Installing the Icom M802


When it comes to installing an Icom M802 SSB system, there are a few rules of thumb that should be followed. Heres a look at our experience.

The transceiver should be mounted in a dry location as close as possible to the battery to reduce voltage drop, but as far away from the antenna as is practical. The antenna tuner should also be mounted in a dry spot to prevent corrosion, but it should be as close as possible to the antenna.

Prefabricated cables connect the M802 controller and external speaker to the transceiver. Icom provides a 10-foot length of fused, two-pole wire to run power from the battery to the M802; this was sufficient for our installation.

Two cables (ordered separately) connect the transceiver to the antenna tuner. One is a plug-and-play, 10-meter, prefabricated control cable (Part no. OPC-1147N). The other is a length of marine-grade coax cable (RG8U or RG231) terminated at each end with PL-259 plugs. This length of coax is what actually conducts transmit and receive signals between your transceiver and the antenna coupler.

This coax run should be kept as short as possible, so once you determine the length needed, youll either have to construct it yourself by soldering on the PL-259 plugs or have someone else do it for you. Most electronics shops can do this. PL-259 connectors are notoriously easy to goober up during soldering, even by folks familiar with the process. Unless you are a proficient solderer, we recommend having them made by a professional. Another option is purchasing prefabricated cables of the correct length; either option will be money well spent.

Darrell Nicholson
Practical Sailor has been independently testing and reporting on sailboats and sailing gear for more than 50 years. Supported entirely by subscribers, Practical Sailor accepts no advertising. Its independent tests are carried out by experienced sailors and marine industry professionals dedicated to providing objective evaluation and reporting about boats, gear, and the skills required to cross oceans. Practical Sailor is edited by Darrell Nicholson, a long-time liveaboard sailor and trans-Pacific cruiser who has been director of Belvoir Media Group's marine division since 2005. He holds a U.S. Coast Guard 100-ton Master license, has logged tens of thousands of miles in three oceans, and has skippered everything from pilot boats to day charter cats. His weekly blog Inside Practical Sailor offers an inside look at current research and gear tests at Practical Sailor, while his award-winning column,"Rhumb Lines," tracks boating trends and reflects upon the sailing life. He sails a Sparkman & Stephens-designed Yankee 30 out of St. Petersburg, Florida. You can reach him by email at


  1. Hello, I’m in Tampa and need to connect and antennae and anything else that I can to the Icom 802 short wave. I’m new to it and will get licensed once it is working properly. It’s on a sailboat I bought and in excellent condition, and I believe I have all of the additional components but I need a local tech to help. Pleas cal me directly at 8136000276 or email at the included email and thanks. Christopher clark