Mounting a HAM Radio in your car, boat or motorcycle is never easy. That’s because HAM radio manufacturers rarely make mounts for their devices. Today we discuss how a leading mount manufacturer’s products can be used for HAM radios. RAM mounts are extremely popular because they are very well made and come with a manufacturer lifetime warranty. The solutions discussed in this article are mostly made of metal. The advice in this article also applies to scanners and many CB radios as well.
There are two HAM scenarios that we will discuss: handheld and detachable front panels from transceivers. Examples of transceivers with detachable front plates include the ICOM IC-7000, ICOM IC-703, Yaesu FT-7900 and Yaesu FT-857D.
Handheld radios come in all sizes and determining the exact height, width and depth is an important first step that needs to be done prior to selecting your mount. Also, determine if the back of your handheld radio has a belt clip or knob and whether that knob or clip is removable. If your handheld radio doesn’t have a rear belt clip or has one that’s easily removable, the mounts described in the next paragraph are what you need. If the knob or clip cannot be removed, then refer to the paragraph after the one below.
The most common means of securing your handheld radio is by using the RAM Finger Grip Holder. This cradle is perfect for handheld radios that have a flat back or a low profile belt clip. In some cases, you can remove the knob that is present for belt mounting. The cradle features three sets of support arms that can hold devices as large as 3.5 inches wide and 1.6 inches deep. It’s spring-loaded and can be used in rugged environments. For marine use, the RAM Flat Surface Finger Grip Mount is an excellent solution. This mount is made of marine grade metal and features a bolt down base perfect for marine use. The RAM Suction Cup Finger Grip Mount is ideal for auto use. This mount features a very strong suction cup paired with a metal 3″ arm. Be sure that it’s legal to use a suction cup mount in your state by reading our article on that topic here. For motorcycle use, RAM couples this holder as part of the Finger Grip Motorcycle Mount. This mount includes the RAM u-bolt base to fit handlebar up to 1.25 inches diameter. The included 3″ arm is ideal for most users but it’s also available with a 1.75″ and 6″ arm.
A variation to the Finger Grip Holder is the RAM Belt Clip Holder. If your device is less than 2.5 inches in width and uses a belt clip on the back, this could be a good choice. This is an excellent choice for radios that have a knob or clip that is not removable, or for owners that would rather remove that part. The cradle features a narrow strip that’s the size of a typical belt. You simply clip it over the strip. This plastic cradle features the standard RAM 2-hole diamond mounting pattern and can be coupled with the Double Ball Twist Lock Suction Cup Mount for a complete solution.
Detachable front panels also known as radio heads can be removed from home or mobile transceivers specifically for use in a mobile environment. To mount these, you will obviously need a transceiver that has this feature. Most ICOM and Yaesu brand transceivers have this popular feature. Typically, a mounting plate is needed for the detachable plate and it’s normally not included. These plates often come with screw holes pre-drilled to the industry standard AMPS pattern. You may need to drill several holes if they are not pre-drilled. The mounts do not include screws and nuts so you will need to supply those.
The RAM Seat Bolt Mount is a popular RAM solution for the AMPS pattern. This 18-inch high mount has a flexible gooseneck stem which is quite handy in pivoting your radio head for the best angle. The end of the mount has a series of holes that support the AMPS pattern as well as a few others. Attachment to the seat bolt requires a wrench or pliers to ensure a tight fit. Tightening the seat bolt with your hands will not work well, be sure to use the wrench or pliers. Before purchasing this mount, check to ensure your seat bolt is easily accessible.
The RAM Flat Surface Mount is a good option for a car dash or marine use. This mount is made of metal and features a 3″ arm with a ball and socket adjustment at the base and the tip. Like the seat bolt mount, this one also supports the AMPS pattern as well as a few others. The base of the mount has pre-drilled holes for mounting with screws and bolts onto a flat surface.