Wednesday 30 September 2020

FT817/818 STAND


The little FT817/818 is the perfect radio for outdoor radio escapades, but when you're sat down on top of a hillside, it's not easy to find the perfect stand for it. I've tried a few and none have been 100%. Many stands are good for some circumstances and poor for others. For example, one of my stands is perfectly adequate for everything except tall grass (and especially not if that grass is wet).

Anyway, to get to the point, I spotted a very compact tripod which I figured would be the perfect answer and not only would it be good for radio work, but also for general tripod uses. Needless to say, using this (or any other tripod) means attaching a low-profile tripod-plate and so I bought one from HERE.

This plate was simply bonded to the base of the FT-818 using Gorilla SuperGlue. I've been using it for around a year, so I'm happy that the bond is strong enough. One person said they'd had a poor experience with Gorilla glue, but they had used it with plastics, not metal to metal. Anyway, use whatever glue you trust. 

There might actually be a way of fastening the mount using small screws through the bottom tray of the radio - I'll check tomorrow. I did consider fitting it to the battery tray but that tray is not really very secure.

Most of the time the tripod legs are set at their shortest, but in longer grass you can extend them enough to keep the back of the rig dry.

It really does work very well in this scenario and to be honest, I've even started using it when I take a small folding table with me - it allows you to angle the radio perfectly to aid operation and to be able to get a good view of the screen.

The Slik Multi-Pod 3x4 Mini Tripod is available on eBay for under £20 and as I said, it can be used for general purpose photography too. It is fitted with a great tripod head and also has a built-in holder for mobile phones. Additionally, it comes with a telescopic extension pole and a mesh carry case. I've been into photography for over 40yrs and have bought a good few tripods in that time. I really like this little unit - it's very compact, very strong and very versatile! 

Feel free to comment below.

73, Tom.


PE4BAS, Bas said...

Nice idea Tom, hope it works well for you. Personally I'm thinking about kind of manpack like the one they sell for the new IC-705. I like to have the idea of having a all in one package. Put you bag somewhere, setup the antenna and go for the contact. 73, Bas

PE4BAS, Bas said...

Interesting Tom, although I would not like to glue something on my FT-817. It is a nice solution though. Personally am thinking about fitting the FT-817 in a kind of manpack, including battery and room for antenna. Just put your bag somewhere setup your antenna and make contacts. 73, Bas