Portable Rack Case

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  • Updated 4 years ago
I want to take my 6700 in the field for the ARRL National Parks On The Air event. I want to make sure it makes the round trip safely. So I am considering a portable rack case such as the Gator G-PRO-19-2U.

Does anyone have suggestions going portable with the Flex 6000?

I think the 19 inch rack case is wide enough to allow the radios fans to move air.
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Robert -- N5IKD, Elmer

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Posted 4 years ago

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Bob Hinkle

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I've also been struggling with the idea of a 2U, 4U or 6U, but no one seems to post pics so we can see how much vertical space there is. I have seen similar cases from iPortable (cardboard end pieces.... brrr...) and A company called "Sweetwater" (roto-molded end pieces with tight waterproof latches) but still don't know what size Sweetwater to get... there's a line between "portable case" and putting so much gear in one that it's not really very "portable" anymore !    Cheers... Bob  KK8ZZ
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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You can find it on amazon a bit cheaper http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001UNRHDE/ref=twister_B00YS4X3E4?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1 plus you get the option to return if it doesn't fit.
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A  Pelican Case - like a 1550 or 1600  - mine is deep enough to hold the power supply, hand mic, cables, USB stick with software and a few EFHW wire antennas with coax in the 'lower half' and the 6500 sits on top of it all.  Or you can make room for a laptop.

The case is waterproof and has the capacity to float with all equipment inside.  since I am near water a lot, I like to be able to grab the handle of the case with a boat hook if it falls out of the dock cart.

Good Luck
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Stan - VA7NF

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I have the 19-4U for FD - It holds a 1U headphone amp

Also have a Gator "Studio 2Go" which has a 2U rack plus slot for laptop and 10Ahr LiFePo3 battery.  Maestro should fit but haven't received mine yet.  

@Walt: Neither of mine will float but they protect the Flex well.  And yes there is enough space for cooling providing the back flaps are open during use.

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WA6HTP - Juan Rivera

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Shipping sensitive electronics mounted in a rack is usually a bad idea. The rig would only be supported at the front where the rack flanges attach to the rack frame. If the case were dropped on its bottom the unsupported weight would probably cause the rig to rip loose from the frame or twist it badly. Shock and vibration are never good. The safest way to ship sensitive electronics is usually in the original factory packing, or as was suggested, in something like a Pelican case with at least two inches of foam around all sides. Folks who do this for a living would match the type of foam used to the weight and size of the equipment. If money is not a problem you can find shock-mounted weather-proof rack frames. Same thing with these - the rack's shock mounts need to be matched to the weight of the equipment. A mismatch can actually cause more damage than no shock mounts at all. If you went that route you should support the rig front and back. One way is to use rack slides, but the Flex radios are not designed for that and you would need to drill mounting holes in the chassis.
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Hi Robert

I assume your taking a Maestro for control unit?

The box you point out is very nice and should do well, assuming you take Juan's advice about support of the unit.  Airflow should be fine. BTW Sweetwater is an excellent vendor.

I've taken some TenTec gear on SOTA using a backpack with good success.  I intend to do the same with a 6500 once Maestro hits my doorstep.

Good Luck...

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Robert -- N5IKD, Elmer

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I hope to take the Maestro, if I don't have it by March 26th I will move to plan B.
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Barry N1EU

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I've taken some TenTec gear on SOTA using a backpack with good success.  I intend to do the same with a 6500 once Maestro hits my doorstep.
You're going to hike up a mountain with a 6500 and Maestro in your backpack?  With 2A current draw on receive, that would also entail a HUGE battery in your backpack or perhaps you've got pack animals?

Good luck with that   ;-)

73, Barry N1EU
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The bats are to bad, wrt. weight.  They are 10Ah and 20Ah LiFePo4. The smaller one power a TT argo - VI and the larger the TT SS 100W amp. With 1/2 wave end feed vertical I was hearing / working CA to KS and NH.The NH station said I was "booming in". Not bad for a coast to coast portable contact. The pack is 35# and I suspect using the Flex 6500 will be about the same weight.
Somehow my LF camera pack is at about the same weight also, 35# to 40#. It's an incentive to keep fit. 

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Norm - W7CK

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The Flex 6000 series is only 13" wide.  So if your using a rack mount, that leaves well over an inch on each side, maybe closer to 2 inches which should be more than adequate for ventilation.   You'd have to make sure you open the back of the case to let the exhaust out.  Like Juan mentioned, the problem is that the entire rig would be suspended by the rack mount tabs which would put a lot of strain on the rig if and when it ever got bounced around.  If you could put foam blocks below and above the rig, that may help.....

While the Pelican case is a nice idea, it just isn't quite as convenient.  You'll need to take the rig out of the box each time you want to use it.  On the other hand, Its nicely padded and should protect your rig well.   A couple fairly large Pelican cases should accommodate all of your gear nicely.

If your driving to your site, weight and number of pieces of gear won't be an issue. In this case, I'd take everything you want including a fold-up table, chairs, shade, laptop, Maestro, amp, generator, etc.... All of which can be packed in Pelican boxes and well protected.

If your hiking in a ways, I'd keep it as light as possible.  I don't think I'll ever take a Flex when hiking in.  There are too many better suited and much smaller rigs for that. 

Good luck and make sure you come back and let us know what you decide to do and how well it works out!
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HCampbell WB4IVF

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Here's my 6700 in a Gator GR-6S Shallow Rack Case.  I'll probably move the accessory shelves up a little after I finish with the layout.