Radio Hiking Case

That’s a neat idea.

I wrap my 857 in a fleece top, then when at the summit I can wear the fleece.


@G7HEM, good one!
I have my FT857 in a Mars Chocolate gift box… just protects the knobs and switches…

@KQ2RP darn it Chris… I just pulled the tags off my Think Tank Strobe case after calling it good for the KX3… it was like $40 on Amazon. ;(


All the “solutions” I see here are large volume and heavy. My solution: I started with a piece of 3/8 inch thick blue closed cell foam, and cut a piece the size of the face of the radio. I used forecepts to pluck out tiny bits of the foam where the switches are. I put a small slice in each corner where the steel screws hold the circuit board to the front of the case. i glued tiny rare earth magnets in those slices. The magnets hold the blue foam snugly to the face of the radio protecting the switches during travel. I log using a paper clip mounted on the back of the radio holding a piece of 3x5 card to the back of the radio. The paddle is a touch paddle built-in, and the battery is a LiPO velcroed to the side of the case. This entire thing is put inside a waterproof Sea-to-Summit little bag. Weight of the radio, battery, paddle, protection totals six ounces. You can see the blue foam peaking out from below as I am holding the radio in operating position. 72 - Fred KT5X ( aka WS0TA)


Attached is my solution for the MTR5. As you can see, I am into “ultra-lyte.” I made a hingede cover for this radio to accomplish two tasks. First when folded open, it is the backing for logging and the support for a pico-palm paddle while having the neat LCD screen of the radio facing upward during operation. Note that I stand up while operating, I certainly do not place any equipment on the ground or in the mud or in snow whatever. Hinged closed the cover protects the fragile face during travel. Again it rides in my pack inside a weightless but waterproof small Sea-to-Summit bag. In the second photo the “white thing” on top of the radio is a dental floss case in which there is a 81:1 impedance transformer. The end of the antenna wire plugs directly into it, no coax, no loss, no weight, no connectors to fail. - Fred KT5X (aka WS0TA)



when using the Yaesu FT-817 i decided my rucksack would be the best way to keeo everything safe.
But to be able to operate with it inside the rucksack I built a container (made with plywood) with some connectors to be able to put earphones / mic and paddles easily from the top side.
After years of intensive use still working fine…

Concerning wires, antenna, extra cloth… I use ziploc bags as well…

See full description in this post:

Cheers, 73 de Ignacio

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Your setup is impressive, I’m jealous mine isn’t as compact and streamlined as that.
Tell me more about the built in touch paddles. Do you have a website or other document describing them? I see on your Shutterfly page you used to have some Palm pico paddles attached to the side. Why switch away from those?

Sorry Andrew just having a joke .
Ian vk5cz …

Hah! I thought about how heavy that switch is too! :wink: I dropped one of those once - made a nice indentation in the old floor. Couldn’t imagine humping one of those…Ya guys have some nice setups, especially FD’s. Awesome setup there…

Todd KH2TJ

The circuit is the smallest version from CWTOUCHKEYER.COM. It is the size of a postage stamp. I connected it inside with plug-in headers so everything disassembles easily. I covered it with electrical tape so it won’t short anything. People have used all sorts of things for the finger contacts. I took two male RCA plugs, used a hacksaw and file to remove the shield exposing the center pin, that’s what you see. Why did I change from the pico-palm? The pico-palm magnetically attached to the side worked fine but adds almost one third to the volume. I can put it in my shirt pocket, the antenna in my pant pocket, hang the fishingpole from my shirt, and hike with no pack at all if the trek is under an hour each way. While it never broke, the plastic paddles and seemingly delicate inards always seem at risk to me either breaking or from dirt. The posts for the paddle are unbreakable, nothing can get dirty, smaller profile, for one fifth the price. For the moment the pico is mounted on the MTR5 folding cover. Entire set up in photo below is under one pound. Antenna is wound on a kite winder. The wire is #28 silvered, teflon coated, very strong very low resistance. It is about 50 feet long, uses two homemade traps using T50-2 cores. It covers 20/30/40 just like the MTR3, no tuning, instant band changing. Support for the wire is from 50 pound test fishing braid, the no stretch stuff used to back fly lines. Weighs nothing, no wind resistance, strong as the dickens. The wire plugs directly into the 81:1 impedance transformer built into a dental floss case (white, can be seen already pl;ugged into the radio), no coax (no feedline loss, no connectors to eventually fail). The back of the radio supports the log. The switches are protected with a piece of bluefoam magentically attached. Paddle is unbreakable touch key. Whole thing goes inside a waterproof sea-to-summit dry bag that weighs a few grams. The support pole is 18 feet fishingpole collapses to 19 inches. (Antenna height on a mountain peak doesn’t seem to matter much). If there are trees I use the pole to place the wire over a branch, if only bushes, I lean the pole in the bush, if only rocks, I find a crevice to brace it in or make a pile of rocks. Once a spot is chosen, setting up takes about four minutes. - FD KT5X (aka WS0TA)


I took a 2l plastic cooldrink bottle and cut the top off and put a hole in the bottom for the cables.

I put the radio (X1M) into the bottle with the cables out the back and the front panel (and mic) coming out the open end. The radio fits in snuggly. The plastic bottle protects it nicely during transit, but also keeps the radio dry when operating in the rain.

Hope this helps,

Dave ZS2DH

Now there is an interesting idea! Can you share a photo? Staying operational in the rain seems to me like important preparation. Here, rain often also equals lightning in which case the answer is NO BE THERE. However, it is common to find myself in the clouds and have it be raining without lightning. I have two approaches to rain… appraoch number one; I bought one hundred clear plastic showercaps for under a dollar. Elasticized around the p’erimeter, tiny and weightless in the pack, I always carry one. It can pop over the “set-up,” I can still reach inside to write, log, and key. It is perfect for using the KX2 in the rain. I also use plasticized paper for logging which, with the mini-space-pen which writes upsdie down under water on butter, just keeps on going. My OTHER set up for rain, is a completely waterproof set-up that I have tested standing in the shower. It uses the touch paddle, and it uses sealed jacks. Radio is inside and not accessible to adjust, however. Waterproof paper is held to the outside with magnets. The radio in this “case” is the venerable ATS4, in photo below. Green is the 250 mAH battery inside, two red things are the inside of the touch paddles not quite visible outside, there is a red colored space-pen which is tethered so i can’t drop it, log paper which is waterproof goes on top held in place by a magnet. Antenna plugs in at the upper left, not visible, audio jack is sealed, waterproof, not visible to the lower left. - Fred kt5x (aka WS0TA)

This is my little box FT 817 fits nice and snug, bought from a local Ex Mod store for £5.00 with foam inserts & fits in the backpack no problem.
Cheers Ken

I have been using Action Camera cases, they are cheap and light. On sale at a chain store (Target), these were $5 each.

Here is my 2L cooldrink bottle solution. 73, Dave

I made this today from LG bag that I got for free on one of the consumer electronics exhibit. It is a temporary solution until I will receive back my backpack replacement which became unusable after about one year of activations. I was able to put inside FT-817ND, original rubber ducky antenna fro 50MHz- 430 MHz, two home made dipoles for 10 and 14, coax cable, notepad, pencil. Keyer fit inside of small zipped pocket inside of the shoulder strap.

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Currently I use a 4L Sea to Summit DryBag, a bit of bubble wrap and packing tape in order to make a ‘tube’ around KX3. It fits everyone in the photo + a couple of Lipo.

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I had this old pelican box from the 80’s that works well with pluck foam (for a KX2). I think the newer ones might be a tad beefier, but Pelican makes good stuff overall!

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