Ham Radio Display Relocation

When I first bought my car, I chose to mount my Icom ID-5100A display down by the gearshift because I had become accustomed to having my smartphone mounted high on the dash. The display location certainly made for a good photograph, one that combines ham radio, the GTI (Plaid seat), and manual transmissions. But it was  not ideal for convenient operating. Eventually, I decided to try a D-Dock for my smartphone, which freed some real estate on my dash. I decided to use my existing ProClip mount to move my 5100 display to a more visible location (see the photo below). I like the improved visibility!

This is where I’ve always wanted my ham display, but I was too stubborn to move my smartphone until recently. Yes, it blocks an air vent. But it hasn’t proven to be a significant problem. The center vents can be controlled individually. So I don’t worry about overheating the display or creating condensation inside. I think the higher position is better for GPS reception, too. When it was mounted near the gearshift, I would occasionally bump the display when shifting into 1st, 3rd, or 5th gear. That is no longer a problem. Other than the possibility for decreased cooling efficiency on really hot days, I cannot think of a single problem with having my display there.

Getting the display mounted was a cinch. ProClipUSA has a wide assortment of mounts for just about any car. Visit their site and select “Find Your Mount” to get started. I also bought a tilt-swivel mount. However, I like the position of just the ProClip mount enough that I didn’t use the tilt-swivel. Attaching the MBA-2 mounting plate was easy. The ProClip mount has starter holes in the face that match the MBA-2 mounting holes. I simply used the tiny screws that came with the tilt-swivel mount to attach the MBA-2 to the ProClip mount. If I remove my display, I can either leave the mount as depicted here or the ProClip mount can be removed easily without tools. The data cable can tuck into the air vent and hide fairly well.

Getting the display’s RJ12 6P6C data cable routed discretely was a different story. I like my installations to be as clean as possible. That meant I needed to dismantle the dash so I could route the data cable behind the trim and out of an air vent. The cable was already routed to the lower console forward of the gear shift. That was easy. To get the cable up and through the air vent, I had to remove all center console trim, the stereo display, and the air vents. It was time-consuming, but I think worth it in the end. Here’s photo that shows the data cable exiting the vent and attached to the display. I’ve shared a photo of the disassembled console in the album below.

Visit my Communications Page if you’re interested in learning more about my ID-5100A installation.

Yes, I’m a nerd!  😉


About Scott

I grew up near Houston, TX and served in the U. S. Coast Guard for over 30 years. I have an electronics background and continue to work in the electronics engineering field. I taught myself the basics about automotive systems as well as how to perform some of my own maintenance (cars and bicycles). I became involved with Amateur Radio and computers in 1995. The explosion of technology has made my job and several of my hobbies quite interesting. My hobbies include Volkswagens, bicycling, photography, electronics, amateur radio, web management, and reptiles. Visit my websites to learn more.
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