Chevy Cobalt FT-7800 / Remote Head (Step by Step)

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appalachianscanner

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Yaesu FT-7800R Dual Band Amateur Radio
LM-300 Gooseneck mount www.Lidomounts.com

Ordered both from AES, not bad had it 4 days later....the lido mount shipped a day later

After realizing my handheld FT-60R had a dead battery and the overwhelming frustration of trying to find somehwere to clip the thing....trust me newer cars have nowhere to clip a belt clip style radio...What happened to the old school sun visors that were beefy enuff... Anyways I think its a little safer since it doesnt require two hands to operate, I have about 10 times more power output, and its mounted... Fairy simple install..
My radio of choice a Yaesu FT-7800R had the remote head separation kit included free as a promotional item, now i read several threads where people made thier own separation cable ...but who wants to go to all that trouble lol

1. I started by running my remote separation cable from the passenger compartment to the rear, theres a fuse box on the passenger side of the transmission console, pops off and you really got some space to mount a speaker, etc... i wanted to keep the transmitter away from the cars computer. Be sure to leave some cable slack here if you want to reconfigure later...Ran the control cable under the plastic trim, UNDER the seat track and back under the floor trim to the trunk.....It has split back seats so I just ran them under the seat then under the trunk liner.

On to the trunk, Since my battery is in the trunk this made things a bit easier...

2. Used the bracket and a grease pencil to mark some holes, ending up breaking a drill bit, gotta love that greasy coating they use on the paint...its slippery as a seal backside.. I had some smaller sheet metal screws that worked better. There isnt too much to mount to, in the trunk interior, therfore I had to go with the right corner, where its slighty tilted to the right.. Back far enough to stay dry if the trunks up and its raining .

<a href="http://s80.photobucket.com/albums/j181/svfs/radio/?action=view&current=P1010094.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j181/svfs/radio/P1010094.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

I have oodles of the wire keeper platic conduit, so I put it to good use, also some ancient cloth black automotive tape....gotta love that stuff

3. On to the battey, Theres about 3 harnesses that connect directly to a chassis grounding block....dont ask me what they are lol....I figured it was a good idea to get to the battery BEFORE they made connection to the system... This could be why you always hear mount directly to the battery vs the frame...

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Heres the neutral, remember to use your largest crimp on connector, I also like to dab a drop of solder on the connector as well.. To enforce the largest connector.. theres a nut that holds a clamp which tightens the battery clamp....well this nut has a sear on the bottom, smaller connectors will bascially just cut in two when you tighten it up...Please stay away from the open stake-on type... I tried several of these with no luck.... I had a similar major issue with this when we get to the mount in the front....

And the HOT
<a href="http://s80.photobucket.com/albums/j181/svfs/radio/?action=view&current=P1010097.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j181/svfs/radio/P1010097.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

Careful attention to make sure anything before the radio's power cables fuses do not have any opportunity to make contact with the frame, (I purposely left uncovered some of the wire just before the termial on the positive for polarity identification)...also some slack so when it comes time to replace the battery theres room to work. More liberal use of the conduit and tape, remember anything heavy in your trunk is going to push down here.

Now the fun part, the mount...
The mount was supposed to bacially just slide under bolt that holds the seat track in place....Problem ... Cobalts dont have a bolt... the track is offset and riveted and welded to annother track that mounts to the car frame. Soulution, drill a hole in the track...

4. I drilled a 5/16 hole in the track, gathered up a bold that would fit....a lock nut, must have a lock nut lol, and some washers.... Before I drilled the hole I laid a 6'' x 6'' thin refigirator magnet down to soak up the shavings...Now to the Lido mount...My first tries almost had me in shambles ..the mount has a U shaped opening, well the bottom of the track is beveled ..so any pressure by the nut and washer and its going to sqeeze the mount out... My fix was to hammer the mount...
<a href="http://s80.photobucket.com/albums/j181/svfs/radio/?action=view&current=11.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j181/svfs/radio/11.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>
Bolt, Washer, Seat Track, Modified Mount Base, Washer, Locknut, Nut
Something else I realized, had I mounted under the seat bolt..I couldnt have slid the seat up....this works way better.. :)
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5. For the speaker, I simply nylon tied a small speaker to the bottom of the mount. Its not the best but will do for now...Im going to have to break down and order one that I can hide under the fuse box lid mentioned earlier.

6. Antenna, I had a dualband quarterwave mag mount....This was the easiest part of the whole installation... Since the angle of trunk to back glass is very small, I had to move towards the rear of the trunk...
A warning to those with NMO mounts... The trunk has a reinforcing peice of metal that coveres the entire middle of the trunk lid....halfway to either side is the only access through the trunk.....Unless you're mounting 2 antennas or dont give a darn about symetrics you've been warned :p
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6. Mic Mount - just the regular old fashioned kind... now do I wanna a drill a hole in a car with <5000 miles.... I used a nylon tie through the mounts holes and around the park brake.....took a file to file down the nylon ties sharp cut offs (trust me if you havent brought blood from these you aint radio worthy)
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And finally if your still wondering what it looks like here ya go!!
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heres a pic clean... Its rained for the last 4 days lol
<a href="http://s80.photobucket.com/albums/j181/svfs/?action=view&current=car1.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j181/svfs/car1.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

Biggest retrofication was making the lido mount work....Lido has sum REALLLY bad reviews on eham.net.....I can see why I think they should at least put something in thier packaging (just the mount in a clear baggie) maybe a hint on alternate moutning methods.. or offer the mount with a closed tounge.... other than that the mounts great...

The radio....gotta love Yaesu.... I got all my local Airband, VHF/UHF stuff , all the trunked systems in conventionally, and with 1000+ memories, CTCSS/DCS decode, banks, all the scanning options you can imagine, alhpa tags....yeah its great... Id reccomend the computer software for programming, and be sure to put your "short" separation cable in a safe place. The only thing ill knack is the squelch tail even with CTCSS decode...dcs is fine of course...but Ill live.. If your a ham or not just lockout the transmitt option and you got a really nice mobile scanner for around 250..

Thats all I think of , let me know if you have questions...
 
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nmhhutti

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Nice!!!!

I finished installing an FT-7800R in my car as well and after seeing what you did made me rethink what I did so I am going to go back to the board and take a second look.'



Thanks.
 

N1BHH

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Are you stuck on 6? You go from 6 Antenna to 6 Mic holder, hmmm. Sounds like it's that sinister six feet under guy. That is a nice neat setup. I prefer roof mounted antennas and prefer them to be black, so as to not give it away. I have a flex mount from PanaVise that works nice, still gotta take pictures.
 

af5rn

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N1BHH said:
I prefer roof mounted antennas and prefer them to be black, so as to not give it away.
Yeah, a can of black Rust-Oleum or other "grill paint" does wonders to improve the appearance of any antenna. Especially something big and gaudy like the Austin Spectra. But it'll make even your small whip look even better on that black car!
 
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SCPD

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Sweet - But an install that High Class DEMANDS for the antenna to be DRILLED! Seriously though Great Job!
 

appalachianscanner

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More Pictures and Replies

Ok this place is bout showing off so heres more pics thanks for the nice comments :)
1. Find a black nylon tie for the speaker...
2. Paint the antenna, make it shiny
3. Possibly run the cable from the tire compartment under the trunks liner vs the outside as it comes up (see previous pictures).
4. Tackle the NMO on the roof, (it would look more "modern" if I was 3/4 way back on the roof...but imma not be in the sweet spot for the roof to be my ground plane..) However cant forget the british studies on the effect of 400 MHZ RF ... Id like to NOT see the tenna in my rearview mirror
5. Wash the pollen off everything lol


I never had any luck with 2 sided tape, I used to use it....but id end up using it with superglue

oh yeah annother cool thing bout them lido mounts... if i get a passenger that has a bunch of leg.....just loosen the knob and the whole face will turn 90 degrees on its top axis perpendicular to the main riser.


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<a href="http://s80.photobucket.com/albums/j181/svfs/radio/?action=view&current=6.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j181/svfs/radio/6.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

Why NMO trunk wasnt attempted.....cant get to the center....seriously considering a roof mounted nmo tho...just need someone thats good at opening up the headliner..

<a href="http://s80.photobucket.com/albums/j181/svfs/radio/?action=view&current=7.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j181/svfs/radio/7.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

Per Request, I actually had several people ask about the positive...this should clear that up...I hope im not too late..
<a href="http://s80.photobucket.com/albums/j181/svfs/radio/?action=view&current=8.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j181/svfs/radio/8.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

My goal with this is to make anyone with a cobalt and a radio with remote head to have a 30 min perfect install.. I googled the heck out of cobalts to no avail... Let me know if theres any questions on the wire routing... its pretty easy to hide 99.99%

Oh yeah annother idea or option, since i left slack int he fuse box area right of the temp control....I could just bring up the remote heads audio cable and plug it in my AUX jack ...hehe I over analyze things a bit, but ideas shared are inventions building blocks!
 
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OpSec

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Looking at that trunk lid, I have to believe you can still drill the hole in the center and run the feedline down and out those oblong holes...most other GM's you can even though there is some sort of foam separating the metal at intervals. Stick a hanger up in there and see where the openings are.

Don't want to mess up centering it? Drill a pilor hole up from the inside that is dead centered front/back and side/side, then use the hole saw down into the decklid using that pilot hole.
 

appalachianscanner

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Re:

I manned up LOL "wheres my hole saw"

Antenna: Diamond NR72BNMO 39.95 Universal Radio
Mount: Antenex MB8PST 16.99 AES

NMO mount and Antenna's on the way ...Pictures next week

I had to get something small, and since Ill have an NMO on there itll be no problem to just switch antennas when I need a bigger option... couple antennas I looked at wont clear the garage... If I could have found a nice quarterwave thats the size of the mag mounts but with an nmo ....oh well lol

I went with the itty bitty Diamond NR72BNMO, It should do better than the current "generic" magmount ...which as i found out today has a swr of over 2:1 on 440 ouch.. tried moving the element up and down....that made the 2 meter swr go over 1.5:1 ... I guess it just sucks!

EDIT~~ I was concerned bout gettin my mount through the trunk lid since theres a brace making it wide(deep). Well I went to get something out of the trunk, That lil support in the center of trunk lid is actually "Recessed" What the heck...I had to feel twice..the picture and just looking at it is an optical illusion...I should be ok :) Thats one heck of an optical illusion!
 
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appalachianscanner

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I drilled it haha 800 is deaf :(

Let me tell ya NMOs are fun when you dont have a hole saw....get a frickin hole saw !
I basically used a 1/2'' drill bit and then filed and used a dremel tool to oblong slightly, then rotated the mount on the inside 45 degrees. A little clear coat on a art brush to the exposed area, grounding to a roughed up area with a sheet metal screw and a stake on jumper soldered to the ground on the mount.

Well the antennas deaf on 800 MHz, unless ur in the same county as the system :( but superb 140 to 460 .. swrs are flat in the same range ;) 1:1.4 at 140 and around 478 and if your wondering i did chicken out and go with the offset to the side, however i got an identical spot on the other side for annother antenna, which would be closer to the fm antenna and be probably for monitoring only.

So when they come out with a new apco25 thats got a remote head Ill have to get annother antenna, no major regrets on the 800....and whats it matter with the mount Im good to change antennas in seconds..

~yeah it rained again lol


<a href="http://s80.photobucket.com/albums/j181/svfs/radio/?action=view&current=drill1.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j181/svfs/radio/drill1.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

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<a href="http://s80.photobucket.com/albums/j181/svfs/radio/?action=view&current=drill3.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j181/svfs/radio/drill3.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

<a href="http://s80.photobucket.com/albums/j181/svfs/radio/?action=view&current=drill4.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j181/svfs/radio/drill4.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>
 

KD4KNR

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Nice job!!

That NMO ground wire,,, did you add that yourself??

If so, more detail Please

Steve
 

af5rn

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What are you listening to 800mhz with? The dual-bander, or a scanner?

I've had horrible results listening to 800 with a 2m/70cm radio with the receiver opened up. It was never meant to do so, so I'm not surprised. Like you, I could only hear VERY close systems on 800, regardless of antenna.

I've also listened to 800 with a scanner using a 2m/70cm antenna like yours and gotten poor results.

Combine a receiver that was not intended for 800 with an antenna that was not intended for 800 and you have a sure-fire recipe for failure.

Big props for drilling the hole, Bro! :D
 

appalachianscanner

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Re

Thanks!

Steve, The ground wire was an extra I had from a ceiling fan, soldered it to the side of the nmo mount, then just used a small sheet metal screw, after roughing up the area under the screw with a dremel tool.... I think this could be why my SWR is so flat...

Well the magmount in the earlier posts was working great on 800 I was gettin a system full quieting thats a good 35 miles away, I went down to Johnson City, TN the other day and could hear the systems for each county pretty decently, just not from home...even opened up it was doing great before on the quarterwave.... Since its no problem to just put annother antenna on in seconds Id like to find a quarter wave thats somewhere between 20 and 32 inches.... the only others i could find were too tall to clear my garage as they were in the 40-60 inch range ... All diamonds are that way I got a x510 8.3 db gain on vhf ..running the live scanner at scannerfood.com the scanners in Johnson City and its picking up VHF over 100 miles away....but yeah its deaf on 800 less than a mile away. ... Its not really fun listening to moto type 2s and especially AEP (american elect power)is impossible where its Edacs on a conventional radio....

I Plan to get a small all black quarterwave and put it on the same location on the other side of the trunk...and feed it to a good trunking scanner.....Im just waiting on sumin thatll track apco25 with a remote head......I guess i need to wait till STARS makes it down this way before I invest lol
 
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