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I'm looking into installing my ID-4100a into the radio slot in my car. The radio and cassette player (lol yes really) are non-functional so I actually have 2 slots to play with.

I haven't come across many (any?) DIN installation kits for an amateur radio, and so I'm imagining that I'm overlooking some reason(s) not to do this.

One consideration is obviously heat management, for which I think I can engineer a solution. FYI, I'll still be running power directly from the battery (fused).

What are some other considerations that I'm overlooking?

Thanks in advance for your answers!

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I haven't done something like this, but in my youth fiddled with plain audio amplifiers that you could put into such a slot.

So, watch for fluctuations and overvoltage from your alternator, in older 4-stroke engine cars, the spark plugs might lead to interference. Make sure the fuse is rated for the maximum current.

However, this thing looks like it's made for this use case, so hm, sounds like you need to consider nothing special. Even the thermal aspects seem to be sound: the device is actively cooled (it has a fan), and there's going to be enough paths of air to flow to and from the device. Of course, adding more airspace around (or even forced flow) can only make things better, but the question is whether it's necessary.

You'll be pulling an antenna cable through your cockpit (if that hasn't happened yet). That's annoying enough, so make sure you're not making it too short – much better to be able to connect the device to the antenna cable with the device sitting on the seat next to you than to have to do it one-handed while holding the device close to the slot. Also, the additional loss of a meter of additional cable doesn't really matter compared to the imperfections of PL-259/SO-239 connectors, especially for 70cm.

The ID-4100 has an external speaker connector for an 8Ω speaker. I don't know what speakers are in your car – but especially in older cars that didn't put too much value into the sound system, you can quite possibly directly hook up the driver-side (left, I guess) speaker to the 3.5mm "headphone jack"'s tip and sleeve. If there's more than one speaker, or you know your car speakers have lower impedance, you'll have to add a small amplifier. For which there'd be space in your second DIN ISO 7736 slot :)

I've had good experiences with PAM8610-based amplifier boards, even for high-fi purposes, but these chips are now not anymore recommended for new designs, so if you don't end up buying such an amplifier but building one from scratch, rather go for the PAM8006A or PAM8320.

To wire up your radio to the car radio power and speaker, depending on the age of your car, you'll most likely encounter ISO 10487 as connector standard. Check that, though.

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  • $\begingroup$ VERY helpful thank you... especially appreciate your installation process tips which I will definitely adopt. $\endgroup$
    – webmarc
    Aug 20, 2023 at 15:25
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    $\begingroup$ ah maybe my amplifier recommendation isn't that great if you're building yourself, because this is a class-D architecture, and you'd want to really verify you filter well if you're amplifying close to a sensitive receiver. $\endgroup$ Aug 20, 2023 at 16:04
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    $\begingroup$ The car speakers are relatively shot (this is a 2005 Toyota Highlander) and I have the recommended speaker conveniently sandwich mounted between the headrest and seatback. I'm planning to fabricate a custom trim plate with the appropriate phono jack; so current plans don't include an audio amp. $\endgroup$
    – webmarc
    Aug 20, 2023 at 16:22
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I did exactly this in my toyota van, which had a 2-slot (dead) in-dash radio that I pulled out. I fabbed a metal mesh grille to cover the upper slot for ventilation and mounted the 2-meter radio in the lower position.

The BIGGEST CHALLENGE I had was getting an antenna mount without having to drill a hole in the roof (I live in a wet climate). I used a two-piece capacitive feed-thru that mounts with the stickiest tape I have ever experienced onto both sides of a side window; unfortunately the side window had to be the panel that was in the sliding side door. If I had to do it over I would have drilled a hole in the roof and used a commercial thru-roof connector and a detachable whip.

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  • $\begingroup$ Niels, thanks for this! Would you mind updating your answer with any details about what rails/kit/hardware you might have used to secure your radio in the bay? $\endgroup$
    – webmarc
    Feb 2 at 14:44
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    $\begingroup$ @webmarc, I used pieces of scrap metal, cut and bent by hand! very economical. $\endgroup$ Feb 2 at 23:58

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