Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Edward Ganshirt, who writes:
I have seen some very good radio cases for carrying your radio with you with a price tag.
I needed one for my DX-440 but did not want to shell out a hundred bux for it, so I made a home brew version out of packing foam, bubble wrap, Velcro patches, hot melt glue and lots of imagination. this is what I came up with:
Thanks for sharing, Ed! I’m sure your upcycled case will serve the DX-440 quite well. Bubble and foam wrap are durable materials and it’s always get to give them a second life!
Post readers: Have you made your own radio protective cases? Please comment!
I’m generally not a fan of slip-cover cases (or pouches) that are included with many portable radios. I like to have a little extra padding around radios, but I don’t like bulky cases either. My preference is to carry accessories separately and keep the case as small as possible while still offering some protection.
With that in mind, others may be interested in my choice of non-original cases for the Sangean ATS-909X and XHDATA D-808 receivers.
The Evecase sleeve leaves NO room for anything else, except perhaps a pair of earbuds loosely coiled on top of the radio before zipping the case shut. Protection of the ATS-909X is very good though, better than the stock Sangean slip case.
For the XHDATA D-808, I discovered that a model of the popular “Pelican” line of hard cases is an absolutely perfect fit. Model 1040 (Micro Case series) is the one to get, especially if you want the extreme protection this padded, hard-sided case provides. It’ll be right at home among your camping gear for instance, and if it happens to take a tumble from your backpack or car’s trunk, no problem!
It’s important to note that the solid color 1040 cases like mine have a sheet of thin protective foam in the lid, in addition to the molded padding in the bottom half. The clear lid versions of the 1040 case do not have this extra padding.
Let the description and photos of these two case solutions inspire you to consider other ideas for protecting your radio gear! A lot of possibilities exist, considering the wide array of protection available for tablets, laptops, GPS, hard drives, and so on. Many of these can be repurposed for portable receivers.
Guy Atkins is a Sr. Graphic Designer for T-Mobile and lives near Seattle, Washington. He’s a regular contributor to the SWLing Post.
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Gregg Freeby, who writes:
I recently purchased a Sangean ATS-909X and while I really like the radio, I wasn’t too impressed with the envelope pouch/case it came with for protecting the radio. I really like the leather case of the Tecsun PL-880 but it appears to have one major flaw, it only holds the radio and no accessories. I like to have everything all in one neat kit. So, I set out to see what I could find that would fit my 909X.
By removing the CD envelope inserts (they’re just sewn in) there’s just enough room for the radio, power transformer, earbuds and reel antenna. I’ve attached a couple photos to show the case and what fits inside. I added a little strip of soft green foam I had around the house to take up some of the extra space around the radio while also providing a little more protection.
While the case is only faux leather it is very sharp looking, black with white stitching, and is a big improvement over the supplied case, particularly since everything I need is in one complete package.
By the way, I read on the SWLing Post a tip from you regarding the need to use fresh batteries to boost the sensitivity of this radio and you could not be more correct. In fact, using the AC adapter is almost a must for pulling in weak signals. And as others have said, an external antenna really helps but for me I’ve found that running on AC power makes the biggest improvement in performance.
Many thanks for sharing your tip, Gregg! That’s a stylish case! I imagine there are many readers out there who even have CD/DVD cases they no longer use for storage and could be put into service as a radio case.
I was mistaken in my belief that Otterbox no longer make dry boxes.
It seems like a year ago they decided to “return to their roots” and started making the Otterbox 3250.
While the model number might make you think it’s the old 3000 case but deeper, it is in fact a little shorter.
As you can see, the XHDATA still fits but the lid leaves about 1.5cm of clearance for the radio to rattle around in. The 3000 fits it perfectly in this regard, though 1.5 cm is enough to fit my Otterbox Defender iPhone 6.
Very cool! Thank you for the follow-up, Mark! I suspect the extra 1.5 cm clearance in the 3250 might even accommodate a thin logging notepad.
As you well know, Mark, I’m a certified pack and case geek. Seeing how well it fits your D-808, I know the Digitech AR-1780 should fit too.
How enabling of you, Mark! I think I’ll have to grab one of these. I have a couple of Otterboxes, but all larger (deeper) than this one. Purchasing a used case would be safe as Otterbox products are incredibly durable and nearly indestructible. Thanks for the tip, Mark!
I tend to want a little more protection and space so I use a tactical military type shoulder bag for my portable radio kit. It hangs nicely off the back of the passenger’s seat in my car and allows me to keep my PL-660, spare batteries, portable wire antenna, earphones, frequency lists, and other gear all together in a handy pack.
JC’s shoulder pack
The price is about $13.60 w/ free shipping. It’s a great bag for my portable kit, and it’s built pretty sturdy. Any extra protection is better than none for a radio used out in the field.
I’m rather – uh – call it OCD re: equipment cases (and bags/packs).
All of my […]astronomy equipment is well secured & cataloged in several dozen cases.
I [also] wanted to protect my shortwave radios. I like the neoprene cases that Tecsun ships with their radios as they have a bit of shock absorbing capacity. I went online at Amazon & eBay and I bought “neoprene” cases of various sizes made for GPS units, external hard drives, and tablets.
Upon receiving them I’ve found the 3.5-4″ GPS cases are perfect for the Grundig G6 and similar sized radios.
Belkin “Grip” tablet cases are perfect for the Grundig G3/G5. And the larger “iLuv Gaudi” case is prefect for the YB400 & Sony ICF-SW7600GR. The iLuv even has memory foam. I feel I could drop any radio in this iLuv case from a reasonable height and the contents would be perfectly fine.
Including shipping, I spent $6 for the most expensive case and as little as $3.95 for the least expensive.
Thanks so much for sharing your research, Troy. I have just added the iLuv case to my Amazon cart. Like you, I have a Sony ICF-SW7600GR and it gets taken to the field a lot. The 7600GR comes with a nice custom case/cover, but it offers little in the way of protection–$4.99 is a reasonable cost to protect one of my favorite portables.
Like you, Troy, I have a serious addiction to quality bags and cases. I hope you know that you’re only enabling me! Ha!
Readers: Please share your radio case/bag recommendations as well!
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