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Posted: 9/7/2011 7:36:06 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/30/2011 8:30:26 AM EST by ChinoUSMC]


It's been a long time since I've been in this forum, much less the site... Eh, I figured I would throw in another thread just to say hey...

With an active hurricane season, our club along with the EOC figured it would be a great idea to start testing our equipment and capabilities. Great time to test mine. So I lugged around this heavy box and realized it was too big, awkward, and heavy. Yeah, it was great to have everything located in one box, but I don't neccessarily need all that stuff all the time (laptop/soundcard, etc). It also takes up a lot of space in the trunk of my car.

This was my old EmComm box. It's water resistant, but not waterproof, like the ammo cans.



I've decided to break down all the gear and arrange them into small groups. I've started with the first ammo can that will contain the rig.

Took a cutting board, velcro, L brackets, chassis mount housing for the data connectors (female), noise filter, and I bought extra faceplate mounts from Gigaparts (little over $4)












Second ammo can: (my next project I'm working on)
Power supply
Analog volt and amp meters (panel)
DPDT 120vac (switches to 12vdc when power is out)
Battery charger
This one won't be waterproof since I'll probably be cutting and mounting electronics to the outside of it
Actually, I'm going to try and contain all of it within the can, keeping with the idea of waterproof.


Third ammo can (the extra long can):
Netbook w/ external HD
Soundcard
Extension strip


Other ammo can(s):
Antenna and parts
Ham radio parts/connectors
Tools
Food/drinks (Gotta eat)
Other misc items.



I feel like I'm forgetting something... but I can't remember what it was... I'm sure some of you will remind me. lol



ETA #1:

Here is my list of freqs on the lid. Since I have 20/15 vision, I have no problems seeing the small font.



Link Posted: 9/7/2011 8:13:31 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/7/2011 8:17:31 AM EST by KB7DX]
706 in a can


Portable self contained crossband repeater.



Copycat.
Nice to see you here again!
Link Posted: 9/7/2011 12:22:18 PM EST
whats the original box you had? how well does the noise filter work?
Link Posted: 9/7/2011 2:57:06 PM EST
I just made a simple 24 volt power supply in a .50 can.

SOmeone get on my ass to get me to post pics.
Link Posted: 9/7/2011 5:15:22 PM EST


Imitation is the highest form of flattery

I was thinking about changing the case, but I wasn't sure what type of case to get. At first I wanted a Pelican, but most of those lids weren't removable and they are expensive. What I wanted was something with a removable lid, waterproof, and cheap. Then I realized... Ammo Can... then I remembered your pictures with the Radio in a Can... so that inspired me to create a variation of yours... but I plan on going further with that idea and creating other cans for Netbook/Digital, Switching Power Supply, and other related items.



Originally Posted By mylt1:
whats the original box you had? how well does the noise filter work?

That was an 5U SKB case...

The 25amp Newmar noise filter is more for my vehicle. It helps reduce popping or static on radios that comes from things like the alternator and ignition.

What I love about the ammo can is that I can transfer it to my car or pack up and take it inside my house and make it a base station. It's smaller than the SKB and certainly weighs less. Certainly easier to carry around than the SKB.
Link Posted: 9/7/2011 6:29:46 PM EST
I was thinking the same thing with regards to a power supply can, antenna can etc. I have two more of the large foam lined cans to work with. Projects put on the back burner..
Link Posted: 9/7/2011 9:43:26 PM EST

Originally Posted By KB7DX:
I was thinking the same thing with regards to a power supply can, antenna can etc. I have two more of the large foam lined cans to work with. Projects put on the back burner..

I have enough room for my SEC1235 in the 1st can... but then I thought about that whole separate power supply can and make it separate. The Power Can will have a DPDT switch so when the 120vac goes out, it auto switches to 12vdc so it's on a continous power.

What I'm going to do is try to keep this waterproof. I'm going to play around with this and see how this will turn out.

Here is a schematic that I just drew up for the 2nd Ammo Can. I plan on having all the connectors tied into one panel... but I didn't feel like rearranging the schematic just to show that.


Link Posted: 9/8/2011 5:08:43 AM EST
Another option would be to use a 12 vdc relay and hook the coil to the output of the Samlex. No 12 vdc from Samlex = switch to batt. A simple Bosch type relay would work and is redily available.
Oh, wait, I see, you are switching the Batt tender in and out too. Maybe a pair of Bosch relays?
Link Posted: 9/8/2011 6:07:43 AM EST

Originally Posted By KB7DX:
Another option would be to use a 12 vdc relay and hook the coil to the output of the Samlex. No 12 vdc from Samlex = switch to batt. A simple Bosch type relay would work and is redily available.
Oh, wait, I see, you are switching the Batt tender in and out too. Maybe a pair of Bosch relays?

I already have this... 120vac DPDT. The one next to it is a 12vdc DPDT. Not sure what I'm going to use that for, but I'll think of something


Link Posted: 9/8/2011 6:29:39 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/8/2011 6:46:04 AM EST by piccolo]
This is for the PRC-320, which runs off of 24 volts. I needed 2 12 ah batteries for this lash-up.


Here's a top view, it is basically dead simple. The aluminum strip and 2 angle pieces secure the batteries to keep them from rollong around. The entire package pulls out of the box so when the batteries finally DO wear out they can be replaced easily.



Another top shot



Box closed. Hey! That's a trailer plug in! WTF??

Yeah. You do not want to reverse the polarity so I used a trailer plug which can only be plugged in one way to 'Murphy proof' the system. There are 4 terminals in this plug and I used the 2 diagonals so if it is plugged in 90 degrees off the 2 pins will go into empty sockets. The plug itself will not go into the hole if it is 180 degrees off.



Top view with the cord plugged in. I suppose I could have turned the can rightside up for this shot, but I didn't. I can read upside down, which is a help.



Side view.

A quick coat of OD and red stencils made it look a little more official as a piece of PRC 320 gear.

Incidentally, the weak part of the PRC sets tese days are the batteries as they are mostly pretty old and were 4 ah to begin with. This is really a superior system when you think about it.



ETA If you look at the inside lid you will see the hole for the trailer plug is pretty ragged. That's because this is a rebuild of sorts. The first model I used a pair of banana plugs which, of course you can reverse the polarity of in a heartbeat.
Link Posted: 9/10/2011 12:49:44 PM EST
I'm sorry, but this is just plain cool! I bought an ammo box to make my EmCom box but the modular power supply and possibly more things is just plain cool! My ammo box is a 40mm grenade ammo box. The stop is completely removable and my plan is/was to weld in the support bars and such as well as install a recessed antenna jack that can be accessed from the outside (having worked on towers I have plans to completely waterproof that port as well as any others I ultimately put in).
Link Posted: 9/10/2011 3:14:45 PM EST
Originally Posted By piccolo:
This is for the PRC-320, which runs off of 24 volts. I needed 2 12 ah batteries for this lash-up.
http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g120/m108shooter/powersupply001.jpg

Here's a top view, it is basically dead simple. The aluminum strip and 2 angle pieces secure the batteries to keep them from rollong around. The entire package pulls out of the box so when the batteries finally DO wear out they can be replaced easily.


Hey, you have room in there to build in a battery charger!
Link Posted: 9/12/2011 2:45:15 AM EST
Link Posted: 9/27/2011 6:58:55 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/27/2011 7:45:57 PM EST by ChinoUSMC]
UPDATE #1:

Power supply can is coming along. It's been trial and error with this project. For the faceplate, I went to Lowes/Home Depot. I looked at the aluminum sheets, but they are too flimsy. The steel plates were too thick to drill and hard to cut. I've tried thick sheet of acrylic, but that idea fell through when it easily cracked while drilling. Then I thought... why not another cutting board? It's sturdy and easy to cut.

It took a while to cut out. I had to drill the holes first, then feed the blade from the hack saw and manually cut each one out. Then I used a dremel tool to smooth out the edges. It wasn't pretty, but it did the job.

Due to the limited space of the ammo can, I had to change a couple of things since making the schematic. I dropped from a 30/35 amp (SEC) to a 25/30 amp (Powerwerkz) switching power. I went from a 5amp to a 1.5 amp battery charger. When I first put those things in, none of them would fit and still have enough room for a power cord.

Instead of one fan, I went with 4x 40mm fans. Two fans on the bottom will blow cooler air in, the top two fans will suck the hot air out.

Most of these parts I bought off of Ebay. The volt/amp analog meters, IEC power input, and the 40mm fans were dirt cheap from Hong Kong compared to buying it here in the US (i.e. $3 vs $16+ for the meters)... and most of them were free shipping. You really can't beat that.











I'm not done with the panel yet. I still have some drilling, wiring, and mounting left to do. I'll post more pics as I go along.

Link Posted: 9/28/2011 6:52:01 AM EST
Link Posted: 9/29/2011 9:22:50 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/30/2011 3:29:59 AM EST by ChinoUSMC]
UPDATE 2:

The Innerds...



Got the 40mm fan guards. The faceplate is not quite finished, but it's getting there.




I've got the 25/30A switching power and the 1.5A battery charger attached to the board. I've already started attaching the wires to the DPDT switch and cleaned up some of the wires behind the faceplate.




and my wife was not happy when she saw the guest bedroom (makeshift workshop). I told her the sooner I can finish this particular project, the quicker I can clean up the place. Yeah, that didn't keep her from assigning me more chores to do.





I think I might have this finished in 3-4 days.
Link Posted: 9/30/2011 8:18:19 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/30/2011 3:37:56 PM EST by ChinoUSMC]
UPDATE #3:

IT'S FINISHED!!!


Only bummer? that I was hunched over for so long that my back is sore.

Here's the updated schematic:





Now when the box receives 120vac, the 25/30A Switching Power will supply power to the rig. At the same time, the battery tender will charge the battery.





When I lose 120vac, the DPDT will disengage and automatically switch over to the battery... My rig will still continue to run without interruption.





Here's the innerds:




and here is the overall look... also with room for 120v power cord, 12v splitter, and/or anything else I want to add.

Bottom two fans sucks outside air in, top two fans suck hot air from the inside out. They only operate when the 120vac is plugged in.




ETA: It is a very tight fit and with a little bit of velcro in the rear of the can, it's not coming out without some force.


Now I've been asked... why not just hook up a battery directly to your rig OR just the power supply itself? Well yeah, I could do that... but why not both (ARFCOM's answer to everything). And both are in the ammo can, sans the battery. That's is another project that I will be working on.


So, my next projects are:

Ammo Can Battery (similar to Piccolo's setup)
Ammo Can Digital (netbook or small laptop, external sound card, etc)
Ammo Can HF (HF antenna with cables, small auto tuner, connectors, etc)
Ammo Can Tool Box Kit (Essentials for ham radio: soldering iron, screwdrivers, parts, etc)
Ammo Can Food (Gotta Eat)


Link Posted: 9/30/2011 8:26:07 AM EST
Neat!
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