FT-8800 mobile

Recently I decided it was time to invest in a new radio for my Subaru Baja.

FT-8800R in a Subaru Baja console

FT-8800R in a Subaru Baja console

The last radio I had purchased specifically for mobile use was a Kenwood TM-2530, right after moving to Denver in 1984. It had served well, but has retired from vehicular service several years back. The new radio is a Yaesu FT-8800R and will meet the need without a doubt. At purchase time, the mobile separation kit was included for no charge, and made for a nice installation – as the control head detaches and mounted very easily. This should work for many Subaru models, as several have the little door on the center console that flips up to open. This was almost too easy.
convenient compartment with a trap door

convenient compartment with a trap door

At first I was fumbling around taking the console apart and trying to find a place to attach the mounting bracket somewhere – and thought maybe if I could just find something that would fit into that opening behind the trap door that could hold the control head at the right depth… It occurred to me that a piece of wood would be easy to attach to, and I tried a piece of 2×4 lumber and lo`an`behold – it fit perfectly into the space. I rounded off the inner most end for a snug fit, and cut the depth such that the radio was slightly recessed under the open door – and it was done. So much easier than I could have ever expected.
piece of scrap 2x4 fits nicely

piece of scrap 2x4 fits nicely

If I need to pull the rig out for long term airport parking, or to use in the other car, the whole piece pops out easily, and doesn’t leave any trace. Before this Baja I drove a Forester and it had the same compartment, and I suspect that other models have a similar sized opening. I doubt that Subaru planned it to fit a 2×4 so well, but I’ll take such good luck when I can get it…



5 responses to “FT-8800 mobile

  1. Nice installation. Yaesus are fine radios indeed. 73.

  2. Adrian Ramirez Lopez

    Dear friend. Greetings from Costa Rica. My name is Adrian and I have been on the 11 mts band for long time and now I want to move to 2 mts. I bought the Yaesu FT8800R (any comments?) form Ham Radio and I will like to set it up in my car (Mitsubishi Montero Sport 2002). Great idea you gave me¡¡¡ Thanks a lot and good luck. Adrian

  3. Tom Fournier

    I know this was posted a while ago..but have an 05 Baja with a mobile Rig. Am looking to install HF Antenna and was curious where/how you mounted yours. Thanks for any insight.


  4. Thank you for the idea, Alan! I have a Subaru Forester with that same center console and was wondering about the best way to mount a Yaesu 8800r. Now I just have to decide where to mount the antenna! I want to do a fold-over since I park in my garage, so I’m thinking either a roof luggage mount where my left hand can reach up to fold over or in front of the driver’s door left of the hood. Where did you mount yours? If this is your Subaru, then it looks like you drilled right in the center of the roof. Do you think I’ll loose much signal strength mounting off of center? Thanks! 73

    • CK, I am currently using magnetic mount antennas – but I have in mind a simple piece of aluminum angle or square tube that will attach to the luggage rack, and can hinge back to ‘lay down’ the antennas horizontally for parking decks and such. Thanks for checking in… /;^)

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