Grab and Go Shack in the Box?


Rob Okray KB9OAK
 

Can anybody offer suggestions for a grab and go all band solution? I know I need off grid solar and a battery solution, but I'm hung up on the radio other than I'd like it to be digital capable (c4fm/d-star) not really looking at DMR.


Paul Foreman
 

I’m thinking the “all band” specification may cause some of us pause.  I’m really new at this (Tech for just over a year) and am still trying to figure it all out.  With that – I spent a lot of my adult years (retired last year) working in Emergency Management slots and within several types of criminal justice environments.  During that time a lot of the “grab and go” stuff I saw and used both ham and government equipment, were handhelds and now days those choices can be very good choices but won’t get you the “all band” you are looking for. 

 

It may help to know what your objective for the gear is.  Will it be for emergency communications or just a way to work from the field?  If it’s field work I would think most Yaesu (C4FM) or Icom (D-Star) that are built as portable units could work well.  I’m using a Kenwood TH-D74 – a tri band – that has D-Star and has been very satisfactory for the year I’ve had it. 

 

From: ARRL-New-Hams@... <ARRL-New-Hams@...> On Behalf Of Rob Okray KD9NXQ via Groups.Arrl.Org
Sent: Thursday, February 13, 2020 3:27 PM
To: ARRL-New-Hams@...
Subject: [New-Hams] Grab and Go Shack in the Box?

 

Can anybody offer suggestions for a grab and go all band solution? I know I need off grid solar and a battery solution, but I'm hung up on the radio other than I'd like it to be digital capable (c4fm/d-star) not really looking at DMR.


Bernd - KB7AK
 

The ftm-991A is an all band, all mode transceiver and reasonably light weight. The FT-857D is a lot smaller and a lot lighter but doesn’t have VHF/UHF, so you would need another unit.

 

Icom is releasing a transceiver, I believe it is an all band SDR type of radio, super light, but more on the QRP side.

 

73,

Bernd – KB7AK

 

From: ARRL-New-Hams@... <ARRL-New-Hams@...> On Behalf Of Rob Okray KD9NXQ via Groups.Arrl.Org
Sent: Thursday, February 13, 2020 1:27 PM
To: ARRL-New-Hams@...
Subject: [New-Hams] Grab and Go Shack in the Box?

 

Can anybody offer suggestions for a grab and go all band solution? I know I need off grid solar and a battery solution, but I'm hung up on the radio other than I'd like it to be digital capable (c4fm/d-star) not really looking at DMR.


Devin Ganger WA7DLG <devin@...>
 

Correction: the FT-857d does in fact have VHF/UHF. What it doesn’t have is support for C4FM.

 

 

--

Devin L. Ganger (WA7DLG)

email: devin@...

web: Devin on Earth

cell: +1 425.239.2575

 

From: ARRL-New-Hams@... <ARRL-New-Hams@...> On Behalf Of Bernd - KB7AK via Groups.Arrl.Org
Sent: Thursday, February 13, 2020 5:45 PM
To: ARRL-New-Hams@...
Subject: Re: [New-Hams] Grab and Go Shack in the Box?

 

The ftm-991A is an all band, all mode transceiver and reasonably light weight. The FT-857D is a lot smaller and a lot lighter but doesn’t have VHF/UHF, so you would need another unit.

 

Icom is releasing a transceiver, I believe it is an all band SDR type of radio, super light, but more on the QRP side.

 

73,

Bernd – KB7AK

 

From: ARRL-New-Hams@... <ARRL-New-Hams@...> On Behalf Of Rob Okray KD9NXQ via Groups.Arrl.Org
Sent: Thursday, February 13, 2020 1:27 PM
To: ARRL-New-Hams@...
Subject: [New-Hams] Grab and Go Shack in the Box?

 

Can anybody offer suggestions for a grab and go all band solution? I know I need off grid solar and a battery solution, but I'm hung up on the radio other than I'd like it to be digital capable (c4fm/d-star) not really looking at DMR.


K8TS
 

If you are looking for off grid, remember that digital requires access to the internet.  In EMCOM situation, most stations will probably be analog.  In a serious emergency many digital repeaters may be down for lack of internet connections.  However if you are going off grid (parks activation, etc.) digital can be fun.

Dale K8TS

 

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

 

From: Devin Ganger WA7DLG
Sent: Thursday, February 13, 2020 11:18 PM
To: ARRL-New-Hams@...
Subject: Re: [New-Hams] Grab and Go Shack in the Box?

 

Correction: the FT-857d does in fact have VHF/UHF. What it doesn’t have is support for C4FM.

 

 

--

Devin L. Ganger (WA7DLG)

email: devin@...

web: Devin on Earth

cell: +1 425.239.2575

 

From: ARRL-New-Hams@... <ARRL-New-Hams@...> On Behalf Of Bernd - KB7AK via Groups.Arrl.Org
Sent: Thursday, February 13, 2020 5:45 PM
To: ARRL-New-Hams@...
Subject: Re: [New-Hams] Grab and Go Shack in the Box?

 

The ftm-991A is an all band, all mode transceiver and reasonably light weight. The FT-857D is a lot smaller and a lot lighter but doesn’t have VHF/UHF, so you would need another unit.

 

Icom is releasing a transceiver, I believe it is an all band SDR type of radio, super light, but more on the QRP side.

 

73,

Bernd – KB7AK

 

From: ARRL-New-Hams@... <ARRL-New-Hams@...> On Behalf Of Rob Okray KD9NXQ via Groups.Arrl.Org
Sent: Thursday, February 13, 2020 1:27 PM
To: ARRL-New-Hams@...
Subject: [New-Hams] Grab and Go Shack in the Box?

 

Can anybody offer suggestions for a grab and go all band solution? I know I need off grid solar and a battery solution, but I'm hung up on the radio other than I'd like it to be digital capable (c4fm/d-star) not really looking at DMR.

 


Rob Okray KB9OAK
 

Yep, digital modes for grid up. Kind of like to use it as a base station while at home


Jimbiram@...
 

In Land Ops (www.landops.org) we do all of our communications off grid, including some HF NVIS work using both voice and digital.  Several use the Yaesu 857d, while I use my Icom 7300 portable.  I connect to my laptop and use Ham Radio Deluxe, although I could use the other software, too.  I plug it into a 20AmpHour LiPoe battery box.  I happen to use an Alpha Antenna FMJ vertical for most of my work, although for NVIS we use end fed wire antennas to operate in 75/80 which, actually works pretty well for contestia during the daytime for NVIS.  The radio is kept in a pelican style box from Harbor Freight.  The battery box is from Powerwerx,  I use my Windows 10 Laptop, and the Alpha Antenna comes in a bag and sets up in about 5 minutes.

There are some folks that have built communication go boxes with multiple radios, mostly using the smaller version Yaesu or Kenwood radios.


Rob Okray KB9OAK
 

I'll check out the Power Werks options. I have also considered the Portable Zero battery boxes. The pelican idea is great!


My Cellphone
 

Just a thought to add to the confusion.  I've found that the battery options that are publicly available have conventional charging ports that are great as long as the grid is working.  Its an easy modification to add a charge controller (up to 30 amp) directly to whatever battery you want to use for primary power.  Then, you might consider a couple of 50 watt solar panels (total of no less than 100 watt).  During most days, you might be lucky to get more than 5 to10 amp in charging capacity with a 100 watt panel.  Should be plenty unless you are broadcasting a fair amount throughout a 24 hour period in an emergency.  


Rob Abbott  kj7may
robabbott2002@...



On Friday, February 14, 2020, 11:02:09 AM PST, Rob Okray KD9NXQ via Groups.Arrl.Org <robokray=yahoo.com@...> wrote:


I'll check out the Power Werks options. I have also considered the Portable Zero battery boxes. The pelican idea is great!


Rob Okray KB9OAK
 

I hear the Bioenno Power packs have Anderson power poles on the discharge side would need to put them on the charge side as well. I want to have the ability to break it all down to as small as package as I can and still have good current handling capacity. So far that I have seen, Power Poles are it.


Rob Okray KB9OAK
 

The space I have allocated in my home is kind of small, think desk top. If I have multiple radios for this that and the other thing, It's not going to fit or be very cumbersome and hard to work around. I live in a condo so outside antenna is a no go. I can do an attic mount and run the lines down to a breakout box in the wall. Also in in that breakout box would be power for the station as I do not currently have dedicated power at that location. It would be on it's own circuit with it's own breaker. My other antenna will be an MPAS 160-6 meter portable


My Cellphone
 

I believe that in the end, the issue is power, instead of radio size.  Been thinking of it differently for me.  Most folks think in terms of bug out bags, etc.  A natural disaster is more likely than say Armageddon and complete social break down, requiring someone to go rouge into the deep back woods.  Yep, it could happen though.....

For just a logic of thought.  If the idea has two possibilities and the powering side of the rig is really based on the capability of the person and the technology to be able to get and stay on the air as you move around.  That key is being able to feed the system the power it needs for the length of time you need to.   In that case, its the consumption of stored energy and replenishment of that stored power. 

First thought is the great the amp hours and ability to maintain the battery sufficiency the better.  So, with a smaller battery and shorter amp hours, the greater the need for sufficient recharge capability within financial reason.  The larger the power storage capacity the slower the drain off and also a need for enough recharging capacity to replace what ya use.  I've looked at the small recharging wallets and although they look pretty cool when you set one out on a cloudy day and plug in your phone, you may seen realize that they have the capacity to frustrate you very quickly.  it isn't the top end recharging capacity in the best of calculated and artificial conditions... it's the real time capacity at the moment.  Some where between portability and the reality of how much time you will be broadcasting will determine your load and what you may be shooting for. 

Regardless of the box for the radios and the antenna,  I'm thinking roller cart styled box under the radio box for sufficient battery and a flexible 100 watt or two that can be attached to the cart as well.  Then a smaller dart with extra charged batteries for10 watt handhelds and a hand generator storage as well.  Keeping all that with my travel trailer or emergency provisions, would allow me to wire two or three deep cell marine batteries together maintaining my 12 v system and with two 100 watt power solar panels such a cart should keep me up and running perpetually with power to spare.  If ya need to grab and go, one could detach the radio box and box of handheld and battery box (with the hand crank generator) and a main battery pack and go. 

Most likely, the key is always having a hand held with you and you go bag is to get you to where your main gear will be stored and located.   Its sort of a staging scheme.  Small to big or big to small.  But taking a rig camping for an extended time frame, the key would be not having your communications source die and having to wait for a day or so to get a charge back.
 

Rob Abbott
robabbott2002@...



On Friday, February 14, 2020, 12:51:04 PM PST, Rob Okray KD9NXQ via Groups.Arrl.Org <robokray=yahoo.com@...> wrote:


I hear the Bioenno Power packs have Anderson power poles on the discharge side would need to put them on the charge side as well. I want to have the ability to break it all down to as small as package as I can and still have good current handling capacity. So far that I have seen, Power Poles are it.


My Cellphone
 

If you can set what you need in the desk top, instead of going horizontal.... try a roller cabinet, like a multi section rolling tool box, going vertical.  It will reduce your foot print, keep it all convenient, hold like a rack system and you can rig up a way to attach a telescoping mast system on a tripod and run your coax from the antenna to the radios. You would pull it on its wheels like a moving dolly or hand truck.     


Rob Abbott
robabbott2002@...



On Friday, February 14, 2020, 1:06:19 PM PST, Rob Okray KD9NXQ via Groups.Arrl.Org <robokray=yahoo.com@...> wrote:


The space I have allocated in my home is kind of small, think desk top. If I have multiple radios for this that and the other thing, It's not going to fit or be very cumbersome and hard to work around. I live in a condo so outside antenna is a no go. I can do an attic mount and run the lines down to a breakout box in the wall. Also in in that breakout box would be power for the station as I do not currently have dedicated power at that location. It would be on it's own circuit with it's own breaker. My other antenna will be an MPAS 160-6 meter portable


Christian Sweningsen KD2LIN
 

The Bioennos come with a charge connector that mates with their charger. But they say you can charge through their PowerPoles, they connect together inside.

        Christian KD21LIN

On 2/14/2020 3:51 PM, Rob Okray KD9NXQ via Groups.Arrl.Org wrote:
I hear the Bioenno Power packs have Anderson power poles on the discharge side would need to put them on the charge side as well. I want to have the ability to break it all down to as small as package as I can and still have good current handling capacity. So far that I have seen, Power Poles are it.



Rob Okray KB9OAK
 
Edited

I hear you on the hand held. That is for later. I'm kind of stuck with the desk I have and the place it's at. The desk is my grandfathers so I can't chuck it. Also only one place to put it. Right where it is. Argh. I do have a truck, but no camper and no place to put one (not to mention money to buy it) I don't get around well anymore, so hiking biking are out. I tried to ride a bike a year ago, I just fell over and my left leg doesn't seem to want to stay on the pedal. Brain tumor and stroke kind of messed me up. I can walk with a cane, lift a decent amount of weight as long as I don't have to balance it. Anyway, enough bellyaching about that-point is that I would be looking at less of field radio and more of a base that could go to the field if needed and if I am forced to move my radio ops outdoors just to get a signal.


My Cellphone
 

Hmmmm. I need to think about this. 


On Feb 14, 2020, at 2:09 PM, Rob Okray KD9NXQ via Groups.Arrl.Org <robokray=yahoo.com@...> wrote:



[Edited Message Follows]

I hear you on the hand held. That is for later. I'm kind of stuck with the desk I have and the place it's at. The desk is my grandfathers so I can't chuck it. Also only one place to put it. Right where it is. Argh. I do have a truck, but no camper and no place to put one (not to mention money to buy it) I don't get around well anymore, so hiking biking are out. I tried to ride a bike a year ago, I just fell over and my left leg doesn't seem to want to stay on the pedal. Brain tumor and stroke kind of messed me up. I can walk with a cane, lift a decent amount of weight as long as I don't have to balance it. Anyway, enough bellyaching about that-point is that I would be looking at less of field radio and more of a base that could go to the field if needed and if I am forced to move my radio ops outdoors just to get a signal.


Rob Okray KB9OAK
 

The Bioenno, battery box, and charger will be next on my list. I found my "shack in the box" with a very nice Icom 706MKIIG and picked up a Kenwood TH-D74 Tri-Band D-Star. I also need to get an MPASS 2.0 antenna pack and a Compactenna.


k5lxp@...
 

> I also need to get an MPASS 2.0 antenna pack and a Compactenna.

I'd hate to see you spend that much money for a bag of wire and sticks.  What did you have in mind for portable operating?  I've been doing that for a few decades now quite successfully with very simple and inexpensive antennas.

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM


Rob Okray KB9OAK
 

Portable? That would be the MPASS for grid down and to setup outside the condo on occasion. The CompacTenna is for the attic. Cant have antenna's at the condo that are attached to the building. 


k5lxp@...
 

QRZ says you're in Kenosha.  I grew up in Wauwatosa.  One of my favorite hamfests was the one in Oak Creek.

>>Portable? That would be the MPASS for grid down and to setup outside the condo on occasion.

Right.  Except I would skip the MPASS, it's a solution seeking a suitable problem.  I would recommend looking up Summits on the Air operating.  They're the "real deal" when it comes to portable operating.  I've been setting up stations when camping, Field Day and special event stations for years now using very basic but effective antennas like the SOTA guys use.  Save your money for stuff you can really use and skip the snake oil/contraption packages.

If you can put a V/U antenna in the attic, why not something more efficient than a "compactenna"?  Point being is you're going to need a feedline and groundplane up there no matter what you use, so why stop short by using a compromise antenna.

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM