I built a "Go Box" in Fall 2011 for my amateur (ham) radio station so that it can easily provide portable and/or mobile operation.
This was heavily based on a go-box by KR7RK, who had nearly idenitcal goals to mine:
  • Single unit containing my core station (radio, tuner, rig control, digital interface).
  • Be able to pick up whole thing and drop in the box, with antenna, power, and PC audio/USB cables being the external connections.
  • Easy to transport by car (i.e. not worried about backpacking or anything).
  • Internal battery not necessary (but easy connection via powerpole).
  • Components/connections all easily accessible.


  • Orange SPUD-7 Ammo Box (~$35 web-order). Inner volume is 14W-9D-13H.
  • plywood (3/8")
  • scrap pine wood (1"x2" pine)
  • aluminum straps for brackets (1/16" x 1/2")
  • 2 hinges
  • wood screws
  • metric screws (M4-0.70) for ICOM bracket screw holes


  • Radio: ICOM 706MKII
  • Tuner: ICOM AT-180
  • RigRunner 4005
  • Edgeport 4-port serial-to-USB converter
  • CIV interface (radio->serial port)
  • RTTY-FSK/PTT interface (radio->serial port)
  • ISOkit soundcard interface
  • 4" speaker


First stage was to make the wood base and box.
Plywood piece cut to fit the bottom of the box (~14"x9").
The 1x2's put on end to form a 9 x ~7ish box. Big enough for the radio to sit on, but leaving room in back for the rigrunner.
Another plywood piece cut for the lid, and attached with hinges.

Second stage was to add the components.
The PC interfaces (FSK/PTT and CIV having serial ports in the EdgePort; the ISOkit audio cables) are all in the box, and all the excess cabling is coiled up in there as well.
The RigRunner is screwed to the plywood in the back, and the custom brackets (holes made with combination of nail, drill, and punch) secure the tuner and radio.
The staggering of the radio with respect to the tuner allows for the front mic jack to be accessible, and leaves space in front for some small accessory (maybe a dual clock, digital thermometer, etc).
The speaker isn't actually attached -- the corner bracket is just like a railing, and the speaker happened to fit perfectly, which is nice because it can easily be moved to a better desk/worspace location.

The whole "brick" ends up as a 14"x9"x9" volume.
The HF Antenna-In, 2M Antenna-In, and RigRunner DC-In connections are all easily accessible.
The PC connections (1 USB cable & 2 audio cables) come out of the box.
Third stage is to put it all together with the box!
The "block" will fit in the box, under the removable orange shelf, which can fit a 2M HT, MFJ-259B, misc cables, cassette adapter, etc.
There's also a storage compartment in the lid for little stuff like barrel connectors, tape, screwdriver, flashlight, measuring tape, etc.
I also have a Heil headset and a homebrew audio splitter/switch (A or B or both) that aren't pictured but will be used (handy w/the external speaker).


Portable -- Field Day, second/temporary QTH, etc.

Mobile -- Have a UB1280 battery, and same Sierra Slim (hamsticks) antennas.

This setup should be usable in-the-box, too! With the orange shelf removed, everything is accessible to plug in antenna/power, and the radio is on top so shouldn't get too hot.
The IC706 faceplace is also detachable, so can use that while leaving everthing in the box.


I still don't have a handle (which is why i didn't take a pitcure yet of it actually in the box) for lifting/lowering vertically .. And no latch on the hinged lid yet (also makes it tough to try to drop in the box).
For now, I'm using two webbing loops as a harness to lift/lower the whole thing.

Need to add reference material to the box, like bandplans, pinouts, etc.

Would like to make a USB thumb drive with handy software, so could potentially use any (windows?) laptop w/o internet downloads.

Fig. 1 -- Finished product!

Fig. 2 -- Under the hinged lid: the PC-related components
(ISOkit in black, and edgeport in white) and excess cabling.

Fig. 3 -- Custom brackets for the radio and tuner; Antenna-In and Power-In visible.

Fig. 4 -- Rear view; Edgeport USB and ISOKit audio cables visible coming out of base.