Advice Needed - Mounting a radio in saddlebag - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 10 Old Oct 11th, 2006, 12:14 pm Thread Starter
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Question Advice Needed - Mounting a radio in saddlebag

I need some advice regarding mounting an amateur radio transceiver in my right saddlebag.

For the other hams here, I'm installing a Kenwood tm-d700a and plan on running APRS. The transceiver needs some airflow. In fact, it has a small cooling fan on the unit. Because of the wires/connections required it is likely that I will have to drill at least one hole in the saddlebag.

Questions:

1. The mount for the radio typically would be installed with screws (more drilling/more holes). Is it reasonable to use heavy duty loop-hook fasteners to secure the unit? It weighs about 4-5 lbs.

2. I've chosen the right bag since it already has one cable access hole for the CD player (which I've removed and replaced with my iPod). My sense is to install the unit in the bottom of the bag. Any other ideas for mounting location? The unit needs security and protection from the elements.

Tom

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post #2 of 10 Old Oct 11th, 2006, 12:31 pm
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Hi,

I mounted a kenwood on my bike. 3 pics attached show how it was to start with on a RAM on the handle bar, the home made bracket for the aerial, and the finished atricle mounted in the R/H/ bag.

Upside
Doesn't get wet
Hidden from prying eyes during a stop
Never forget it

Downside
Stuck on the Channel I started one - unless I stop and change it
Can't use as a handheld

The must be more ups and downs, but hey! it works.
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Rgds
Mike

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For those that don't, no explanation is possible."

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post #3 of 10 Old Oct 11th, 2006, 3:09 pm Thread Starter
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Question Thanks for your pics

Mike,

Thanks for your pictures. I appreciate it. I'm inclined not to drill any more holes than I have to. Your pictures gave me some ideas.

I note that it appears that your antenna cable enters through a hole in the top of the bag. Did you do any sealing to avoid water entering the bag? Have you had any water leaks?

Tom

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post #4 of 10 Old Oct 12th, 2006, 3:07 am
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Hi Tom,

Just put a rubber grommet (not in the picture) from the top and this has sealed it quite nice. No water in the case yet, so it must be OK.

Post your pics when you are done.

Rgds
Mike

"For those that know, no explanation is needed,
For those that don't, no explanation is possible."

2001 K12 LT Toscana Green AKA Baby Sh*t Green
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Hardtail Chopper ( Honda CB 500 engine) in a box still!
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post #5 of 10 Old Oct 12th, 2006, 7:35 pm
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I've been think'n of put'n a TM-V7A on my LT - haven't checked yet, but maybe one of you that's 'into it' at the minute can tell.

Would such a rig fit in the space where the canister used to be?

Ok, ok - if I haffta, I'll go pull the trunk and check....


As for APRS, I currently have a TT-3 on board, DeLorm Tripmate and an HTX-202. Gonna upgrade to a TT-4 in a week or so. KC7ZRU-6
I normally don't run it 'on' for 'round town. But just for you guys...

http://aprsdcsp.kc7zru.net:14501

73!

Tate

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post #6 of 10 Old Oct 13th, 2006, 1:38 am Thread Starter
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Red face Radio in canister space

I'm not familiar with the tm-v7a. Assuming that it is about the same size as the tm-d700a I think it is possible to install there. I believe you'd have to provide moisture and dirt protection.

The primary reason I chose not to put the radio in the canister space is that pulling it out for use elsewhere required removing the pillion seat each time. Yes, I realize its only 2 screws and disconnecting the seat heater connection but I wanted to be able to pull the radio quickly. Consequently, I've chosen to sacrifice the space in the right bag.

I may regret my decision on our next long-range trip with all of my wife's makeup... (She brings more makeup than clothes.)

Tom Becker
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post #7 of 10 Old Oct 13th, 2006, 11:39 am
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V7A was the 'Father' of your D700a. It's the one with the 'cool blue' display everyone loves to hate. It's out of production, but can still be found on the 2nd hand market and even some NOS laying about.


If anything, once the control head is removed, I think it may well be a tad smallerish than the D700.

Just gotta sort out a way to mount the head up front(?). I'm thinking the semi-circle of the radio stingray rather than a handlebar mount, maybe. Reason I'm going for the V7A is, well, I've got one to use <biggest reason!> and the info on this page. Not just crossband repeat, but full remote control. (still gotta solve the ID issue, thinking of a PIC CW ider for that duty) Idea is I can then use my 'belt mounted' HT (TH-79) either on or off the bike for comms duties. 70cm wireless headsets with 'incredible' range - like from inside the hotel, restraunt or wherever within about a 3 mile radius. My 'headset' would likely have better range than most FRS/GMRS rigs! However, it does mean I'll have to put another antenna on 'er, someplace.

Remember RF exposure safety levels! Don't wanna run this thing full power with a traditional Next-to-the-Tail-Trunk type antenna - way too close for 50 watt VHF or 35 watt UHF exposure. Special your pillion! Well, may make 'er a bit 'warmer' for the overnight - who knows?

Tate

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post #8 of 10 Old Oct 13th, 2006, 4:42 pm Thread Starter
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Talking Remote head mounting - BMR Shelf

Tate,

I mounted my remote head an a BMR shelf. I bought another bracket from the Kenwood parts supplier.

I like your idea about using the radio as a repeater. Clever. BTW, I understand about the safety issue with power. I usually run my tm-d700a on medium power, which is about 10w. That should be enough. My plan is to run APRS while riding.

The manual actually suggests not running full power because of the PA heat generated.

Tom

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post #9 of 10 Old May 30th, 2007, 1:12 pm
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Hey Tom - sorry I didn't follow up on this. How'd your install go?

Fans - think fans. Air flow - move that air 'round the heat sink and use that PA!

Nope, still using the TT here - V7A is still in the garage....

Tate

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post #10 of 10 Old May 30th, 2007, 1:41 pm
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Ham Radio install

Tom

I installed an Icom 2720 on my bike. The radio has a remote head and fits just right on the BMR shelf under a Lowrance GPS. The radio itself fits just fine on the left side of the cd changer. I just placed it there without any mounting brackets. Enlarged the hole through which the cd cable went through and sealed it with another groment and some silicone stuff. Used the same antenna mount that the other fellow above used. Refer to his pictures. I built a little switching box and used the BMW push to talk switch which installs on the left handle bar underneath the clutch lever. Anyway, that is what I used and it works just fine. Except, as you probably know almost every repeater in the country now uses tones. Unless you pre-progam the tones to the repeaters you are going to use, 2 meter ham radio is useless on a motorcycle. I cut a diode and have opened the radio to all freqs so that I can use the FRS and GRS freqs. Also, since the 2720 is a dual band radio, on one side I can monitor the cop freqs so that I know where the are set up for speed traps.

Good luck and maybe will catch you on 146.52 some day.
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