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Author Topic: PORTABLE EMCOMM STATION  (Read 27559 times)
K1CJS
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Posts: 6061




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« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2013, 05:02:37 AM »

...That's an important consideration.  Our ARES portable stations are neat and self-contained,
but it takes two people to load one in a truck, and it is a royal pain if you have to take one
up a flight of stairs.  They roll nicely on a floor or sidewalk, but not on a gravel driveway
or over rubble....

One solution to this is a low cost hand truck, one with a removable handle and dolly wheels in addition to the main wheels.  Such a truck will allow one person to wheel a good sized load on a smooth surface AND act as a hand truck for going up stairs.  A rope handle and a couple of carabiners to attach to the main wheel axle will allow two people to pick up the entire truck for getting it over extremely uneven ground or assisting it going up stairs.
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W6RMK
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Posts: 672




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« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2013, 07:32:26 AM »

Hand trucks? Dollys?  That's getting pretty non-portable.

What FEMA does is pack everything on pallets. The Comm gear is in large Anvil cases that fit nicely on a pallet, 2 across, and however many high. Call them 24"x18"x40"  or so. They're pretty heavy but they have multiple handles.

Some cases are customized (e.g. a whole box full of rechargeable battery packs plus gang chargers)

You could put your collapsible dolly in the Anvil case, and then pull it out and use it to move the case.  At least you have only one thing to move, and that's a big plus.  You'd rather have radio, coax, power cords and antennas all in one move.  A hardshell golf bag might be a way to go, and if you need to take it on vacation, you can take advantage of the less expensive baggage fees for sporting goods. (radiosport, right?.. just fling the bag up there and get it tagged, don't tell them what's inside it).  Like the EMEers going to Africa with their antennas in ski bags.

The other thing to be aware of is that certain materials need special shipping declarations or must be shipped separate. Lithium batteries for instance, but even lead acid will present problems if you're going through a security checkpoint.  Batteries installed inside a piece of gear (e.g. the battery pack in your computer or inside your HT) typically are exempt, but "spare batteries" get scrutiny.



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K1CJS
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Posts: 6061




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« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2013, 10:04:20 AM »

Oh, come on!  Hand trucks and dollys aren't portable--BUT PALLETS ARE???  News for you, hand trucks and dollys are the way package handling companies make deliveries, not pallets, because hand trucks will move several items at once and can go through doorways and small spaces that pallets can't.

There again, there are some emcommers that actually build their 'portable stations' on a hand truck.  A work surface is mounted to the hand truck with pins and retaining clips on one end and folding legs on the other.  A short antenna mast can be supported by the hand truck when used that way, with the batteries in a case on the bottom for both power and the weight to stabilize the assembly.

I believe that you either didn't explain yourself fully or are just totally mistaken.  BTW, if you did mean that several people can move the individual units, don't you think a hand truck would make them easier to move by one or two people--even if the hand truck had to be included in the load?
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GILGSN
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Posts: 208




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« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2013, 09:26:46 PM »

Quote
You also need to be aware of how the shock forces will transmit to devices inside.

Pelican cases have foam inside, which is pre-cut. You pluck out the little squares around the shape of your radio.. This way there is much less shock imparted to the radio.

As to the debate about portability, one thing to keep in mind is the difference between portable and transportable. "Portable" most often means by one person on foot. Transportable can be anything that fits in a vehicle.

Gil.
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K7RBW
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Posts: 402




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« Reply #19 on: June 05, 2013, 05:36:17 AM »

Quote
You also need to be aware of how the shock forces will transmit to devices inside.

Pelican cases have foam inside, which is pre-cut. You pluck out the little squares around the shape of your radio.. This way there is much less shock imparted to the radio.

As to the debate about portability, one thing to keep in mind is the difference between portable and transportable. "Portable" most often means by one person on foot. Transportable can be anything that fits in a vehicle.

Gil.

I have my radio gear stashed inside the foam of a Pelican case, like you describe. That works well for me; however, others have glued or bolted their gear directly to the case, which is the situation the original comment was cautioning against.

The advantage of having the radio gear as separate pieces in foam is that I don't worry about the gear inside. The disadvantage is that I have to assemble it before operating. For me, that's a minor issue. For others, however, they'd prefer to just open the case and switch on the radio so they've bolted everything inside the case. In those cases, they can just open the lid and turn on the radio, but they have to handle the case with a bit more care--something a Pelican case doesn't naturally invite.
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WB6BYU
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Posts: 13580




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« Reply #20 on: June 06, 2013, 11:15:21 AM »

Our stations are mounted on a board with rope handles that fits in a Pelican case.
You can provide shock mounting for the board, but keep everything set up and
connected together.  The whole station can then be put on a table or whatever
operating surface is available.

Such a method has pros and cons:  easy to use, but takes more space and isn't
as versatile as it might be.  My preference would be to be able to operate it from
the case while using the case as a stool, because some times you are in a
crowded command post or shelter, and other times may have nothing to sit on.
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KF9ZA
Member

Posts: 48


WWW

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« Reply #21 on: June 09, 2013, 11:20:46 AM »

The YouTube video of the go box I made starting out with Gator box.  The video plus linked list of materials.

http://kf9za.kremer.com/gobox/

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KK6FAD
Member

Posts: 1




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« Reply #22 on: July 24, 2013, 04:08:30 PM »

Hi,

My Go Box is pretty basic, but also inexpensive. I used an extra large size Plano ammo box,
$22. The plastic shelves were scrap for a dollar each. The bolts , 1/4" threaded
rod, nuts and aluminum angle bar are from Home Depot, about $30. Instead of a
Rigrunner I used a auto fuse bus , $10. The cooling fan is an old computer case
fan. It's velcro'd in so I can move it out of the way. The switches and
terminals I got off Ebay for about $20.  http://s1331.photobucket.com/user/John_Magnuson/library/
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AE5JU
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Posts: 236




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« Reply #23 on: December 11, 2014, 12:58:47 PM »

Quote
Pelican cases are tough, and waterproof when closed. You can get waterproof through fittings for coax, USB, etc. from a variety of places, if you want to run things with the lid closed (in dust or rain, for instance), although you need to make sure it won't overheat.


How will you operate the radio if the lid is closed?
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KC2QYM
Member

Posts: 135




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« Reply #24 on: December 11, 2014, 01:06:05 PM »

I have my own 'go box', it consists of MREs, water, matches, flashlight and batteries, firearm and ammo, survival knife, maps, compass, that sort of stuff.  If I had a choice between two 'Go Boxes' - radio or survival...guess which one I would grab?
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W6RMK
Member

Posts: 672




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« Reply #25 on: December 12, 2014, 10:09:37 AM »

Quote
Pelican cases are tough, and waterproof when closed. You can get waterproof through fittings for coax, USB, etc. from a variety of places, if you want to run things with the lid closed (in dust or rain, for instance), although you need to make sure it won't overheat.


How will you operate the radio if the lid is closed?

Most radios have some form of remote control, and more and more are becoming "network aware". If you have a radio with a remoteable front panel, you could have the radio "outside" and the controls "inside" a tent or shelter.
If you're a diehard CW person, you only need a headphone jack, power switch, and connector for the key, all of which can go through any manner of waterproof connectors.
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