Stealth mobile installation
Click on pictures to enlarge image.
I purchased my Icom IC-207h mobile 144/440 mhz FM amateur rig in 1999. I have gotten a lot of use
out of this radio, from typical repeater use to simplex operation. I've even
worked FM satellites - AO-51(Echo), UO-14, SO-41, ISS (voice & packet).
Icom 207 group now available on Yahoo! It's fun and free!
Click to join ic207group
This page has information on my mobile VHF/UHF station. See the left side of the page for
other operating modes and projects.
If this is not visable, click here to reload web page.
This is quite a radio! When I decided to install this rig into my car (1991 Saturn SL1), I found
myself with the same problem many have nowadays. Where to mount the rig? My car has the double-DIN
size stereo in it (the factory stereo), and it occurred to me that I could mount a single-DIN size
aftermarket radio AND the IC-207h in the double-DIN space, but
my factory radio still works, and I wasn't ready to buy a new stereo yet!
The Icom IC-207h is remote-mountable. The face of the radio is removable, and a small cable attaches between
the face and the radio itself. The face measures 4.25" long x 1.5" tall x 1.75" deep. The last measurement
includes the three knobs. Finding a place to mount the face should be much easier than trying to mount
an entire radio!
I needed to find a location for the face that was easy for me to see while driving. Because the power button
and LCD readout are on the face, it needed to be accessable also. Other than power on/off, every other
function can be controlled from the microphone! Volume, squelch, frequency up/dn, DTMF, menu settings,
memory functions, etc - all are controlled easily from the microphone! I did not really want the face
of the radio to be visable when the vehicle was parked, for a couple of reasons. For one, the bright
sunlight and heat in the summer will destroy the plastic faceplate. Also, I was concerned about theft -
this is a great radio, and I want to keep it!
I began looking at the center console ashtray as a possible location. A little modification would be
necessary to fit the faceplate, but it should work! I could always buy a replacement ashtray from a
salvage yard if necessary. My plan was to only modify easily replaceable parts. It'd be perfect if the ashtray would still close
afterwards! I measured twice, and cut once. It just barely fits,
and the ashtray door closes!
The next job was to find a way to mount connectors for the microphone and external speaker. Again,
I wanted the connectors close to the driver's seat, but as inconspicous as possible. My vehicle does not
have power windows, so a 'pocket' exists next to the emergency brake handle. This 'pocket' is the perfect
size for the microphone, and also has a spot that would be perfect for mounting a RJ45 mic connector and
1/8" phone jack! I also installed a small SPST toggle switch that 'locks' the microphone.
After mounting the radio in the trunk, I mounted all of the connectors, and ran the 3 necessary cables from
the trunk to the interior. I only had to purchase the remote face cable, I made my own microphone cable and
external speaker cable. The face cable is available from Icom.
It was now time to hook everything up. I ran some heavy-duty power cables(#6 AWG) from the battery
straight to the trunk, and placed a 50 amp fuseable link at the battery. This provides for quite a bit of
future capacity! I ran two cables, positive AND negative. I installed a fuse block in the trunk, where each
device plugs into my new power buss. Besides connecting the cables for my new rig, I added a heavy-duty power outlet
socket in the trunk. This socket is not switched by the ignition key, and will deliver 10 Amps
at 12V DC easily! Powering my rig directly from the battery should eliminate RFI and ensure that
the rig can deliver full power.
Now to try the radio! Here's a picture of the center console and face unit. Although it's not easy to tell
from my picture, the ashtray lifts out at sits at about 30 degrees on the console when I use the radio. The
display is very easy to see! If I don't need to change frequencies or see the display, I can leave the
ashtray in the down position.
I found just the right size external speaker to fit between my emergency brake handle and center console. This
was low-cost (about $10). This picture also shows the microphone, which is stored in the small cup
in front of the mic/speaker connectors. I can easily remove the microphone and speaker for super-low visability! I do this if I must park in a
This is an interior view of the car in stealth mode! The
only noticeable things are the jacks for the microphone and speaker cables and the toggle switch. A small piece of foam
could be cut and placed over the connectors for full stealth. The callsign licence plate and trunk-mounted antenna
(also removable) are the only exterior clues that I may have a rig installed. I feel confident that
my rig is safe, but also very useable in my vehicle!
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I have used this radio in my car for a couple of years, and have received many good audio reports, no
'engine whine' or other bad reports at all. This radio is at home either in the car, in the shack, or
anywhere in between.
Last Updated July 7, 2007
©1997-2007 Kyle Yoksh
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