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Installation into a 2015 Chevrolet Corvette

 Goals

 * Stealth installation

* No external mounted antenna

* Control head not easily seen

 

Chassis: normally I would of placed the chassis under one of the seats, but there's no heigth under there. I ended up installing the chassis behind the drivers seat ... under the vertical carpeting. 

 

Due to all C7 Corvettes having a motorized "hidden compartment", I made use of this area and mounted the control head there:

 Click Here for a 7mb video showing this in better detail... may take a few minutes to download.

 

Antenna Installation

Due to one of my requirements being no-outside-mounted-antenna, I placed the antenna between the seats, hanging upside down from a BNC jack installed in the overhead hoop/roof/band/thingy:

although the jack is on the inside, this gives an idea as to where it is situated:

Because of the proximity of the antenna to the occupants, this radio operates at 5w TX at all times.

I had a similar installation in a 2002 Corvette, with antenna mounted the same. With just 5w TX, it works as good as a handheld radio at 5w. Which, for the stealth installation requirements, performs surprisingly well. 

My Choice of Antenna

Jetstream RH771 dual band for portable radio, shown upside down because that is how it is situated in the car:

 

The expected Q&A !!!

* How did you get the screen on the cars infotainment center to move downwards like that?

I did nothing other than push a button. All 2014 and newer C7 Corvettes come from the factory with this hidden compartment behind the LCD screen.

* Do you not use APRS-GPS then (due to the FTM-400's built-in GPS receiver being on top of the control head)?

To my surprise, the GPS receiver in the FTM-400 will get GPS lock; I've seen as many as 6 satellites with usable signal strength operating. Although, it may take 6-8 minutes after power-up (engine start) for the 3D GPS lock to occur.... and sometimes up to 20 minutes if the car has sat for a few days. Though, I was elated to see the APRS-GPS work - with the control head buried in the dash like that. The slow satellite aquisition is due to the less-than-ideal location of the control head; not the radios fault.

Granted, with the dual-band antenna inside the car, and transmitting at only 5w... I don't always hit a digipeater/I-Gate with every beacon transmission.

* Your goals (inside antenna & 5w TX) are restrictive; why not just use a handheld radio?

It's just personal preference. I prefer a built-in type of installation, don't like holding a handheld while driving, remembering to charge a battery...

* Where is the microphone ?

Laying on the floor, under the seat (via an extension cable). I just reach down and pick it up. I am also using an external speaker.

* Has anyone tried to use the Yaesu Bluetooth option, and had success getting the FTM-400 receive audio ported through the car radio ?

I bought the Bluetooth option and installed it into the FTM-400... but haven't yet tried to pair it to the car infotainment system. More on that in a future update.
 

email Tim 

APRS Setup Page

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