I have used a few different configurations for packing and operating with the MTR rig.
Generally they revolved around a plastic storage box and either holding the key and note book or using a variation of the Sota Beams Flight Deck to support them.
Until recently the Sota Beams flight deck was the closest I got to a perfect operation position. Its main draw back for me was its size; it had been made for the later MTR (3band) not the earlier version which is a slightly different shape box. The ATS4 which is bigger again whilst fitting (see post) left little room for the Key and battery.
Having been on a few joint activations I had the opportunity to see how quickly the ‘817 owner could get on air, and this sent me on another search.
Well the shack is now littered with different size and shape plastic boxes and pieces of core flute board (used a base to support notebook).
Finally three things happened which has brought me to a point where I feel I may have it right;
1) The discovery of ABS sheet or Marvi Plate, this can be bent, shaped and machined easily and has been used for the base
2) The purchase of a “Dermal or Hand Held Rotary Tool” from Jaycar, (mine has the add-on goose neck) this is a great tool that can be used to effortlessly
butcher cut and shape plastic boxes and the ABS sheet.
3) The discoverer of yet another plastic lunch box from Sistema. This plastic box with its separate compartment could be used to safely pack the battery, and have the radio mounted permanently, plus make it all pack into the same box.
Unfortunately the ATS4 is too big to drop in in place of the MTR, but I am working on that 🙂
The photos tell the story;
Right angle adaptors are used to reduce pressure on cables.
“Dermal” used to remove unwanted partition from battery compartment and cut holes for switch and power socket. I added an in-line fuse holder to the battery and changed the second connector to match my other battery pack. Low Voltage indicator based on TL431 and flashing LED. Board to be enclosed in clear heat shrink.
2mm Budge cord from BCF, Drum or Cord locks from Spot Light, 3mm ABS sheet from eBay. Grove for budge cut with “dermal” The use of the base plate means no holes in the bottom of the box.
The Bungee cord is used to hold the sheet in place, also allows log book to be held on those windy summits. 3mm Acrylic sheet from eBay, ABS sheet could have been used but already had the Acrylic sheet. Three 3mm holes allow the use of either the AME or Palm paddles.