Mobile Ham Radio Installation in Tundra TRD Pro – Kenwood v71a

Long before I bought a truck, I knew that I will have mobile ham radio installed in it. As it is a new truck, I did not feel comfortable drilling any extra holes, so I’ve spent some times finding the way to install all of it with minimal damage. In the post I will describe what it takes to install a Kenwood v71a dual band radio into Tundra TRD Pro.

Parts list:

  • Kenwood v71a Dual Band Radio
  • Stake pocket antenna mount from breedlovemounts.com (I’ve got 4 Degree EZN pocket bracket with NMO and SO-239 connection #136)
  • Diamond CR627BNMO Tri-band antenna. (Originally I wanted SG7900ANMO but they did not have on in stock, plus the one I’ve got is black color that I like more)
  • Lido LM-300 Seatbolt mount
  • Custom 3d Printed radio mount panel
  • MFJ External Speaker
  • 18 ft LMR-240 cable
  • Some split loom, 14awg power cable, battery connectors and fuses.
Cut the stake pocket holier a plastic trim.

Cut the stake pocket holier a plastic trim.

Breedlove Stake pocket NMO antenna mount with rain cap on it

Breedlove Stake pocket NMO antenna mount with rain cap on it

LMR-240 Coaxial Cable

LMR-240 Coaxial Cable

Cable wrapped in split loom

Cable wrapped in split loom

So, once the stake pocket hole was cut, I’ve connected one end of cable wrapped in split loom to the antenna mount and fished it through the hole. I’ve routed the cable along the driver frame, following other cables there. Used zip ties to fix cable in place.

At the bottom, approximately between drivers and rear passenger door there was small grommet that was covering a hole into the cabin. It was perfectly positioned for my need.

The picture of the underneath hole that I used to get antenna cable into the cabin. You can see the grey interior insulation.

The picture of the underneath hole that I used to get antenna cable into the cabin. You can see the grey interior insulation.

 

I’ve made a hole in the grommet so that it was big enough to get the cable with split loom through. I then routed the cable under the carpet to drivers seat and replaced the grommet.

Ok, half job done. Now time to take care of power.

I removed driver side panels and found the wiring grommet. The driver side grommet has an extra hole for additional wiring. From the engine side it looks like a rubber hose with a closed end. I’ve cut off the tip of the hose and then pushed the cable from the inside.

See the white cable going under the carpet. That's the power line for the radio going through firewall grommet.

See the white cable going under the carpet. That’s the power line for the radio going through firewall grommet.

Same cable on the other side.

Same cable on the other side.

Power cable termination near the battery. Make sure to use fuses on both of them.

Power cable termination near the battery. Make sure to use fuses on both of them.

Here's how the cable is routed to the driver seat.

Here’s how the cable is routed to the driver seat.

 

Ok, the hard part is done by now.

Kenwood v71a has a detachable front panel. I’ve got Lido LM-300 Seat Bolt Mount for it. But you can not just screw the Kenwood panel to the mount directly. I think Kenwood sells front panel mount bracket, but they want about $50 dollars for it. I could not justify that expense, so ended up designing my own mount plate and 3d printed it. You can find the 3d model for it here – http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1355770

 

mount

Seat bolt radio mount.

The good thing about Kenwood is that you can use regular RJ45 cables to connect Head and Mic. I’ve got 3ft ethernet cable for mic and 7ft cable for front panel and two ethernet couplers.

Kenwood V71a Front Panel connected through ethernet coupler.

Kenwood V71a Front Panel connected through ethernet coupler.

As it’s mostly nondestructive setup, I’ve decided to use strong velcro to fix the base unit to the carpet under the driver seat.

Kenwood v71a base unit under the driver seat.

Kenwood v71a base unit under the driver seat.

After all panels were replaced, everything tightened and connected everything looked clean.

I have not decided on how to mount mic and speaker yet, but so far I had no issues with them resting where they are.

Tundra TRD Pro Ham Radio Cabin Look

Tundra TRD Pro Ham Radio Cabin Look

Radio Front Panel. You can see external speaker in a cupholder.

Radio Front Panel. You can see external speaker in a cupholder.

Mic location

Mic location

Diamond antenna on stake pocket mount

Diamond antenna on stake pocket mount