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The first problem was figuring out how to power the radio from the aircraft 12V bus.My initial thought was to connect the bus to the radio via the battery-charging jack, but an ICOM technician cautioned me that the radio shouldn't be operated through this power connection.If you do make your own adaptor like this, see the very important note at the end of this write-up! Tuning and volume are adjusted by up/down buttons on the front of the ICOM (good) and a dial on the top of the ICOMbad, since the knob would be behind the panel and inaccessible with the radio installed.The ICOM's software let the user select which way the radio workedknob for tuning, front buttons for volume, or knob for volume and buttons for tuning.It turned out that one of the wires had broken when I manhandled the cable, trying to strip off the sheathing. This time, I carefully stripped away the sheathing with a razor knife, and all came out OK.I'd purchased a headset adaptor for the ICOM, which plugged into a jack on the top of the radio and included standard jacks for the earphones and microphone. The adaptor cost , and I was loath to cut it up for my panel-mount attempt.It would be powered by the aircraft electrical system, would provide conventional headset jacks, and use the existing stick-mounted push-to-talk switch.I selected the ICOM IC-A5 radio due to its very small size.
The sheathing was very soft and stretchyvery hard to cut open with a mechanical stripper.
Using an ohmmeter on the ICOM adaptor, I found the connections to the plug were as follows: Unlike earlier ICOM handhelds, the IC-A5 PTT switch operates in a standard aircraft fashion: Ground the PTT to transmit.
The earphone jack is a standard " phono jack, but the microphone jack is slightly smaller and only available through aviation sources.
Most of them, indeed, just slap a Velcro strip or a ty-wrap to hold the radio in place. My handheld is flush-mounted behind the panel with aluminum channel, a configuration I've dubbed, "Full Metal Velcro." We'll discuss the "hows" in a momentmost of you are probably curious about the "why." Well, Why? They look bad, and there's always the danger of snagging a wire when entering or exiting the cabin. Prudence dictates disconnecting and removing the radio whenever the plane would be left unattended, be it for a fly-in or a 0 hamburger. Doggone it, I at least wanted to try to adapt a handheld!
The main design goal was to install a handheld radio so that its functionality was identical to that of a conventional aircraft radio.
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Instead, he recommended a "battery eliminator." This is a device that clips onto the radio like the battery pack, but hooks to an outside source of power.