NG7V Station in a Box siab
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NG7V Station in a Box

The idea of a Station-In-A-Box published in QST is by no means a new idea. The article caught my attention because it seemed to me that this idea of packaging today's modern radios into a 2U rack mount case was the solution I was seeking for my RV lifestyle and Jeeping activities. This is my version of the Station-In-A-Box.

Too often have I left my gear home because it was either too difficult to move into in my RV either because of space or cabling and power. When I saw this solution for the first time I realized that not only could I bring my rig along but that it would be so portable that I could also haul it in my jeep for working the parks or mountains where I go camping.

So began my project. I thought that a 2U case would work but then, I needed to keep other stuff around so I opted for a drawer. My box had to contain my HF rig, my 2m/70cm rig that doubles up as a Fusion Personal Digital Node. I also wanted to expand my horizon to digital modes such as cw and psk/rtty. To do this, I also needed add a headless, fanless, low-power computer that would be powered by the station. I also added a K44 Morse keyboard and a Mini Win Key unit powered by a USB port from the computer.

Front View: Yaesu FTM-100D Fusion PDN, Yaesu 991A, LDG Z-11 Pro ATU, K44 Morse keyboard, ClearSpeak external Speaker. As you can see, the whole configuration would have fit into a 2U cabinet made by Gator. I selected a 3U cabinet so that I could have a drawer to hold the pc, keyboard, key, microphones and power cord for the power supply. The drawer can even hold the speaker when the box is being transported.

Below, a view of the drawer and the power supply on the right. The power supply has to travel separately.

The back of the 3U cabinet is mostly used for power distribution and connections to and from accessories such as audio, external CAT, 12V outlet, 5V USB power, PS2 keyboard , Meter, Power Distribution panel... Everything to interconnect antennas and accessories.

I was not quite done with the power supply connection. I used a filler panel and machined it so that I could attach all of the receptacles. I used rivets as fasteners to hold it all together. All power connections are 15A power-pole. The power distribution is fused and has voltage sensing to make sure there isn't an ov/uv condition on the power outlets.

I left enough empty space in the rear so that the radios have room to stay cool.

The front and back of the case each have a cover that can be locked. The handles are very sturdy and quite comfortable. When packed, closed and locked, the unit weighs in at nearly 45 pounds. I find it a bit heavy but, not too heavy to load and unload out of my unit. I use a portable dolly to roll it around if i have a long way to go.

Technically, this unit is portable. It can be powered by a generator, or with a power plug or solar if money isn't an object. At this time, I simply power this unit with a power plug or a connection from my Jeep. A small generator would be nice but, that would be too easy.


The nice part of this cabinet is that I can set it up on my desk, power it from my Yaesu FP-130A and hook up my laptop to it. The picture below shows my laptop, connected through RDP to the station PC that is not seen in the picture. The laptop runs Linux/KDE the PC runs Windows 10. What is seen on the screen of the laptop is the Windows 10 desktop, ACLog, Win4Yaesu CAT software.

I run the Fusion Personal Digital Node in a Windows Virtual Box when at home. When portable, the station PC or the laptop can be used for the PDN over a cellular WIFI.

I have been quite happy with this setup.