Kenwood TM-D710 and GPS Install - APRS Mobile

Continuing my project to have at lease least a dual-band 2m/70cm radio in the vehicles we use to travel to remote places, I got around to installing the Kenwood TM-D710 into the Dodge Ram. A few weeks ago, I read a review of the Green Light Labs GPS-710, a compact GPS that can attach to the rear of the D710s control panel. I installed that, too.

Kenwood TM-D710 control unit

The Kenwood TM-D710 is a great radio. I didn’t think there’d be much improved over the TM-D700 (which I also own), but I like the new software and interface, it’s a little more logical to use.

The Green Light Labs GPS-710 is a very compact and sensitive (20 channel SiRF-III chipset) GPS unit. It simply attached attaches to the rear of the D710 control panel with strong adhesive strips. A small jumper cable connects it to the panel for power, and another small lead delivers the NMEA output. After it was connected, there are just a couple of settings to change in the radio and It Just Works.

Installing the radio was also quite easy. There were already some hold holes in the transmission tunnel console, where I suppose a radio was previously mounted. I reused most of the holes, and found some good stainless steel hardware to use with the supplied bracket.

Kenwood TM-D710 main unit

Next, running the power and antenna cables was quite easy. There’s a bulkhead hole, complete with rubber weatherproofing above the clutch pedal. I simply ran the cables (and props to Diamond antenna who provide small plugs on their cables just for this purpose) through the bulkhead hole and cable-tied them above the pedals and ran them into position. The cables simply pushed up into the console, but I cable-tied them inside to keep them secure.

Diamond K400S Antenna mount

Next I mounted the control panel on the dash, using the supplied bracket and adhesive stand. It seems to be sticking well enough as I write this.

Finally, I had to run the control cable from the radio, being behind the glove box and up onto the dash. The Dodge Ram has a reasonable easy way to do this on the passenger side, it’s a bit busy on the drivers side, but Kenwood provide a long cable so the passenger side worked well. This cable is completely hidden except from the glass to the radio, which is about all you could hope for unless you drill the dash.

Kenwood TM-D710 main unit

Finally, I tidied things up and gave it a test. Worked first time!

KD0AIC-12 is on the air!