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Old 12-01-2013, 09:58 PM   #1
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Yaesu FTM-400DR install

Warning, nerds only post.

I've been shopping for a mobile unit and finally decided on this transceiver. There are a lot of negative reviews but the touch screen display, GPS/APRS and built in Bluetooth sold me.

Main unit fits nicely in the overhead console.



Macally cup holder
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Old 12-01-2013, 10:36 PM   #2
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Re: Yaesu FTM-400DR install

did you put a external speaker on than beauty or are you using the built in one.
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Old 12-01-2013, 11:05 PM   #3
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Re: Yaesu FTM-400DR install

Quote:
Originally Posted by pinz712
did you put a external speaker on that beauty or are you using the built in one.
Built in. I'm planning on using a Bluetooth headset but the stock speaker is loud enough. I can also stream audio to my Kenwood DNX7140 stereo via Bluetooth.
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Old 12-02-2013, 09:27 AM   #4
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Re: Yaesu FTM-400DR install

Nice! You kind of pushed your chips "all-in" for your first radio.

I wouldn't take too much stock in the negative reviews to date. That radio hasn't been out that long and most people are just griping about the the things they would have it do. Its a full on replacement for the FT-350 which did have some downfalls. I did think it odd that Yaesu didn't incorporate a better memory management system (similar to the FT-8800). But I would certainly entertain the FT-400 if buying a new APRS unit. I like that big screen!

On your install. Maybe play with a few different locations for the remote display unit. I finally did a custom mount so I could see the screen and touch the controls right at the top of the dash. If you are on the trail and working APRS stations, your eyes (and fingers) are going to go to that screen a lot. I found it was better to keep it closer to the field of view than scanning down low on the doghouse or high to the shelf. The XOL wasn't too pleased, but it functioned much better.

So what antenna did you go with and where is it mounted?
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Old 12-02-2013, 10:04 AM   #5
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Re: Yaesu FTM-400DR install

For unknowledgeable quasi-nerds (dilettantes) like me, the following link explains the APRS system, which looks pretty cool. Basically, CB-radio for nerds... *

http://www.aprs.org/APRS-docs/APRS.TXT

* (except their handles are really hard to pronounce.)
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Old 12-02-2013, 02:44 PM   #6
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Re: Yaesu FTM-400DR install

Quote:
Originally Posted by E350
Basically, CB-radio for nerds...

That's like saying a SMB is just a van with a sunroof.
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Old 12-02-2013, 05:16 PM   #7
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Re: Yaesu FTM-400DR install

Quote:
Nice! You kind of pushed your chips "all-in" for your first radio.
Go big or go home.

Quote:
On your install. Maybe play with a few different locations for the remote display unit. I finally did a custom mount so I could see the screen and touch the controls right at the top of the dash. If you are on the trail and working APRS stations, your eyes (and fingers) are going to go to that screen a lot. I found it was better to keep it closer to the field of view than scanning down low on the doghouse or high to the shelf. The XOL wasn't too pleased, but it functioned much better.
I was going to buy the Kenwood TM-D710A mainly because I have been borrowing a friends TH-D72A so I was familiar with it. I used the TH-D72A in the same location that I have the Yaesu and it worked well for me but it was definitely a distraction while driving, especially with that small screen. While the TM has a bigger screen it's still complicated to use mobile because the menu structure is so deep. The Yaesu display is leaps and bounds easier to work with mainly because it's larger, has touch screen and all functions are only 2 levels deep. These eyes aren't getting any better so while I prefer Kenwood the Yaesu won out. The touch screen is truly the differentiator. I would like to relocate a little higher though.
Quote:
So what antenna did you go with and where is it mounted?
I'm using a 1/4 wave mag mounted right in the middle of the cab roof. It seems to work great based on multiple QRK's. I purposely didn't spend a lot of money on the antenna since I wasn't sure what the best configuration might be. I'd like to mount something to the roof rack but the penthouse provides a lousy ground plane. Any recommendations?
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Old 12-02-2013, 06:53 PM   #8
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Re: Yaesu FTM-400DR install

Nice! I have the FTM-350 in my van and really like it. I have the Bluetooth and APRS modules installed. I have to agree that the memory structure in the FTM-350AR and 400DR suck. It baffles me as to why Yaesu would not change to a better memory design like the FT-8800R or VX8-DR. They got lots of feedback about that with the FTM-350AR. I know that I was hoping for a firmwear update to address it but instead they discontinue the 350 and make the 400.

As for a mount try this from Bracketron. Model MVM-15-05 http://www.bracketron.com/media/supp...n/_mvm/128.pdf. I use one with my FTM-350 and it works great. It is nice and solid. It mounts just above and to the right of the instrument cluster.

For an antenna I use a Comet CA-2x4SR mounted on the front fender. It works great. I made a custom mount out of stainless steel. It is much stronger than ones you can buy. Here are a couple picts of the antenna and mount. I now have 2 of these, one on each fender. I have 2 radios and I would not use any other antenna. Mind you I am a Search & Rescue member on the Communications side so I have to have the wider bandwidth that these offer. There are other antennas that are just as good but this is what I like.




For radios I have:
Mobile: Yaesu FTM-350AR and TYT TH-9000VHF
Handheld: Yaesu VX8-DR and Wouxun KG-UVD1P

Cheers
Darryl
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Old 12-02-2013, 10:46 PM   #9
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Re: Yaesu FTM-400DR install

Quote:
Originally Posted by depark
As for a mount try this from Bracketron. Model MVM-15-05
That's perfect! Going to do the same. Thanks for the input Darryl.

[EDIT] I believe the correct part number is MVM-35-05 NOT 15-05. Ordered and will confirm when it arrives.

73
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Old 12-03-2013, 06:49 PM   #10
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Re: Yaesu FTM-400DR install

Sweet. Makes my 8800 look kinda trailer....

I'd like to hear some follow-up on the digital modes Yaesu built in. I haven't really examined them, as I assume they're proprietary, but I'm curious.

I keep lusting over the Icom 7100. More touch-screen goodness in a HF radio. Is there a replacement for the FT-857 on the way?

Also, I was messing with APRS this summer. Kinda fun (even got an iPhone app that does it, and one that sorta got working with a Baofeng HT and an iPhone). But once I was in the boonies it seems APRS repeaters were really thin on the ground. I'd love to see a way it would work as an ad hoc net.

Maybe we should have a ham SMB GPS acronym-fest meet-up.
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