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Author Topic: Whats in your "GO Box"?  (Read 25297 times)
K6MMS
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Posts: 33




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« on: September 06, 2012, 01:04:42 PM »

Just bought a rolling toolbox and plan on getting a "Go Box" together for emergencies.

I have a Yaesu FT-857d as my home base station, so that would become my mobile rig in the event of an emergency. I've already pre-wired my Landcruiser with a power point, so it would just be a matter of plugging in to the truck battery to use the radio. I also have a new Super Antenna portable vertical ready to go, but what else should I have in the box that I haven't though of?

Misc electronics, flashlights, tools, duck tape, etc?

How about some pix of your boxes?

Thanks!
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KG4RUL
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« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2012, 07:51:18 PM »

www.kg4rul.info/GoBox.pdf
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K6MMS
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« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2012, 08:52:39 AM »

Wow! That's amazing!
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KD8GTP
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Posts: 77




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« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2012, 08:59:01 AM »

Nice looking Go Box. But no Go Box is complete without yellow flashing lights on your car. And a police type siren would finish the look ! Why have a fully outfitted Go Box but not be able to clear traffic as you rush to the emergency scene ? 
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LA9XSA
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« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2012, 10:50:57 AM »

Yellow flashing lights are not for clearing traffic, that's red and blue lights and reserved for emergency vehicles. Some places volunteer firefighters or off duty police officers are also allowed to have them. Same goes for sirens.

As for yellow lights, in some states anyone is allowed to have them, but in other states one needs special authorization for their use. If you're just parked next to the road, yellow lights are probably not needed, but if you're, say, warning other motorists about roadworks, a traffic accident, downed power lines or trees in the road, yellow lights might be appropriate. Just note that they're not foolproof - from some dash camera videos it seems some motorists are attracted to those flashing lights like moths to the flame.  Undecided

Here's a video about amber lamps re. tornado spotters: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tjGJiRPCuE

The presenter prefers not having them, and instead put some extra reflective material on your car. If you're only stormspotting in the summer tornado season I agree. Note, however, that especially in winter flashing lights may be a VERY good idea. That reflective material on the back of your car will get covered by snow and invisible after a few minutes. The flashing lights will penetrate a few inches of snow, and if they produce heat they might melt it away too.
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KG4RUL
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« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2012, 11:05:51 AM »

Nice looking Go Box. But no Go Box is complete without yellow flashing lights on your car. And a police type siren would finish the look ! Why have a fully outfitted Go Box but not be able to clear traffic as you rush to the emergency scene ? 

Are you jealous because you don't have any yellow flashing lights on your car?
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KD8GTP
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« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2012, 05:04:40 PM »

I get a kick out of you whackers Kiss
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KG4RUL
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« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2012, 08:47:41 PM »

I get a kick out of you whackers Kiss

There you go, making the assumption that anyone who has a "GoBox" is a whacker.  It is a convenient way to carry a radio and accessories to places like Field Day, JOTA, a public demonstration of Amateur Radio, to a Technician licensing class that I teach, etc.  AND, not once have I whacked off!
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LA9XSA
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« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2012, 03:31:18 AM »

but what else should I have in the box that I haven't though of?

Misc electronics, flashlights, tools, duck tape, etc?
I don't know exactly what kind of emergency operation you're considering, but here's some advice that should be generally applicable:

- Head extension cable (to save table space you can leave the radio in a box, and bring the head up on a table)
- Extra antenna wire
- Tuner (as  KG4RUL showed); in emergencies you may need to use improvised non-resonant antennas
- LED Head lamp
- 12 v Battery charger for AAA and AA batteries (for the head lamp and other various items)
- 12 v light
- Pencil and writing materials (in the assumption that you'll be passing messages or at least logging)
- Documents such as quick reference to your radio (for operators unfamiliar with your model), maps (for navigation or DXing), band plans, net information, repeater directories, important phone numbers, etc.
- A writing surface
- Since digital modes are very useful in emergencies, a digital interface, a laptop, and chargers for it, could be a good idea.

The two main approaches to a go kit is to either mount everything in the box, or use a watertight padded case to protect the radio while shipping it around. Some approaches combine this by using - say - a padded Pelican case, without any holes drilled or things mounted to it, but with a removable frame inside that the radio is mounted to. That way you get both a padded watertight shipping container, and everything is already connected up.

In addition to this you should consider having:
- Your own personal "bug out bag" with water, food, hygiene items (toilet paper, moist towlettes, hand sanitizer etc.), personal documents, change of clothing, any medication etc. Depending on where you'll be operating from (such as a Field Day site or Red Cross shelter), there might be food services provided, but in case it isn't you should be self-sustainable for a number of days. You might make this into a "never getting home kit", and put stuff like digital family photos, insurance documents, pictures of your valuables and scans of your college diplomas in it.

- A portable gel or AGM deep cycle battery. Operating from the car starting battery over extended periods is not recommended. You could get a battery isolator (such as the ISOpwr from West Mountain Radio) to make your car charge the deep cycle battery when its alternator is running, but prevent the deep cycle battery from draining the starting battery.

- A power supply, in case generator or grid power is available at your operating location.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2012, 03:41:56 AM by LA9XSA » Logged
W7HBP
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Posts: 166




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« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2012, 10:25:06 AM »


Nice set up! Grin
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ARRL Life Member|QRZ Life Member
KO3D
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Posts: 49




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« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2012, 01:47:03 PM »

1. LED amber roof bar with take downs and alley lights. Wig wag headlamps are an absolute must. Additional LED in side windows and trunk lid as well as flashing back up and tail lights. Lights on dash and rear deck. Push bumper, cage, flood light, PA, multi-mode siren are optional but preferred.

2. Professional decal job including ARES(c), RACES, SKYWARN, EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS, and "When all else fails" on both sides and trunk. Don't forget to spell EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS backwards on the hood so people can read it in their rear view mirrors.

3. HF, OSCAR, 6m through 10GHz antennas. The more the better even if some aren't hooked up to anything.

4. Plenty of lanyards for all OEM, club, VE, and BJ shopper club ID cards.

5. Change and dollar bills to buy snacks at the fire station vending machine.
 
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KB2WIG
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« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2012, 04:36:13 PM »

http://www.charmin.com
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AE5JU
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Posts: 231




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« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2012, 09:16:45 PM »

When you need to call for "lawyers, guns, and money" there's nothing like HF.   Grin

I've got an Icom 718, LDG IT-100, and Samlex SEC-1223 mounted in a Pelican 1550 case.  They are all bolted to a 1/8" aluminum hinged plate that tilts up for good viewing angle.  There is room under the plate, when set down into the case, for Radiogram pads, notepads, pencils ("digital logging program"), various coax adapters, all fuses needed for that gear, and then some.  Everything is wired together with Anderson Powerpoles.  It can either be powered from A/C via the Samlex power supply, or though a 10 ga power cord with Power Poles on each end.  I have a Y-cable with battery clamps to hook up to car, boat, lawn tractor, or other available batteries.  I have four 12v 12ah gel cells kept topped off with a Battery Tender.

(Sorry, can't place images here, you'll just have to click on the links to see them.

http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a384/PaulCoats/20HFGoKit.jpg

http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a384/PaulCoats/FieldDay6-28-10.jpg

I also have an OCFD, my "3-Legged Windom", which is a 4:1 current balun, with three removable and interchangeable legs.  They remove and attach via snap hooks and use single Powerpoles for electrical connection to the balun.  

http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a384/PaulCoats/01BalunConnection1.jpg

(That's a voltage balun.  It has since been replaced with a current balun.)

Use the 88' + 44' legs to get 80, 40, 20, 17, 10 m.

http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a384/PaulCoats/04Windom80Meters.jpg

Use the 44' + 22' legs for 40, 20, 10 m.  

http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a384/PaulCoats/03Windom40Meters.jpg

And this is mine, too:  

http://www.hamuniverse.com/ae5jufielddayantenna.html

I have one at home, and another at the club station.  A slight mod, now the four legs remove from the center insulator via snap hooks and Powerpoles for easier, neater storage and deployment.  

http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a384/PaulCoats/10FieldDayAntNewConnectionColorCode.jpg

Anyone who wants a pdf of this antenna, pictures, etc, please email my call at arrl dot net.  People all over the USA have built this and report equally good results.

I have also two extension cord reels each with 50' of RG-8X.  Each has 10 RCT-2 Ferrite Beads snapped on the end to go up by antenna feedpoints.

I have one of N5TAX's roll up Slim Jims for 2m, and it is all it is said to be.  

http://www.hamuniverse.com/n9taxslimjimreview.html

You can't make one for his prices.

http://www.2wayelectronix.com/

Another Pelican case, this one a 1300, contains a Yaesu FT-1802M.

A couple of spools of bright orange 550 parachute cord are used to tie off the OCFD, or hang the N9TAX Slim Jim.   The Slim Jim can also be taped or ty-wrapped to a few sections of the fiberglass mil mast and stabbed on the PA speaker tripod, no guys needed if you don't exceed 4 sections, which puts it up about 18' high.

[forest gump]Well, that's all I have to say about that subject.[/forest gump]

73,
Paul - AE5JU

« Last Edit: September 25, 2012, 09:20:00 PM by AE5JU » Logged
AE5JU
Member

Posts: 231




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« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2012, 09:27:14 PM »

Nice looking Go Box. But no Go Box is complete without yellow flashing lights on your car. And a police type siren would finish the look ! Why have a fully outfitted Go Box but not be able to clear traffic as you rush to the emergency scene ? 


Note to self:  Yellow flashing lights.  Check with fellow club member Buddy to see if the SO has any spare sirens they aren't using.
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AE5JU
Member

Posts: 231




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« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2012, 09:35:26 PM »

1. LED amber roof bar with take downs and alley lights. Wig wag headlamps are an absolute must. Additional LED in side windows and trunk lid as well as flashing back up and tail lights. Lights on dash and rear deck. Push bumper, cage, flood light, PA, multi-mode siren are optional but preferred.

2. Professional decal job including ARES(c), RACES, SKYWARN, EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS, and "When all else fails" on both sides and trunk. Don't forget to spell EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS backwards on the hood so people can read it in their rear view mirrors.

3. HF, OSCAR, 6m through 10GHz antennas. The more the better even if some aren't hooked up to anything.

4. Plenty of lanyards for all OEM, club, VE, and BJ shopper club ID cards.

5. Change and dollar bills to buy snacks at the fire station vending machine.

You left out the vest.
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