K7LTC/W7LTC Cabin Communications
Portable Station One
The radio portable station box is built around a surplus Army tactical "tent switch” Pelican Case (from the label that came on the case) purchased via an eBay seller. This is really a ruggedized 4u server box that is water resistant (when the ends are attached) and extremely rugged. I don't know where this box has been in its former life with the Army but judging from the looks of it, it has been a few places. Had some dust on the inside as well from parts unknown when I received it. All server hardware will work in it including screws, shelves, trays, end plates and so forth that one would use on a server rack. 4u is about 7 inches tall by 17.75 inches wide on the inside of the rack mount. The box came and with removable ends that have snap in zip up nylon storage bags to accommodate wires, cables and antennas. Total original box length was nearly 36 inches. After measuring the radios and associated other items I had on hand, I mapped out what I wanted the box to consist of.
–Two mobile radios (any two that fit the box dimensions, ie a flexible layout)
–Two front facing external speakers
–Two switchable audio ports (3.5mm plugs) to accommodate headphones as needed
–Two USB power charging ports
–Two digital power meters, one per radio
–110V and 12V power capability (any 12V supply available)
–Power indication on the back panel for both 110V and 12V
As purchased, the box was too long for my needs and for how big I wanted it to be when finished (photo below).
I sectioned the box to take out 8 inches in length. I also sectioned the server mount inside the same way. Now the server mount dimensions are 16 inches in length and 7 inches in height. I basically removed one handle and relocated the pressure release valve and rejoined the box.
The internal dimensions support installation of two 8 inch server shelves upon which I mounted the radios, power supply and power distribution panel. I used two 2u flat panels as my switch, meter and power port mounts.
Below is a picture of the back of the box. Not shown are end caps that seal the box from the elements and abuse when in travel mode. The interior area of the end caps (shown attached in the pre-sectioned box photo previously) have nylon bags that hold the roll up J-Pole antennas, power cords and other associated accessories. So when the box is buttoned up for travel, it has everything one would need, other than power, to set up and operate. This package is likely ideal for setting up an event support net control or other similar scenario. I have tested it in hotel rooms and other locations and it works quite well. It weighs a hefty 51.4 lbs though so taking it on quick trips is somewhat of a challenge. In any case, with the radios I have installed I can operate on three different 2 meter frequencies or two 2 meter and one 70 cm frequency. I can also use one radio as a local cross-band repeater. This radio has a small 12v fan on top to keep it cooler if I do use it as a cross-band repeater.