Dan’s homebrew Icom IC-705 protective case

Many thanks to Dan (KQ8Q) who writes:

Hi Tom,

I saw your recent video post of an activation using the IC-705 and I thought you might appreciate one of my recent related projects. Earlier this year I purchased an Icom IC-705 and because I planned to carry it backpacking for Parks and Summits on the Air, I knew I needed some type of physical protection for it since it would be knocked around a bit on rocks and rough surfaces and during transport. The only cases I could find did not fit my vision; they were either too expensive or too flimsy. So I decided to fabricate my own.

I purchased a 9″ x 18″ sheet of 1/8”, 5052 aluminum. I bent it (with LOTS of effort) in two places which created a “U” channel. The lengths were 4.5″ x 3.5″ x 4.5″. I then cut off the excess and used it to make the side pieces. I then did some research on aluminum brazing which led me to purchase some “AlumiWeld Rods” from Harbor Freight and a canister of MAP gas. I then cut the pieces for the front and sides and brazed them in. You may notice the amateur looking joints on the sides of the armor.

I also wanted to have a mic and key port on the front of the enclosure so as not to be continuously connecting and disconnecting those items directly from the radio and for convenience.

The entire assembly was planned to fit perfectly in the plastic orange ammo box also shown. It is made by a company called Sheffield which is in the U.S.

The radio mounts in the armor via the AMPS pattern screw holes on the bottom. I believe they are 4mm screws… not supplied by Icom. The radio is also electrically connected to the armor via the four screws as well as the shields of the mic and keyer ports.

I recently added the vent holes on the top panel for a less than obvious reason. Although they do serve a dual purpose, my primary reason for adding them was to avoid blocking its GPS reception, but factors of cooling and weight reduction do apply.

73 de Dan (KQ8Q)

This is an absolutely brilliant project, Dan, and to my eye, there’s nothing amateur about it. The coating looks fantastic and I like all of the effort you put into stand-off space to protect the rig and connections. Mounted in that orange box, I think you’ve got an all-weather solution.Β 

Thank you for sharing this project, Dan!

10 thoughts on “Dan’s homebrew Icom IC-705 protective case”

    1. Thank you Frank. I tend to spend more time designing and building things than I do actually using them, but I suppose that’s what I enjoy. Harbor Freight offers that orange case. I think its about $12. I found mine at a local Ross store though, same brand. They had several for $6 each… I bought them all πŸ™‚

      Thank you for the comment

  1. This is great work I think! What a great idea to do a bit of homebrew aluminum welding! I never thought that possible!

    I would appreciate a bit of advice. For the recent QRP Skeeter Hunt contest where I activated a station on a picnic table. I had all my gear in a tote box purchased at a local HW store. You know the kind with a yellow top. I had to hastily store my station in the tote box when a major T Storm came through! The result was 3 inches of water in the bottom of the box. A LOT of work to dry everything out.

    I am looking for a watertight tote box maybe say (WXDXH) 2X1.5X1.5Ft. Does not need to be as rugged as say a pelican box but definitely needs to be water tight. Thank you for any suggestions or references. 72 Dick N4HAY

    1. Hi Dick,

      So sorry to hear about your drenched outing. I know my turn is coming, but I’ve been lucky so far. The dimensions of the case you’re looking for are fairly large, but try looking at Harbor Freight. They offer a wide selection of water-tight cases similar to Pelican, but much less expensive. This link should take you directly to that page: https://www.harborfreight.com/search?q=protective%20case
      If you cant find a case large enough, maybe a couple of different sized smaller cases to divide your gear into.
      Best of luck and 73 Dick!

  2. Hi Tom,

    Thank you for posting my work. It means a lot to me that you take the time to showcase the efforts of others. And BTW, I am a big fan of your work. I find myself anxiously awaiting your next videos to see what adventures you’ve had and where they have taken you. In fact, you have inspired me to target some of the locations you have been to for my upcoming camping/ POTA/ SOTA outings… and I can’t wait!

  3. The only people that would gripe about the quality of your welds would be people who have never welded anything! I have never welded anything (too chicken, for one) but I am not here to gripe – Nice work!

    My 705 came the other day so I am paying a lot more attention to this type of bracket/case now!

    Good work!

    1. Good morning Peter,

      Congratulations on purchasing a 705. You are going to love it! I’m still learning everything that they do. I’m in Cape San Blas, FL this week and I brought mine along to maybe do an activation at St. Joseph State Park πŸ™‚ There are some more options available for cases now since I bought mine though. Take a look on eBay and you’ll probably find lots of aftermarket supplies for them.

    1. Hi Howard,

      I have thought about that many times. I considered mounting a BNC on top of the case for exactly that. The only thing that stopped me was that it would not fit in the plastic carrier case afterwards. Please share your ideas though. Maybe something will work that I haven’t thought of. Thank you for the input!

      1. Hi Dan, what about a bubble on the top of the plastic carry case. Bit of work but I believe it would be an asset for vhf uhf operation. I am considering a similar solution for a back pack installation.
        Regards Howard

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