Assembling a New HF Go-Box

This afternoon I finally got around to building a go-box for HF. I’ve had all of the components for a long time, but just never got around to the build. I would like to thank my friend Rusty, KG4HIR, who did most of the work on this build. This go-box is now ready to operate, but I hesitate to say it has been completed because there is still some empty space in the box to work with!

Here is a list of the primary materials used for this go-box:

Icom IC-7300
MFJ 4230MVP 30A Switching Power Supply with PowerPole Connectors
MFJ 939I Autotuner
Icom SP-35 External Speaker
West Mountain Radio Epic PWRgate
West Mountain Radio RIGrunner 4004 USB
Mounting Brackets for IC-7300 and Power Supply
Heavy Duty Hook and Loop Fastener Roll
Gator Case Molded 4U Rack Case
Two 1U Rack Mount Shelves
2U Rack Mount Panel Spacer with Venting
NEMA 5-15R Plug Adapter with Mounting Holes
3 ft. USB Cable B to B – F/M – Panel Mount USB Extension
M6 Terminal Binding Post
10 AWG Red/Black Zip Cord
45A Anderson PowerPole Connectors
RG-8X Coax Jumper Cables
UHF F-F Bulkhead Adapter
Heavy Duty Velcro Strips

This is not intended to be a step-by-step tutorial for the build, but we did capture lots of images to give you an idea of how the go-box was assembled.

Rusty, KG4HIR, did the hard work on this project! Here we have the materials gathered. We had mounting brackets for the radio and power supply, but not for the MFJ autotuner. Rusty is preparing to secure it with heavy duty hook and loop fastener strips.
The 4U rack mount case before installing the components.
More components used for the go-box: 10 gauge zip cord, zip ties, HF4 to PowerPole adapter, RIGrunner, and Epic PWRgate.
The Icom IC-7300
Preparing the hook and loop fasteners to secure the MFJ autotuner. In the future, we may create some brackets to secure it better, but the hook and loop fasteners are secure and very strong.
The MFJ autotuner and power supply attached to the top of the shelf. The mounting bracket for the IC-7300 is attached to the bottom side of the shelf.
The IC-7300 mounting bracket was secured to the bottom of the shelf that also holds the autotuner and power supply.
After looking at several configurations, we determined that mounting the PWRgate and RIGrunner upright would be more practical for adding and removing cables. They are secured to a piece of square aluminum tubing that is attached to the rack mount shelf at the back of the case.
All of the primary components are secured to the shelves inside the case.
For convenience, the primary connections into the go-box (AC power, ground terminal, USB cable to radio, and bulkhead connector for coax) are fitted to a vented panel spacer that is mounted at the top on the back of the case.
Beginning the process of making DC power and RF connections inside the go-box.
All of the connectors are attached to the vented panel spacer, and it is ready to be secured.
Completing all connections for power, tuner, USB, and coax.
The back of the (nearly) finished go-box. There is still some available space in the back and front of the case. Some of it will be left for airflow and ventilation, but we are considering whether some additional components could be added.
The front of the (nearly) finished go-box. You can see the external speaker and the open space at the center top and right side bottom shelf. We may put a meter in the top space, and create a storage compartment at the bottom.

I was told that a go-box is never really finished, and that there will be changes and additions. The Epic PWRgate in this go-box makes it very versatile. It can be powered by AC via the power supply, as well as by a battery and/or a solar panel.

This build took a little over four hours. Much of that time was spent measuring, aligning, drilling and cutting to attach the components to the shelves and spacer. I still need to add some ferrite beads on several wires and cables. The next step after that is a field test to ensure everything is working properly. (That will be a topic for another post.) Once the testing is complete and it is confirmed to be fully operational, I will use the go-box at club operating events and for casual operating from the tailgate or patio.