FT-1900

For the past couple years I've been trying to successfully integrate 2-way radios with the Goldwing electronics. Our first attempt was using Kenwood TK-250 portables. You can read about that here and here. On our 2012 trip to South Dakota the results were marginal. Mike sounded the best, but had a hum like a fighter pilot's audio. John and I had issues with range. I later found out the TK-250 antenna connector doesn't have a ground connection. Not good.

That winter I messed around with interfacing a Yaesu FTM-10R. It has a remote head, VHF/UHF capabilities, and a slew of other features. I never could get it interfaced to my liking and I could never find a good mounting spot for the remote head so I sold the radio on Ebay.


I decided to try a simpler, less expensive VHF-only radio so I bought a Yaesu FT-1900 ($120 on sale). I mounted it as shown (instead of in the CB well) so it could breathe and dissipate heat.

Kennedy Technologies makes a cable for this setup but they want $75 for it so I decided to make my own. I went to Radio Shack and bought some 6-conductor telephone cable and a mono audio cable (P/N 42-2152). I cannibalized my old cable to connect to the FRSet but Kennedy sells a pigtail that will work for $15 (P/N 95479).


John installed a similar setup in his Goldwing. Prior to our 2013 Georgia trip we only had one opportunity to test the setup. Not good. The range sucked and the audio quality was bad. On the trip we had the opportunity to try out the setups a lot and ended up getting them set up well. The problem ended up being fairly simple...we forgot to change the DIP switch settings on the FRSet to match our new radios. We were unnecessarily boosting the audio and the audio was capacitor coupled instead of through a resistor as recommended.


Here are the proper DIP switch settings.

We run at the lowest setting of 5 watts and have talked for over a mile. I'm considering this project finished but I will post any updates that may arise.

Update Spring 2015 - In this posting I found I got an almost perfect SWR match my using a 1/4-wave antenna clamped to my luggage rack. Over the winter I took out my GL2Way CB and sold it on Ebay. This left my CB antenna as a decoration. I made a sidemout bracket in its place and mounted a 1/2-wave "no ground plane" antenna on it on the hopes of going down to two antennae. The result...horrible SWR. I put the 1/4-wave antenna on the side mount. Horrible SWR. There's just something about the sidemounting that doesn't agree with a VHF antenna. I even put the 1/2-wave antenna on the luggage rack. SWR of 3:1. I thought it would have been much better. So, I put the 1/4-wave back on the luggage rack and remounted the CB antenna. I don't know what else to do.

On a more positive note, John reports my passenger muting circuit is working and my transmissions are quieter.






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