Emergency Radio Kit (Pelican Case)

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#1
I work for a police department, and have just recently been put in charge over our communications. I am wanting a Pelican case radio kit for emergency communications. I have never built one of these before and any pointers would be greatly appreciated. Also if anyone on here builds them to sale let me know. I may be better off buying instead of building due to lack of spare time. Something that I have in mind is a power supply and back up battery on board along with a dual band mobile radio.

I appreciate all the help that I can get!



-K9-94
 
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Joined
Jan 22, 2018
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Location
SE MI
#4
I work for a police department, and have just recently been put in charge over our communications. I am wanting a Pelican case radio kit for emergency communications. I have never built one of these before and any pointers would be greatly appreciated. Also if anyone on here builds them to sale let me know. I may be better off buying instead of building due to lack of spare time. Something that I have in mind is a power supply and back up battery on board along with a dual band mobile radio.

I appreciate all the help that I can get!

-K9-94
I built something similar to this since I wanted a home setup that didn't take up a ton of space and I could put away easily:

PORTABLE GO-KIT RADIO STATION
 
Joined
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#6
QuickSilver radio.com has complete radio go boxes just supply the radio and bnc antenna for your frequency
 
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WTVLCA01DS0
#9
I had our OES guys bring me a radio and a spare Pelican case they wanted to use.
I supplied the power supply, antenna, speaker, etc.

I cut a piece of 3/4" plywood, sanded, painted black (matched the case, and mounted it to the bottom of the case. Through bolted with stainless steel hardware.

On their, I mounted a Kenwood NX-900 800MHz radio, a Motorola mobile speaker and a 12 volt power supply.
The antenna is a mag mount, since they wanted to be able to set it up temporarily in an office/EOC or in a vehicle.

What I learned…
Secure everything really well. Through bolt anything that has any weight, as the Pelican cases will get tossed around. Don't rely on sheet metal/wood screws for anything you want to stay in place.
Large external speaker is necessary if you want good audio quality and the ability to really hear it if you are away from the radio.
Attach the microphone cord to the case, don't rely on the RJ-45 or whatever your mic connector is. Someone will try to walk away with the mic still in their hand.
Dress in wire neatly. I used Panduit "F-duct" across the rear.
Secure as much as you can so parts don't get lost.
Include a copy of manuals, where appropriate, or a one page "cheat sheet".

https://i.imgur.com/RP3Codh.jpg
 
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#11
Budget was essentially zero. "Here's a radio, here's a box, make it go".

These are the sorts of challenges I enjoy. Often taken home and done in the garage on a rainy Saturday with a cup of coffee (beer later in the day) and some tunes going. I certainly could have bought a pre-built kit and added the radio, and it would have worked fine.
On the flip side, I did this all with "left overs". The end user supplied the case and radio. I supplied a left over power supply, speaker and the rest. The piece of plywood had been in my way for a while, so I was glad to use it on something.

The other step I took was to wire up ignition sense, so -really- the only thing the end user needs to do is plug the cord into the wall and drop the antenna on something. Radio turns on once it sees power. It comes up on their primary talk group. Minimum volume is set to something reasonable so it cannot get "accidentally" turned down all the way.

If I was doing it again, I may have built the antenna into the lid, just to make it more xxxxx-proof.
 
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In the 'patch
#12
If I was doing it again, I may have built the antenna into the lid, just to make it more xxxxx-proof.

Even a steel plate on top. Seen that. Just keep power low enough, or use a NGP antenna, so they don’t burn up the finals if they don’t put the antenna in a proper location.


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Joined
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Texas
#16
Thought of that, but with the lid open, it's not a good option.



Yeah, that's the plan, or just leave a metal plate on the base.
Low power, portable antenna directly on the back of the radio (especially if primary concern is with utilizing infrastructure in place and not as standalone simplex dispatch.
 
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#17
Low power, portable antenna directly on the back of the radio (especially if primary concern is with utilizing infrastructure in place and not as standalone simplex dispatch.
Yeah, I considered that, but was trying to look at ground plane.

Also, or EOC is "portable", as it can be moved as needed fairly easily. Some of the alternate EOC sites are on the fringes of coverage.

Its kind of hard to nail these guys down. They want it all done cheap/free. It's gotta work in a lot of places. It's all gotta be portable. The primary EOC is well wired, and well within portable radio coverage range of the system, so no problem there. It's out on the fringes where it would have the issues. Ideally I'd have added a permanent antenna and a jack to plug into, like I've done with their satellite phone/radio.
You get the idea.
 
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Jul 18, 2014
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PA
#18
Instead of a Pelican case, consider using one of the larger metal ammo cans for 25mm or 30mm ammo. They are at least as rugged as a Pelican case, waterproof, have room for multiple radios and a battery, and you could put a NMO mount in the lid and run a 2-meter or 70cm antenna and have a reasonably functional ground plane.
 
Joined
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#20
Instead of a Pelican case, consider using one of the larger metal ammo cans for 25mm or 30mm ammo. They are at least as rugged as a Pelican case, waterproof, have room for multiple radios and a battery, and you could put a NMO mount in the lid and run a 2-meter or 70cm antenna and have a reasonably functional ground plane.
I recently built an emergency kit and if I had to choose between the hard plastic case I have now and an ammo can I would definitely choose the plastic case. And unless you are planning on using a dual band radio there is no way you can fit 2 radio's in an ammo can.

Motex is right. Check Quicksilver Radio | The Best in Ham Radio
While those are nice and I have nothing against Jetstream I just think that buying something like a Kenwood would work better. They are more reliable and have a lot more features than a cheap chinese radio. Get a TK880 and a TK780 and you are set. You have 2m and 440 communications and the TKx80 are compact enough that I could fit 2 in my emergency kit with room for a USB plug, master switch, volt/amp meter, and mic clip.
 
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