Alfonso Faustino: What’s in your Portable Communications (Comms) Case (AKA: Go-box)?

I think the word, go-box, is a lousy identifier of a case that contains communications devices — it sounds stupid to me; hence, I use the term, PCC-Portable Communications Case. I also find the term Communications-case or Comms-case as acceptable identifiers. If I used a bag, then I would call it a Comms-bag, and so on.

So, in this BLOG and when conversing with me, regarding such matters, I will not use the term, go-box. Instead, you will hear me say or see my written terms, PCC or Comms-case, referring to my Pelican Case 1520.

My PCC can sustain my communications operations out in the field and off the power grid indefinitely. I created it that way, and I factored in all the possible situations that I might face in the event that I am without power from the power company

Let’s open up my PCC…when you open up my PCC, you will see the first level. This first level will get me up and running without having to go to the second level. The first level contains my Yaesu FT-857D transceiver; it also contains my power sources and connection cables to activate my Yaesu FT-857D.

My mobile power source is the Bioenno Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery. This power source usually lasts me beyond a full duty cycle — easily, the Bioenno Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery provides me with is ~10-13 hours of active TX before needing to charge it up. I had stand-by power for more than a day. I had the Bioenno Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery for over six years — I purchased it brand new six years ago without any problems, and it still holds it charging capacity at a full 100%. I trust this power source.

In the event my field location has a portable generator, I can easily save the energy of my Bioenno Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery, and use the Powerwerx transformer plugged into a 110V power-let.

The power connectors get my Yaesu FT-857D activated. I installed Andersen Power Poles for easy connection and disconnection.

I bought my Yaesu FT-857D brand new ~ six years ago when I first got my HAM License. It has been modified on both ends; hence, I can use the full range of UHF and VHF. The Yaesu FT-857D also has HF capabilities. I’m truly happy with this mobile transceiver — it packs a lot of punch in one small unit.

The second level of my PCC is the power supplies and other supplies to keep me up and running out in the field.

If my Bioenno Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery drains out, I pull out the Bioenno Foldable Solar Panels — it’s rated 28 Watts.

I have a device that allows me to monitor the solar charge and conduct a pass-through, which means, while the Bioenno Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery is getting solar-charged, I can still use my Yaesu FT-857D to RX and TX — no down-time at all.

The Bioenno Foldable Solar Panels at 28 Watts is more than strong enough to quickly charge up my Bioenno Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery; the pass-through feature is like plugging in my Yaesu FT-857D into my house power-let.

The silver device is a cigarette lighter transformer that allows me to plug in my Powerwerx transformer in a vehicle, plane, or ship. The silver device allows me to plug any 110v device for operations.

On 19-September-2020, from 1830-2200 Hours PDT, I volunteered my auxiliary communications skills to the San Francisco Radio Club, which in turn volunteered me and others, to provide support for sailboat racing team venturing out to the Farallons —The Red Triangle.

I had a great time — especially, it was my first face:face mission since the CoVid-19 lock-down of social gatherings. It was nice to work with people in person instead of a video conference. So, I deployed my PCC; and, it succeeded with flying colors.

My Yaesu FT-857D was set to MAR 69 to communicate with the mariners out at sea, relay-control, and with the racing directors at headquarters.

My Motorola APX 8000HXE was set to repeater W6PW to communicate with other operators at this mission.

My good buddy, Leonard Tom, call-sign, NX6E, made me this awesome Yaggi antenna, pictured, supra, which I hooked up to my Yaesu FT-857D. Leonard was monitoring the mariners out at sea with the AIS and APRS systems. The video below, is an audio clip of NX6E’s tracking report to relay-control. I ran to the other side of the site to get a visual of the boat heading to the Golden Gate Bridge.

My other good buddy, Wayne, call-sign, WD6DZS, authorized us to work at this awesome military location: VA Medical Center.

This location was key; because, it provided us with the LOS we needed to communicate with the boats at sea, land-based racing committee, and the W6PW repeater.

The goal of this mission was to make sure all the boats made it home; and, we met the goal by 2200 Hours PDT, 19-September-2020.

After the last boat checked in, I packed up my PCC.

Though it was not a mission-critical ICS/FEMA-based event, which I’m normally involved with, it was still fun; I learned some new stuff; and, it got me a chance to get back out in the field to get the cob-webs out of my comms process and my PCC. Most importantly, it was just nice to work as a team face:face instead of working through my iPhone 11 Pro’s screen.

I hope this BLOG will give you an idea of creating you’re own PCC, comms-case, comms-box, or comms-pack.

Check 6!

/s/ Alfonso Faustino (K6ASF)

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