Yaesu FT-817 over wrap project

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Yaesu FT-817 over wrap project

Postby Jack Crow » 2017-Dec-Sun-12-Dec

Hi all
Got a request this week to build a control protector for a small what we call in the ham radio community QRP radio.
One very smart guy once said that there are many kinds of ham radio. Some guys like to bounce signals off the moon. Some like to build things. For many years I was an emergency preparedness dude. Had my share of events. Storms of the century, air crashes, and public service communications activities.
Radios like this are used in the weeds. Think of a short wave station that fits in a back pack and can go anyplace.
Low power, portable antennas, and minimum set up requirements.
There are guys who this kind of operation is their life.

The problem is with radios like this, they can take a beating in transport and in service. Screens break, controls snap off.
Scratches and dents.

My boss has one of these and saw that someone 3d printed side panels for their FT-817.
Poor idea if it's not done just right.

I have an FT-817 here that I was asked to repair, and when I examined it's internals, if the screws used are 1mm too long, parts inside the radio will be destroyed.
That gets very expensive in a hurry with radios this complex.
Very dense internals.
SMT parts do not tolerate mechanical intrusion.
I wanted to use existing hardware and not risk an over long screw.
Came up with this snug fitting over wrap.

Front view.
If you look close you will see that this radio was sidelined due to a broken volume control. So the build reasons are valid.
So I made protectors for the sides so that the controls have some cover.
The top and bottom are a problem since controls do need to be operated.
No solution is 100% but this one is fairly close.

12-31-2017 001.JPG

These things have controls on the side, so had to make an opening to get to them.
12-31-2017 002.JPG

Here is where I start to run into limits with the Printerbot Simple.
Tip to tail this protector is 200mm.
Needed to make a two part unit due to the 140mm Z limit on the machine.
That is what the split is about.
Inside the split I took the heads off of four 4-40 screws and use them as alignment studs. (not shown)
Used CA glue to attach the front and back portions into one mass.

Left to right it's 150mm. Smack into another limit.

Cura won't let me print a 150mm object in a 150mm default space.
I cheat this a bit.
Lie to Cura to get what I want. (Typical guy, lie to get what I want.)
Adjust the Cura size limit controls and tell it I have a 160mm machine.
All well and good but this won't make it a 160mm machine.
Physical limits will be there no matter what I tell it to do.
What the cheat let's me do is print the item, and I have to be intelligent about placement.
If I don't get placement to the far left side of the printer platform, it runs into a hard travel limit.
In this example it printed the lower case short about a mm or two and failed to notice until completion.
So that is why the sizes are slightly different.
For a rev one product I can work with this.
The second example will have the placement adjustment right from the start.
Not perfect but 'good enough' to prove the design.

12-31-2017 003.JPG

Real sorry about the soft focus.
This is to show how I made the screw cups, and the factory hardware was installed.
I only used the back four screws to keep sanity.
The over wrap is not that heavy, and neither is the radio, so four screws work just fine.

12-31-2017 004.JPG

The back took the longest to layout.
Had to build a shelf for the unit to rest on.
Then had to notch the shelf to make room for various jacks and hardware.

12-31-2017 005.JPG

Every project has a snag, and the speaker opening is this ones.
Seems no matter where I put that semi circle. (It's right at the 100mm break point)
It never seems to line up just right.
Unless the client insists, I am not inclined to mess with it any more.
It's good enough to work, and most serious operators use headphones any how.

12-31-2017 006.JPG

This design will protect the paint and the controls from casual bashing.
So that is what I have been up to as of late.

Hope all is well for you.

Today is 12-31-2017.

Learned a lot of things from the team here.

For that I am thankful.

Make good things in the new year.

Jack Crow aka Radio Mike in Virginia Beach
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Jack Crow
Waiting for printbed temp...
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Location: Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA
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Yaesu FT-817 over wrap project



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