Installing a Two-Way Radio (Advanced)

Six months after passing the amateur radio technician class exam (Class C), I have now finished setting up the two way radio in my EcoSport. I have made a number of improvements from my first version such as an increased range (with better SWR) and seamless integration with the vehicle.

Two-Way Radio Inside an EcoSport

I have been using this setup for more than 4 months now, and made consistent and reliable contacts with stations within a 30-km radius. The farthest contact made with this setup in this configuration is 135 km (simplex).

To watch the full-length video, head directly to Installing a Two-Way Radio (Advanced) . To learn more about other gadgets and accessories installed in an EcoSport, click here.

To subscribe and get your password, click here.

Related links:
Installing a Two-Way Radio (Basic)
Testing the Range of my Two-Way Radio 

ECOSPORT DIY SERIES
Isa na namang kaalaman sa ating minamahal na EcoSport
© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

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Stock Antenna Modification (Two-Way Radio)

Since I do not often use the AM/FM radio, I’ve decided to modify the stock antenna and replace it with an antenna that is tuned to amateur radio frequencies. This antenna shall allow me to use a hand-held transceiver (HT) for scanning and occasionally, for transmitting signals in the amateur band.

Recent tests showed that this antenna is capable of extending the range of my Motorola CP-1660 to about 30 km range, even with obstacles (I was in our garage in Bacoor Cavite, yet I can still use my HT to contact stations in QC, 30 km away, with just 5W!) .

AM/FM reception was not totally lost, as the stock antenna was relocated to the front left pillar of the vehicle.

stock antenna relocated

In the video, I have drilled through the stock antenna mount, and hand-tapped a thread to make it compatible with several of my antennas. Proper coaxial cables and connectors were also made to bring the signal to the HT, located at the left side of the driver.

To watch the full-length video, head directly to Stock Antenna Modification (Two-Way Radio). To learn more about other gadgets and accessories installed in an EcoSport, click here.

To subscribe and get your password, click here.

Related link: Testing the Range of my Two-Way Base Radio (75W)

ECOSPORT DIY SERIES
Isa na namang kaalaman sa ating minamahal na EcoSport
© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

Removing the Luggage Cover (Tonneau Cover)

EcoSport’s luggage cover or tonneau cover may be quickly removed in two simple steps: (1) pull the central handle of the cover to remove it from its latch and then allow it to retract, then (2) hold both ends of the cover, then pull the spring-loaded ends inward, towards the cover’s center.

To watch the full-length video, head directly to Removing the Luggage Cover . To learn more about the basics of EcoSport, click here.

To subscribe and get your password, click here.

ECOSPORT DIY SERIES
Isa na namang kaalaman sa ating minamahal na EcoSport
© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

Replacing the Shifter Cover

I have recently replaced the shifter cover (or shifter boot) of my EcoSport with a universal cover purchased online, costing about 600 pesos.

This video shows how to remove the plastic trims, and how to attach the cover to the frame that locks it in place.

To watch the full-length video, head directly to Replacing the Shifter Cover . To learn more about other EcoSport repair and maintenance procedure, click here.

To subscribe and get your password, click here.

ECOSPORT DIY SERIES
Isa na namang kaalaman sa ating minamahal na EcoSport
© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

 

EcoSport’s Fuse Box

New gadgets and accessories may be safely added to an EcoSport by utilizing the fuse box. Knowing which fuse slots remain powered when the engine is running, and which fuse slots shut off as the ignition key is switched off, may be useful to DIY enthusiasts who want to add new gadgets that turns on and off with the engine.

To watch the full-length video, head directly to Ecosport’s Fuse Box . To learn more about other gadgets and accessories installed in an EcoSport, click here.

To subscribe and get your password, click here.

ECOSPORT DIY SERIES
Isa na namang kaalaman sa ating minamahal na EcoSport
© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

Auto Power Off 12V Port

EcoSport’s 12V port remains on (powered) even when the engine is off. While this could be an advantage as there is no need to turn the engine on in order to charge a phone, some would prefer a 12V port that turns off automatically. In this video, I have modified the 12V port of my EcoSport (Trend MT) to disconnect power when the ignition key is in off position.

This modification requires the use of a DIY jumper.

To watch the full-length video on how to modify the 12V port of an EcoSport so that it turns off automatically, head directly to Auto Power Off 12V Port. To learn more about the other hidden features in an EcoSport, click here.

To subscribe and get your password, click here.

ECOSPORT DIY SERIES
Isa na namang kaalaman sa ating minamahal na EcoSport
© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

Testing the Range of my Two-Way Radio

Any place with high elevation offers ideal conditions to test the range of a radio gear. I was in Tagaytay last week testing out the two-way radio equipment I have installed in my EcoSport. With multiple successful contacts from Tagaytay to other radio stations in Quezon City, I was able to determine that my current radio setup has an effective range of at least 70 km.

Tagaytay to QC Radio
Tagaytay to Quezon City, Distance: 70 km

The farthest-ever distance reached by my radio setup is about 135 km, when I accidentally received a “CQ” (a call) from a station in Calapan, Mindoro, while driving along Roxas Blvd., in Manila.

Manila-Calapan
Manila to Calapan, Distance: 135 km

The equipment I used for these tests are as follows (as of September 2018).

Yaesu 2900R VHF 75-watt base radio
Diamond SG7000 dual band mobile antenna (1/4-wave VHF, 6/8-wave UHF)
Diamond K33 antenna mount
Diamond SX200 SWR meter
4 meters of RG8 cable

To watch the full-length video on how I installed a two-way radio in an EcoSport, head directly to Installing a Two-Way Radio. To learn more about other gadgets and accessories installed in an EcoSport, click here.

To subscribe and get your password, click here.

ECOSPORT DIY SERIES
Isa na namang kaalaman sa ating minamahal na EcoSport
© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)