K4ECD Frame Details & Dimensions

K4ECD Frame Details & Dimensions

Frame objectives:

In 2013, I set out to build a lightweight frame to carry the Yeasu 857D portable with a tuner and Bioenno 12Ah battery. Over time I added other things, like a USB port and kill switch…

Here is what I came up with. What makes my frame unique: it includes 4 storage bins (two large, and two small). It is not a difficult or expensive build, especially if you can do it DIY

Thanks: If you build this, please give credit, especially if you use the Bin Storage idea 🙂

Frame: Figure 1
Figure 1: Core Outer Dimensions

Width: [BLUE] 12″

Height: [RED] 18″

Depth: [YELLOW] 6″





  • 4 each of  1/2″PVC Elbows (for the top only)
  • About 12′ 1/2″ PVC
  • 12 each of 1/2″ PVC Tee Joints
  • about 4 feet of 3″ PVC to make your bins
  • Aluminum L brackets at about 8′, the thickness is up to you, it impacts weight!
  • Aluminum flat bar about 2′ – I used lest than 1′
  • Rivets (for attaching Aluminum to the PVC)
  • 2 cans spray paint to your color [I liked camo-green]
  • PVC glue
  • 1/2″ Rubber Feet for base: LINK
  • Camouflage Wrap for the edges: LINK

1/2″ PVC Cut Steps:

  1. WIDTH RELATED CUTS (4 items)
    • Cut 4 each of 1/2″ PVC to a length of 10 1/4
      See Figure 1: middle for width, in  [BLUE]

      • You can adjust this to your needs, 10 1/4“gives about 12” overall in width.
      • I choose this width to fit in my backpack
  2. HEIGHT RELATED CUTS (16 items of various lengths)
    • Cut 4 each of 1/2″ PVC to a length of 3″
      See Figure 1: For top height  [RED TOP]
    • Cut 4 each of 1/2″ PVC to a length of 7″
      See Figure 1: for height,  located between the top and bottom [RED MIDDLE]
    • Cut 4 each of 1/2″ PVC to a length of 2″
      See Figure 1: for minor height adjustments  [AFTER RED MIDDLE]

      • NOTE: You can hardly see these “spacer” in this image (see Figure 2 below)!
Figure 2: Arrows point to spacers
    • Cut 4 each of 1/2″ PVC to a length of about* 3″ (*your needs may vary)
      See Figure 1: for height  [RED BOTTOM]
    • Cut 4 each of 1/2″ PVC  to a length of 4 1/2″
      See Figure 1: 2 needed for the top width spacers, two for the bottom width spacers [YELLOW ]


  • Do not glue the frame until you have sized it to your needs and dimensions. Once the Glue sets – you can’t adjust!
  • The base battery holder is ‘L’ bracket light weight aluminum – attach with rivets
  • The radio is held in place by aluminum “L” brackets  – attach with rivets
  • The antennas are placed on two aluminum bars at the top – attach with rivets (see top view)
  • rivet the elbows and Tee joints with one small rivet per joint – this prevents the joint from moving over time.

It was after about 2 years, I riveted all the elbow and Tee Joints in place also. This prevented the joints from coming apart.

Base of MANPACK frame

Storage Bins:

Storage Bins
Side view of Storage Bins

They are both 3″ PVC with lids and knobs bought at a local home hardware store. Adjust the height to suit your needs, they are held in place by elastic ties bought at Harbor Freight for under $4

I store a great deal of items in these bins. Antennas, spare parts, tools, ear phones – Bluetooth devices, counterpoise etc.

They are 4 bins in total.



Storage Dimensions:

  • Large bins are about 8 1/2″ height with 3″ diameter PVC
  • Small Bins are 2″ height with 3″ diameter PVC

Final Thoughts:

Use the images below, they will show you what elbows go where, and where how I installed the Tees. Aluminum brackets and the top bar for the antennas are at your discretion to fit your rig and tuner. The entire project took me 4 – 6 hours from first cut to painting.

Ham Equipment Installed:

  • Yaesu 857D
  • LDG Z-100 Tuner with connection cable (self made): LINK
  • Versa-Tee powerpole 4 in 1: LINK
  • Bioenno 12v 12Ah  perhaps the best battery for Ham Radio on the Market!
  • Watts UP Watt meter – actually I replaced the original with this cheaper version
  • Bluetooth adapter from BlueCAT sold in UK
    • Device allows direct control from my smartphone
  • DUAL USB 2A charger for smartphone and tablet and 12v car socket: LINK
  • 12v switch for 12v battery disconnect: LINK
  • SUPER ANTENNA MP1: A great antenna! Also carry endfed and dipole wire antennas

More Images:

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