't nor does my wife.
I am VERY satisfied when, with what I am using, I am able to make a distant mobile contact. It is magic and even my non-ham wife is impressed. Will I hear more with a bigger, well grounded antenna? Maybe. Maybe not. On several occasions I've listened to 'DX' stations on the base rig/antenna (20M V at 45') and gone to my car to see what the difference was with that stupid little antenna and found none. Certainly not conclusive by any means, but in my eyes/ears, good enough.
If I wasn't happy or I felt nothing short of a KW in my car was needed, fine, make everything bigger. But why go to all the bother and expense when what I have is meeting my expectations and I am having so much fun with it.


73 ... Jim
 
RE: FT-857D Install  
by K8QV on January 24, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Jim -

OMG, did you say MAG MOUNT??????
 
RE: FT-857D Install  
by N6AJR on January 24, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
nice write up, I used an ft 857 in the stratus ( sold) and the dodge intrepid, I use it wirh a atas 120 antenna, and it works ok from 440 mhz , 2 m, and 40- 6 meters mobile. I park that car in the garage so the ATAS is a great compromise for me. I use an ft 947 on the pickup and a DK-3 foa its antenna, as inever goes in the garage. good luck, upgrade and really have some fun with mobile HF
 
FT-857D Install  
by K0RGR on January 24, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Looks like a neat installation.

Is the control head easily removable? I've been burglarized twice here in the upper Midwest - in places you'd never expect to get hit - so I've learned to hide my radios and remove my antennas unless I can see the car from where I am.

The first burglary was in a multi-story city parking garage in Des Moines, with the car parked in full view of the skywalk with hundreds of people walking by only a few feet away, and regular police patrols! The second was in a small town in Wisconsin.

I use a mag-mount for HF on my Suzuki/Chevy Tracker. It's a 3-magnet mount, and I run a short ground strap to a screw I've hidden in the door jam. It works well on 40 meters and up, with the Hustler short mast and resonators with long whips. Sadly, the mag mount won't hold the 80 or 60 meter resonator at freeway speeds. A tiedown of some kind is highly recommended.
 
RE: FT-857D Install  
by LNXAUTHOR on January 24, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
- good job... i documented my install in my truck (available on-line w/pics) four years ago... the setup is still working great... i used an ft-857, comet duplexer and atas-120a... the combo has been a lot of fun, even at the bottom of the cycle... being able to work 2m-40m at the touch of a button is very convenient...

- i like how you did a remote mount of the head... i thought about doing that, but simply bolted the rig (in its mount) in a vertical position next to the driver's seat...

- hope you work lots of folks, and congrats on the upgrade!
 
RE: FT-857D Install  
by NE3R on January 25, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
I think I'm going to run out to best buy and grab one or two of those cell phone holders for my FT-857D. I mainly keep it as a backup and portable rig but I wouldn't mind installing it for mobile. I like the way the control head is mounted in your vehicle.

As mentioned, your antenna system isn't great, but I'm sure you knew that and I expect it will be the first thing you upgrade. Look at the Hustler Mobile HF antenna & resonators. They are the most economical mobile HF antennas that are considered to work well. They saying is that all antennas are a compromise is true, especially with mobile antennas. A 13 foot high whip and bug catcher might get out, but watch out for the low bridges!

Also, try to get that dual band antenna more centered in the roof. It really will help your 2 meter performance. With HF it isn't as big of a deal, the wavelengths are typically bigger than the car.

73 de Joe NE3R
 
RE: FT-857D Install  
by W8VI on January 25, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Nice job with the install Steve. Welcome to HF mobile! Also have a FT-857d and an IC-7000. The face plate on the 857 is smaller and much lighter. Both receive very well and the noise blanker and DSP really help. I use the Heil Traveler single ear headset on both rigs and it produces stronger and clear audio reports than the standard mic. I think its also safer when driving.
For me the Hustler resonators for 10, 15, 17 and 20 meters perform better than my Ham Sticks. They are also shorter, lighter and have less wind load. You might want to use the less known shorter MO-4 hustler mast. On 40M the Ham Stick seems to do better for me. A good 3/8 mount to consider is the Diamond kr-400 - Not cheap but mine has handled a lot of wind and stress for over 4 years. I'm a little tired of changing resonators and am looking for a good screwdriver type antenna.
As the sun spots increase over the next few years 15, 12, 10 and even 6 meters will be fun and working stations world wide will be part of your daily commute.
Enjoy your mobile station Steve and glad youre on HF mobile. It's always nice to work another mobile station either from the shack or on the road.
73, Gary
 
FT-857D Install  
by KC0YDD on January 28, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Great looking install and outstanding use of materials/budget you had on hand. My only concern would be that if the antenna cabling enters the vehicle at the top of the hatch back it may likely leak when it rains. You might want to find some way to either have them enter the vehicle at the bottom of the hatch back or see if you can't find some way to seal that up (Sorry, I don't have any ideas...)
 
FT-857D Install  
by KG6OPR on January 28, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Look's great! Now has anyone hung a 857 in a 2007 RX-8 Mazda?
 
FT-857D Install  
by KC9KPS on January 29, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Nice article!

Now combine that install with a CarPC and you can do PSK while mobile (and ALLOT more).

http://www.mini-box.com/

I hope to get my 857 mounted into my 2000 ford focus and then get this CarPC hooked up for digital work and GPS/APRS,PSK..etc..
 
RE: FT-857D Install  
by AC7CW on January 29, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Some of the antenna comments are funny... I once put a full size 10 meter whip on the top of a 91 Camaro, instantly I had the ugliest Camaro ever fielded!! I made one trip to work with it, got out and took a look at it and decided to go back to the nice and unobtrusive and neat looking little dual band mag mount from MFJ and put the 10 meter rig on the shelf... I'm more of an artist than a tech geek I guess, if an antenna is truly ugly I don't care how efficient it is, it's gotta go... I see these porcupines running around and I want to tell them "that thing is UGLY, for God's sake, take an art appreciation class at some point in your life"
 
RE: FT-857D Install  
by K6IHC on January 31, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
(by W4VR on January 24, 2008)
"Nice installation! But, you should have spent a few more bucks and purchased an IC-7000...the transmit audio is very superior to the 857D audio. Yaesu also had crappy audio with the FT-100 series".



A few bucks? Why don't you give the fellow the *few bucks* over the price of the 857 to buy an IC-7000? The current GigaParts prices are: IC-7000 = $1300, FT-857 = $739. Your *few bucks* is about $560...

Some hams have all the freaking money in the world to buy high-priced, whiz-bang radios, tall towers, and super antennas. Many of us do not.

BTW, my 857 has done quite well during the four years I've owned it.
 
RE: FT-857D Install  
by AD5TD on February 1, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
VERY nice install. I like where you mounted the remote head. I have a Pontiac Grand Prix and I was able to mount it just above the factory radio. Right in the line of sight. I would recommend an ATAS 230A antenna as a "starter" for you . If you mount it right (MUST be grounded at the base CLOSE to the body), you will be very happy with the convenience and ease of use.

As for theft, I have never had a problem. I leave my radios on when I leave the car and, I think that, most people think that it's a "cop car" and leave it alone. I can't tell you how many times people have stormed up behind me on the highway to pass me and then slam on the brakes and pull in behind me. Hi Hi.
 
RE: FT-857D Install  
by AD5TD on February 1, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Just saw what I posted JUST as I hit the "post" button.


I meant the YAESU ATAS 120 A antenna. :-P
 
RE: FT-857D Install  
by KC8NTP on February 2, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
I would like to comment on the comment made about the Wilson 5000 being a dummy-load, BS. I used the Wilson 5000 on 10m for quite a while and could not tell any difference from a full wave - and it seemed to be less prone to noise reception. Also, as far as the Yaesu ft-857 having bad audio: it is not the greatest out of the box, but if you re-bias the PA, do the ALC and speech processor mod it will have killer audio. I also run the Astatic D-104 hand mic, and WOW, it now has amazing audio. It takes a whopping hour to do the mods and re-bias the radio - the ft-857 has a reputation for not being biased right from the factory.

I run the FT-857 at home as well as my pickup. I use an MFJ-1668 manual screwdriver with a 102in fiberglass whip for the pickup. I built a loading coil for 160m and added a caphat, which I have made many 160m contacts. I think that I have all states except Rhode Island. I also worked quite a few European stations on 80m CW from the mobile at the beginning of January - very strong openings to Europe from the West on 80m/75m in January.

I also think that the receive of the ft-857 is great. If it was not for the receiver, I would not been able to pull out the stations that I have worked on 80m/75m and 160m mobile. Some people have said that the DSP does not work, another BS. I use the DSP quite a bit on 20m as well as 40m when the band conditions get tough. The DSP has also proven itself on 75m and 160m SSB last summer when the storms were bad here in the west - used with the IF shift, I could pull out signals that were well below the noise. On CW the DSP is great for crowded band conditions.

The Yaesu FT-857 has to be the best radio ever made, for the money. I know that there are far better radios out there, but show me one that will do all that the FT-857 will do, in such small package, for the same money, and then I will impressed. If I had the money to burn I would buy the Icom 7000, however, I am not one to spend a great deal of money on the HAM radio; a wife and a kid come first.

John, KC8NTP, east central Nevada
 
FT-857D Install  
by W7BTL on February 2, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Last summer, I installed a Yaesu FT-857D into my 2006 Town and Country Minivan. I use a hamstick mounted to the luggage rack. I also have a FT-857D as a home station but I tend to work a lot more DX with the mobile. Anyone wanting any hints about a minivan install can contact me via my email address on QRZ.
 
RE: FT-857D Install  
by K4FX on February 3, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
The little 857D is a really nice rig, probably the best value out there in a new radio,

I have a ATAS 100 on my 857D mobile, and I can work what I hear so if I am only hearing 1/2 the activity, the bands must really be crowded!!!

K4FX
 
FT-857D Install  
by NK5G on February 8, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Those XM mounts are nice for radio installs. My 857 is mounted on one of those and I love it.

Dittos on the antenna efficency. One can not expect a mobile antenna to work like a big one in the back yard. You just won't have the smae impedance. Just a trade off of mobile HF. As long as you are making contacts and having fun that's all that matters.

I have worked all kinds of DX with Hustlers and the MO-4 mast at 70 mph.
 
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