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ruggedizing the FTM-350R

Discussion in 'Home Brew' started by rhyary, Aug 24, 2010.

  1. rhyary

    rhyary Member

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    Hi,
    I had the FTM-350R for less than two months and the TX quit.
    Yaesu has it and they say water damage so will see if they fix it under warranty. I am still waiting on the verdict.

    I am trying to figure out how that is possible.
    It is mounted in the vehicle rear D section.



    Anyway:
    since my interest in Ham is mostly for expedition purposes, my question is this: is there a way to modify the main chassis so that it will be more moisture resistance without introducing heat. I don't mean putting the unit into something. I am asking about chassis modification to make it more moisture resistance.
    Any other suggestion to ruggedizing it are welcomed as well.


    Thanks for you help
    KC2YRF
     

  2. N3KDJ

    N3KDJ W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member

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    Ruggedizing

    As someone who had a Kenwood TM-733 dual-band rig professionally installed as a remote in a car a few years ago and then had water damage - not to that rig, but to the car's navigation system from an antenna lead that didn't have a proper drip loop where it passed over a trunk lid gasket, I feel your pain. I took the car to the dealer to say "Hey! My navigation stopped working", and the mechanic walked out of the shop an hour later with the guts of the nav system literally dripping water on the waiting room floor to say, "May be this is why, ya think?" :blink: Happily the installer's insurance had a check to me in two days to cover all the car repair including a new GPS computer for $1800 at the time. (y)

    Anyway, my experience with radio installations in that and subsequent cars and SUVs, as well as owning a small boat with a nav and sonar system and radios aboard, have lead me to believe that you need to keep the water away from the radio as opposed to somehow making a radio that wasn't designed from the start to be submersible somehow water-resistant. You just won't succeed...and if you do, you'll probably kill the radio with lack of ventilation by covering the very vents and openings that were designed in to vent heat out.

    My suggestion would be to make a dry and well ventilated place for the radio (head and chassis) as opposed to trying to retro-engineer the radio to water-resistant- I just don't see the latter succeeding.

    Good luck.
     
  3. rhyary

    rhyary Member

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    Thanks. Can you please explain "drip loop" or even attach a picture?
     
  4. Moleculo

    Moleculo Administrator
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    On all of the lines that feed the radio - coax, power, and remote head - you need think of them like a ramp for water to run down into the radio. This is mostly necessary of the feedline (since the antenna is exposed to the elements), but the others, as well. You make a "drip loop" by just routing the cable so it has a low spot before it attaches to the radio. I little U in the cable, if you will. You will have to figure out how to secure that in your specific installation. My guess is that the water entered your rig through the coax or power line cable.
     
  5. N3KDJ

    N3KDJ W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member

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    Drip Loop

    Yes, just as Mole said....this can be done with a wire tie for example where you just make an overhand loop in a line and and zip tie it on itself. The lower part of the loop forces any water to drip off before entering a more sensitive area. You'll see this for example where a coax run enters a home from a quality DirectTV install (albeit few and far between for those). :unsure:
     

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