I am at it again!

Status
Not open for further replies.

RFI-EMI-GUY

Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2013
Messages
6,987
The wheels on the desk are quite informative! We will see more of this. Please give the dust bunnies a chance.
 

N9JIG

Sheriff
Moderator
Joined
Dec 14, 2001
Messages
5,652
Location
Far NW Valley
OK, so I am calling this the "Reduced Desk Shack".

In actuality this is pretty much a Proof of Concept for me at this point. If I like it in practice I might look into a set of 3 3u single bay or a 2-bay and single bay combination cabinet to replace the existing monitor stands. This would require some custom made front panels but I have a couple sources I think can accommodate me on that.

I stripped down my computer desk and the small radio "Turret Cabinet" I have been using the last month or so after retiring the tall networking cabinet and the 3-bay desk cabinet. I then gathered the radios and arranged them so they fit under the monitor stands that I had. I raised the stands almost 2 inches by cutting down a piece of walnut 2x2 and putting in some 3/8 inch rubber feet to protect the desk and keep them from sliding.

While this is not tall enough for me to slant the scanners it is tall enough for the two Icoms to slant as well as the SDS200. I also did something I usually do not: I used external speakers for the scanners. There are to front-firing for the bottom 536's and two rear-firing behind them for the top 536's. The 996's have a similar front-rear arrangement.

IMG_6113.jpeg

From left to right are:

BCD536HP (x4)
SDS200
Icom R8600
Icom IC-705
HomePatrol-2
BCD996P2/BCD996XT

The main computer connected to the left and center displays is my M1Max MacBook Pro (seen between the monitors)

The right display is connected to an Intel Hades Canyon NUC mounted on the rear of the display. It runs Sentinel, Pro96Com, ProScan, ARC-XX and other Windows stuff.

My Kenwood TK8180 GMRS radio and a 4-port antenna switch is on a bookshelf behind me. The antenna switch and two-way radio there allows me to reduce by 4 the amount of coaxes running to the desk. They connect to the wall antenna patch panel directly to the right and rear of the bookshelf and I only need a single coax from that to my autotuner for the 705 and still have access to 4 different antennas easily.

I was worried that viewing the scanners without a tilt would be a problem, but they are easily viewed and the keypads have no problem being accessed.

I did notice that when I stacked the 4 536's the version difference are more easily noticed. The LL and UR ones are newer (2021 made) and the UL and LR ones are older ones dating from 2014. The newer ones have a brighter back light, especially on the keypads. The older ones keypad lighting is almost nonexistent. Those have had the display lighting fixed by Uniden but I suppose they did not fix the keypad lighting. The OCD in me wants to rearrange these so the newer ones are on the bottom and the older on top, next time I do some maintenance I probably will change that.

IMG_6114.jpeg
 

JimD56

KO9JAD/Fire Lieutenant/Paramedic
Feed Provider
Joined
Nov 18, 2004
Messages
806
Location
Davie, FL (Miami/Fort Lauderdale Metro)
Yes, the scanners/radios under the monitors are IMO the best layouts, and I went to this a few months ago myself. Using 4U (7" of mounting space) and only 8" deep boxes found on eBay. You featured my under-monitor shack layout on Scanner Guys May 25th.
 

N9JIG

Sheriff
Moderator
Joined
Dec 14, 2001
Messages
5,652
Location
Far NW Valley
On the bottom 2 536'6, they are monitoring the same thing and using the same antenna?

I had just updated the database and programming of the 6 536's I own and they all got the same list of turned on systems. I then usually go thru and set each of the radios to the intended use scenarios but was so busy yesterday rebuilding my desk I hadn't made it to setting those.

Usually I have one of the 4 inside 536's set to railroads only, another set to local aviation, one to GMRS/FRS/MURS/"Dot" channels and a couple of the channels used in my golf course community (the maintenance channel, the field ops and the in-house channels at the rec center) and the last for local fire, some low band channels (to detect if skip pops up) and the weather channels that are not normally heard in this area (again to see if VHF conditions are booming).

The 996's are used mostly to decode the local P25 systems data for Pro96Com. The SDS200 is used to actually listen to them. The HP2 is used to listen to the local channels that I have on 24/7, including things like 121.5, 243.0, a couple milair channels of importance here and the local fireground channel. Since it is harder to turn off it stays on all the time and is the only one not connected to the main power supply it is ideal for that.
 

N9JIG

Sheriff
Moderator
Joined
Dec 14, 2001
Messages
5,652
Location
Far NW Valley
Yes, the scanners/radios under the monitors are IMO the best layouts, and I went to this a few months ago myself. Using 4U (7" of mounting space) and only 8" deep boxes found on eBay. You featured my under-monitor shack layout on Scanner Guys May 25th.

I have been looking at a similar solution for some time. I found myself ignoring the radios and concentrating on the computer more and more since the way I had things before it was pretty much one or the other. Even with the scanners in the Turret Rack I did the same.

I already mentioned above a more attractive solution similar to what I have now but last night I looked at some of the offerings at AudioRax and found a couple different pieces I really like. The Studio Desk (AudioRax Producer's Desk | Mastering Desk | 12Ux2 (24U)-PDES) would be ideal if it were available with each side at 6u or 8u instead of 12 and if it were all enclosed with removable sides and fronts. As it is it is too big and forces the monitors to be too high and far away, but it was intended for a mixer board so the operator can see over it to the performance area.

I still have the Three-Bay Rack I can reuse. The monitor height becomes too high but I can minimize that a little by using monitor arms or mounts that would allow me to set the display bottom right at the top of the riser. I will be in the market for new monitors next year anyway so there might be a better solution down the road.

So the upshot is that if I end up liking this arrangement (as I suspect I will) I will look for an improvement to it.
 

NYRHKY94

Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2006
Messages
1,453
Location
Brunswick County, NC
Well done as always and a real pleasure to see for the rest of us OCD guys :) As an aside, I wouldn't mind hearing your thoughts on the LCD color on the 536's. I have one and love the radio, but never understood why Uniden chose such a bland color with no option to change it. I did change the color on my 436 (using the method posted on RR) and it is so much easier on the eyes IMO. Just curious...
 

N9JIG

Sheriff
Moderator
Joined
Dec 14, 2001
Messages
5,652
Location
Far NW Valley
Well done as always and a real pleasure to see for the rest of us OCD guys :) As an aside, I wouldn't mind hearing your thoughts on the LCD color on the 536's. I have one and love the radio, but never understood why Uniden chose such a bland color with no option to change it. I did change the color on my 436 (using the method posted on RR) and it is so much easier on the eyes IMO. Just curious...
I am actually OK with the black on white display and the newer radios look better and more white than the older ones, even after the display fix.

With that said, I think that the multiple color displays like the 996 series have would have been awesome on the 536 and 436. There are several threads that discuss mods but the ability to swap the colors would be prime!
 

wa8pyr

Technischer Guru
Staff member
Lead Database Admin
Joined
Sep 22, 2002
Messages
7,049
Location
Ohio
I am retired so need something to do inside when it is 115 outside! I really appreciate the A/C I installed last fall in the garage!

But it's dry heat, so 115 shouldn't be an issue, right? :p

We just got A/C in the garage at work (already had heat); sure makes it loads nicer when I have to work on vehicle radio programming this time of year.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top