Ergonomic Layout

I have just enough space to rackmount everything. Considering I also have rear rack rails, some less important items can be mounted from the rear. This is all about the ergonomic layout. I may even build some breakout panels for the antenna and audio connectors. I’ll be using a combination of 2U and 3U rack shelves (special thanks to the folks at Gator Rackworks!)  I had to go 3U for some shelves in order to get a useable depth. Most of the radio gear will sit on shelves.

The current layout plan (from top to bottom):

  • ROTOR SHELF       4U
  • AT-AUTO HI           4U
  • AT-AUTO LO           4U
  • 2M RADIO / TNC   1U
  • FLEX VU5K            6U
  • 1K-FA                      4U
  • FLEX 6300             2U
  • FLEX 6700             2U
  • AC POWER             1U
  • PC#1 W7                4U  <<< DESKTOP
  • PC#2 W10              4U
  • PC#3 SERVER        4U
  • ASTRON RS-70      4U

I need the radios and amplifier close to the desktop, placing other ‘less touched’ items either down below or up above. I think the ergonomics are OK at this point.

Before I can start building I have to empty the shack so I can remove all the dust. I have a significant dust problem. And the problem was most apparent as I swapped out the cases on the two production PC’s. Choking on dust.

The plan is to empty the room, and mitigate the dust. I plan to use an air compressor to blow off the dust that’s embedded in the stucco-like ceiling, then, I’ll thoroughly vacuum before having the carpet steam cleaned. Going forward I will employ an oversized HEPA filter in the radio room which will run 24/7 to capture all particulates and hopefully eliminate or at least vastly improve my dust problem.

Back To The Front

SO2R RX Loop Antenna

Installing the SO2R RX Loop Antenna

The W6LVP relay will provide switching for the SO2R RX Loop Antenna. I’ll also install some front end protection.

Here are some of the items on the agenda:

SO2R RX Loop Antenna
The wiring is nearly complete.

Todays work included installation of the SO2R RX Loop Antenna and associated devices. The SPE Expert 1K-FA amplifier allows connection of two transceivers, four antennas, and, an SO2R RX antenna. When transmitting on radio#1, radio #2 is connected to the SO2R RX antenna. This enables the operator to listen on radio #2 while working the latest DX on radio #1, and vice versa.

SO2R RX Loop Antenna for low noise

This presents the possibility of overloading or damaging the sensitive RX front ends of the two connected transceivers. The 1K-FA manual warns of this possibility and cautions the user. For the SO2R antenna it is suggested (and makes the most sense) that receiver front end protection devices be considered.

The low noise SO2R RX Loop Antenna is hereby considered a major station improvement!