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Old 03-09-2015, 08:57 PM   #1
ke0me
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Default Radio "enclosure"

I am working on making an "enclosure" (intentionally vague description) to hold my entire shack, rig, PS, tuner, dummy load, etc.

I don't have space to keep the entire shack set up, and it takes time to set up and tear down, so I'm looking for a way to have everything ready to go except for 3 connections, AC, ground, antenna.

appx size will be 12 x 15 x 17.

right now I'm planning on a simple lightweight wooden box with one shelf, with hinged front and back panels.

Looking for any ideas others have used to make a compact all-in-one enclosure.

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Old 03-10-2015, 11:02 AM   #2
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I would add two more things.

12 volt

And a ventelation fan.
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Old 03-10-2015, 11:52 AM   #3
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I'm interested in what people come up with. I may want to doing something like this in a few years. I would probably add a gel or Lithium Ion battery and an led light to light the front of the rig or rigs and the work area in front of the enclosure.

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Old 03-10-2015, 09:45 PM   #4
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Default radio enclosure ideas

thanks for the replies.

As I am planning this, I am including the 12V DC power supply in the box.
With a 6 ft cord, I can connect to my small Honda generator for the AC as needed.

Didn't plan to work off 12V only, but could add the termination points as needed.
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Old 03-11-2015, 08:20 AM   #5
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Batteries are the killers they are heavy! If you use a Lithium Ion battery be careful of what you charge it with they can catch fire from thermal run away with a charger that's not designed for the pack. A 5 HP power supply seems a bit of over kill I have a 100 watt solar panel to charge the batteries lot less noise both for the ears and the radio. I have outfitted my camper with 50 amp Anderson connectors at both ends of the camper it allows me to use the 100 watt solar panel either end and the radio where ever I'm parked and just carry my gear in Pelican cases.
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Old 03-11-2015, 09:43 PM   #6
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On the other hand I have used a single group 27 marine battery for the entirety of field day. Yeah they are heavy. But nothing ever goes wrong with them and they can be charged with a truck and jumper cables.

Perhaps a site that does woodworking projects could help. I was thinking something like a really fancy breadbox. And if Jonny Nogood peeps in the window and sees nothing but a breadbox, he might just move on.
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Old 03-11-2015, 10:22 PM   #7
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A box made of 1/16" aircraft-grade plywood (or less expensive plywood, but I think only aircraft-grade is available at 1/16"), glued at the top and bottom corners to 1/4" square spruce strips (use T-88 structural adhesive for super-strength), would be very lightweight. The shelf could be built in, the same way. Front and rear covers could be similar, with lightweight brass piano hinge on one edge and a simple latch on the other. You could have rectangular openings in the front for the radios' faces, and round holes at the back for the various cables, fan, etc. Materials cost would be somewhere around $150, which seems like a lot until you consider the already-expended cost of the radios etc. And it would be strong, light, durable, and generally classy. I have a couple half-sheets of 1/16" 5-ply aircraft-grade mahogany-faced plywood that I've saved for years for just such projects. It's gorgeous stuff.

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... A 5 HP power supply seems a bit of over kill ...
Huh? Where'd that come from? Examining every other post in the thread, I don't find anyone suggesting (or even mentioning) a 5-HP power supply. Five HP is not quite 3.75 KW, and a 5 HP engine can run a generator of perhaps 3 KW if the generator is very efficient -- which doesn't seem excessive for a station anyway, especially if you want to run an air conditioner too.
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Old 03-12-2015, 01:00 PM   #8
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Here is my setup. I have a Yaesu FT-450, a LDG 200 Pro antenna tuner and a Radio Shack 25A switching power supply in my to go setup. For home use I use a Astron RS35M for power. It is made with luan plywood. Size is 10" wide, 11 3/4" high and 11" deep. It is held together by aluminum "L" channel on all the corners and to attach each shelf. I have a front and back piece of luan that is held in place by two pieces of threaded rod through the plastic tubing seen on each side of the tuner, and held in place by wing nuts. The only thing I would have done different is make it slightly wider to store the microphone in the case. I can get the mike in there as it is but another 1/2" would make it a little better. Power connections are made with Power Poles so I can move the rig between different power supplies (25A, 35A and deep cycle battery). For mobile use I have a Eagle One vertical antenna. My FT-450 is an older model and does not have back lit controls so I also have a clip on LED light for dark use.

P1010005.jpg[
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Old 03-12-2015, 02:36 PM   #9
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Huh? Where'd that come from? Examining every other post in the thread, I don't find anyone suggesting (or even mentioning) a 5-HP power supply. Five HP is not quite 3.75 KW, and a 5 HP engine can run a generator of perhaps 3 KW if the generator is very efficient -- which doesn't seem excessive for a station anyway, especially if you want to run an air conditioner too.[/QUOTE]

I think you get the point even at 3.5 HP (little Honda) it's a lot of power for a 100 watt HF throw a kilowatt amp in the mix then it's another story. I use a 100 watt solar panel to charge my batteries then run the radio.
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Old 03-12-2015, 06:33 PM   #10
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Meanwhile, back at the topic...

http://www.grampasworkshop.net/hayesprj.html

This little breadbox could be made a bit deeper and hide your rig from Jimmy No-good. It's kind of cute deal. With todays tiny rigs it might fit just fine the way it is.
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Old 03-12-2015, 09:37 PM   #11
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Carl,
You must have read my mind!
That method with plywood sides and small square strips is how I plan to proceed.

I was looking at the hinged front laying down for a work surface, maybe with info under laminate.
The rear could be mostly hinged, that way the air flow would be better.

PS- the Honda generator I mentioned in my post on 3-10 is the EU-1000, which is 900 watt continuous output.

If I could figure out how to attach a pic I could provide a front sketch layout.
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Old 03-12-2015, 10:26 PM   #12
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Default rough sketch

attached is a very very rough sketch of my idea of the front view of the box.

note that this is designed just to hold the normal shack items in a portable box, this was not planned for battery or solar power, although a person could modify as they desire.

I needed to move the shack around as a unit since I don't have a dedicated place inside the 5er.

This hopefully will stimulate ideas for others who have somewhat similar goals.
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File Type: jpg radio box.jpg (69.9 KB, 50 views)
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Old 03-13-2015, 08:29 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Carl, You must have read my mind!
Just one among my many talents.
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Old 03-13-2015, 08:38 AM   #14
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Check the pawn shops there usually are great audio boxes for cheap money from bands that have broken up or a musician that never made the big time.
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Old 04-12-2015, 07:29 PM   #15
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Work is progressing slowly on my box project, and I have another question.

Will ungrounded pieces of metal (screws, nails, brackets) in the box be a source of potential noise?

I have seen where every piece of metal in a radio site needs to be grounded, but I think this might be overkill in this instance.

Comments?
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Old 04-12-2015, 10:04 PM   #16
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As long as they don't touch each other, nails and such shouldn't matter.

If they touch, and corrode a bit, the points where they touch could turn into diodes and generate noise.

Screws, for example, that hold metal brackets in place ought not to be a problem if the screws are tight and there aren't, for example, brass screws holding unplated steel brackets. So use stainless screws for steel brackets, or paint the whole thing after construction so nothing corrodes.

Or don't worry about it. All those pieces are way smaller than a wavelength at HF and VHF, so really they almost don't exist.

You could hold the whole thing together by gluing it with T-88. Use brads to hold it until the adhesive sets (24 hours), then pull out the brads. This is often done in aircraft-building, not for electronic reasons but to eliminate the weight of the brads. I kid you not. The motto in airplane construction is simplificate, and add lightness, and is taken seriously.
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Old 04-14-2015, 08:44 PM   #17
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Carl,
Thanks for the info.

After I finish painting everything, it should prevent the corrosion.

I will post picks as soon as I can place radios inside for a layout shot.
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Old 04-19-2015, 05:45 PM   #18
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I observed a couple of interesting and simple go boxes while helping with communicationsat the Whidbey v Marathon today. They had simply taken one of those squarish storage boxes, the kind with the 2 lid halves that close together, and used 3 pieces of about 3/8" plywood to make shelves. One was on the bottom as the container laid on it's side with the other two spaced to divide the space into thirds. The shelves were fastened to the ends of the container usinget small bolts and medal "L" brackets. I assume the radios were fastened to the shelves for transport but do not know for sure. I didn't see where the power and coax were run. Each box held 3 or 4 radios plus power supplies tuners, etc.
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Old 04-20-2015, 06:55 PM   #19
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Default radio box

Did u happen to get any pics?

I'm always looking for ideas.

This project is a design as you go process, or as has been said, "measure once, cut 2-3-4 times as needed".

Anyway, its in the "paint shop" now, might take a while to dry in this south Florida humidity.

Any suggestions on how to securely hold down radios that don't have bolt flanges?

This box is kind of a set it down and operate, only need to connect power, ant and ground.
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Old 04-20-2015, 11:30 PM   #20
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I didn't think to get pics, but they belong to a club member so I'll see if I can get more info.
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