My Ham Shack - Your Shack. Pictures. Blogs. Projects.

Derek Lyon-McKeil
Extra Class
AI6F Ham Since 1993
United States

View Profile
Viewed 4262 times


View All 10 Pictures


View All 3 Connections

Request Connection


Other Callsigns
M0GVK in the UK

My Ham Radio Interests
Emergency Communications, General playing around with radios. Doing VE sessions.

My Shack is a 1987 Suburban 4x4 that started life as a news van. It was converted to a satellite up-link truck and then surplussed out. They took the TV gear and antennas but left me the 4kW generator built in power distribution system and dual battery system.

TM D-710

Other Interests
Volunteer with Cal Fire Volunteers In Prevention. One of my duties is working in a fire lookout tower. I also get to work on the communications van. I'm a member of the Military Vehicle Collectors of California and I have a 1954 Army ambulance. I also enjoy railroading and maritime history.

Sunnyvale ARES, Sunnyvale CA.

Battery on the Move

From AI6F

7/21/2011 5:04:41 AM (0 comments) Add a commentAdd Comment

I'll start out by saying that we call my shack R2. The reason is quite simple, there is an "R2" on the front fenders which stood for Remote 2 when the truck was in service as a satellite up link truck.

I noticed that the the house battery in R2 was getting a bit tired and needed to be replaced. As I was taking the battery out it was observed that the battery tray was at an odd angle. At first I thought it was just a bit of shoddy repair work, however, upon closer inspection I found that the tray has ripped itself off the engine compartment sidewall and the support on the bottom was working its way through a rust hole at the bottom of the fender. After consideration of a couple of repair options I went with moving the house battery into a cabinet inside R2. Conveniently enough, the cabinet where the old air compressors and reservoir for the mast that was removed when R2 changed rolls from a news van to satellite truck now houses the battery charger. There is already heavy cable installed and it really didn't take much to move the battery to that location. Now as I'm sure everyone is aware, since we are now on a project it seems like things get added to it. With that I cleaned up some of the leftover wiring, added an extra buss bar in the electrical control cabinet for the 13.8VDC gear that is now running in R2 (as a side note most of the gear the News company used was 110VAC, there was surprisingly few 13.8VDC power points). Wired in a 13.8VDC circuit breaker, added Anderson Powerpole connectors and power distribution (I think they are from (Rig Runner) boxes. As I'm working on all of this an additional project was to install a battery tie-down to the truck battery. An inspection showed that a similar rust hols was forming under the support for the battery tray. Sheet metal was added to reenforce the battery tray mounting brackets and it should be good for quite some time. About the only issue I found is that I should have documented the work for the projects side of Maybe next time.

Be the first to comment below!

   Login to Add a Comment