I decided to build a Go-Box for Emergency Operations and for Portable Operations. We give presentations at our club and this would make it easier to setup etc. I looked around the Internet to get some ideas. I didn’t want it to be too big or weight too much. I decided on building it in a SPUD7-40 box. The box cost about $ 40 from www.AmmoBoxes.com. At first I thought the box was going to be real big. The boxes come in several colors and I choose black. I started putting things in the box for a tentative layout. I had a Yasea FT-857D to use. It provides HF, 2M, and 70cm operation in a small package. I used a manual antenna tuner for several reasons. The first is I already had it, and the other was manually tuners usually provides a larger tuning range. I also had a switching power supply so I added it. It could have been a little bit smaller but it was what I had. I also intended to use this during our APE (August PSK Expedition) so I added a Tigertronics USB TNC for doing digital modes. The box is tapered so you have to build tapered shelves. I built mine using 3/8” plywood and 1X4 for a spacer for the shelves. I started out thinking it had a lot of space, but as I got into it, it was difficult to get all the items in etc. The shelf is back from the front by ~ 1” and it has several inches in the back for cables. You will probably need a fan to cool your transceiver as it doesn’t have any circulation being a closed end box.
I put an AC socket in the back, you plug in computer cord and it will power the internal DC power supply, and it also has another receptacle so you can plug in your computer. I got the parts from Jameco - computer socket # 147901 ($ 1.89), AC receptacle # 2114095 ($ .99). I also bought my fan from Jameco, I changed the design several time to accommodate the fan, I ended up putting it on the top back which will allow it to blow directly on the heat sink of the FT-857D.
AC Socket & Receptacle
Completed shelf and equipment
I put in a 3” fan to cool the transceiver due to he fact the the box is closed end. I mounted it directly over the heat sink on the FT-857D. I use going to use some smaller fans but the transceiver was too close to the end of the box so I could use them. I used a 110VAC fan so I wouldn’t have to connect if I had to remove the shelf.
Go-Box - Ready to Transport
I have a manual tuner and it presents a problem in that there is no ‘TUNE’ button on the FT-857D. I found on the Internet an article on building making a “TUNE’ feature. I got it from N3OX which got it off an article on the Yahoo Group by KC5LIO. It called for a DPDT switch with center Off. I didn’t have the DPDT switch but I did have several SPDT switches that I used. One of the switch is for putting the transceiver into Low Power (CW) mode, and the other is the PTT or keys the transmitter. This modification costs approximately $ 5 or if you have a good junk box it can be made with available parts. You will need switch(s), diode, and a 3 pin 3.5 mm plug. Connect the plug as shown in the drawing below and you will need a wire to the Brown wire on the power connector. The article says it will reduce the power to 20 watts (mine measures 30 watts on my meter). The diode provide isolation between the two connections.