Installing a Yaesu FT-857D in a 2016 Jeep JK Unlimited (Electrical Installation)
This is Part 1 of Outfitting a Jeep JK Unlimited for Ham Radio. In this article, I will explain how to install a Yaesu FT-857D transceiver’s electrical system.
Amateur Radio Equipment to Install
- Yaesu FT-857D HF/VHF/UHF Transceiver
- DC Power Cable
Tools and Equipment Used
- Solder Iron
- Flat-Head Screwdriver
- Wire Coat Hanger, cut so you can use it as a wire snake
- Gorilla Tape
Step One – Preparing the Bulkhead
The Jeep JK Unlimited has a 3/4-inch hole in the bulkhead on both the Driver’s and Passenger’s side of the dashboard. The hole is filled with Styrofoam, which provides stability for the DC power cables we will snake through it. Unless you add additional #12 AWG cable to extend the DC cable provided by Yaesu, the transceiver has to be mounted on the passenger’s side of the vehicle. The DC cable isn’t long enough to snake through the cabin bulkhead to the driver’s side otherwise.
From the engine side of the bulkhead, push a wire coat hanger through the Styrofoam until it comes out on the cabin side.
Leave enough coat hanger to attach the DC power cable later.
Step Two – Remove Fuse Box from DC Power Cable
Remove the 25A fuses in each of the two fuse boxes. Then, using a small flat-head screwdriver, remove the lead attached to the fuse box for both the black and red cable. It should pop out with minimal pressure from the screwdriver.
Step Three – Snake DC Power Cable Through the Bulkhead
Wrap enough Gorilla Tape to join the DC Power Cables to your coat hanger. Then, pull the coat hanger (and the power cables) into the engine side of the bulkhead. You can snake the black and red cable separately, if you want; just be certain that both cables are the same length once you pull them through the bulkhead.
Step Four – Reconnect the Fuse Boxes
Once both power cables are through the bulkhead, snap the fasteners into the appropriate fuse box. Insert the 25A fuses into each box, and close them.
Step Five – Solder Loop Terminals to the Battery Leads
In addition to providing stable voltage to the transceiver, we can eliminate noise by connecting the DC cable directly to the battery. The short wires coming from the fuse box are the cables we will connect to the battery. Using a solder iron, affix #12 AWG loop terminals to each wire.
Step Six – Connect the Loop Terminals to the Battery
Unscrew one of the spare terminal posts (Jeep knows their customers well), and attach the matching color terminal lead to the battery.
Step Seven – Connect Transceiver to the Power Cable & Test
Plug the power cable to the radio terminal.
Turn on the radio to make certain current is flowing.