My 857D Setup

I have been building and improving my 857D manpack for several months, and finally reached the point where everything I need is there and can be easily accessed:

I got the aluminum frame from Taobao, the famous Chinese auction site, it costed me around US$50 including shipping to my country Taiwan. Exact the same thing is being sold on eBay for US$130.

The 857D panel is mounted using a mini photographic ball head, so that I can tilt the panel for better access and visibility:

The data interface made by a Greek guy on eBay, US$42:

The external multi function meter (left), 857D panel (center) and SOTAbeams Fuser 6 DC Distribution Boxes (right):

My handmade Ferrite core choke balun:

The Mini computer (left) for Data and Logging, and the antenna analyzer (right):

The 857D and the coax switch, so that don’t have to tangle with the cables when I want to tune the antenna with my analyzer:

Behind the rig is the MAT-30 tuner:

And the 20AH Li-Fe battery:

The ground plug from the balun:

The ground plug goes to a L-C network tuner I made, to tune the counterpoise:

The tuner then tunes the aluminum foil blanket to resonance:

Some led illumination is also integrated into the system:

In the field:


Hi Willis
Nice photos on your toys :slight_smile:
What is the weight of your manpack ?
Please tell me about your 20Ah batterie.

Hi Willis,
Very good job!!
Can you tell about your mini-pc?? (model, os., program, display etc.)
Happy new year
Roby iw2obx

Eric, the weight is 9.5kg, and the battery is also from Taobao (US$60)


It’s Pipo X8 with 7 inches screen, running Windows 10, WSJTX and N1MM.
I also installed Ubuntu on it.

1 Like

Hi Willis,

I get back pain and feel exhausted just from reading this description!

My recommendation: Cut back on weight, start with the battery!
73 Heinz

1 Like

Dear Heinz,

Well, later this week I will post details about my SOTABOX (about half the weight of the 857D setup)

73 de Willis

Hi Willis,
I’m a strong proponent that SOTA gear is anything that you are willing to carry!
That said, there are some folks that go in a minimalist direction, with a full station that comes in around a half kilo:
73, Etienne-K7ATN