Before I began the installation of my Yaesu FT-8800 in my car I knew I wanted automatic power ON / OFF. This is a feature that I have always felt was lacking in my other mobile rigs as I am forever leaving my ham radio on long after I have departed the car.
Let’s start with an action packed video of the finished product, then we can talk about how we got there.
First, I set out to determine if my radio has such a feature natively, and I found the following. Per the FT-8800 user manual, there is an Automatic Power Off ( APO ) feature. Below is a screen cap from the manual describing this operation.
As you will read, this feature can be used to turn OFF the radio, but not back ON. And for the APO to turn the radio OFF there are several specific requirements including leaving the radio in a non-scanning mode – not necessarily something I can commit to. In the end, I determined this APO is not helpful to me in its current form.
Recalling that my radio will return to its last known power state meant that I only have to apply power to the radio when the car is ON and disconnect the power when the car is OFF to achieve my goal.
Having ruled out the APO feature on the FT-8800 I set out to see what products already exist on the market to automatically toggle my radio power. Surely there should be something for <$50.
For more detail: Mobile Radio Power Controller ( MRPC )