Yaesu FTM-300D: installation in Mazda 2, 28th December 2021.

I have just completed installing a Yaesu FTM-300D, dual band VHF and UHF radio in my Mazda 2. The radio provides FM and C4FM on the two metre and 70 centimeter amateur bands. It was quite a task to mount the radio in an acceptable fashion in such a small car with interior plastics very close to the metal body of the car. I would like to thank Chris, VK3AWG/VK3IK for providing the inspiration for my choice of the Ram Mount to support the control head. Chris has an excellent Youtube video of his installation in a Mazda 3 (a slightly bigger car than the Mazda 2). An exchange of emails and I had more information and I set about getting the parts.

A virus (not Covid 19) slowed me down a bit through late October into November but I decided not to procrastinate any longer! Finding a place for the radio body was the biggest challenge. Mounting on the side of the centre console took too much space and intruded into the passenger area. I considered underneath the rear parcel shelf. That was unsatisfactory because it moves up and down as the hatch is opened and closed. I looked at mounting it under the dash on the driver’s side of the cabin but it would be bumped by my knees because of my long legs. The photo below shows the head mounted on the Ram Mount (I chose the 18 inches long stalk). The US still uses imperial measurements: amazing for the land of the free! The head of the FTM-300D is small and it is mounted off centre as I need to mount a small speaker there for either the A or B band. The other speaker is mounted in a small centre space in the dash and is just visible in front of the gear shift lever.

FTM-300D on Ram Mount

The photo two below shows the radio mounted on the rear of the centre console supported on the hump and the well-engineered mounting bracket is held in place with industrial grade velcro. There is a slight curve in the plastic and I will add some additional velcro to provide a bit more support. Power, speaker and coaxial cables are just visible in this photo. While installing the radio I listened to the WIA broadcast on my FT70D on VK5RDF (two metre repeater) and later on the FTM-300D.

FTM-3000D mounted on end of centre console – both photos were taken by my xyl,Jenny

The photo below shows the Brainer antenna mounted on a three-way Diamond Mount. I purchased the Brainer antenna from Dick Smith Electronics (when Dick, VK2DIK, owned the business) probably in the late 1980s or 1990s. I used it on a Suzuki Grand Vitara for many years. I will probably replace it with a Diamond black coloured smaller more stealthy antenna.

Brainer 2m & 70cm antenna on three way Diamond Mount
Dick Smith Advertisement from Amateur Radio Magazine, September 1993. My antenna is the ST-7500 which is a metre long and quite effective.

Mylor Conservation Park, VKFF-0785, Sunday 28th November 2021

Excellent weather greeted me on day two of the special WWFF Activation Weekend. My chosen park was the Mylor Conservation Park near home. This is also quite a small attractive park which I have been walking in (along with the Mark Oliphant Conservation Park) while Scott Creek Conservation Park remains closed due to the fire about 12 months ago. I was hoping the Scott Creek Conservation Park might have been opened in time for this weekend. It was not to be. I have activated Mylor Conservation Park on three previous occasions and I will return for a fifth to make up for the lack of contacts over the weekend due to antenna faults.

I arrived at the Park about 8.30 on Sunday morning and carried my gear into the park: about four trips. I have got to reduce the amount of clutter I carry. Take antennas for example. I carry about five antennas for all bands but only one of my antennas is designed for 80 metres. I have resolved to build another antenna which will cover 80 metres. There are lots of antenna designs for 80 metres but by the time you filter out verticals, loops and doublets you are left with just dipoles. I use a centre fed resonant linked dipole for 80 metres. Mine is from SotaBeams. I laid it out on the ground, an old sealed road, Whitehead Track, and armed with my MFJ analyser and my eyes I set out to find the fault in what has been an excellent antenna. Now I am gentle with my gear and look after it carefully but the antenna is long and it is easy to snag on a bush or a stick on the ground while laying it out or packing it up. The antenna works 80, 40, 30, 20 and 15 metres and a check with my analyser confirmed it was not working on any of the bands. With a linked dipole set for 80 metres all of the links need to be closed. I checked mine and found that to be correct. At the Knoll on Saturday I confirmed my radio was working by changing to a home brew antenna for 40 and 20 metres. So I started at one end and began a check by examining every soldered joint. I eventually found the fault: the wire had broken at the point where is attaches to the crocodile clip at the 15m metre links just on one side. It was hanging together by the insulation on the wire!

The Link – ready for repair
An earlier injury – centre insulator split and then glued following collapse of squid pole. The lump of material in the foreground out of focus is original glue. My repair is visible on left hand side of photo.

So I packed the antenna away and substituted another and proceeded to work 17 stations on 40 metres. I missed the 80m band. I enjoy this band for close-in contacts in South Australia and Victoria. I only worked one VK5 station at home (John VK5HAA).

The Park

I have visited Mylor Conservation Park on three occasions and here is a link to my last visit:


This Park has been described in detail with photos in my previous posts.


2234 7.150 VK7DW/P 53 41 VKFF-1818 Drew

2236 7.155 VK3PF/P 57 57 VKFF-2329 Peter

2240 7.160 VK3VIN 59 57 Ian, Bendigo

2250 7.160 VK4AAC/3 59 53 VKFF-2189 Rob also spotted me on 7.160 Thanks Rob

2253 7.160 VK2VH/3 59 54 VKFF-2189

2253 7.160 VK3SQ 59 55 Geoff Beechworth

2255 7.160 VK3YE/P 53 54 Peter portable at Seaford Beach

2257 7.160 VK2VW 57 55 Brett

2258 7.160 VK2HFI 57 55

2252 7.160 VK5HAA 59 39 John at home in noisy environment

2301 7.160 VK3IH 59 54 Paul at Walkerville

2318 7.113 VK5MAZ/P 51 52 Marija VKFF-1078

2319 7.113 VK5PAS/P 51 52 Paul VKFF-1078

2321 7.120 VK3PF/P 59 59 Peter VKFF-2431

2326 7.160 VK3AWA/P 59 57 Darryl VKFF-2141

2328 7.160 VK3TV 59 57 Mal 2141

2352 7.140 VK2IO/P 51 44 Gerard VKFF-0473

I enjoyed the morning in the park and spent some time speaking with visitors about amateur radio. And a special thank you to all who gave me a contact.

The Knoll Conservation Park, Saturday 27th November 2021.


I was pleased to participate in the in the 2021 VKFF Activation Weekend. I notified Paul, VK5PAS, over two weeks ago and expressed the usual caveat relating to the weather. I would not visit the parks if the weather was inclement. We have had a wet and cold Spring. And two weeks out was too early for the Weather Bureau to provide a provisional forecast. On the Saturday the weather was great. I indicated that I would activate The Knoll Conservation Park, VKFF-0937. The last time I activated this park was on the 1st March 2013, eight years ago. In those days there were fewer amateurs interested in low power portable operations and I made seven contacts. Here is a link to that activation: https://vk5bje.com/2013/08/21/closer-to-home-some-adelaide-parks/

The Park

I have driven past The Knoll Conservation Park many times. I remembered where I set up my station and the main features of the park. But what I had forgotten was the ‘QRM’, audio, noise from cars speeding past the park. There was no or very little electrical noise – just the noise of cars, trucks and motorbikes passing by. It is an old park, established in 1967 and about 520 metres above sea level. the highest point is home to commercial/ public service radio installations. It is just two hectares in size and I have had the place to myself on the two radio visits I have made.

A search of the internet turns up many entries including one by VK5PAS. Birds SA has a site indicating the various bird species found in the park.

The Knoll Conservation Park – not far from Mount Lofty

Map Courtesy of Mapcarta


My Log for The Knoll (click to expand)

I use a paper log book and transcribe my contacts into FLE (Fast Log Entry) by DF3CB. I used the WWFF formatting settings as all my contacts (five) were with stations in other parks, If you work a SOTA (Summits on the air) station as well as Parks stations change the settings accordingly. All my contacts were on the 40m band: none on 80m or 20m. I spent some time trying to find the fault in the antenna and will say more about that matter when I write a post on Mylor Conservation Park which I activated on Sunday 28th November. I have qualified this park for VKFF. I am very unlikely to return to The Knoll Conservation Park. I am just a few days off an unwanted award, well I really don’t mind getting it and ‘time marches on’. The award is the OBE: over b…..80! So I was pleased with my efforts. Thanks to all who gave me a call and I was delighted to have contacts with them all!

For the activation my station consisted of a Yaesu 857D transceiver set for ten watts and a five band linked dipole. I later substituted a home brewed dipole for 40m and 20m.

Finally, I had a visitor. John, VK5HAA who was activating VKFF-2891, he told me he was packing up and would call in at The Knoll Conservation Park to catch up. He said it would probably be an hour before he arrived. I was pulling down my station when he walked up the fire trail. We had a great eye ball contact and he brought me up to date with the changes he has made to his station. It was really good to see him.