Here is the start of my ham radio Go Box project. I happened to stumble across this SKB case with the racks at Goodwill for $15 and i couldn’t turn it down…Heck of a deal! This gave me the motivation to kickstart this project.
Icom IC-706MKIIG gives me 160m-70cm, the Kenwood TK-780 is primarily used for scanning, and is connected to the NMO mount on the top of the box. This is programmed with local 2M repeater frequencies, marine channels, Firecom, and State police frequencies.
I have a string of stick on LED lights under the rack shelves both on the front of the box, and on the back of the box. The on-off-on switch on the front panel controls either the front LED lights, or the back LED lights. When in the up position, the front lights, and the meter display receives power.
A 40A switching power supply is installed in the rear, and powered from the 3 pin computer plug and switch on the rear panel. Power pole connectors sticking out the back of the panel are an input for the battery supply; batteries are maintained when power supply is running.
I built a power gate onto the back panel. The Power Gate allows you to run your station with fulltime, instantaneous power backup. A pair of Schottky diodes operate as an electronic gate to connect either of two power supplies to your rig. Usually one supply will be your normal AC connected station power supply and the other a backup battery. Switching is completely automatic in both directions; the source with the highest DC voltage will be connected automatically to your rig. A 2.5ohm resistor provides a 10 watt float charge to the battery system.
The Schottky is a Vishay 80CPQ020PbF
DC Load: 20 Amps continuous, 40 Amps at 50% duty cycle.
– Input voltage: 0 – 15 Volts DC from two sources
– Forward Voltage Drop: 0.4 Volts or less at 20 Amps load
– Maximum Reverse Voltage: 20 Volts
Battery box is a modified plastic ammo box containing 4- 9Ah gel cell style batteries, and the solar charge controller. The 10 watt solar panel plugs directly into the two pin plug on the bottom right, and we have the option for two power pole outputs or a cigarette lighter style plug. The solar charge controller has two USB plugs on the front of it for charging and powering USB devices.
A separate larger style ammo box contains an auto tuner, some wire antennas, and some various cables and jumpers that may come in handy.
Being as all of the connections inside the AH-4 are internal, one must pull the case apart to make connections. I’ve modified the AH-4 auto tuner with a external 4 pin plug and a SO-239 for quick connection in the field. I have about 15′ of cable coming from the 4 pin molex plug out the back of the icom 706 for the tuner.
I’m currently using a 102′ doublet connected to the AH-4 tuner, which gives me the ability to tune from 80m to 6m! I also have a full wave 80m horizontal loop antenna coiled up in the storage box because well, you never know!
This box is still a work in progress, i have plans in the future to add another speaker, clean the wiring up a bit, and replace the Kenwood radio with a dual band radio. Also exploring some various options for antennas.
If you have any questions, comments, or ideas please let me know below.