Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

   Home   Help Search  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Road Case w/ Power Supply  (Read 5332 times)
WA9AFM
Member

Posts: 208




Ignore
« on: October 31, 2012, 08:23:43 AM »

At a hamfest this past weekend, I saw a small 'road case' with built-in 12VDC power supply; an IC-7000 & LDG tuner were mounted in the case.  I believe QST ran an article in the past year about this particular case.  Anyone remember the article or brand name of the case?
Logged
WA9AFM
Member

Posts: 208




Ignore
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2012, 02:37:17 PM »

Found it!!!!   http://www.iportableus.com/
Logged
VK2DMH
Member

Posts: 14




Ignore
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2012, 04:29:41 AM »

I think you mean the MFJ units.

There is one for the IC-7000, and another for the IC-706. But at $400 they are not cheap!

http://www.mfjenterprises.com/Product.php?productid=MFJ-706

73 de David, vk2dmh

PS: Personally, I would have loved to have seen one for the FT-857D !!  But not at that price, however.
Logged
W2RWJ
Member

Posts: 179




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2012, 06:48:09 PM »

At a hamfest this past weekend, I saw a small 'road case' with built-in 12VDC power supply; an IC-7000 & LDG tuner were mounted in the case.  I believe QST ran an article in the past year about this particular case.  Anyone remember the article or brand name of the case?

Go to the on-line auction place and search for "hardigg rack case".   They have several cases with rack and shock mounts for way less then $400.00.

Logged
N8EMR
Member

Posts: 234




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2012, 03:08:46 AM »

Make sure you watch the size of the hardigg rack case with the shock mounts. Those things are BIG and not really designed to be carried by a single person.
Logged
W2RWJ
Member

Posts: 179




Ignore
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2012, 04:11:38 AM »

Make sure you watch the size of the hardigg rack case with the shock mounts. Those things are BIG and not really designed to be carried by a single person.

I have a 4U Hardigg case that seems to be the upper limit of one-man carry.  Not sure if that meets the OP's needs.

(Our 21U Hardigg case with the tactical repeater system borders on forklift handling at 180 pounds!)
Logged
KG4RUL
Member

Posts: 2710


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2012, 05:49:25 AM »

If you are into a little roll-your-own, this is my GoBox design: http://www.kg4rul.info/GoBox.pdf
Logged
KA2ODP
Member

Posts: 35




Ignore
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2012, 03:58:39 PM »

Wow - I followed the link to  http://www.iportableus.com/

Their cases look nice, until you see the large gap all the way around the end panels.  If you are building a "go kit" for ARES, the need for a water-tight seal is critical.  From past experience, whenever I have been involved in an ARES operation the weather has been terrible.  Which should not be a surprise, since bad weather is usually a major factor in what triggered the ARES operation in the first place.  I was stationed in North Dakota during the great flood of 1997, caused by a combination of snow melt and spring rain.  I assisted Pembina County DES during the flood itself, then later was sent down to Grand Forks to help the Salvation Army with their recovery efforts.

How much money are you going to invest in an HF/VHF/UHF go-kit station?  By the time you get done purchasing the radio, tuner, power supply, and iportable case, you will be looking at $1,500 at least.  In a typical scenario involving flooding, it is raining and there are water puddles everywhere.  So to protect your expensive radio equipment, you will have to stick it inside a large garbage bag to keep it dry while transporting it between the house and the vehicle, and then from the vehicle to your assigned location.  Do you think people at the shelter or the EOC will be impressed with your radio equipment when you walk in carrying a garbage bag?

The Gator brand equipment cases, such as the 4U model, have cam-lock latches that hold the front and rear covers on.  Inside they have a standard 19-inch wide rack frame for mounting equipment.  They are commonly used by traveling bands to hold their amplifiers and mixing boards.  They are available with rubber shock mounts suspending the internal frame.  They serve both to transport the equipment, as well as a means to operate the equipment from within a protective housing. When the front and back covers are closed up they do a good job of keeping the moisture out.  They are not 100% waterproof, so don't leave your gear sitting out in the weather unprotected for a long period of time.  But they will keep the contents dry during the move between house/vehicle/building.  Once inside the building, you remove the front and rear covers, pull out the power cord from the back side and connect the coaxial cable(s) for the external antenna(s). 

As mentioned with the Hardigg cases, there is a limit on the size of case you can use before it exceeds what one person can comfortably carry.  The Hardigg cases are great for protecting the equipment during transport.  I prefer the Gator case approach because it both protects the equipment and allows you to operate the equipment from within the case.  Both the Hardigg and Gator equipment cases are expensive – but worth it in the long term.  If done right, the Gator 4U case will allow you to use your rig at home everyday – but with the option of being swiftly packed up and transported to wherever it is needed.  There are other manufacturers of equipment cases similar to the Gator brand.  Further research will provide other options if the Gator is not to your liking.  Hardigg also makes rack-mount cases with an internal shock-mounted frame similar to the Gator design.

For a low cost approach, consider the various cases made by MTM.  The SPUD-2 and SPUD-7 can be used for VHF/UHF radio kits (SPUD-2) or larger HF radio kits (SPUD-7).  The secret is to mount all the equipment to an internal frame that can be slid into the case.  A power cord “pig tail” and a similar coaxial cable “pig tail” run from the back of the equipment and hang out the front of the case during use.  When not in use, the pig tails are tucked inside the case and the lid closed.  This way no holes are needed in the case itself, which preserves the weather seal.  If it is hot weather, such as during western wildfire season, the entire radio kit can be slid out of the case for added air flow.  If the case is ever damaged by rough handling during transport, replacement is simply a matter of sliding the radio kit out and then into the replacement case.  No remounting of equipment or hardware is necessary due to everything being attached to the internal frame.  I learned about this “orange box” design approach after seeing several examples built by Jeff Schneller, N2HPO, for the Salvation Army SATERN program.  He put a lot of time and effort into designing a radio go-kit that works!

The alternative is to be a fair-weather ham.  Show up only for Field Day in June, when the weather is usually sunny and warm.  If clouds appear, quickly pack up your expensive radio equipment and bug-out for the house.  These are the guys you wish would remove their ARES patches, because you know that when you need help the most – they will disappear.
Logged
W2RWJ
Member

Posts: 179




Ignore
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2012, 04:29:24 PM »

Their cases look nice, until you see the large gap all the way around the end panels.  If you are building a "go kit" for ARES, the need for a water-tight seal is critical.

To follow on KA2OPS Comment:   The Hardigg cases are watertight when closed, to the extent they need a vent/relief valve.     

Logged
KA2ODP
Member

Posts: 35




Ignore
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2012, 03:03:14 PM »

If you are looking for ideas on constructing a radio "Go Box" kit, I recommend viewing the You Tube video created by KC6TYD, entitled "My GoBox".  The video is just under 14 minutes long and takes you through the build process of creating a radio Go Box.

He had some great ideas.  The "Rack Rider" provided surge protected outlets for AC powered items, plus two pull-out lights to illuminate the front of the equipment rack.  The extra outlets provide a place to plug in chargers for HT's or cell phones.  He designed the box for everyday use as his regular ham station, but with the option to quickly pack it up and move it someplace else.  There are also a variety of comments and suggestions posted under the video.

Beware that many of these equipment cases only come with one 19-inch rack installed in the front of the case.  If you want to mount items on the back side, be sure to order the optional second rack kit.  KC6TYD mentions this in his video - but his equipment case came with a post card offer for a free second rack kit. 

The one thing I disagreed with was his use of "peel & stick" velcro for attaching items to the equipment trays mounted in the rack.  Too often during hot weather the adhesive turns slimy and pulls away from the surface it was stuck to.  The velcro does not fail, it is the adhesive holding the velcro to the speaker, SWR meter, etc. that fails.  This is the same problem with electrical tape - in hot weather it can get slimy and slide off the connection it is wrapped around (use heat shrink instead).  KC6TYD mentions in the comments posted to his video that he mounted the power supply by removing the rubber feet and using their screw holes to mount the power supply directly to the tray.  Besides this approach, another good method is to use mounting brackets with screws to hold everything in place.

Just watching the video will give you many ideas on how to design your own radio "go box".  Use it as a starting point to create your own preferred layout.
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!