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Pictures Of Your Shack/Mobile Setup - Here you can post pictures of your shack, mobile, or portable setup for everyone to be envious of. Don't forget to rate the threads of good setups. Equipment installation questions belong here: Radio Equipment Installation

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 07-17-2017, 6:54 PM
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Default N9JIG Rack Details

I had a couple questions about the rack construction for my computerized shack. (BTW, new pics coming later this week due to a new shelf for the desk and a couple radios added/changed.) Since I put the rack up on a table for some cleanup and maintenance I figured it was a good time to get some interior detail shots.

I use the ScannerMaster USB-1 to DB-9 converted cables to avoid the problems with the front serial ports on the scanners. They cost more but work great. The DB-9 is a much more physically secure connector than that little oddball port on the scanner.

On 2 of the scanners I have discriminator jacks, they are remoted out with an audio cable that I ran thru the USB hub's strain relief.

The entire box is pretty much self contained. The wires and cables going to the box are long enough to allow me to rotate it out for rear access or to clean the floor behind it.

There is one power cord, one USB cable, 2 antennas and the discriminator audio (which I rarely use on these radios these days). The box is set on a set of casters that allow me to roll it in or out as needed. I usually tuck the cabinet under the desk out of the way since I never need to touch the radios. I use ProScan to control them and can adjust the volume and squelch from the computer.

I keep track of the stuff with a cheat sheet that looks like this:




Here is the front of the rack showing the 12 radios 7 BCT15, 4 BCT15X, 1 BCD996XT). 10 radios are in the racks and 2 on top.




Next is the overall rear shot showing the rats nest.




Here is a closer up view of the upper section. Notice the various color wire tags. One side has 2 tags and the other just one each. This allows me to tell which radio is connected to each cable. Each radio row has a color, each column has either 1 or 2 tags.

You can also see the little 4-port USB hub in which the 2 13-port ones connect into. This is a hold over from when I used the same case with a couple SDR sticks. I might delete this hub and just plug one of the 13's into the other but it has been working fine and allows me some flexibility for future expansion.

At the top of the case are 2 Stridsberg multicouplers. One is an 8-port, the other 4. This covers the 12 radios nicely.



Here is a closer up view of the lower section with the power supply, outlet strip and USB hubs. The rear 13-port hub is for the USB-Serial cables and the front one will be used for the sound cards when I decide on a solution for that. I already have the sound cards and cabling done but I am still trying to find an ideal solution for handling the audio. Currently I am just using the radio speakers which is fine for listening in the office. I would like eventually to be able to record the audio and maybe even make it available remotely.

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Old 07-17-2017, 7:50 PM
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Great job. Thanks for sharing! I always assume you get a nice discount at SM which, I'm sure, helps. I don't mean anything negative by that, just that it's probably helpful.
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Old 07-17-2017, 8:22 PM
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Originally Posted by 03msc View Post
Great job. Thanks for sharing! I always assume you get a nice discount at SM which, I'm sure, helps. I don't mean anything negative by that, just that it's probably helpful.
True, working there has its perks...
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Old 07-19-2017, 7:10 AM
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Nice set up! Makes me want to do something...
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Old 08-07-2017, 9:08 AM
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Default Green lights

What are the green lights on the BCT15X scanners?
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Old 08-07-2017, 9:43 AM
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Originally Posted by ra7850 View Post
What are the green lights on the BCT15X scanners?
Activity indicators. They light up upon squelch break.
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Old 08-07-2017, 10:08 AM
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Very impressive.
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Old 08-08-2017, 8:11 AM
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Very Nice!
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Old 08-14-2017, 6:49 PM
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Holy scanners!
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Old 09-06-2017, 3:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N9JIG View Post
I had a couple questions about the rack construction for my computerized shack. (BTW, new pics coming later this week due to a new shelf for the desk and a couple radios added/changed.) Since I put the rack up on a table for some cleanup and maintenance I figured it was a good time to get some interior detail shots.


I use the ScannerMaster USB-1 to DB-9 converted cables to avoid the problems with the front serial ports on the scanners. They cost more but work great. The DB-9 is a much more physically secure connector than that little oddball port on the scanner.
Nice! Giving me some useful ideas for the scanner shelf at my joint.

I rigged up a shelf made of shelf lumber just the right size to allow me to screw 19" rack panels to it, sitting on the corner of the desk, but it's not on casters or anything. I may have to close in the bottom and add casters to make it easier to move around if I need to adjust anything.

Since they're intended for GPS devices my guess is that the DB9 connectors on the rear require a null modem connector, correct?
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Old 09-07-2017, 7:14 AM
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Originally Posted by wa8pyr View Post
Since they're intended for GPS devices my guess is that the DB9 connectors on the rear require a null modem connector, correct?
They would normally but the ScannerMaster-modified USB-1 cables are pre-wired to work directly on the 996/BCT15 series scanners without the need for an adapter.
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Last edited by N9JIG; 09-07-2017 at 7:20 AM..
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Old 09-08-2017, 10:15 PM
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Back in the day if only we had the time and manpower...and a little cash, to have all NORCOM agencies look this good. Nice job Rich!
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Old 09-09-2017, 5:56 PM
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I am trying to remember did you have a thread on how you built the scanner "boxes" like what materials you used and such?
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Old 09-09-2017, 9:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K9EMD View Post
I am trying to remember did you have a thread on how you built the scanner "boxes" like what materials you used and such?
He bought 'em:

https://forums.radioreference.com/pi...cks-shack.html
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Old 09-09-2017, 9:36 PM
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Thanks 03msc, for some reason I thought be built them.
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Old 09-09-2017, 9:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K9EMD View Post
Thanks 03msc, for some reason I thought be built them.
No problem. Retailers do have the rack rails (with the threaded holes) available so you could, technically, build your own to whatever size you wanted and get the faceplates for the scanners, radios, etc. It's a little more work (obviously) but is possible.
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