Monday, March 31, 2008

Getting my new radio installed

This morning I made an appointment for Thursday morning to drop off my truck at a local auto sound and alarm place to install my second Yaesu FT-7800R radio. I could probably do this myself but for under $100, it's worthwhile to me to pay someone else to handle it in an hour or so. It would probably take me quite a bit longer and no doubt I would wind up with a skinned knuckle or two.

Currently, I'm planning to have the main body of the radio installed underneath the passenger side front seat, connected to the control head on the dash via the Yaesu separation kit. Before I go buy an external speaker I want to see if the built-in speaker will be loud and clear enough. I suspect I'll wind up with an external speaker, though.

For the time being I'll still use my Diamond MR77 mag-mount antenna. It works quite well and I like the fact that I can easily remove it if I need to park in a garage, or just want to be a bit more stealthy. At some point, I may get an antenna installed on a mount near the lip of the hood. While not as stealthy as a mag mount that's removed, it will at least avoid the height problem of a roof-mounted antenna.

Tonight I'll putz around with how I have the various repeaters programmed in and try to group them logically in the FT-7800R's memory banks. E.g., one for Eastern PA, one for Central/Western PA, one for NJ, and one to cover the area between here and the DC metropolitan area. I have family in Arlington, VA, and we go there or visit my wife's family in MD a couple times each year, so I'd like to have those repeaters programmed in and ready.

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