Communication / Power Box




Introduction: Communication / Power Box

So there are lots of portable power boxes out there and there are lots of Ham radio go kits ( radio in a box) This kit blends these together along with a iPad and Bluetooth speaker for extra flexibility .I now have a better organized set up that incorporates the following:

3 flavors of power

1 -750Watts 120VAC modified sine wave inverter

2- 12VDC cigarette style sockets

1- 12VDC banana plug / binding post ( easy to attach bare wire for external radios)

1- general purpose USB socket.

Many ways to Communications besides the cell phone

1 Kenwood TM-D700 Full Dual Bander 144/440MHz APRS™ and a built-in TNC

1 Yaesu VX-6R handheld 5W 144/220/440 Triband Handheld Transceiver

2 FRS radios

1-Mac iPad , which has many uses but I like to use the scanner app to monitor police

NOAA weather radio/ crank am/fm radio

All packaged nicely together one place for emergencies or even a possible Zombie Apocalypse!

Total weight 45lbs

Step 1: Gathering All the Stuff

In this project, I used the following...because I had almost all of it laying around:

1 Pelican case #1510 ( you could use wooden crate or a big plastic tote)

1-35 Ah AGM battery ( the bigger the better)

1- B&D float mode battery charger ( small motorcycle battery tender is what I use)

1- 750W modified sine wave inverter ( 1500W max ) from harbor freight $37.99 { this also has a usb plug on it}

1- Kenwood TM-700 VHF/UHF FM Dual Band Ham Radio (this is a superior communication device with APRS etc.)

1-Yaesu VX-6R handheld Ham radio w/charger cables ( great radio and also picks up weather band 162.55MHz)

2- FRS radios - with lots of batteries

1- iPad w/chargers (works great for a Scanner and many other things)

1- Bluetooth Jambox speaker ( great for amplifying the sound from the iPad)

1- Ambient Weather NOAA crank style weather radio/ flashlight/ AM-FM radio

1- Homemade J-Pole 2 meter antenna ( another instructable soon )

1- bag of assorted charging adapters,BNC connectors, batteries and other small parts

1 -homemade 12v multi-function plastic box, it has a battery level indicator, 2-12v marine grade 10A cigarette lighter sockets and one set of banana plugs.

Step 2: 12V Breakout Box

In an emergency I need to have the flexibility to hook anything into this box so I installed 2 heavy duty marine grade 15A sockets and a set of 15A banana socket binding post for anything sort of bare wire hook up if needed. All circuits are fused for safety.This box is a made of polycarbonate and is 5"x5"x2-1/2" I like the plastic boxes because they are easy to drill,waterproof and durable.

I added a on off switch and an led power lamp for convenience. There is also battery power indicator so I can see the volt status on the battery at this point.

I used 6 gauge zipcord wire from Power this cord is very flexible and can take the power load for the Ham radios on high power.

Step 3: Putin It All Together

I wanted to keep the pelican box itself "intact" if by chance we are overrun by the "Undead" or we experienced an EMP that would render most electronics useless ( I know ...think Faraday cage ? I could add 2 layers of aluminum foil to the inside of this case and wallah ! a Faraday cage) and I needed to dump all this useless crap out for more important things like food and hatchets( hey these pelican cases are expensive) so I did not drill any holes in the sides or anything. The idea was to keep it a free flowing flexible system. So when "in use" the lid is kept open. The inverter and radio amplifier could possibly get hot so I used flexible power cable as much as possible here so things can be moved around.

The Battery is a 35Ah AGM battery that is perfect for lots of charge / discharge cycles. The inverter is a modified sine wave type. This is also not a long term setup, I could get crazy with more batteries and wind generators and solar but for now I am going to push the limits in a field trial test once the weather gets better. I will be getting a Sherpa goal zero solar panel soon.

I simply cut out a piece of foam for the lid to mount some of the items such as the weather radio the ipad and the Kenwood main control head unit to keep them secure while the lid is open. Some Pelican cases come with pluck-n-pic foam but this one did not so I found some rigid foam for the case lid. The iPad is protected by a otterbox case and it does the job nicely, I do not have a designated scanner so for now I use the iPad scanner app to monitor the local police channels...this is nice to have in case of a breakdown of humanity.

I used Velcro to keep things from sliding around. When the box is in storage I disconnect the battery and protect the terminals against shorting.

The remaining equipment is stored in tool pouches or plastic bags for easy access.I keep the power cords and adapters and batteries in a clear plastic bag so I can see what's in there. I like the ALOKSAK brand.

It's always a good idea to keep a small flashlight accessible because in most movies I have seen, when there are Zombies there is no electricity...
I keep 2 FRS radios in this kit for short distance communications ...these come in great for setting up Antennas or Zombie scouting patrols.


Step 4: Other Things Packed Away and Ready to Go.

Here is a short list of things I like to keep together ether on me or in my communications box or in a bug-out-bag just in case :

Wallet- Money - Keys - Cell phone- Yaesu Radio - Leatherman tool / pocket knife- Water - Reading glasses

Meds if needed

Portable 2M rollup J-Pole antenna

Cell and HT chargers

2 mini flashlights w/AA batteries / headlamp

Small Tool kit


Repeater directory

GPS, Compass and maps of the area

Matches/ lighter/ ferroceium rod

First Aid Kit / sunscreen/ bug spray

USB Memory sticks with encrypted data password protected


Duct tape

Food- clif bars, jerky, instant coffee ,candy etc.

Collapsible Water Bottle and Stainless steel bottle

Water purifying tablets

Space pen and Markers

2 Heavy Duty Garbage bags or tarp

Write in the rain notepads

Spare reading glasses

Improvements not done yet

* install a Powerwerks rigrunner to connect all the 12v power to one clean fused panel

* Pure Sine wave inverter- re-evaluate after field test

* Solar panel

Thanks for looking! I will be entering this in the Apocalypse Preparedness contest so if you like , please vote for me.

Thanks again

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    11 Discussions


    4 years ago

    Is it possible to create a Faraday cage around it on the inside to protect the electronics?


    5 years ago on Introduction

    the homemade 12v multi function plastic box how did you make that

    PBR Street gang
    PBR Street gang

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    I will be making a small instructable on that soon. Basically a plastic box and 2 12v sockets wired with fuses And a few bells and whistles
    thanks foe asking


    5 years ago

    Why not using metallic case/box. You can make it grounded by connecting 1 cable from the case to the ground. So the case can act as faraday cage, that way your equipment will be safe from EMP.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    PBR, this was Amazing. Thank you so much for sharing. Now, I best get busy ;)


    5 years ago on Introduction

    This looks so great! You'll be all set if ever in need to pick up and go. How heavy is this thing?

    PBR Street gang
    PBR Street gang

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    It is heavy but this box has wheels on it. I would guess loaded it's around 55 - 60 lbs!


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Ha that's so cool! I'm sure that the wheels help out greatily!


    5 years ago

    I was considering such a thing in my oversized pistol box. I was trying to figure out how to put a deepcycle in it. I have the solar car charger and a Cobra 29 LTD Classic and a good antenna but size was an issue. and the price of the 20v deep cycle battery. a motorcycle battery would do nicely.

    PBR Street gang
    PBR Street gang

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    You can get some UPS batteries that would work fine. You just need to stay with the deep cycle type so they can be charged and discharged many times.