Project Enclosures; Altoids Tin Alternatives

Many of us Hams build small projects into common altoids tins. There a great size for many projects ranging from qrp radios to data radios. They’re cheap, easy to work with lightweight all metal/RF shielded and well, cute. I have, well, I don’t want to count how many projects I’ve built in altoids tins. I can see three from my seat and I’m not even in my radio/network room.

Though just about any small project will fit in an altoids tin, sometimes you wish you had a different size or shape of tin to house a particular project. Over the years I’ve found several alternatives some in good shapes and sizes, others not. One of my best finds so far is a audio/keying interface I made to run packet off my Yaesu VX-1R in a ultra small Everest tin roughly 1″ x 1″ x 1/2″.

Starbucks Tin

I had to make a run to radio shack earlier tonight to get a part. My closest Rat Shack is in the Boise Mall a half mile away. I had to bribe my wife (also a ham) to go with me by promising her a stop at the Starbucks in the mall near the shack. Radio shack didn’t have what I needed (surprise) but I had to hold up my end of the deal anyway.

I hate coffee.

Well, that’s not 100% true, I haven’t had good coffee since I lived in New Orleans.

Standing there waiting on the clerk, or coffee artist or whatever they call themselves to make my wife her coffee I noticed; Starbucks “After Coffee Chewing Gum” in the package shown here. Followed by the realization that it was a tin. Roughly 3″ x 1″ x 1/2″.

I quickly threw one in for the count. Got it home gave her the gum in a ziplock bag and already have plans for the tin. You could fit many smaller qrp projects in this tin. I’m hoping to fit a “film can transmatch” qrp antenna tuner in this one. I’ve got several ideas beyond that. Price is about the same as altoids; pick one up and I’m sure you can figure out something to build in it. If not, msg me and I’ll relay some ideas.


Starbucks Tin


Starbucks Tin

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