2009 Ford F150 Super Crew 4X4 with Ford Sync
I run the Icom 706MK2G, with a Larsen NMOQ B, 1/4 wave antenna drilled through the middle of the roof of the truck. Have not yet installed the Don Johnson DK3z HF screwdriver antenna that was on my previous truck.
As you can see, the remote face kit of the 706 MK2G, allows for easy operation while driving. The body of the radio is mounted under the driver's seat frame.
I run APRS mobile as VA3EXT-14. Using an Acer Aspire One ZG5 Netbook, running UI-View32 and Precision Mapping v7 for software. I have a Holux GPSlim 236 Bluetooth GPS for mobile positioning, a Kantronics KPC-3 TNC and a 35 watt Midland VHF radio. The antenna is a Larsen NMOQ B, 1/4 wave antenna mounted on the driver's fender.
Hear is the installation of my new Yaesu FTM-350R.
Removed the passenger seat mounting bolts and tipped it back to get at the cross brace where I mounted the body of the radio.
Had to re-arrange some factory wiring to accommodate room for radio mount.
Lots of room for air to cool the radio and left enough slack in the cables to move the seat back and forth..
This is how the display looks running VHF on both sides, repeater on left and APRS on right..
On the right hand side shows GPS to show hat the GPS is locked on to position. The A12 shows APRS 1200bps. The symbol to the left of that shows Beacon set to SmartBeaconing. Bottom right, left of the F button, shows A above & D below. This means the APRS & Data band is dedicated to that side, which is configurable in the menu system.
Was able to program almost everything without
looking at the manual. Very good menu system. Seems to have almost
everything that my wife’s Kenwood D710 has, just different wording or menu.
Waiting for the FGPS-1 which is on back-order. The suction cup mount for the
head is pretty much useless, but I knew that before ordering the radio. Made
my own bracket to mount the face. Installed an external speaker, found the
audio on the right side is much lower than the audio on on the left.
Installed the BU-1 Bluetooth unit. Friend had a Blueparrot B250xt headset. Was surprised that it paired up setting the FTM-350 to 0000, and it worked perfect. Set the VOX to low and talked hands free to people on the local repeater. Comments on audio through hand mic and Bluetooth headset was very good. The audio in the radio speakers are muted when the Bluetooth headset is paired to the radio.
Set the “My Position” in the radio and have it beaconing. Receives APRS station good, can go to list and view easily. Shows all of the weather data from our WX station very nice. This is one place the Kenwood D710 is a bit better. It has icons across the screen, like rain, thermometer and the reading below. Kind of nicer, but you can get all of the same stuff from the 350R.
Will post more when the GPS unit and CT-142 data cable shows up.
Large display: - Characters are about ½" high.
Display Colours: - Can change between 8 different colours.
Mic: - Plugs into body or face, unlike D710, only body. Can turn back-light on & off.
Great menu system: - Easy to use without looking in the manual.
Good audio: - Both TX & RX. No alternator hum. Front speakers are OK, but not too loud.
Scanning: - When scanning, and switching other function, such as checking list of APRS stations heard(S-List), once returning back to frequency, it stays scanning. My wife's D710 will stop scanning whenever any button is pressed.
Bluetooth: - Worked good with friend's Blueparrot B250xt headset. Had to enter "Special Function Menu" "B-T Pairing" to set the FTM-350 to 0000 address and then controlled it to pair. Connected, had to then enter the "Option" menu in Set Mode Operation and set the "VOX" option to "VOX Low". Had to do this each time the radio was turned on. All functions on headset worked good. PTT button or VOX.
Cross Band Repeat: - Some really like that, I never use it.
220 MHz: - Will likely never use, but something to play with.
Manual: - Very vague, only about 80% of what the radio can do.
Mount: - Suction cup mount is useless, made my own mount.
Display Back-lighting: - when running the back-lighting on lower settings, I have found the led's, about 12 along the top that seem to change colour, not all display the correct colour. The display seems to have about the first 6 OK, then the next 4 seem to be more green than blue, and then the rest OK. Could just be my radio, but not sure. Not a big deal, but slight annoyance when you know it is there.
Mic: - PTT too sensitive, going to modify myself. Back-lighting is red.
Clock: - when in 12 hour mode, noon shows "0"(zero) instead of 12
DTMF: when using the "DTMF MODE", stored DTMF Memory, every time you key and press a DTMF on the mic to control a repeater, the DTMF Memory pops up for you to select which DTMF Memory you want to have sent. You also can't control the speed of the DTMF in the memory being sent. Seems too fast.
Digi: - no APRS Digi mode. Many complain, I don't think a mobile should be able to Digi.
RX: - advertised sensitivity only 0.2µV. Kenwood D710 advertised .16 µv. Going to connect to my IFR-1000s analyzer to find out.
External Speaker: - Have to wire a single external speaker with a stereo plug connected to tip & ring, to get audio from both sides.
Programming: - No firmware upgradeable like Kenwood D710. No free programming software like Kenwood D700 or D710.
Internal TNC: - Supposedly can't use as a standalone TNC for UI-View or other program like you can on the Kenwood D700 & D710. From a page "As noted by some others, the ability to not trigger the built in TNC externally via the serial port is a bummer. This would open up a lot of possibilities for use with external software."
GPS: - Can't connect radio to external GPS, but I think it is modifiable by the looks of the schematic.
Updates on Bluetooth Headsets Tried So Far
Blueparrot B250xt - Paired up and worked very good. Had to go to the "Bluetooth" menu and set "VOX" option to "VOX Low".
Ford Sync in F150 - Updated with the newest Sync software and could not connect in "PHONE" or "BLUETOOTH AUDIO" mode.
Plantronics 220 - Paired up, but had no incoming or outgoing audio. The button on the side of the headset would activate the radios PTT.
BlackBerry HS655 - Paired up and worked very good. Had to go to the "Bluetooth" menu and set "PTT" to "Vox Low".
Motorola H375 - Paired up and worked very good. Had to go to the "Bluetooth" menu and set "PTT" to "Vox Low".
Motorola H390 - Paired up and worked very good. Had to go to the "Bluetooth" menu and set "PTT" to "Vox Low".
If you go to the "Bluetooth" menu and set "Audio" to "Manual" the audio comes out both the headset and speaker of the radio. If you run "PTT" - "Vox Low", or "Vox High", make sure your volume on the radio speaker isn't so high that it triggers the headset mic.
GPS installed & Data Cable Connected
Got the GPS & data cable. GPS locked on very fast.
Connected the CT-142 cable to the Data Port on the radio. Set the Com Port to SPEED: 4800bps, OUTPUT: GPS OUT, ran HyperTerminal and could see the GPS strings being sent from the radio. Changed the Com Port OUTPUT: PACKET.
The Station List corresponds with the incoming packets on HyperTerminal. Newest on radio at the top, HyperTerminal newest on bottom.