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Thursday, 24 May 2018

FTM-400XDE is now operational

The FTM-400XDE is now in the car and operating, the antenna on the roof has been moved a little way forward and closer to the broadcast band aerial to at least make sure it's as close to central on the roof as possible, the SWR is reasonably low on both 2-meters and 70cm, slightly higher on 70cm though but still within acceptable limits.

Not sure yet on the TX audio from the handsfree mic which has been fitted to the rear of the control unit, as I am yet to have any kind of audio report, the APRS beaconing does work as expected and if I do have the beacon on it should appear on APRS.fi if you wish to follow the link on the right of this blog on the desktop site (on the mobile version it's here for convenience).

The radio has not put any stress onto the car's electrics at all and the power feed is connected, via fuse, to the battery using an M8 ring terminal crimped to the cable, this allows the red cover that goes over the positive side to still fit on, the cable is tied out the way with cable ties to prevent it getting anywhere near the engine.

As this car is drive-by-wire which means that the throttle utilises electronics instead of a Bowden cable to connect to the pedal this introduced another point in which RFI could pose a potential danger, however having done some small tests I have found the throttle still operates when the radio operates at full TX power, perhaps the car body is screening the throttle components from the RFI effectively.

I removed the Baofeng UV-5RC Plus after I completed the job, it has been returned to standby/spare HT duties, this also freed up my speaker mic, and with the FTM-400 now in the car I have to say the audio is vastly improved, I don't think much of the audio on Baofeng radios but they do what they do, sadly as they're all HTs they are not really suited to in car use.

The FTM-400 has not been reconfigured in any way, and still shows the battery voltage on screen, and this brings me onto my final observation, the battery in the car now remained stable at 12.5V on RX with the ignition on the 'accessory' position (which runs the stereo and cigarette lighter with the engine and all other ancillaries off), where is it would drop to 12V and perhaps a little further towards 11 than I'd like on the battery fitted to the old car.

The only thing left to do is get on the air really.

73 de 2E0EIJ

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