The BPH RadiGo Project
Register

Welcome to the Prepper Forum / Survivalist Forum.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed.

The BPH RadiGo Project

This is a discussion on The BPH RadiGo Project within the General Prepper and Survival Talk forums, part of the Survivalist, Prepper, Bushcrafter, Forest Rangers category; For the past few years, I've been planning to (eventually) dip my toe into the amateur radio pond. Late in November, a friend texted me ...

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 21
Like Tree30Likes

Thread: The BPH RadiGo Project

  1. #1
    Senior Member


    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Where you least expect it.
    Posts
    8,066

    The BPH RadiGo Project

    For the past few years, I've been planning to (eventually) dip my toe into the amateur radio pond. Late in November, a friend texted me with a link to an Amazon lightning sale for a small 3-band radio. It was already 20 minutes into the 1-hour sale, and I hemmed and hawed for another 20 minutes, deciding whether I should get one or not. As I watched the "Number Still Available" steadily drop, I decided it was time for me to pony up and at least get the transceiver. In this case, it is a Btech UV-25x4. Certainly not something from the top shelf, but it's at least a start. So I clicked on the link, paid for it (as well as the programming cable) and my mind kicked into high gear.

    Every once in a while I'd see a 'hamm-o-can', basically a self-contained station. Some needed external power, some had internal power. But the idea was sheer portability and expedient deployment once on-site. So I started to construct my own hamm-o-can in my mind. While I waited several days for Amazon to deliver it (I'm not a Prime member!) I started to draw out concepts and ideas on paper. But I wanted the container (be in an ammo can or a Pelican case) to be totally self-contained save for the antenna.

    Once the radio arrived, I started designing it in detail. While some parts were still on order, I was able to have the internal structure of the build manufactured at a local HVAC shop with which I have both a personal and professional relationship with (they're tin-knockers, I'm a sparky. We work side-by-side on many projects. Need I say more?). They were quickly able to cut, bend and weld the pieces I needed from my back-of-the-envelope drawing. At this point, I was committed to using a 50cal ammo can and not a Pelican case.

    A week ago, the final parts arrived. I had to order quite a few parts online as that's the only way to purchase them. They simply are not for sale at the local brick-n-mortar stores. Besides, the closest I have to a radio store is the CB aisle down on the local truck stops. Not much to choose from there to begin with.

    So I took two weeks, finalized my design and layout, and started in with the tools. After measuring, drilling, cutting, checking and double-checking, I had the 'cockpit' ready for final assembly.

    The BPH RadiGo Project-img_20201221_145018-small.jpg

    One final pre-assembly and it's time to make sure everything is going to fit.

    The BPH RadiGo Project-img_20201221_150804-small.jpg

    What you see is a volt/amp meter, a 2-port USB outlet, power switch (for both internal and external power sources), fuses for both of those sources, SO-239 antenna connection, power inlets for both external power source and to charge the internal battery, and the little guy at the bottom is a 5.5 x 2.5 mm DC power port. I didn't have the depth necessary to install a 'cigarette lighter' outlet so I will be using a corded assembly for that should I need to.
    NMPRN and Denton like this.
    My New Years' Resolution is 240p.
    Visit my YouTube page: Hidden Content

  2. #2
    Senior Member


    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Where you least expect it.
    Posts
    8,066
    After a final check to make sure it will all fit together (trust me, some things didn't so I had to make some......... um........ 'adjustments'), it was time to paint it. Since I already had several rattle cans of black, green, grey and tan, I went with a free-form camo finish.

    Then onto crimping connectors and getting out the soldering gun. No biggie for me.... I'm an electrician. And I've been doing this since the early 70s, so even soldering PL-259s is old hat for me.

    After final wiring, assembly and testing, it's time for the big reveal! What looks like an ordinary ammo can.....

    The BPH RadiGo Project-build-01-small.jpg

    ... opens up to reveal.........

    The BPH RadiGo Project-build-2-small.jpg

    The 'RadiGo'!

    The BPH RadiGo Project-build-4-small.jpg


    As I already had some whips for my UV-5Rs that were capable of 10watts (the low -power setting for this radio), I purchased a PL-259 : SMA adapter so I can get on the air quickly.

    The BPH RadiGo Project-build-3-re51-small.jpg
    Last edited by Back Pack Hack; 12-26-2020 at 07:47 PM.
    Denton, NMPRN, Slippy and 2 others like this.
    My New Years' Resolution is 240p.
    Visit my YouTube page: Hidden Content

  3. #3
    Senior Member


    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Where you least expect it.
    Posts
    8,066
    Mind you, I don't want a shack, I don't want a desk, I just want to have a radio available. I have no grand illusions about reaching out to the other side of the world. I don't plan on being on the air every spare moment at home. While the little whip is fine for local, field use, I wanted something a bit more... 'proper'... for base use.

    The friend that texted me the sale link uses a simple copper-pipe j-pole for 2-meters. So I got online, did some rooting around, and found plans for a tri-band 'cactus' antenna that fit this radio perfectly: 1m, 1.25m and 70cm segments. Off to Menards I go for some copper pipe. A plumber I am not, but I know enough to solder copper.

    The BPH RadiGo Project-img_20201206_131137-small.jpg

    I also pick up some galvanized pieces to mount the antenna to. A quick twist with some wrenches, and it's ready to go up.

    The BPH RadiGo Project-img_20201207_124003-small.jpg

    Some minis and screws, and I have a solid mount for the antenna.

    The BPH RadiGo Project-img_20201207_134804-small.jpg



    Knowing that I'm basically putting up a nice, tall lightning rod, I take the time to sink an 8-foot ground rod. Easy peasy as that's my bread-n-butter.

    The BPH RadiGo Project-img_20201205_132312-small.jpg



    Once the ground wire is connected at both ends, it time to toss up the antenna and stand back.

    The BPH RadiGo Project-img_20201207_142237-small.jpg
    My New Years' Resolution is 240p.
    Visit my YouTube page: Hidden Content

  4. Remove Advertisements
    PrepperForums.net
    Advertisements
     

  5. #4
    Senior Member


    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Where you least expect it.
    Posts
    8,066
    But what good is an antenna with coax?

    I had ordered some Belden 9913 and matching PL-259s. Making one long feeder (about 45') to reach from my 'radio end table' to the antenna as well as a jumper for between the radio and power/SWR meter, it's time to bring it all together.

    The BPH RadiGo Project-img_20201220_132931-small.jpg The BPH RadiGo Project-img_20201220_141045-small.jpg




    Now I know what you experts are thinking: He didn't tune the antenna! Sorry to disappoint you, but after 8 trips up and down the ladder, I had it tuned.

    The BPH RadiGo Project-img_20201220_131020-small.jpg

    I've only hooked up the 2m end for now. That will get me through the winter and I'll deal with the 1.25m and 70cm feeds later. I have a Comet CFX-324 and 2 whips already constructed for that spring project.
    Slippy, Denton, NMPRN and 3 others like this.
    My New Years' Resolution is 240p.
    Visit my YouTube page: Hidden Content

  6. #5
    Senior Member


    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    2,351
    Cool project!! It is all well beyond my knowledge base, but it looks like a right smart setup!!
    Slippy likes this.

  7. #6
    Senior Member


    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Wherever won't get me hit.
    Posts
    20,619
    Slippy Approved!

  8. #7
    Member


    Join Date
    Dec 2020
    Location
    South central New Mexico
    Posts
    86
    I ran a two band copper cactus j-pole for years. It always worked great and never gave me a bit of trouble. It's been sitting in the garage since we moved to our new place, just waiting for me to get off my butt and get it mounted.

    Your photos have inspired me to dig it out and set it up...
    Denton, Back Pack Hack and 0rocky like this.

  9. #8
    Senior Member


    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    904
    Very inspiring project!

  10. #9
    Senior Member


    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    2,895
    Nice write up. Do it yourself projects are very self satisfying.
    Anonymous — 'Beware the quiet man. For while others speak, he watched. And while others act, he plans. And when they finally rest… he strikes.'

  11. #10
    Senior Member


    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Where you least expect it.
    Posts
    8,066
    The Happy USPS truck stopped by this morning. 3 small packets. And SAE cord, a 1/8" T-R-S cord and a 1/8" panel-mount jack.

    The SAE cord to supply power to the RadiGo, and the ¼" cord and jack to extend the programming cable to the dashboard panel.

    The BPH RadiGo Project-data-port-post.jpg

    This way I don't have to disassemble it just to plug in the programming cord.

    Now to tidy it up. So, out comes the label maker.

    The BPH RadiGo Project-labels-post.jpg

    Soldering that teeny wire for the programming cable, plus using tweezers to place the labels sure was tedious and aggravating! But, I can officially proclaim: The RadiGo Shack is officially done!

    The BPH RadiGo Project-radigo-shack-post.jpg
    Last edited by Back Pack Hack; 01-02-2021 at 09:18 PM.
    My New Years' Resolution is 240p.
    Visit my YouTube page: Hidden Content

 

 
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast

Sponsored Links

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Back to Top