PORTABLE EMCOMM STATION
What is a Go-Kit?
A Go-Kit (or Jump-Kit) is a portable amateur radio station and personal gear which can be taken when asked to go to an event which needs support with radio communications or use for emergency communications during Disaster or Hurricanes. What it consists of depends on the extent of the event, and the communication needs. Making a pre-planned kit helps to be deployed on a moments notice.
Your Go-Kit should be tailored to your needs, your equipment, expected assignments, and expected length of assignments.
The case is a Pelican 1520 in orange color. Retails for $185.00 and you can find them for as low of $86.61 using Google Search.
The case is water proof and air tight and you put a padlock on it for security. You can even secure it to the table to keep it from walking away when you make a pit stop.
Exterior dimension 19.78" X 15.77" X 7.41"
Interior dimension 18.06" X 12.89" X 6.72"
You may purchase this case at http://www.4lessdepot.com/pelican_cases.html without foam for $86.61 plus shipping.
Inside of the case is a West Marine 12 volt 3-circuit panel with voltage meter, a RIGrunner 4004 USB distribution panel, an ICOM 880H D-Star radio, and a Pyramid 20 A power supply with a built-in cooling fan. Pictured (upper left side) is the cooling fan for the lower compartment to move the heat out of the lower compartment.
The USB ports is used for the fan and the led light. The light provides a light for doing logs when you are without AC and totally in the dark and the fan helps circulate the air around you.
Note: The West Marine Circuit panel is no longer available.
Bass Pro shops handles a circuit panel very similar to the West Marine panel. http://www.basspro.com/shop/en/seasense-led-marine-switch-panels
Cost is 41.99 + shipping
Wiring under the top panel.
This shows the wiring with schematics for in the field maintenance.
Lower compartment houses the RIGrunner 4005, a Pyramid 20 amp Power Supply and a Duracomm 20A Battery BU/charger for automatic switching from AC to DC when you loose your AC.
Notice the rail kit that bolts around the side for the top panel to mount to.
The Rail Kit is optional and must be purchase separately. Go to http://www.pelican-case.com/pelican-1520pf.html to purchase it.
The bottom panel is secure to the case with Industrial Velcro.
The Duracomm 20A backup power switching station- Can hook up both 110V & 12V battery with automatic switchover if one loses power.
Click on image to enlarge.
MFJ 4416 Super Battery Booster with Remote Control. This is a must have for your kit.
The MFJ-4416B Super Battery Booster Keeps your transceiver operating at full efficiency and performance by eliminating low or marginal voltages in the go-kit environment.
Today's compact 50 and 100-watt transceivers are designed to operate from about 12-16 volts, "without" signal distortion, output power problems, or transceiver reset when voltage drops below 12 volts (low voltage creates lost of your memory contents).
You can conduct a simple test on your radio input voltage by putting a voltmeter between the battery and your radio. Make sure you are not charging your battery while conducting this test. Watch the voltmeter while you key the PTT with the radio on High Power and and watch the voltage drop below 11 volts.
This is the MFJ 4416 BRC remote control.
The MFJ-4416BRC lets you turn the booster and low battery alert on/off. In addition there are "Boosting" and "Low Battery" LED lights.
Depending on how you set the MFJ-4416BRC up, it can remain idle until the RF sampling port detects RF, then it will self activate.
MFJ has looked at our web page and has approved it.
You may purchase the MFJ-4416B from MFJ.
MFJ link: http://www.mfjenterprises.com/Product.php?productid=MFJ-4416B
HRO has free shipping, no sales tax, cost is $149.95
HRO LINK: http://www.hamradio.com/detail.cfm?pid=H0-008745
P-1 Portable Tripod with a NMO antenna mount.
This is a great Field Day or ARES setup.
It will allow you to utilize any of your existing antennas.
It may be setup on a table, roof top or on uneven ground.
It has 24 inch- 3 position legs for very stable setup
It has 1/4 inch male spade connection for counterpoise. (left leg near the NMO antenna mount)
All Aluminum Construction with Delrin Leg clamps.
Closed length is 12 inches. Very compact to store with your kit.
You can purchase this at Blue Star Antenna LTD in Palatka FL.
There link is: http://bluestarantennas.com/sales//catalog/product_info.php?products_id=414 cost is $49.95 plus shipping.
The antenna on the P-1 Tripod is a Diamond SG-7900A with UHF connector that mounts to the SO-239 adapter.
The SG-7900A is 2m/70cm with a 5/7.6 gain, antenna height is 62".
This is a good dual band antenna to be used inside the shelter set on a table in front of a window.
With the 5 dbi gain and a HT set at 5 watts will be very effective.
We have check the SWR's on the tripod at 50 watts and it was less than 1.5-1.
Blue Star Antenna LTD has approved our web page.
This is a Tram NMO to SO-239 adapter, HRO SKU # is TRAM 1296. Cost is $9.99. AES cost is $21.99 for a Comet adapter.
You can also get a NMO to 3/8 X 24 adapter for $9.99 at HRO. SKU # TRAM 1295
This will allow you to utilize any of your existing antennas.
BARS stands ready, around the clock, to provide emergency communications, In a widespread disaster such as a major hurricane, Tornadoes, mass casualties incident, or a terrorist attack, we also provide hospital to hospital communications when hospitals need to communicate from a disaster to a hospital or with each other and with outside agencies or when the commercial phone system is unavailable or unreliable.
Please visit the whole site for more EmComm information plus our D-Star page.
If you have any questions, you may e-mail Bob President and webmaster @ N6USP
We have people that can help with your kit.
Most frequently ask questions
What are the top and bottom mounting plates made of? 1/4" Oak 2'x2' paneling sold at Lowe's Hardware stores.
What type and size hardware did you use? Number 6 and number 10 Stainless machine screws
What holds the bottom plate in? Industrial Velcro to enable the bottom plate to be removed if necessary
The plastic cutting board was purchased at Walmart. It is the biggest board that they have in stock.
Be sure to check out Rick's page in Oahu Hawaii
Rick KH7O made this nice go-kit using a Pelican 1450 case with a rail kit.
Rick lives on the island of Oahu in Hawaii and is a Red Cross disaster responder for emergency communications, and he maintains APRS wide area digipeaters that connects both Oahu and Kauai Civil Defense agencies. Rick is a former communication officer for the Dept of Emergency Management (DEM).
Rick's group is the UFN and consist of a dozen or so members from the 70's who are all technical background from broadcast engineers to Two way radio companies of General Electric Company, LMR and Motorola. Members are now spread out in California, Las Vegas and other parts of the world where they maintain communications by Echolink.
You can email Rick @ KH7O should you have any questions on his kit.
Please visit Rick's web page on his and other go-kits being built in Hawaii @ http://www.hawaiirepeaters.net/radiokit/black/rick.html
Connected equipment will instantly switch to battery during a power blackout or power supply failure. No glitches.
The circuit isolates the battery and power supply from each other. Voltage drop is less than 0.3 volts at 20 A.
To keep the battery fully charged and ready for use, the Super PWRgate has a built-in four-stage battery charger with selectable current rates of 1, 4, 7 or 10 amperes.
The circuit is optimized for use with GELLED & AGM type batteries, but will keep flooded lead acid and marine type batteries near full charge as well.
As a Volunteer EmComm Operator, Your Mission is: Mission of a EmComm Communicator
Copyright © 2011 [Brevard Amateur Radio Society]. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2011 [Brevard Amateur Radio Society LOGO]. All rights reserved.
Revised: August 31, 2014 Brevard Amateur Radio Society Logo ©2011. Up dated by N6USP All rights reserved.
Click on image to enlarge.
The First generation Go-Kit on the right is using oak plywood for the top panel. Right photo
The Second generation Go-Kit on the left is using the plastic cutting board for the top panel. Left photo
It takes longer to cut the plastic because it keeps bonding back together as it is cut.