[AMRadio] Packaging Radio Gear

W1EOF w1eof at hamnutz.com
Wed Aug 16 13:11:43 EDT 2006

As people have stated, it's a combination of both. People cared more about
their work back then and probably took better care in how they handled
stuff. There was less pressure to "just get the stuff outta here" than now
I'm sure.

Secondly it does not matter whether so much whether you use a particular
material or not, it's HOW the materials are put together that matter.
Someone in a reply said it doesn't matter how it's packed if it gets dropped
six feet. I think you are stating my second point from a different angle. I
wouldn't send a Valiant out my door unless I felt confident... yes,
confident that it could withstand a six foot drop. Probably an eight foot
drop. That's not unusual and std packing procedure for a business. It's not
hard to do but it takes a little work and more than that it takes thought on
how it should be boxed. I've sent hundreds of items around the world.
Fragile glass items. Heavy radios. I never had one damaged in transit. ALl
of those packages were expected to withstand at least a six foot drop.

As an example, here is what I would do with a small-medium sized

1. Remove the tubes. They get individually wrapped in bubble-wrap and
shipped separately. Any other loose pieces get sent separately in another
box. If you want you can in some case wrap that stuff up and put it inside
but if you want to be sure, pack it separate.

2. Depending on the tranmitter, it's value, etc I might need to make a
wooden support for the transformers.

3. Wrap this up in both directions with bubble wrap. The one with the bigger
bubbles, not the small-bubble kind. Tape it good. There should be at least a
couple of inches of bubblewrap on every surface.

4. Using bubblewrap or high-density foam fit this assembly into a box. Not a
bad idea to put it into a heavy garbage bag and tape before it goes in the

5. Tape this box up. Tape it up GOOD. If heavy use strapping tape as I
describe below. Now this is where many people would stop. It looks like it's
ready to go, right? Well many people would ship this out but it's not ready.

6. Get ANOTHER, larger box. ALlow for 3-4 inches in every direction. In
between the two boxes you need some cushion. I pesonally like peanuts but if
you use them they must be packed DENSELY. You want the inner box to be able
to move a bit, but not much. Pack the peanuts in there tight. Tape this box
up tight. Then get your strapping tape and wrap two double bands of that in
each direction, each band about 25% of the way in from the edge of the box.
If the box is long then I'd add two more bands in that direction. The
strapping tape will prevent the box from bursting should it be dropped on a
corner for instance. It's very strong stuff.

You're done.

Now if the transmitter is really large, or extra heavy (say > 80 or 100lbs)
then you need to go to the next level and crate it. Basically you follow the
steps above and then put that assembly into a box that is made of plywood
with reinforced corners, etc. Making a suitable crate is somewhat of an
art... a story for another day.

If you follow those steps listed above you will be able to drop that
transmitter 6-8 feet without any damage to the box or the transmitter. It
will hit with a funny dull sounds and sort of bounce (which is what you
want, thats' the energy being absorbed and deflected not transferred to the


Mark W1EOF

> Could someone explain to me how radios were shipped back in the
> 50's so that
> they arrived at the dealers with no apparent damage.  I wonder what the
> original packing was back then?

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