One of the features about the Midland MXT275 GMRS radio that caught my eye was that the main control/handheld speaker mic unit was detachable via a standard CAT-5 connector on the end of the cord. This meant that when not in use, I could easily unplug it and store it out of sight (just like how I could just close the upper glove box to keep the MTX275 radio body out of sight). Of course, as is if I wanted to use the radio I would have to open the glove box each time to plug in the speaker mic. Some may have noticed that during the main MXT275 install I used a 90-degree CAT-5 extension cable, and this is why: I knew that part 2 of the radio install was going to be a custom externally accessible CAT-5 port. I decided that the perfect spot for this external port would be where the OEM 12v cigarette lighter socket was in the lower position of the center console. Of course – I ran into a small problem with this idea immediately: the only CAT-5 extension I could find suitable for this mod that would match my dash USB ports had a squared bezel… but the center console dash receptacle openings were round:

It was time for some DIY. First, using my trusty Dremel I started hacking away at the single USB port extension pictured above; however halfway through I stopped when I realized that the dual USB version of the USB port extension was almost the right “square” shape inside, and I wouldn’t have to file and mod so much plastic to get the CAT-5 socket to fit. So with that in mind, I tossed the single USB extension and restarted with the dual USB instead, removing the two USB port hardware first to get to just the round housing:

…then after removing the two metal USB shells, I hand carved the center out of the round receptacle using some side cutters, and X-acto knife, and a lot of patience. After about 20-minutes working on it, I got it to where the square-shaped CAT-5 metal socket fit right in with a very snug yet practically perfect fitment; I was very happy with how this portion of the mod turned out:

…however, I could no longer use the mounting rings to attach the socket to my dash, because look at the backside:

…but no problem, since the back of the center console panel would be non-visible, I decided to secure the custom CAT-5 plug in place (very secure!) with my handy hot glue gun and a generous amount of glue:

After letting the glue cool down and making sure everything was in the right place, here is how it ended up looking in the dash panel – matching with the aux USB port just above it:

…and back in the vehicle, all buttoned up. To use the Midland XT275 I just have to plug the microphone’s CAT-5 cable into the socket, and it’s ready to roll! If I’m only using the radio (and not the iPad mount) I don’t have to open the upper glove box door at all, keeping it stealth as a result:

The next job to do is also is the final part of this radio upgrade: where to put the antenna. That will be in the next mod post =)