Radio silence

This evening was supposed to be a UKAC night for me but with strong winds and flooding earlier in the day I decided not to head up to Sandwidth with a 50MHz antenna, just in case it got nasty. Even though it looks quite down here in the valley (I’m not just talking about 50Mhz activity either- Only GI4SNA can be heard) the top of the hill will be muddy and potentially windy.

So what to do with the radio time. We’ll I’ve been carrying around a plastic case for some time wondering when I’ll get around to using it as a sturdy case for packing up my FT817 and taking on trips with. The case IMAG0186used to hold a complex vice but the parts are happier in my tool box. So i stripped out the old foam and measured up the insides. It measures just about the wrong size for the easy to use pick and pluck foam so I ordered a 5 mm base layer and 40mm deep top layer from eFoam. The job is fairly simple and needs only a very sharp long bladed knife and a bit of patience.

I laid out the rig, tuner, wall wart, battery, mic and a few odds and ends into the case and carefully marked out the positions using a steel rule and marker pen (making sure the marker pen was on the inside of the are to be cut as I didn’t want any left over pen. I suppose you could just as easily cut it and turn it all over  but that may require extra thinking.IMAG0189

So with holes cut out and the bottom layer done, like so (as they say on Blue Peter) there wasn’t much to do apart from fill it up with the goodies. So with a free(ish) plastic case and a few quid’s worth of foam I’ve got a budget Pelicase. Probably just as sturdy for my needs and significantly cheaper.

Just one reminder, the blade needs to be very sharp and a light sawing action seemed to cut the foam nice and smoothly. Just one last thing to do is to raid the spare elastic department (If we have one) and form a kind of retaining strap for the bits in the lid.

Who said UK activity night should be limited to on air activity?

Alex Hill, G7KSE, is a regular contributor to and writes from Cumbria, UK. Contact him at [email protected].

Leave a Comment

Subscribe FREE to's
Amateur Radio Newsletter
News, Opinion, Giveaways & More!

Join over 7,000 subscribers!
We never share your e-mail address.

Also available via RSS feed, Twitter, and Facebook.

Subscribe FREE to's
Amateur Radio Newsletter

We never share your e-mail address.

Do you like to write?
Interesting project to share?
Helpful tips and ideas for other hams?

Submit an article and we will review it for publication on!

Have a ham radio product or service?
Consider advertising on our site.

Are you a reporter covering ham radio?
Find ham radio experts for your story.

How to Set Up a Ham Radio Blog
Get started in less than 15 minutes!

  • Matt W1MST, Managing Editor

Sign up for our free
Amateur Radio Newsletter

Enter your e-mail address: