If you read my last post you know that I ran the audio from my FT-857D to the sound system in the truck. There is an auxiliary audio jack (1/8″ stereo jack) on the dash board - normally used for music (IPOD, MP3 player, etc). I utilized it for my ham radio instead!
The way I had the audio run in to the system was through the headphone jack on the side of the face plate of the FT-857D. This was a bit cumbersome as the plug stuck out from the faceplate and the audio had to be adjusted by the volume control on the rig.
My updated method is to use the accessory plug on the back of the FT-857D. I used the 6 pin plug. There is a constant level audio port on there – the 1200 baud Data Out pin. Ground the shield of your cable to the GND pin and the center to the data out and you have constant audio! The 9600 port gave me constant audio, but it was un-squelched. The 1200 baud port was squelched and works OK.
The only improvement I could make to this set up is to increase the intensity of the constant level audio. As it sits right now the audio is a lot softer than it was if I adjusted the volume knob through the headphone jack. It is better than needing to worry about where the volume knob is though so I am happy with it. I just need to turn up the truck’s volume knob a bit more than I would otherwise. I don’ t know if there is a way around it other than putting a line level amplifier on the system (too much work).
This is all a continuous experiment and work-in-progress! I am sure there will be a point in time when I am content with what I have done. I can live with the audio. There is definitely a lot more work to do though.
I do have a cap for the truck on order. This will play in to how some of my gear is installed (antennas, cables, etc). So stay tuned for more. The dealer gave me a 3 week estimate on when it will come in so we’ll see what happens. Routing the wires out of it to the HF antenna might be a bit of a challenge. I will surely post about my progress in that area as it happens.