Ugly Box Construction
My first Ugly Box was built several years ago for a new Icom
IC-706. Unfortunately, it was delayed in shipping, so I had little time to
install it before a major trip. I built a "U" shaped frame out of 1/2" plywood,
and put the Icom main unit into it hanging from the mobile mount. This was put
behind the driver's seat of the pickup and cabled up as best I could.
I discovered that it was very handy and could easily be moved into my camp trailer for portable use. I used this mount for years and the rig was never scratched or otherwise damaged.
This is an ugly (hence the name) but practical type of construction for equipment. There are several advantages to this type of mount.
They protect your equipment during mobile or portable operations. (How many times have you heard a used rig advertised as "never been mobile"?)
Equipment can be covered with no danger of overheating because the box provides open space around it.
They can be constructed with only a few hand tools.
They camouflage your equipment in your vehicle
You can attach frequency charts, quick reference manuals, etc to the box.
They can be built as modules and stacked.
Cabling can be left intact to provide for quick deployment
I make these boxes out of type MDO plywood which has a resin
paper covering on one side. They are assembled with countersunk flat headed wood
screws – this allows for quick disassembly for access. MDO plywood does not
require painting, and looks reasonably nice. The surface can easily be marked.
Here are examples of some of my Ugly Box projects. Click the thumbnails to see larger photos
|Icom IC-706 mount. This was my first Ugly Box. The handle makes it convenient to transport. The holes on the sides provide ventilation and allow access to the mobile bracket mounting screws. The overhanging top shades the display which reduces glare and reflections.
|Yaesu FT-90 main unit case. This unit resides in the trunk of my Honda Accord on top of the spare tire.
|Transverter Deck. This unit has four DEM UHF transverters - 903/1296/2304 and 3456. All use the same IF radio and the switch deck in the center selects the transverter.
|Portable Packet RMS. This unit fits nicely in a Pelican case and can be deployed in just a few minutes
|Icom IC-7000, LDG tuner and SCS Pactor modem. This unit also resides in a Pelican case and is my favorite for camping trips. Note the labels on tops of the box - the markings for the various connections on the IC-7000 are difficult to read, and this simplifies things.
|1296 and 903 FM deck