The KA1RCI Network

The Big Blue Beast - 1995 GMC Suburban

New Troy Console installed 2006

Back in 1995 when the Big Blue Beast was new I installed a TM-742A tri-band radio for 144/220/440 with the remote head option. The radio unit with the three band modules mounted under the front passenger seat, the remote control head was hidden in the dash board using the ashtray compartment, and both the microphone and speaker were mounted in the over head console. Everything was very stealthy and with the ashtray door closed the radio simply disappeared.

 

 

All of that changed when  I decided to install four high powered Kenwood TK-30 series radios in the Big Blue Beast and found a very nice Troy Communications Console that fit the project perfectly. In these photos you can see the original GMC console as I prepared to rip it out and install the new radio console.

Can you see the Kenwood TM-742A 144/220/440 control head hiding in the dash?

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After removing the original console I installed the mounting plate for the new Troy console which conveniently uses the bolts from the front seats.

 

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Once the mounting plate was secured to the floor the console attaches to the plate using bolts in slots so you can adjust the consoles position several inches in all directions.

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Then the fun part... Mounting all the radio gear into the new console. The Kenwood TM-742A remote head mounted in the dashboard (hidden in the ashtray compartment) for 144/220/440 and mounted the Kenwood TK-30 series control heads into the console for 28/52/144/440 along with a Motorola GTX for 900 MHz.

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New MCS 2000 installed 2009

In the spring of 2009 I decided to upgrade the 900 MHz Motorola GTX with a newer MCS 2000 that had more features and memory channels.

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Unfortunately the MCS 2000 was several inches longer than the GTX radio, even thought the radios were the same size height and width so the Troy Console face plate fit correctly, the radio was to deep to fit into the same location within the console. So I had to re arrange all the control heads to get the MCS 2000 in the top location which was the only spot the longer radio would fit.

I had become so accustom to having the two Kenwood TK-30 series control heads next to each other in the top section of the console I just just not get used to this new control head configuration.

So I searched the internet and found a remote control head separation kit for the MCS 2000 which let me mount the radio inside the console under the Kenwood speakers and mount the control head on the top / outside of the Troy Console. 

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This new configuration opened up a spot within the Troy Console for something new as yet to be decided...

... Maybe a fancy all band scanner or new D-Star radio?

March 2010 New Radio turned out to be HF

I decided to install a Kenwood TS-50 for HF all mode operations on 3 - 30 MHz but trying to get another radio into the Troy console was a little be tricky... The TS-50 fit nicely in the same mounting bracket that the TK-30 control heads however the radio is so deep it would only fit in the very top section of the console.

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I ended up cutting a new opening for the TS-30 so that I could have all the the Kenwood radios in the top section. I removed the console from the truck and dragged it into the house so that I could cut the new opening for the TS-50.

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Once the radio was mounted in the console I had to bolt it back into the truck and re-install all the other radio control heads.

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This page was last updated on 05/25/10

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