Written by: Dave N9AIG
February 25, 2023
The title says “to Go” cases, but I assembled these Gator cases to make it easier to go roving with my VHF/UHF gear. One of the activities I like to participate in is the South-Central Simplex net on Wednesday evenings at 7:00 PM (Alaska Time). I’ll have to admit that I’m more of a fair-weather rover not because of the cold, ice, snow, and darkness but because it can be frustrating when I drop stainless steel hardware in the snow in the dark. The hardware likes to melt down into the snow while I’m searching for it with a flashlight; it’s usually lost. I rove with an IC-9700, a TYT 220MHz radio, a 22’ Max-Gain Systems fiberglass mast, and a Create log periodic antenna (vertically polarized). For a feed line, I use LMR 400 (ultra-flex). This coax seems to perform O.K., but it is only 35 feet long. At 1.2 GHz I might be losing some signal in the feed line, but maybe the gain of the antenna makes up for it.
KL7AA graciously loaned me a 927.5 MHz radio that I will take along, but I did not build this Motorola GTX radio into the roving box.
One of the motivators in building these cases was seeing an IPortable 6U Pro case that Keith KL7MM purchased. When you go to their website and price the IPortable case, it can be a more cost-effective solution than building custom Gator box cases. However, I was impatient to wait until April 2023 (at the time) for the box to ship, so I built my own. (I think IPortable has improved shipping times as of the writing of this article. DX Engineering also sells IPortable cases.)
Here’s a picture of the front of the radio box:
As the label indicates in the lower right-hand corner, the box is relatively heavy at 53.4 pounds.
Here’s a picture of the front of the battery box:
I built a second box for the battery because a battery in the radio box would have made the radio box even heavier. The battery box weighs 36.4 pounds.
Here’s the back of the battery box:
(Since I’ve taken this picture, I added two rope cleats to coil up the cord,)
Here’s the mast mounted on my 4Runner at Government Peak recreation park:
And of course, here’s the bill of materials that details what is in each Gator case: