Grandview, MO Hamfest

I headed out to the Grandview, MO Hamfest (aka the South Side Amateur Radio Club’s Octoberfest) this morning – about an hour’s drive. It was a smallish hamfest hosted at a middle school. The main floor was in the gymnasium’s basketball court with a spill over section in the adjacent cafeteria. What I noticed most of all was everyone eating… biscuits and gravy with eggs was quite popular. The doors opened at 0900 but I arrived around 1030 and it seemed by this time the hamfest was starting to wind down. Most of the tables were filled and the two big vendors there was the local ham store (Associated Radio) and WB0W. The oddest thing I saw was a gentlemen trying to sell golf clubs. One general criticism (and I’ve seen this at a few hamfests) is not publicizing the forums ahead of time. If you are going to host one or more forums – put the forum name, the subject matter, and start times on the hamfest’s webpage. It may create a larger draw for your event. Also had an eyeball QSO with WE0Z who I have bumped into on APRS a few times. One last comment – while I think it is cool that you connect Oktoberfest with a hamfest, the real Oktoberfest happens in September and only a day or two in October… plus if you call your event Oktoberfest you probably need to have some beer present. I am not sure how sales of beer would be at a middle school on a Saturday morning with a bunch of ham geezers in attendance, but it would be interesting to see… and nothing goes better with biscuits and gravy than a nice beer. Both on my drive there and back I listened to K1G on 20M, a special event station near Boston commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Coast Guard Axillary. On the way there he was working all over Europe and on the way back he was working state-side stations. I was one of many who were able to get him in the log.

Cleaning up the mobile with iPORTABLE

I have been unhappy with the installation of my IC-706MKIIG and TM-D700A in my 2005 Toyota Tundra. Unlike some of the more recent models, my Tundra has little to no room to squeeze in radios. I have had both radios under the passenger seat, which was a very tight squeeze and also prevented me from easily moving the seat forwards or back. The Turbo Tuner would not fit under the seat and had to be placed on the floor behind it. This really made it difficult to seat anyone in the backseat behind the passenger seat.
Then I saw the field communication stands from iPORTABLE. My plan was to get their smaller stand (without the speaker) and mount the IC-706MKIIG along with the Turbo Tuner inside it.
The iPORTABLE box arrived Friday and this morning I took it down to the workbench.

The box came pre-wired with a PowerPole connection on the outside of the box, two 20 amp fused lines inside the box, a rack mountable shelf, and covers for the front and back.

I attached PowerPole connectors to the power lines inside the box and secured the IC-706MKIIG to the shelf.

Underneath the shelf, I secured the Turbo Tuner using two zip ties.

Then I mounted the shelf inside the box and connected the cables between the radio and Turbo Tuner. Here is a pic of the front and back:

From here I brought the box out to the truck, attached the remote cable to the front of the IC-706MKIIG and then screwed on the front cover. On the backside, I connected the antenna feedline to the Turbo Tuner, the remote speaker connection, and the control cable for the Turbo Tuner. I left the back cover off the box to allow these cables to run out the rear of the box. I then placed the box behind the passenger seat and connect the external PowerPole connector to the power distribution block under the seat.

After a test run, everything was working great.

I am pretty happy with my new setup. Now if someone needs to sit in the backseat, I can easily remove the iPORTABLE box. I can also now use this rig for portable operations without much fuss.