Sunday, 30 November 2014

DIY - Ultralight Radio Carry Case

Back in March 2014 I designed and built a custom "stealth ultralight dxing bag", this was designed to carry my 7.5" loopstick Tecsun PL-380 ultralight radio, my AR1733 radio and the various other bits and pieces I carry for portable ultralight dxing sessions. The details of this can be seen here: (

Since recently returning to the ultralight DXing hobby after a few months being away, I decided to try and find a better carry solution, while the bag served me well and was cheap at around a $50 total cost, I have changed my approach and having to carry a separate bag (especially when also carrying other bags) became an issue to the point that I stopped carrying it as often.

Yesterday while shopping at our local Ship Loads I came across this case: ( for $9.95. When I returned  home I found that it was the perfect size, however the foam sheet I had at home that I was planning on using for this was about 1cm too small the whole way around. 

After going to Bunnings to try and find some suitable foam and not having any luck, I happened to call past Kmart on the way home and found a Yoga block for $6 which was the perfect size. 

When I returned home I sat down to work on it and within 3/4 of an hour  I had the case set up how I wanted it. Materials used were:
- Jarvis Walker 197 Utility Box Large: $9.95
- Yoga form block: $6
- Black tape: $2.95
- Bubble wrap: $0.50

The foam block was cut to suit the size of the case and then I cut out sections to allow me to securely store both my AR1733 and 7.5" loopstick Tecsun PL-380 ultralight radios plus my aerial, notepad, pens and ear phones. This fits nicely in my backpack where I keep my logs sheets and larger accessories. It is still very 
stealthy and much easier to carry. I am really happy with how well this has turned out and for under $20 it is great value.

Update: 29/01/2015.
After using this for a couple of months I have now made some changes as can be seen in the photos below. These changes include:
- Added a rubber-band to hold my logging notepad and sheets. This is attached to the rear of the case via a cable tie which has been drilled in to the case via two small holes.
- Added one of my stickers to the top :)
- Replaced the bubble wrap with a better fitting and quality type.
- Added earphones to my kit.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

My worst ultralight radio ever - Digitech Audio AR1736

Recently I purchased this radio from Jaycar in Hobart, thinking it would make a good backup receiver, it was a huge mistake.
The video below shows just one example of how poorly it preforms. The station on 1008 kHz is a 5KW station about 10 KM from my home. As can be seen in the video it is audible up to 30 kHz below and over 100 kHz above the correct frequency. Using the Digitech Audio AR1736 of a night time is a waste of time as all you are able to hear is a mix of frequencies.