Replace Those Ratty Equipment Handles
Consultant Buc Fitch is at it again: He figured
out a simple and inexpensive solution to those ripped up, ratty handles found
on portable electronic gear.
Fig. 1: A handle whose
retirement time has come.
Buc’s classic Moseley 450 MHz RPU transmitter
needed the upgrade. He provides this as a client loaner for many stations, for
remote pickup events, as well as path testing. As you can see from Fig. 1, the
carrying handle was getting a little “long in the tooth.”
| Fig. 2: Expose the mounting screws.|
diligent search on the Web could not identify an exact replacement, so Buc
settled for a somewhat “universal” repair part from a luggage shop in Maine. Its
website has innumerable nifty and related items, not just handles for cases. You’ll
find fabrics, corner protectors and other accessories. I posted the link at radioworld.com/links.
The original Moseley handle used three #6-32
screws at each end, under the decorative cover (to secure it), as seen in Fig.
2. This cover comes off, hinged from the extreme ends, and can be accessed by
tilting up the grip side, exposing the tops of these screws.
removing the old handle, taking special care not to lose the screw hardware
into the unit. Buc dropped a lock washer and it took him 10 minutes to find it
in the guts of the device. He finally located it pinned between a cable bundle
and a PCB.
Fig. 3: The new
handle uses a single #6 screw attachment on each end.
Fig. 4: Mission
Buc’s new handle uses a single #6 screw
attachment on each end, pictured in Fig. 3. The handle is captured and slides
over the screw shaft, enlarging the grip that normally lays flat from the
spring action of the metal sleeve that is encapsulated by the rubber outer grip,
as seen in Fig. 4.
However, to keep the handle in place, and to
avoid rotating the grip ends, there are two small “cleats” on the securing
covers. After selecting some sexy, plated, ultra pan head bolts with a matching
nickel look to the handle (no mounting hardware comes with the handle), he was
ready to begin assembly.
Fortunately, one of the existing bolt holes, the
back-center one, was nearly where it was needed. Using the selected bolts, Buc
positioned the end cover precisely and marked the location of the new holes
needed to “sink the cleats.”
After drilling the end closest to the back of
the Moseley, the cover settled down flush. On the other end, there was some
conflict with a cover screw. Some judicious snipping with the nibble tool made
way for the errant screw head and allowed the cover to sit flush on the
two bolts and the covers carry the entire weight of the unit, make certain that
the bolts you select have broad, wide heads.
On the inside, use a flat or fender washer along
with a lock washer to make certain that the load is distributed and that it all
hangs together forever.
For another take
on this topic, see the 2012 Radio World story “Give Your FIM a New Handle.”
* * *
Robert Richer writes, “P.T. Barnum was right about there being a sucker born
After our feature on the conductive silver grease in the Feb. 1 Workbench, Robert sent me an offer for a
tube of rare CB Antenna Grease, which he found on Craigslist.
It was only $250 for the tube, and it was
designed by the Department of Defense. (You know, the DoD had a lot of CB
radios in the day!)
The ad goes on to say that this kind of grease was banned by the FCC, because
of its efficiency. It makes your signal slide out your antenna faster and with
less friction. I wonder if the $250 tube ever sold?
Contribute to Workbench. You’ll help your fellow
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John Bisset has spent 43 years in the broadcasting
industry and is still learning. He is SBE certified and is a past recipient of
the SBE’s Educator of the Year Award.