RC Radio Backpack Insert

I transport my quadcopter and radio controller using a backpack. I have found it to be more convenientĀ then a large aluminum hard case. I also store a few spare props, prop nuts, tools, and zip ties in it for quick repairs in the field. This arrangement works great with one minor annoyance, the radio is not protected as much as I would like and often times the switches will get bumped during transport. The FrSky Taranis came with a nice hard aluminum case but it is to large to fit in the backpack and too cumbersome to carry to the field, I prefer to carry as little extra with me. With this problem in mind I set out to solve it by making an insert to surround and protect the RC radio.

For this first iteration I want to build this insert out of readily available, cheap, and easy to work with material. Fortunately I have a collection of cardboard boxes to clean out of my closet which will work nice. The plan is to build this out of layers of cardboard glued together.

To start I want to make a template of the outline that will fit into the backpack where the radio generally sits. Then I can cut all the cardboard layers to this size before working on the cutout for the radio to rest into.

The box I am using has this smooth finish layer on the outside to make the box look appealing while in the store. This would prevent me from gluing the layers together. To solve this I just peeled this smooth layer off. Sometimes I get lucky and the layer will come off as one whole sheet otherwise it is just as easy to use a sharp blade (Xacto knife) to pick at the corners of the stubborn spots and then peal them away a little at a time.

After cutting out the rough shape of a 9″ x 10″ rectangle I beveled the top corners using a 3″ x 2″ triangle so that it will fit in the round portion of the backpack. Then using the radio as a guide I traced out the inside shape on each layer so that the radio will fit snugly inside but also allow it to pop in and out easily. A layer of glue stick between each piece and I ended up with a nice protective insert. While it does not protect the switches and sticks on the face of the radio it does protect the side switches which are the switches that get bumped most of the time anyways.

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