Crazy! A man portable RPi Powered HF Rig in an ammo can go box

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by OH8STN, May 26, 2018.

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  1. OH8STN

    OH8STN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello Operators.
    Topic of the day is the Raspberry Pi 3B+, and how I'm using it for amateur field communications. During May 18-21, I spent some days near the Arctic Circle, trying to answer a few important questions. Some of those questions were:
    - Can the Raspberry Pi power a digital Field Station running wsjt-x and fldigi?
    - Can we fit an entire HF station in an ammo can?
    - Is it possible to carry that QRO station along with our hiking gear to the backcountry?

    You must remember, we're not talking about casual ham radio (although it very well could be). One of the goals is to find out how practical it truly is to deploy a QRO field station, based on the Yaesu ft-891, and Raspberry Pi 3B+.

    This trip was relatively easy. In fact, it was easier than I thought it would be. The trip also validated the concept of a man portable, Rapid Deployment, QRO Field Station, from a utilitarian perspective.

    Finally, before some of you start ripping me a new one ;), if I'm going on a casual thru-hike, carrying all my gear for days or weeks at a time, I'm certainly not going to carry an ammo can based rig. Whatever rig I do carry, it may very well be powered by Raspberry Pi.

    Julian oh8stn

    K9CTB, DS2BXI, VE3HJL and 7 others like this.
  2. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    That is cool.

    A friend of mine wants the ammo to fit too. :D
    W5AJO, AG7LR and OH8STN like this.
  3. OH8STN

    OH8STN Ham Member QRZ Page

    It's a tight fit without the correct tools, but it will fit and there is enough room inside for ventilation (in Finland). I have to reconfigure my battery, and remove the enclosures from the Raspberry Pi and audio interface so I can mount them directly on their own shelf inside the can. No bells and whistles, just function. :D
    Julian oh8stn
    KA9JLM likes this.
  4. W3TTT

    W3TTT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for your youtube video I also have a FT-891 in a go bag. My go bag is a former laptop computer bag. It has enough room for the rig, a 7 AH battery, mike, key, and a small swr meter. The antenna is a 16 foot vertical, with four 16 foot radials, and a loading coil wrapped around a one liter soda bottle. The loading coil tunes the ant to 40 meters, and a jumper clip bypasses the coil for tuneup on 20.
    Joe W3TTT
    KA2GEH and OH8STN like this.
  5. NI9Y

    NI9Y Ham Member QRZ Page

    I got a green Army ammo box and was going to use it then figured it was not a good idea in today's climate. I figured that someone might call the authorities seeing me in a park brandishing the ammo can go-box. Now I just use a small aluminum suitcase containing the HB1-A and KX3, battery, key and end-fed wires. Too bad we might look suspicious these days. I also have a small sign explaining what I am doing whenever I go QRP to the field. I use a 16' homebrew multi-band vertical with 4-above ground radials.
    KC8VWM, KA9JLM, OH8STN and 1 other person like this.
  6. OH8STN

    OH8STN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Outstanding! I love reading comments like this. A few days ago and operator commented on one of my videos saying it was ridiculous to take the 891 portable.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Julian oh8stn
  7. OH8STN

    OH8STN Ham Member QRZ Page

    I don't think the bears, reindeer or moose mind me too much. I try to add some humor to this, but it is a touchy subject. I thought about painting the ammo can safety orange, then screening my call sign in big letters. I've slowly started transitioning away from gear with a "tactical" look, over to gear which looks more like emergency services.

    The cool thing about Finland is people are willing to walk up to ask what the heck you doing. The conversation usually moves on to "oh you're one of those Nokia guys" or "my uncle was a ham radio operator back in the day".
    Thanks for sharing your setup. You need to keep getting out there, being ambassadors for amateur radio.
    Julian oh8stn
    US7IGN likes this.
  8. VE3JEC

    VE3JEC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Very interesting indeed, I never considered running a Pi headless in that application.

    OH8STN likes this.
  9. OH8STN

    OH8STN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello Joe
    I suppose the most practical advantage is not being tethered to the radio. Another smight be placing the display in a comfortable position.
    Definitely gives us a little bit more freedom to operate.
    Julian oh8stn
  10. NU4R

    NU4R XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Nice job Julian and Dan!
    OH8STN likes this.

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