Emergency Go-Kit Project, Rolling Right Along!

N5NTG_Emergency_Go-Kit_1Our regular readers will remember a posting we made earlier (June 12, 2009) about an Emergency Go-Kit Idea that involved some minor surgery to a Stanley Toolbox with wheels, by adding a couple of sealed lead acid batteries in the bottom compartment, a 12 volt 30 amp Pyramid power supply, a 300 watt DC to AC power converter, a home-brew battery charging circuit, etc.

I’ve made some more progress on this project, adding an external on/off  switch to control the exhaust / cooling fan on the side of the toolbox, and adding an external AC power plug on the other side to make it more convenient to plug in up to two AC devices to the emergency go-kit toolbox.   Of course, I suppose you could use a power strip to plug in more, but the circuit is limited to 15 amps and the converter will only handle 300 watts.  I’ve labeled the exterior plug warning of the limitations, and also have a surge reset button mounted nearby.

I’ve also decided not to mount any specific ham radios permanently inside the top section of the toolbox, unlike some other go-kits that I’d seen other hams build in the past. 

First of all, the radios I might choose to deploy might be pulled out of my vehicle or house, rather than using the spare 2 meter only radio that is currently residing in the box.   Or I might need to use a radio provided by another ham operator or agency.  I don’t know if I’d only be using this for primarily VHF/UHF local operations or HF net operations, so the radio may change over time.

Second, it would likely be more comfortable for the operator in the long run, to put the radio on a table top and sit in a normal chair, with a power wire leading back to the go-kit next to the table.

I’ve got two more ideas about possible features to add before I declare it ready to deploy, such as:

  • Adding an exterior  on / off switch on the side of the toolbox, opposite of where the fan switch is located, to allow the DC-AC power converter to be turned on without opening the case and manually connecting the appropriate Anderson Powerpole connectors (like it has to be done now), and
  • Adding an external Anderson Powerpole connection bank to allow easy external connection of  radios, tuners, etc., by just plugging them in on the outside of the box, instead of running their cord(s) inside the box.  Currently, I’ve only got room to connect 1  radio device, but if I wanted to run a tuner that needed 12 vdc, clearly I need more than 1 AP connector available.  Fortunately both West Mountain Radio and Saratoga make reasonably affordable solutions for this, or I might create a home-brew cheaper solution.

In the meantime, here are a few more photos illustrating the changes made to date.


One Response

  1. San Antonio Hams » Blog Archive » Simplify with Anderson Power Poles Says:

    […] just ordered 2 more,  because originally I had planned to use this initial one for my Emergency Ham Radio Go-Kit to provide an easy way to connect radios and accessories, but then it occurred to me that I needed […]

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