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

Soon To Be Rack Mounted!

Soon to be rack mounted
One last look at the old setup. Tomorrow 12/30/17 I begin rack mounting all the equipment.

All this gear is soon to be rack mounted. I did some major dust removal today. Now the room is empty and we will haul the rack up the stairs tomorrow. I’ll start by installing the shelves and mounting hardware etc. The following day (New Years Day) I’ll start placing the equipment and start the wiring.

Back To The Front

I’ve Decided, It’s a FlexRadio 6700…

After careful consideration I’ve decided to purchase the FlexRadio 6700.

It came down to several things:

  • RX comparison between Flexradio 6600/6700 nearly identical
  • 6700 only 3.5″ in height
  • 8 panadapters vs. 4 on the 6600
  • Contest BPF not enough reason for a 6600
  • 6600 mic connector on rear

I’m convinced the receivers in both radios “are close enough for jazz”, in that the RX specs are virtually identical. The 3.5″ height means I can remove this shelf and fit the 6300,  6700, and an  LP-500.

FlexRadio 6700 will reside here...
I’ll remove this shelf to make room for the 6700 and the new LP-500 Station Monitor

Comparisons also show that the 6700 is better suited for satellite work, should I ever decide to move SAT operation off the Flex 5000. Investing in a 6600 also meant the LP-500 would not fit. I was able to engineer a clamp-on shelf for the LP-500, but I would much rather have it in the rack.

I noticed the Flex website has announced that the 6600’s are shipping. This may cause a drop in the price of the FlexRadio 6700. We’ll just have to see how it goes.