N1AV (x-N1RWY) on the air

Ham radio, hiking, coffee, and other tech talk.

Case mod: The MFJ-29D Antenna Analyzer case

The MFJ-29D is a nice case for the MFJ-259C analyzer.  However there is ONE glaring issue with this case that I am surprised has lasted this long.  How do you change the batteries with the case on?

Case-showing the screws for the battery

How do I get to the batteries with the case on?

Well, you have to unscrew and remove all three knobs off the front, put them somewhere so you don’t loose them or the allen screws, then push the flexible plastic face out and away from the exposed shafts of the analyzer and then slide the unit out of the case. Then take off the two screws that hold the battery door on – and change the batteries.

The short answer – you don’t.

Having to go through all of that is just dumb, and a lot of time to futz around and loose allen screws or selector switches when all you want to do is just change the batteries so you can keep on working on your antenna project.

So, I busted out the needle, thread, and some tucked away knowledge from my ‘Home Ec’ classes of the mid 1980’s from my high school experience and started in. Yes, back then in school not only did we learn how to sew, cook meals and iron clothes, we were tested on it!

In my mind, the fix was easy.  Cut away the stitching from the two back seams – making a flap.. you know, just like the old timer red flannel pajamas that your uncle used to wear around the house?

Dropping this flap will expose (see what I did there?) the back of the analyzer and allow for quick access to the two screws for the battery door.    A quick rip of the stitches on both flaps I was in business.

flap back of 259C meter case

The easy part is done!

Well, several hours later of stitching.. by hand.. I was starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  No, my stitches are not straight by any means.  But for this project they are fine.  Fuzzy side of the Velcro on the flap, and the firm side on the back of the case.  No rhyme or reason to the stitching pattern other than anchoring the corners and the stress points.  From there it was just sew, sew, sew as I watched TV, trying not to stab my finger or sew the analyzer case to my jeans. (Yes, there is a story there.  Remind me to tell you about it over coffee.)

flaps with velcro

Well, one half is done.. only stuck my finger twice.

From here it was just the tedious stitching and threading the needle when running out of thread. Which, I hate to say, isn’t getting any easier now that I am getting older.  Those needle eyes are tiny!

Regardless, with the completed project – I can pull down the Velcro flap to get to the battery tray, all while leaving the case on.  If you didn’t know I had done this case mod, you would not see it in my final work.

completed case with velcro

You would never even know that the back of this case now can be pulled back via Velcro attachments to get to the batter tray.

With that project done, back to amplifiers and beam antennas!





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