Formerly “Another ‘I’m Cheap’ Icom 705 thing”…

Cheap…err….frugal accessories – Tabletop Tripod

The most used tabletop mount for the icom 705 is the manfrotto (Amazon) tabletop model. This has been in my Amazon wish list for a bit…. Then I stumbled on this one:

At less than 10 bucks, it’s much cheaper than the other model and thus worth a shot…. And was a win. It’s not as adjustable, so I can’t put the unit on top of my tuner, where the manfrotto might be adjustable enough to do so. Small price to pay.

My biggest concern was whether it was stiff enough to hold the radio without flopping over- and it definitely is. It has some adjustability for angle – but it’ has a fixed height as far as where the pivot is located above the table.

Heil Traveller Headset Adaptor

This one is not my own – it came from here: I printed a PDF of the site and have it HERE in case the link breaks

The Heil Traveller is my favorite headset for portable applications. The proset plus is just a bit more bulk than I want to take with me. I was looking for adaptors to use it with the 705, and all I could find were MICROPHONE adaptors – none that would use the headset receive audio, too – until I stumbled on the website above.

I didn’t have the same components he did exactly, but my neighbor helped out with the right resistors and a better cap value than what I had. This is a tough one to build in some regards, just because it’s not easy to get all the junctions just right without any stray wires shorting things out. luckily, there’s heatshrink. I also shrunk the cables for a majority of their length, just to give them a bit more protection over time.

LDG Tuner

I already posted about swapping connectors on the LDG tuner I paired with the radio. I chose this tuner over the Icom primarily because of the reviews – it had better battery life, smaller size, and I’ve had good luck with LDG in the past. In this case, the “Icom 705” version was 10 dollars cheaper than the generic version with no cables. Hard to pass that up!

Travel Case

I used to keep my Xiegu in a small Apache case for travel – and with minor modifications, the 705 fit in there as well… but in order to truly keep everything together for a simple operation, I needed to re-cut all the foam, and really, there were a bunch of things I just couldn’t get in the package. I happened to be at Omaha’s Suplus in Fort Worth, Texas, and I found a night vision goggle case that seemed like a good candidate for a radio case. I didn’t buy it the first time I was in the store because I wasn’t completely convinced it was the right size – so I went home and looked it up, then measured, and realized it was almost ideal. Two long weeks later, I went back and picked one off the shelf…well… I let my 5 year old pick which one SHE thought was the nicest one.

After a lot more searching, I finally found the right foam to line the container with for equipment placement. I chose polyethylene foam from Amazon – it’s less rigid than the craft foam at Walmart or craft stores, but more rigid than anything else I’ve found in stores. PolyPlank is one version that I like a little better, but it’s REALLY hard to find that stuff in small quantities – the one company had a minimum order of $150!

After a bit of planning, I made cutouts for all of the equipment I thought I would need on a regular basis:

  • Radio
  • Tuner
  • RF Adaptors
  • Radio- Tuner cables (RF, control)
  • DC power cables, Radio to power poles, Tuner to power poles, splitter
  • Radio DC charging brick
  • Hand Mic
  • Headset and adaptor (above)
  • Gabil GRA-7350 antenna
  • Antenna tripod bracket
  • Wonderloop antenna
  • Desk tripod for radio
  • Coax & counterpoise to be added

I still have a LITTLE space for expansion, but this setup, coupled with a decent photo tripod should get me on the air fairly quickly and completely. I have a second box with “nice-to-haves” but not required items, including a PVC spreader for the wonder loop, and some other mounting options.

I used a (new) snap blade knife to cut the existing foam to leave a roughly 1/2″ slab of foam, removing all the raised area for the original goggles – then cut down the PE foam to fit the case. When I did this for both halves, the system fit quite well in the case!

I Then made all my cutouts, and when I was happy with the result, used gorilla glue to fix the PE foam to the original foam base (note, the tuner was a bit larger than I had originally anticipated, so I had to cut holes in the original foam, as well, to allow it to fit as shown). I punched some velcro cinch straps through the top cover’s base foam to hold parts in place when I open the case.

Here’s the results. The black bag on top of the GRA7350 antenna is a bag holding the Heil traveller, hand mic, and adaptor cable. iPhone 14 shown for scale.