- Some sort of computer
- Raspberry Pi, or
- Barebones VESA mountable computer
- 1 or more radios
- At least one capable of 2m TX/RX (APRS specifically)
- Ideally at least one capable of HF TX/RX
- Permanent housing for my TNC-X
- Housing and permanent hookup of an Si4707 weather band SAME decoder
- GPS hookup
- Open-Mesh AP
- Be a central power distribution point when using my car as a camper
Internal battery was not a requirement, as I wanted power to be as flexible as possible.
The case for all of this was up in the air for a while (and to some degree still is). The choice was between:
- An old computer case from a cascaded work computer
- Pros: Free, Easy to cary
- Cons: Mounting things inside might be a bit interesting
- A giant pelican case (if everything else was taken out of it, I might actually be able to fit inside)
- Pros: Free, Waterproof, Strong
- Cons: Huge and cumbersome
- Purchase a portable gator case and rack mount everything.
- Pros: Easy to mount things inside, Can get with wheels, Strong
- Cons: Costs money (can't justify if other options are available... see also: college student)
I ended up settling on the computer case.
For a radio, the internal debate was down to:
- Yaesu FT-817ND
- Pros: Small (Can fit inside the space a CD-ROM drive would exist inside a computer case)
- Cons: 5 Watts.
- Yaesu FT-897D
- Pros: 100 Watts.
- Cons: Large, Cost
(Yes, there are more differences, but for my uses, these are the biggest and most notable.) I ended up choosing an FT-817ND for both the cost and size benefits. I would like to mount it where the CD drive would be, but don't exactly know the best way to do so yet. What ever way I choose, I'd like it to be very simple to remove the rig if I want to (i.e. no screws if possible, or thumb screws if absolutely necessary).
|External look of the case. Not pretty, but should work.|
(Excuse the mess)
|Internals of the case so far. Only the TNC-X, serial adapter|
for the GPS, and the USB hub have
been mounted at this point.
Tasks left to do (in no particular order):
- Drill holes and mount the Perma-Proto Board
- Acquire a VESA mounting bracket for the RPi
- And drill holes for it
- Decide on a way to mount the FT-817
- Find a place to mount the RigRunner and mount it.
- Find a place to mount the Open-Mesh AP and mount it.
- Add the power supply back into the case?
- Run cables for the radio (serial and power)
- Decide the best way to talk to the Si4707
- Add a panel mounting jumper for the SO-239 connector on the back of rig(?)
- Find a good way to provide 5v
As of right now, the connections are planned to be as follows: