FM Mobile radio and body support system for satellite operation

I built this contraption which holds my 50 watt Kenwood TM-V71A mobile primarily so I could get into AO-85 more easily since it helps to have a bit more power to get in full quieting.

It also holds a Bioenno 12V 9aH LiFePO4 battery. The shoulder strap harness is from Konsait, model number KS049. It allows professional photographers to have two cameras on either side of their body but also works well for us sat ops 🙂 It seems to be out of production but you can still find some if you look hard. I’m sure other manufacturers sell similar things.

The system keeps the radio off my stomach and out in front a little so the screen is easier to read and the controls are easier to control. Before I built this I used a Kenwood TH-D72A handheld radio to work FM sats. I now prefer this system because it frees a hand to control the radio.

Here are some pictures of it in action. Below the action pictures I list measurements/dimensions and detailed pictures of its construction.

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Construction pictures

Construction information

FM Mobile radio and body support system for satellite operation

All boards are made from 1/2 inch plywood.

Screws are #6x (1 1/4″ / 31.8 mm) multi-material construction screws

Bolts for battery hold down board are 5″ long 3/8 in – 16

The angle between the radio and body board is approximately 70 degrees.

Radio board

7 1/4″ width x 8″ height

Body and battery board

13″ w x 9″ h

length at dip in the curve is is 6 3/4″

Battery hold down board

6 1/2″ w x 1 1/2″ h

5″ bolts

Eyebolts for shoulder strap are cut to 2 3/4″

Strengthening boards

These are the little “wedges” that wedge in the corner between the radio and body boards.

Top wedge

Top surface: 7 1/4″ w x 1″ h

Bottom surface: 7 1/4″ w x 1 1/8″ h

Bottom wedge

Top surface 7 1/2″ w x 1 1/4″ h

Bottom surface 7 1/2″ w x 1 7/16″ h

I listed the top and bottom surfaces dimensions as that should produce the 70 degree angle you need.