Author Topic: Ham Radio / Comms Go Kit  (Read 74398 times)

Offline Pathfinder

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Re: Ham Radio / Comms Go Kit
« Reply #30 on: June 29, 2012, 03:40:03 AM »
I'm just trying to think out loud, but...

If its in the box not being used, its turned off. If its turned off, it should be safe against EMP effects. Right?

If its actually in use, then it needs and antenna. An antenna cannot be within the protection of a Faraday cage or it would not work. Having the antenna would leave the unit susceptible to EMP effects. Right?

All that to say this: Not sure the time and expense of a Faraday cage radio case would be worth the effort.

I'm not saying I'm certain about this. I'm just askin'.

(I'll defer the question to one of the next four or five posters who is going to amaze us with their answer.)  :-X

No to rehas things on other thread, the skinny on EMP seems to be:

1. EMP pulse is a moving electronic/magnetic field.
2. Any length of metal is an antenna
3. Electrical theory is that if you move a piece of metal in an energy field (or vice versa) you generate an electrical current; this is the basic idea behind a generator of any type. A generator on your bicycle for a light takes the mechanical motion of the wheel and spins a bunch of wires around inside of fixed magnets, thereby creating enough juice to power a small light bulb - if you keep pedaling.
4. I don't remember the formulae involved, but the amount of electricity produced has to do with the amount of wire and the power of the energy field. So even a small, 1/4" trace on a circuit board will generate current. And an EMP pulse is assumed to be huge in terms of power.

So even if a device is off, the pulse still moves across the metal and electricity is generated. If you generate enough, it can fry components or even pop the trace like a fuse. That's the theory.

Offline austinrob

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Re: Ham Radio / Comms Go Kit
« Reply #31 on: June 29, 2012, 10:57:34 AM »
So even if a device is off, the pulse still moves across the metal and electricity is generated. If you generate enough, it can fry components or even pop the trace like a fuse. That's the theory.

Yes, but without a significant amount of wire to build that current, most things will not be affected.  I don't have the link, but a report I'd read on EMP testing showed that most running vehicles were fine (many quit running, but restarted fine, only a few wouldn't start) and all of them were fine if they were not running.

Unplug, disconnect antennas, and most of your equipment should be fine. 

Offline Mister Dark

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Re: Ham Radio / Comms Go Kit
« Reply #32 on: June 29, 2012, 12:59:22 PM »
Excellent posts, guys.   When I get back to my gobag this afternoon, I will snap a few pics of my simple setup. It is just a yaesu vx8r with a handful of antennas, and a cheap solar charger setup.  Mine is geared more towards UL use (I carry it hiking a lot of the time). The whole rig weighs W pounds or so, with spare batteries...

Keep the cool rigs coming!

Offline Greekman

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Re: Ham Radio / Comms Go Kit
« Reply #33 on: July 22, 2012, 10:57:31 AM »
I ahve seen a very interesting DXpedition setup froma locak (Greece) HAM club.

They used an ex-mil container, something proximating this:
http://store.colemans.com/cart/medical-transport-chest-us-gi-aluminum-used-damaged-p-1280.html

So they stand the container with the hinged door opening down thus the door makes a working/writing surface.
Inside the container 2 metalic shelves were added which slide out with the help of cabinet drawers mechanisms.

I hope I described the setup well enough. I search for their PR brochure where a picture was in, to no luck....
« Last Edit: July 22, 2012, 11:10:05 AM by GreekMan »

Offline Greekman

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Re: Ham Radio / Comms Go Kit
« Reply #34 on: July 22, 2012, 11:09:03 AM »
the drawing is child like, i know, but pretty descriptive



Offline Tactical Badger

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Re: Ham Radio / Comms Go Kit
« Reply #35 on: September 17, 2012, 12:17:48 PM »
God I want an 817!!  I'm in the middle of collecting all the equipment for my Go Box at the moment.  I'm planning on running my 857 and an 350 in it.

I have put together an HT based Go Kit.  I normally carry this in my GHB or when I travel out of town. 

http://preparednessjunky.blogspot.com/2012_05_01_archive.html

A roll-up J-pole works extremely well in this application.

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Ham Radio / Comms Go Kit
« Reply #36 on: September 17, 2012, 08:40:10 PM »
I'm in the process of putting my radios into a Gator Case (like the one depicted below), which is a portable unit marketed to musicians that is standardized on the 19" rack-mount system.



I stumbled on to this Youtube video, which shows how the system works and has links on where to find the stuff.

Offline bamarebl

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Re: Ham Radio / Comms Go Kit
« Reply #37 on: September 18, 2012, 01:43:07 PM »
Hi everyone. I'm new here but I wanted to show my go box. It is a Yaesu FT857D transceiver, an LDG Z100 auto tuner, an MFJ4125 switching power supply, an external speaker, an MFJ mini CW paddle, a flexible spotlight all inside an MTM Case-Gard dry box. Can be used with regular wall power or generator, or can be used with battery using a cigarette lighter adapter or direct wire from posts on the side of the box. Not EMP proof, but is very portable. Setup and take down is about 90 seconds (not counting antenna setup). Antennas, wires, and other antenna building parts are carried in a foot locker (not pictured).




Offline garysco

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Re: Ham Radio / Comms Go Kit
« Reply #38 on: September 18, 2012, 03:37:01 PM »
Everything you need to know (and probably more)  about EMP / EMI and lightning from PolyPhaser here:

http://www.protectiongroup.com/Military/Product-Solutions

I have used their stuff a lot in the past when building mountain top repeater sites.

Offline bigbcustom

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Re: Ham Radio / Comms Go Kit
« Reply #39 on: October 24, 2012, 04:17:15 PM »
New to this forum, but not to ham radio.  I like a lot of the stuff I have seen in this thread.  Just to throw something out there that I haven't seen mentioned in this thread, somebody mentioned the yaesu 897, but didn't mention that you can get two internal batteries for it to run portable.  Also, in my area at least, several of us have 222mhz radios.  Nobody seems to use this band, whereas 2m and 70cm are pretty busy. The following link is to an excellent site for thought about ham radio go kit questions.  Diehl Martin has passed on due to cancer, but his wife keeps the site up and running in his memory... As you read, you will come to realize he was an amazing guy. http://w4ti.net/gokit.html hope i have added in a positive way to this discussion, and look forward to much more interaction.

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: Ham Radio / Comms Go Kit
« Reply #40 on: October 24, 2012, 05:33:56 PM »
Great link, thanks!  Also thanks for the info over at the "Ham license for marine vhf?" thread.  If you've got a moment, hop over to the intro thread at the front porch (http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?board=77.0) and tell us a little about yourself.  Sounds like you've got some experience we'd like to learn from!

But dude... that is one creepy profile pic.

Offline armymars

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Re: Ham Radio / Comms Go Kit
« Reply #41 on: December 28, 2012, 12:48:16 PM »
   I love the MTM go box. It's one of the cleanest I've ever seen. No clutter. My QRP go box doesn't look as good because I'm trying to put the antennas and 12v 5ah gel cell in it too.  For EMP, I read somewhere that the Air Force did a study and found their radios had to be connected to an antenna at lest 24" long before they failed. Back in the 80's the going thought was to put everything in a 20mm ammo can with the rubber seal removed. 73

Offline SCWolverine

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Re: Ham Radio / Comms Go Kit
« Reply #42 on: December 28, 2012, 08:27:24 PM »
I'm pleased with my MTM box:



though my spends all of it's time outside the box in 'shelf mode'



the following isn't mine, but it's pretty dang sexy:



find the thread here:
http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_10_22/662260_Tac_Comm_Phase_1.html


and I'll repost from earlier for those late to the discussion:
http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_10_22/648273_The_EMCOMM_Box.html


scw

Offline Veritas

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Re: Ham Radio / Comms Go Kit
« Reply #43 on: January 02, 2013, 09:49:37 AM »
Nice. I really like the shelve idea. Is the gear mounted to the shelves?

Offline SCWolverine

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Re: Ham Radio / Comms Go Kit
« Reply #44 on: January 02, 2013, 02:50:48 PM »
Nice. I really like the shelve idea. Is the gear mounted to the shelves?

yes, it's all thru bolted


that may give an idea?

Offline idelphic

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Re: Ham Radio / Comms Go Kit
« Reply #45 on: January 02, 2013, 03:06:22 PM »
Voltage meter -

Do you have information on your volt meter display?  Something good to have when you are running on batteries.

Offline SCWolverine

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Re: Ham Radio / Comms Go Kit
« Reply #46 on: January 03, 2013, 08:46:20 AM »
Voltage meter -

Do you have information on your volt meter display?  Something good to have when you are running on batteries.

I found it on Ebay...they are all over, here is a link to a similar unit:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/12V-DC-Volt-Meter-Digital-Display-Voltmeter-Gauge-0-30V-Battey-Tester-Yellow-LED-/370727210258?hash=item5651104d12&item=370727210258&pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&vxp=mtr

re-Link to my build:http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_10_22/656275_.html&page=1

edit to add: my display hates RF....  ::)

Offline Canadian Prepper

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Re: Ham Radio / Comms Go Kit
« Reply #47 on: February 20, 2013, 03:52:12 PM »
I'm studying for a course in mid-March to be followed by the Basic examination. In Canada, passing that examination with honours would give me access to all bands, so I'm seriously considering getting a an HF radio for a go bag.

I seem to be tending towards either the Yaesu FT 817D or 897, as they both have a portable battery option, but am torn over which would be a better choice for my needs. The 817 has the appeal of coming with the rechargeable battery, ease of hooking up to a 12V battery and the option of an adapter for using double AAs. The fact that the included antennae would make it ready to use for 70cm/2m/6m transmission also has appeal. The video I'm pasting below suggests that it could be made to effectively transmit HF with a basic military surplus antenna and MFJ 971 tuner, which would get me into the action for a minimal additional output of funds. I also like the idea of a small radio that I could carry on hiking/camping trips, but'm not totally convinced that a 5W radio is what I should be going for.

The 897 would give 20W transmission power using the batteries and I'd probably want the 100W option for transmitting from home, especially since I'd like to eventually get a modem to send emails during an emergency. The batteries, automatic tuner, power source and probable antenna options however appear to easily push the cost just to get on the air in HF to about double that of the YT817D, so I'm really wondering about what I'd be giving up with that latter option. On the other hand, getting the 897 first might give me the one radio that I could use for a wide range of options rather than buying something only to realize its inadequacies after the fact. Could anyone fill me in about considerations that I might be missing? Might I be wrong not to consider the 857?

In short, I'm looking for all bands access, portability (i.e. for a camping trip where radio work is not the primary activity) but also enough power and capabilities to be able to use in an emergency, perhaps with an ARES group.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MccMSicIeMo

 


Offline idelphic

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Re: Ham Radio / Comms Go Kit
« Reply #48 on: February 21, 2013, 07:24:46 AM »
I'm studying for a course in mid-March to be followed by the Basic examination. In Canada, passing that examination with honours would give me access to all bands, so I'm seriously considering getting a an HF radio for a go bag.

I seem to be tending towards either the Yaesu FT 817D or 897, as they both have a portable battery option, but am torn over which would be a better choice for my needs. The 817 has the appeal of coming with the rechargeable battery, ease of hooking up to a 12V battery and the option of an adapter for using double AAs. The fact that the included antennae would make it ready to use for 70cm/2m/6m transmission also has appeal. The video I'm pasting below suggests that it could be made to effectively transmit HF with a basic military surplus antenna and MFJ 971 tuner, which would get me into the action for a minimal additional output of funds. I also like the idea of a small radio that I could carry on hiking/camping trips, but'm not totally convinced that a 5W radio is what I should be going for.

The 897 would give 20W transmission power using the batteries and I'd probably want the 100W option for transmitting from home, especially since I'd like to eventually get a modem to send emails during an emergency. The batteries, automatic tuner, power source and probable antenna options however appear to easily push the cost just to get on the air in HF to about double that of the YT817D, so I'm really wondering about what I'd be giving up with that latter option. On the other hand, getting the 897 first might give me the one radio that I could use for a wide range of options rather than buying something only to realize its inadequacies after the fact. Could anyone fill me in about considerations that I might be missing? Might I be wrong not to consider the 857?

In short, I'm looking for all bands access, portability (i.e. for a camping trip where radio work is not the primary activity) but also enough power and capabilities to be able to use in an emergency, perhaps with an ARES group.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MccMSicIeMo
When I decided to get my upgrade - i committed first thing to the FT817 for its size and ability.  When I finally started getting on the air with it, I was a bit frustrated with that it seemed that no one could hear me.  But then I started getting call backs. 

I admit that power will give you the punch through,.. but there is a good bit if joy and satisfaction in getting through on just 5w...  I don't have my logs online right now,..  but I have 1,000 - 4,000 mile contacts on 5w and a 20m dipole I made out of speaker wire. Your mileage and success will always vary..  It's the size of your smile that matters.

Offline Tactical Badger

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Re: Ham Radio / Comms Go Kit
« Reply #49 on: February 21, 2013, 08:36:16 AM »
Ft-857?  If you're going to be running an external battery anyway, which you would need to get the full wattage out of the FT-897.  The 897 is a a HUGE, HEAVY rig once you attach the batteries to it.  And you won't get the full 100 Watts.  The 817 is a neat, little package, but limited in wattage.  I want one... a lot.

The 857 will do 100 Watts in HF.  It's what I went with.

Offline Canadian Prepper

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Re: Ham Radio / Comms Go Kit
« Reply #50 on: February 22, 2013, 02:01:10 AM »
When I decided to get my upgrade - i committed first thing to the FT817 for its size and ability.  When I finally started getting on the air with it, I was a bit frustrated with that it seemed that no one could hear me.  But then I started getting call backs. 

I admit that power will give you the punch through,.. but there is a good bit if joy and satisfaction in getting through on just 5w...  I don't have my logs online right now,..  but I have 1,000 - 4,000 mile contacts on 5w and a 20m dipole I made out of speaker wire. Your mileage and success will always vary..  It's the size of your smile that matters.

Thanks for the input Idelphic!

I wonder if I'm searching for two features that are difficult to find in the same package, namely portability for wilderness carry or even within an urban environment, perhaps as part of a 72hr BOB, camping kit or ARES go box, combined with the ability to effectively transmit beyond the 70cm/2m/6m bands. I'm hoping to get a radio that within reason could be used to regularly communicate with someone several hundred miles away without the use of repeaters. Here in Ontario, the ARES groups use the three aforementioned bands for local/regional comms, but also utilize the 40m band for province wide communications. I'd like to become familiar with using that band, whether for volunteer work with ARES or to communicate with distant friends and relatives in the event of an emergency, even if the latter would mainly have to be conducted at dawn, dusk, or nighttime.

I'm wondering whether the 817 is the best compromise. Since it's relatively light and comes with an antenna for tri band use, it sounds as if at 5 Watts output, that it at least provides the same benefits of a tri-band handheld, which could suffice for the more localized communications applicable towards smaller emergencies, search and rescue efforts, etc. The extra $250 (approx) higher price over a handheld would add the HF bands for further experimentation and longer distance communication, but I wonder if that capability could promise more than random communications via QRP with people on the air several hundred miles away. Perhaps that's a good segway into learning about HF communication and sets the stage for more powerful and specialized equipment in the future, but I'm still trying to figure out the difference between the 817 and more powerful radios (and whether or not any of them are portable enough for easy carry).

Offline Canadian Prepper

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Re: Ham Radio / Comms Go Kit
« Reply #51 on: February 22, 2013, 02:13:02 AM »
Ft-857?  If you're going to be running an external battery anyway, which you would need to get the full wattage out of the FT-897.  The 897 is a a HUGE, HEAVY rig once you attach the batteries to it.  And you won't get the full 100 Watts.  The 817 is a neat, little package, but limited in wattage.  I want one... a lot.

The 857 will do 100 Watts in HF.  It's what I went with.

Thanks for your input Tactical Badger. I read up more on the 897 last night and read the account of at least one person who tried carrying one into mountainous terrain for a search and rescue mission, only to be worn down by the burden of carrying it and more of a hindrance to the task at hand. The portable batteries also add another $200 plus to the price (a bit more IIRC for the auto tuner), so I could easily see kitting her out approaching the $2000 mark and wouldn't be carrying her into the back country for multi-purpose trips where I'd probably spend more time fishing, hunting, scouting new areas and perhaps target shooting. Even with the portable batteries, the radio is limited to transmitting at 20 Watts.

The 857 has also had my interest for some time, so I suppose it comes down to how easily I could fully kit out such a radio and how heavy she'd weigh.  I wonder what size of battery might work fine with such a radio and whether it could all comfortably fit into my BOB (an Eberlestock Phantom, which has space specifically set up for carrying a radio).

My HAM course is just under a month away, so I've got time to do more homework (preferably for the exam, not just window shopping!) but I really appreciate the advice from this board.

Offline austinrob

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Re: Ham Radio / Comms Go Kit
« Reply #52 on: February 22, 2013, 08:08:13 AM »
An 8Ah battery running a 100W transceiver on a 10% duty cycle will give you a little less than 3hr operating time.  So either bring multiple batteries, larger batteries, or at least a 30W solar rig for charging your spare in 3hr (assuming FULL sun).  That is why people who do HF packing typically operate QRP.  An 817 from the same power source will run for 10+hr.

using local candy store prices here:
an 857 is a bit over $850, software & cable another $45, an auto tuner (small lightweight LDG model) $160.  Add some speaker wire for an antenna, and some feedlines...  you come in about $1100-ish. 

You can use a yo-yo antenna and drop the tuner, it just takes a bit longer to set up.

If you want to do HF packing, QRP is your friend.  If you want a to build go-kit where you won't have it all on your back, you can operate full power and sort out power options.

Offline armymars

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Re: Ham Radio / Comms Go Kit
« Reply #53 on: February 22, 2013, 10:07:51 AM »
    Qrp is light, requires much less juice, and comes in many differant flavors. The KX3 is all the rage in my radio club, but I don't think it does 2M or 432MHz. They do make a 100 watt amp for it to use at home. Tricked out I think someone said your looking at $1100 to $1200 US.
    For 25 to 300 miles work, it's hard to beat NVIS on 80 or 60 Meters. On Mars we've found 60 meters to be great during the day and 80 or 160 meters at night. My  60 meter antenna is only a dipole 7 feet off the ground. Yet I'm good for a solid 250 mile Com's till 1 or 2pm in the afternoon. Sometimes all the way till sunset. From 3pm till sunset I'll jump to 40 meters on bad days. After sunset 75 meters is good for 50 to 300 Miles in NVIS mode. If the band is relay long you have to drop to 160. 90% of my MARS work is HF NVIS work. If the noise level is low at both ends then 20 watts is fine. You just can't hear the differants.
   If you pick a radio like a Icom 706 you can dial it down to 10 watts to save batteries. Spend a little more on the batteries, such as Li-ion or Li-fe to save weight and you can make it work. If not get a true QRP rig and a amp. If they match all the better. Many QRP radios now have built in antenna tuners which save weight and space. Don't squeak on the antenna. Use light weight open wire feed ( home brew ) if the tuner can handle it or pick a band and a resonate antenna. Thou shall not use zip cord for feed line on QRP. I'd go RG 178 first. 73

Offline Canadian Prepper

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Re: Ham Radio / Comms Go Kit
« Reply #54 on: February 23, 2013, 05:39:30 PM »
Thanks for the input Austinrob and Armymars!

I suppose it's coming down to the 817 and 857, as we've got a dealer around here that would facilitate servicing and purchasing accessories locally. The 857 along with the necessary batteries and gear might be a bit heavier than I'd want for wilderness use, but should be manageable and more than satisfactory for home and ARES uses where I might otherwise feel handicapped with the 817. I'd probably in that event stick to using a 2m or dual band handheld for wilderness carry, which would probably suffice for local communications or emergency scenarios like assisting SAR.

If cost is a factor on the short term, I might settle for the 817 and later upgrade to a higher power radio when finances permit, which would at least offer an entry point into HF and the added bonus of easy wilderness carry with greater options than with a handheld.

It looks like a friend might have a 2m Kenwood portable, power supply and an assortment of wire and accessories (maybe coax), so that might influence my initial choice of gear. A 2m portable transmitting on higher power than a handheld might suffice for local ARES use, in which case I won't feel left out if I get a QRP radio, though I might use the savings on the power suppy and coax, etc to purchase the 857 within my current budget. Once I find out what my friend has at his place and perhaps after a visit to my local dealer, it sounds as if I'll be able to make a reasonably educated decision.

Thanks again to all of you. This forum rocks!

Offline fullauto762

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Re: Ham Radio / Comms Go Kit
« Reply #55 on: September 13, 2013, 01:19:06 PM »
         I actually had to break out my emergency radio kit last week because our local repeater went down 30 minutes before our weekly on air meeting. So i had to relay information. it was a blast! The kit worked great.

40mm MK-19 ammo can that holds 3 kits. 1 kit is a coleman lantern bag that hold my Kenwood TR-7850, 50 watt, 2 meter tranciever,
18Ah 12V lead acid deep cycle Werker battery.
Home made j-pole antenna made of 300 ohm twin lead tv cable connected to 20feet of RG-58 coax.
 truck type cigarette lighter and adapter cord
50ft of speaker wire (cheap positive and negative leads connected together) On each end, cut about a foot of 1 lead so you don't short circuit on accident, also have  various connectors, several aligator cords

kit 2
Another old labtop computer bag with
2 midland GXT1050 with dc charger (Fleet Farm)
TYT TH-UVF-1 tranciever,DC charger, RHF40 diomond dual band antenna, transmits on everything including FRS, GMRS, and MURS,
Battery eliminater (plugs from tranciever to truck type cig lighter) a must have.
several batteries for tyt, AA, D, AAA, 9V
truck light bulbs (12volt) pre soldered. i.e blinker, tail lights
 butain solder gun with solder
SMA to PL-259 adapter cord (Radio Shack)
another home made j-pole for uhf and vhf
100 feet 550 parachute cord for stringing antenna in tree if stationary
MFJ antenna analyzer
multimeter, digital (requires battery), or analog no battery

3rd kit
Also fits my 12V 10W solar panel and a .357 revolver with 100rnds (.38 or .357)

       It's a little heavy but a M.O.L.L.Y 3 ruck or an old A.L.I.C.E. pack (like the one i used in the cavalry)  will carry it. Or a duffle bag will work.
       Most important though is that j-pole antenna!!! You will need an MFJ antenna analizer to tune the antenna.  Hopefully u know someone who has 1. They cost $375. Or buy a j-pole, perhaps somebody sells them online, but you must have at least about 20ft of RG-58 coax cable.

RG-58 coax cable, and PL-259 plugs can be bought online or at a local business communication dealer. Buy it in bulk. 100feet at a time or so. It goes quick.   

Battery eliminater (plugs from tranciever to truck type cig lighter) a must have. can be bought with your purchase of the TYT tranciever from Universal radio Inc. 1 option
 
5Ah deep cycle. More Amp hours the better but heavier. They are about 1/4 the size of a car battery and work better for this type of application.  (ACE or some hardware store)
 
search schematics for j-pole antenna. best transportable antenna i've ever used!

               

Happy hunting and enjoy your all purpose communication kit.

Offline Hootie

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Re: Ham Radio / Comms Go Kit
« Reply #56 on: September 14, 2013, 07:35:25 AM »
Starting to gather components for a Go Kit. Starting with power. These picture really help me figure out how I could put this together.

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Re: Ham Radio / Comms Go Kit
« Reply #57 on: November 19, 2013, 08:00:23 AM »
Here is another good manpack example built by a Canadian fellow:

YOUTUBE: http://youtu.be/p1x9f6G2yt0

















For more info here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ChameleonAntenna/messages

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: Ham Radio / Comms Go Kit
« Reply #58 on: November 19, 2013, 06:10:57 PM »
Well that's pretty cool!  Thanks for posting, and for getting me over to the Chameleon site.

Offline Saint-TyR

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Re: Ham Radio / Comms Go Kit
« Reply #59 on: November 30, 2013, 05:04:28 PM »
That was EASY! After studying with the www.hamradiolicenseexam.com material I PASSED my technician and general exam without any issues today.

Now it is time to move on and build a Emergency Ham Radio Portable Go-Kit. Does any one have a good list of what is needed and where to buy? I am thinking of using a Pelican 1520 case and going from there with a Yaesu FT-817ND.

Stay Safe!