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The EMCOMM Box (Page 1 of 3)
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Posted: 7/9/2011 1:20:04 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/27/2014 9:54:11 AM EDT by SCWolverine]


The Emcomm Box


From ar-jedi's site describing his needs and requirements:

For a while now I've wanted to build a portable station for remote or emergency communications use.
I had the following design requirements in mind:

1. ability to operate from AC mains, internal battery, or external DC power.
2. provide everything needed for emergency communications (EMCOMM) in one container.
3. capable of providing a reasonable amount of battery power (~24hrs EMCOMM).
4. ability to monitor battery state of charge during operation and when recharging.
5. no fuses.
6. modular design which could later incorporate additional/different radios or other features.
7. support for power receptacles for other equipment, e.g. GPS, APRS, cell phone charger, etc.
8. weatherproof to the extent that it could be transported in light rain in the back of a pickup truck.



The Purpose of this thread is to centrally locate build information for those interested in an EMCOMM Box.


ARFCOM Links:


ar-jedi Emcomm Box Build

BigDaddy0004 Emcomm Box Build

A_Free_Man's Emcomm Box Build

Skibane Emcomm Box Build

VRMN8R Emcomm Box Build

Mndless Emcomm Box Build

stanprophet09's Green Emcomm Box Build

SCWolverine Redo post of EMCOMM Box Build (Pics Fixed)

JC_Conn gets manly w\ith his Man Pack Rig

ChinoUSMC EMACS!

Hawk_308 Emcomm Box Build

Jpill's Hamsexy EMCOMM Backpack (not box)

WTS-Mike Emcomm Box v2.0

freema22-done for now

bronk01 boxes it up!

AlteredEgo Boxes it In!

Harlikwin: Pack for the Back

danpass....a rig + a frame + a box = a photo finish

Piccolo Ammo Can Battery Power Supply

45ColtBisley v.27 EmcommBox

JBlitzen Packs in all in

mcooper makes it portable

CJan_NH brings the iPortable Box to the Table

aa777888-2 stacks it up in Tac-Comm Carriers

HogSniper Brings Home the Bacon

SCWolverine dbl taps...VHF Go-box/The AK-47 box

awptickes packs the power with an "AK-47" Box

A PowerPointRanger Presentation: VHF/UHF Go Box

WastedDaze "First Post" with TAC-QRP 703

echomancer does it twice. EMCOMM Box 2.0

zercool Chases storms with his Steroid Infused AK-47 Pelican

JC10311's ship comes in...a HF box for HF & VHF!

Eth01 Skips tac-handles and goes for the Pelican

Dr_Dickie's Hernia Hauler....the No-Go Box

Jupiter7200 loves 'it when a plan comes together"

danpass goes for 2 and scores with Pelican

danpass presents: an 8-12 hr HT go-bag

simpsonjcat boxes up for IOTA excursions

verticalgain is 20 over with his first build

Tangotag Welds up a multi-color EMCOMM box

Nam does an Alice Manpack-carry on!

w12x40 Bags it Up....Shack-n-Bag

Further Study Below:

EMCOMM Box/Go Box Pic Thread

EMCOMM from Ham Radio 101

Battery OPs from Ham Radio 101

Radio Box Thread-Parts Links

EMCOMM for those about to build

EMCOMM Box Radio Selection

Emcomm Box HF Radio Selection

Coax for Emcomm Box

Emcomm Box Questions

Emcomm Box Advice

Emcomm Box Antenna Tuner?

Emcomm Box Antenna Connections?


A total electrical noob builds a battery box

Build your own portable power station: An ARFcom tutorial (very pic heavy)

EMCOMM Antennas:


Carolina Windom via ARFCOM

ARFCOM Cloud Warmer

Slim Jim for EMCOMM Box

Improved EMCOMM Antenna Assembly

Fong PVC J-Pole



Outside Links:


Portable Antenna Mast and Tripod Kits

IPortable Boxes

the box

MFJ

Portable Station

another orange box

More orange boxes

orange, orange, orange

there seems to be a reoccurring theme here

orange style to stand out in an emergency situation

Gasp-It's orange

Ole' Yeller

**belch** "That's the sign the tank is full"






If I missed anything-please let me know so we can add to the list. SCW









Link Posted: 7/9/2011 1:42:09 PM EDT
One stop shopping for all your EmComm Box needs.
Link Posted: 7/9/2011 7:06:12 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/9/2011 7:31:16 PM EDT by ar-jedi]

OP: nice work!

ps
i just wanted to let you guys know that i plan on introducing a complete line of "skins" which will allow you to change your SPUD7 box color at will... for example, those of you feeling a bit "green" can join the "orange" box club at any time. i'm hoping this will ease the conflict between the rebel green-endians and the right thinking orange-endians. (ref.)

TYPICAL GREEN BOX:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bAmF2UT3xE

ar-jedi
Link Posted: 7/9/2011 8:08:13 PM EDT
Thank you very much for posting and accumulating all of this information. It appears that I have some reading to do.

I am really interested in building an EMCOMM Box as well and know that I want an FT8800 as UHF/VHF radio, but can not even begin to decide on the HF side. I have no HF experience, and the Antenna side of HF is a total mystery. I am learning and looking for information, but I would think you would want the 100 watts that soemthing like a Yaesu 857D would provide, but then it really sucks some power on transmit, which is why it appears to me that everyone is going with the discontinued ICOM 703. I also understand that the 703 has an incredible internal antenna tuner as well and that is a big selling point for everyone. But what about only having 10 watts??? I'm sure it is just that I am ignorant to the world of HF and that you made not need more than that. Is something like the buddipole going to be the best type of HF antenna for EMCOMM use. Throw it in the truck with the EMCOMM box and go??????

I have watched your build and tried to follow along. It looks extremely clean and I appreciate all of the time you put into this thread as well as all fo the builders of these types of boxes.

Link Posted: 7/10/2011 12:07:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/10/2011 12:08:42 PM EDT by ar-jedi]
Originally Posted By pick713:
Thank you very much for posting and accumulating all of this information. It appears that I have some reading to do.

alas, this is always the case!

Originally Posted By pick713:
I am really interested in building an EMCOMM Box as well and know that I want an FT8800 as UHF/VHF radio, but can not even begin to decide on the HF side.

your situation is not uncommon. the HF side is the typical sticking point for portable EMCOMM operation.

Originally Posted By pick713:
I have no HF experience, and the Antenna side of HF is a total mystery.

the antenna side of HF is probably one of the most interesting aspects of ham radio –– simply for the reason that it is extraordinarily easy and cheap to experiment with different wire antenna designs. you need some wire from home depot/lowes, and some light rope, a piece of coax, perhaps a homemade balun or unun, and you are in business.

Originally Posted By pick713:
I am learning and looking for information, but I would think you would want the 100 watts that soemthing like a Yaesu 857D would provide, but then it really sucks some power on transmit,

so therein lies the tradeoff –– the more power out you want, the more power in you are going to need. for a given size battery system, higher power will decrease operating time. or said another way, for the same operating time you will need a bigger/heavier battery system. at some point the portability factor is going to fall below a level acceptable to you. read that again. it's important that you consider your needs/wants, and not simply that of others who have designed similar boxes. i'll give you an example –– to some folks, "portable HF" means walking about with an FT817, a piece of wire, and a tiny LiPo battery all contained in a small "man purse". this entire setup weighs 6 or 7 pounds, and with the right operating techniques under favorable conditions you can do amazing things for a short period of time. is this a good setup for your intended needs? possibly. to other folks "portable" HF means picnic-table operation, using more power and more gear –– perhaps PSK31 with an adjunct laptop as well. as you can see there is no "right" way to do it (as long as the box is orange).

Originally Posted By pick713:
which is why it appears to me that everyone is going with the discontinued ICOM 703. I also understand that the 703 has an incredible internal antenna tuner as well and that is a big selling point for everyone.

the 703 is the Walther PPK of radios. it's got it's selling points, it's compact, but in the end it's a 10W radio. and just like the PPK's .380 cartridge, there are limitations to 10W. how might these limitations affect you? that is the question.

Originally Posted By pick713:
But what about only having 10 watts??? I'm sure it is just that I am ignorant to the world of HF and that you made not need more than that.

my view –– and again it's just *my* view –– for my foreseeable needs in an EMCOMM situation, is that i would mainly be listening, gathering info and intel. i would not be running a net, thereby needing 100W to 1000W to make sure i had the reach. hence, the 10W limitation on the radio is not a huge concern for me. moreover, at my home QTH, i have 100W radios which i could press into service if i needed more power. but for listening, tuning around, gathering needed information, a QRP radio sips power and can operate at lower volatges (and deeper into a 12V battery's discharge curve) than QRO radios. this is by design. the 703, for example, works down to 9.6Vdc, which is at least 2V under where a typical radio like a FT857 is going to operate.

as with any product, there are tradeoffs. a porsche is great fun, and super fast, but you can't pick up 2x4's from home depot with it. a F250 4x4 can carry all manner of gear, is awesome in the snow, but it corners like a battleship. which one meets your needs "better"? probably neither, so you buy something in the middle which does lots of things "good enough".

Originally Posted By pick713:
Is something like the buddipole going to be the best type of HF antenna for EMCOMM use. Throw it in the truck with the EMCOMM box and go??????

or a Yo-Yo-tenna. or a makeshift dipole. or an end-fed half wave. or an aluminum flagpole and a tuner. or a length of gutter and a tuner. etc etc etc –– you have lots of options.

hope all that doesn't confuse you more!

73,
ar-jedi
Link Posted: 7/10/2011 11:25:27 PM EDT
Thanks for all the time and effort you do to make this info available. I wonder if you will ever know how many people it has helped.
Link Posted: 7/15/2011 11:50:52 AM EDT
Thanks for consolidating all the box info.

The link for the Carolina Windom is broken now.
Here is the correct link for it.
http://www.ar15.com/archive/topic.html?b=10&f=22&t=632450
Link Posted: 7/15/2011 12:22:58 PM EDT
link replaced! thanks SHHb!
Link Posted: 7/16/2011 12:15:39 PM EDT
One thing I like about that list of box builds... no two alike. And everybody had good ideas, or improving on things others did.

And so much for, as some EMCOMM groups want, a "standardized" kit. It just isn't going to happen!

Thanks to the OP for gathering all of that in one place.

Link Posted: 8/10/2011 5:53:32 PM EDT
Shameless Bump for those new to the fold
Link Posted: 9/7/2011 10:40:23 PM EDT
Why hasn't this thread been tacked???
Link Posted: 9/7/2011 10:49:56 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Elijah1:
Why hasn't this thread been tacked???


Yeah, why not?
Link Posted: 9/7/2011 11:32:03 PM EDT
Originally Posted By A_Free_Man:
Originally Posted By Elijah1:
Why hasn't this thread been tacked???


Yeah, why not?


Because there is a lot of orange and not enough green?
Link Posted: 9/8/2011 12:09:53 PM EDT
Originally Posted By stanprophet09:
Originally Posted By A_Free_Man:
Originally Posted By Elijah1:
Why hasn't this thread been tacked???


Yeah, why not?


Because there is a lot of orange and not enough green?


corrected in OP
Link Posted: 9/8/2011 12:43:59 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SCWolverine:
Originally Posted By stanprophet09:
Originally Posted By A_Free_Man:
Originally Posted By Elijah1:
Why hasn't this thread been tacked???


Yeah, why not?


Because there is a lot of orange and not enough green?


corrected in OP




Link Posted: 9/12/2011 9:18:10 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/12/2011 9:28:07 AM EDT by Hawk_308]
Welp throw my junk into the pile .

http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_10_22/618052_Darn_you_AR_jedi_____updated_6_6.html

Mine still isnt finished , I just got a Power gate in for it last week . Still need a PS , right now using a PC power supply just to power the power gate to charge the batteries .
Link Posted: 9/12/2011 12:48:47 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Hawk_308:
Welp throw my junk into the pile .



not sure how I missed yours now listed and linked-Thanks!
Link Posted: 9/12/2011 6:32:11 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Hawk_308:
Welp throw my junk into the pile .

http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_10_22/618052_Darn_you_AR_jedi_____updated_6_6.html

Mine still isnt finished , I just got a Power gate in for it last week . Still need a PS , right now using a PC power supply just to power the power gate to charge the batteries .


As I read the PG40S manual it requires Vin greater than or equal to 13.8 V to achieve battery charging.
Have you "tweaked" your PC power supply? Unlike the "12VDC" of the automotive world, in the PC world the +12V rail should = 12.0 VDC.
thx for the info & pix.
Link Posted: 9/12/2011 8:14:10 PM EDT
First one I tweeked it and set it at 14 but that one met a untimly end do to carlessness . I have another one I have open and started on , I have 2 more I figured Id try this one and if it works out Ill document the next one. There are plenty of info on it on the web making a PC power supply into a DC power lab.
Link Posted: 12/9/2011 10:10:51 PM EDT
I unknowingly ended up with one of these in an equipment purchase. Took me a little while to figure out what I had & where it came from. It's pretty spiffy for what it is. A bit pricy but hey it's "Tactical".

Link Posted: 12/20/2011 2:52:01 PM EDT
[newb] do the radios typically have a clock on them? [/newb]

I bought this watch specifically to leave it on UTC permanently, even to the point of probably taking off the strap and foam taping the watch to a faceplate.



Link Posted: 4/11/2012 2:38:03 AM EDT
Can you please post a comment when you edit the op so we know what has changed?
Link Posted: 4/11/2012 9:28:21 AM EDT
Yessir!

I had killed my photo hosting, have corrected that link and updated the post. Thx for the reminder
Link Posted: 5/31/2012 4:46:01 PM EDT
updated ChinoUSMC EMACS new Box..
Link Posted: 6/3/2012 4:28:26 PM EDT
I gotta say, I thought that that SPUD7 box was way too big for the application. I was looking at doing my own system using a 4U rack case, or making an EMACS kit out of two "Fat 50" cans. However, when I was at Cabelas today and got to inspect the SPUD7 first hand. That is definitely the route I am going to go. Why carry two big metal boxes when you can carry one slightly bigger plastic one with a shoulder strap? I am planning to build my kit this August and it will be operational at the Chicago Marathon Forward Command Center. Bank on it!

Mike F
Link Posted: 6/5/2012 2:45:50 PM EDT
Wow, the guys at MTM-Gard are worthless. I asked for a dimensioned drawing showing the dimensions at the top and bottom of the case. They sent me this:


Then I sent a response thanking them for the quick response, then explained what I was trying to do and that I was looking for the full dimensions of the case. They then responded with "18.5" x 13" x 10""

Wow.
Link Posted: 6/5/2012 4:19:13 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/5/2012 4:21:21 PM EDT by SCWolverine]
The MTM Boxes (Spud7) are Graduated from Top to Bottom. There are some past discussions (prolly in archives) that post the numbers if you are interested.

ETA: CLICK HERE for that thread..........
Link Posted: 6/5/2012 4:21:50 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SCWolverine:
The MTM Boxes (Spud7) are Graduated from Top to Bottom. There are some past discussions (prolly in archives) that post the numbers if you are interested.

I saw those. I just wanted to get it straight from the horse's mouth.
Link Posted: 6/29/2012 7:38:54 PM EDT
Added to list: CJan_NH iPortable EMCOMM Box link

Link Posted: 7/17/2012 8:18:42 AM EDT
Added new link to WTS-Mike Emcomm Box v2.0
Link Posted: 8/12/2012 5:49:11 PM EDT
added frema22=done for now box
Link Posted: 10/30/2012 7:23:00 PM EDT
added mcooper's portable box
Link Posted: 11/24/2012 8:37:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/24/2012 8:37:59 PM EDT by bronk1]
My EMCOM build to date

NOt finished but getting close.
Link Posted: 11/24/2012 9:13:34 PM EDT
Originally Posted By bronk1:
My EMCOM build to date
NOt finished but getting close.

nice work –– and we can be really great friends if you have access to a water jet cutting machine...

ps:
i have the EXACT same water softener.

ar-jedi



Link Posted: 11/24/2012 9:48:48 PM EDT
Looks like I have a new freind.Any waterjet work will have to wait until afterJanuary.I am getting a tumor removed this week and will be off for 8 weeks recovering.
Link Posted: 11/24/2012 11:09:14 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/14/2012 7:50:35 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/12/2013 11:09:55 PM EDT
Nice comms boxes!

Just getting into Ham, passed my General Ticket last month.

Liking the bug out box style, great for the Jeep and the Cabin.

Thanks for the info guys!

HB
Link Posted: 4/29/2013 7:07:07 PM EDT
Nice stuff! This is sooo tagged!
Link Posted: 5/21/2013 10:09:42 PM EDT
Added link to JC_Conn's Man Pack Build: link
Link Posted: 10/12/2013 9:54:34 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/12/2013 9:54:59 PM EDT by bill3rail]
Great compilation SCWolverine, and I love chinoUSMC's EMACS system!
I have some extra ammo cans which I may use for a similar build. Not too sure if they are big enough.
I also have one very large can, which would weigh a TON when filled up.
This may be the way for to go for me...

Bill
Link Posted: 10/17/2013 2:17:47 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/17/2013 2:43:45 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ar-jedi:

nice work –– and we can be really great friends if you have access to a water jet cutting machine...

ps:
i have the EXACT same water softener.

ar-jedi



View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ar-jedi:
Originally Posted By bronk1:
My EMCOM build to date
NOt finished but getting close.

nice work –– and we can be really great friends if you have access to a water jet cutting machine...

ps:
i have the EXACT same water softener.

ar-jedi





Sounds like someone has a new man-crush.
Link Posted: 10/17/2013 3:33:07 PM EDT
This could take me a week to get through! All these years as a ham, some of them even in an emcomm group, and I've never had a box. Maybe I need a new project.
Link Posted: 10/17/2013 7:09:27 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Elijah1:
Sounds like someone has a new man-crush.
View Quote

you have been thinking of this witty reply for 11 months?!?!?!


ar-jedi
Link Posted: 10/17/2013 9:26:41 PM EDT
Why did this thread get unstickied?
Link Posted: 10/17/2013 9:36:45 PM EDT
This probably needs to stay stickied.
Link Posted: 10/17/2013 9:44:13 PM EDT
it is still there, it just comes down here when I update or someone post a reply....
Link Posted: 10/20/2013 3:08:04 PM EDT
Well SCW, since this is your thread.....

Did you ever post the details of your battery box? I see it's the MTM ammo case, is there more to it than some DC power and a cable running out of it?


(Incidently, MTM is a customer of mine in Dayton, OH. I have to do some thing with them over the next week or two. If anyone has any questions they REALLY want answered, let me know and I'll bug them.)
Link Posted: 11/26/2013 5:40:41 PM EDT
Link Posted: 11/26/2013 7:41:41 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By SCWolverine:
Added Link for new SCW VHF Go-Box
View Quote

who approved this?

that design of yours is the AK47 of EMCOMM boxes; functional and practical, will work after being dropped in mud, and cheap enough that everyone should have one.

ar-jedi
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