... A Mil-Spec Paint Scheme 857?
Here's a photo of my original
rapid deploy case. It's a 4 space
padded rack case, like the audio guys
might use. Slid into the rack case,
but not bolted to the rack, is
a rack shelf, again typical audio stuff.
My Yaesu 857, tuner, meter, clock,
key etc. are all mounted on the
This original case/station is in all
original colors. The Yaesu radio, LDG
autotuner and meter, and the rack shelf
are all basic, flat black. The custom
headset interface is a raw aluminum
Hammond box, like the guitar guys
use for FX stomp boxes.
Modern Day Green Radio
Here is the finished product
The project is detailed below.
But essentially what I did was
remove the covers from the gear,
and/or mask the areas I didn't want
The paint I used was Krylon
Ultra Flat Camo OD Green.
It's the same paint I use for
nearly everything, including
my van (in other camo colors,
Here's how it went -
Begin the BeGreen!
This the empty rack shelf that will
hold the radio and related equipment
for the portable, rapid response station.
The two allthread rods are part of the
hold-down thingie that will secure
the radio and tuner. Those threaded
rods are anchored with regular hex
nuts below, and T nuts above the
floor of the shelf.
Note the area around the bolt holes is
ground free of paint. I used a Dremel
to do the grinding.
The stuff in the photo BEHIND the shelf
is part of my collection of pipe, conduit,
golf clubs, tent poles and other future homebrew antenna components.
Grind Your Bottom Bare!
Here's the same shelf, under side view.
paint ground from bolt holes. Hefty,
sharp toothed star lock washers with
both internal and external teeth.
The underside has not been repainted
olive drab (yet) in this photo. I scraped
the paint before repainting because the
existing black finish was some VERY
tough, baked on, wrinkle finish enamel.
I'll usually grind ground points to bare
metal, then paint, then grind again.
That makes for a neater paint job.
The metal shelf serves as an excellent
ground buss. Sort of like the ground
plane concept in printed circuit
The two position switch needed
a little elevation to allow
room for the coax
to the four position switch.
I made a 1/2 inch spacer
Switches, like everything else
are bonded to ground with bolts.
Add more components
Sort of like engine components
in a modern automobile. The bottom
layer of devices has to be installed
before the upper layer, in order
to get them all to fit.
Here I've added the audio/PTT
breakout box and local time clock.
The digital UTC clock with
now resides on my clipboard/log.
The two open holes you see in
the shelf base are not used
in this iteration of the station.
All of the holes were drilled
with cheap Uni-Bits from Harbor Freight.
The LDG combo meter
went on next. It's
mounted to the SIDE of the
case with the same 1/4"-20
bolt/allthread scheme that
I used for everything else.
That required a simple JB weld
and nut on the inside of the meter.
While at Harbor Freight, I also
picked up a set of three, ratcheting
box end wrenches for five bucks.
They are bright color plastic
handles (easy to see in the desert)
and the 7/16" size fits all the bolt
heads and nuts on all the 1/4-20
stuff I used in this case as well
as everything else I build.
Even a Radio!..;-)
Autotuner (bottom) and radio (top)
mount with a piece of aluminum
angle stock across the top. Angle
is held in place by simple nuts and
lock washers on the allthread rods.
There is a piece of foam rubber
between the tuner and the radio
(not visible here) that cushions
the radio a bit, angles the face up
and allows access to the 3.5mm jack
on the bottom of the radio face.
Difficult to see in the pic is
a short piece of braided ground
strap on the right side of the
radio, bolted to the radio on one side,
and the allthread rod on the other,
to ground the radio. The LDG tuner
has it's own ground stud on the rear.
Now Add Wires
Here it is in the same stage
as the photo above. It is now
ready to receive all of the
various cables, wires, coax etc.
that tie it all together.
The space between the tuner
and the large coax switch
will contain my paddle.
That's shown in one of the photos
Also shown in one of the photos
below is the power meter,
mounted on top of the radio.
That keeps tabs on voltage,
current etc from the external
deep cycle battery.
QRP All the Time
I think twice in my life
I've dialed the power up
to anything above QRP.
But essentially any time you
hear me on HF, I'm five watts.
Some times I'm in a QSO and other
stations ask "Why only 5 watts?"
That always seems like an odd
question to me. You're hearing me
so why would I need more..;-)
I've worked nearly all states
and dozens of countries on 5w
including Asia, Russia, Europe,
Australia/New Zealand, Alaska,
Hawaii, and most places North
and South America.
You can see a map of my contacts
by clicking HERE
Wired and Working
Here's the finished, rebuilt,
repainted station, powered on,
antennas connected and working.
The headset is a David Clark
helicopter headset. I've replaced
the original low impedance dynamic
mic element with a cheap, RatShack
condensor element. Bias for the mic
is provided by a little preamp
inside the audio breakout box.
The device on the coiled cord on the
far right is my PTT switch. It's
also a David Clark aircraft part.
Upper far left is a clip on LED
reading light. It runs for probably
40 hrs on a couple of AAA batteries.
Olive wood and brass paddle is in
the middle, to the right of the tuner.
Rapid Deploy Station
Urban Desert Ops
EMT Conduit Antenna
Recycled 2m Yagi
Mil Mobile Base
6m Ground Plane
Return to QTH
The rest of my life?