Building a radio 'Go Box'

Started by Mark Jackson, January 07, 2014, 07:40:39 pm

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Mark Jackson

I've been kicking around the idea of building a radio 'go box' that I can grab and toss in the truck. It would house HF, VHF/UHF, and possibly digital modes. Power supply for AC and DC operation. Maybe a space for a lap top as well as antenna cables.
I have been looking at a few on line and would like any input or photos on the subject you may have.

gil

Here is mine, it is very small but contains a dual-band radio, tuner, paddles, batteries and 40ft. end-fed antenna. The case is a Pelican 1150.

Gil.

Mark Jackson

Gil, that's truly a grab and go. Is your cw done on the VHF/UHF bands?

gil

January 08, 2014, 12:33:20 am #3 Last Edit: January 08, 2014, 12:35:00 am by gil
Nope, HF only. I do have 2m HTs though, but I don't like voice modes much.. My MTR covers 20 and 40m. I also have a KX3.
That HF station is indeed ultra portable. I also have a small foldable solar panel to recharge the batteries. I probably would have to recharge the batteries only a couple times a month tough, they last forever. The radio only sips 35mAh on receive. Power output is 6W on 40m at 12.5V and goes down until about 5.5V when the radio stops working.

Gil.

Commprepper


Mark Jackson

What size rack is that? I've been looking at the 6u. Not sure it will be big enough.

Commprepper

It's an 8U. I think 6 is small depending on what you want in it. Mine has a 3U storage drawer in the bottom. Had to use 2 power strips because the max is 15 amps on the fuse.bottom rack that holds the Kenwood slides out. There are 4 fans in the rear that cool it.

Mark Jackson

Thanks. It looks well put together.   I'm starting to collect my gear and determine the layout.

gil

When putting together a go-box you need to decide of it's for yourself or as an aid to your community. Mine would be the example for a self-go-box and Commprepper for a community-go-box. The big difference is about power requirements. Not that the bigger box couldn't be used for an individual or family of course, but again, power requirements are a big concern. The type and duration of emergencies to be faced also determines the size of the box.

The longer the emergency, the smaller the box has to be...Simply because power production long term can be very difficult. Transportation means can disappear quickly as well and moving might be required. Long term, sh-t happens all the time. The difference between 50mAh and 2Ah on receive is enormous.. Carrying a big go-box on foot if you have to is also an impossibility.

So, if you have a big go-box like Commprepper, and his is awesome, make sure you also have a tiny QRP rig that fits in one of your bugout bag side pockets...

Gil.

Commprepper

I plan to build a smaller box around the Yaesu FT-897 platform. Gives me HF, VHF, and UHF. Only light and easily portable with that one. My larger box is made to go in my truck or on a desk with maximum communication capability around all platforms.


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Mark Jackson

Commoreope, I came across the iPortabes site. Nice little boxes.

Mark Jackson

Sorry Commpreper. Fat fingers, small keypad.

gil

QuoteIf I'm going to be bugging out with radio gear and computers I want everything including the kitchen sink to come with me.


What if you end-up on foot?

Gil.

NCGunDude

Quote from: gil on September 23, 2014, 11:00:35 am
QuoteIf I'm going to be bugging out with radio gear and computers I want everything including the kitchen sink to come with me.


What if you end-up on foot?

Gil.


Shoulder straps?

Seriously, my go box has everything in it, but it was too heavy to easily maneuver up and down steps for radio events outside of the house, so I put my HT dual band amp in it's own case for weekend work. Granted, it's still a vehicle kit. It'll be just me, go bag, and HT on foot, to bug in.

I need to set up protocols with the spouse to monitor local repeaters, and simplex if one of us ends up in a bug in situation. If we bug out, we're golden if we can move in vehicles. Substantially less so on foot.

Maybe pull out the absolutely essential radio equipment for a road trip on foot, or cache redundant equipment at the BOL.

gil

I guess one needs two go-boxes. A vehicle one, and an on-foot one... Personally though, I find my tiny HF station to be quite enough.

Gil.