KC1UA Radio Room for 2021

KC1UA

Scan New England Janitor/Maintenance
Database Admin
Joined
Oct 27, 2002
Messages
1,748
Location
Marstons Mills, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Hello,

After 7 months of construction, a significant amount of inspirational and medicinal craft beer, one desk change, occasional harsh language, and a lot of thought (some even productive), I am humbly pleased to present my new 2021 Radio Room. The first two photos show the entire setup. The monitors are both 32" LG. The one on the left is a 2K, the one on the right is a 4K. Both are wall mounted and can fold completely out of the way if need be. The desk rack mounts are made by a company called Odyssey Innovative Designs out of California. I bought them from Amazon after reading their reviews which were overall good. They are each 12U in size. The company makes larger and smaller but these fit well with the volume of equipment and the height while sitting. The "desk" is actually a Husky 62" wide workbench from Home Depot. It cost about $300 but it has a 300 lb weight capacity and very strong castors for rolling. It is wired in such a way that I can roll it out and comfortably get behind it to make wiring changes. I added an aftermarket keyboard and mouse drawer. The Bose speakers have been around for years and provide audio from 2 of the 3 PCs running. The rack panels are a combination of NovexComm and Alberta Radio Supply offerings.

1 - Main View Right.jpg2 - Main View Right.jpg

Here is a closer shot of the racks. The equipment is pretty self-explanatory so I'll spare you the boredom of me describing everything. Today we have tropical storm Elsa passing through the area so it is nice to have a lot of radios for various aspects of monitoring the bedlam. The Motorola Maxtracs on the top of the left rack are monitors for my local PD and FD. I put a mesh rack panel above the Icom IC-7300 to give it more breathability while transmitting. I fabricated the panel for the 5 speakers, which provide audio from the 5 scanners. They're inexpensive Amazon or eBay speakers, can't remember at this point, but they work fine.

3 - Racks.jpg4 - Left Rack.jpg5 - Right.jpg

For years I have used various patch panel setups so I can run any receiver on any antenna at any time. Due to my proximity to some FM broadcast transmitters I use various Par and other (less effective but not bad) filters to notch out 88-108 MHz. If you look carefully you'll see a FlightAware dongle that's powered by a Raspberry Pi 3 which is out of the picture on the wall. You may also notice a TGIF Junior Spot for amateur digital modes sitting on the patch panel bracket. I continue to use the Stridsberg and Electroline multicouplers I've used for years.

6 - Patch Panel.jpg

Below we have a Wellbrook active HF Loop, which has essentially saved my HF monitoring. In a neighborhood with quarter acre lots and a lot of electronics running it has been a Godsend. I had it on a rotor for a while but that crapped out and I haven't replaced it. Quite honestly I'm not sure it's necessary anyway. It is a superb performer and should be for the price!

9 - Wellbrook.jpg

And finally, the tower, which has been up since 1998 but has seen a lot of antennas come and go. At the top is a Comet GP-15 which is primarily used for monitoring. There is also a Comet GP-6NC side mounted, an Omni-X, and two HF doublets fed with 600 ohm ladder line for HF use. Weather stations, ADS-B antenna, more antennas, and more antennas.

10 - Tower.jpg

This little beauty is an Intel NUC. It is an i7 with 32GB of RAM and a 512GB solid state drive. Tiny and effective. It is the main computer but also supports the IC-R8600. Seen running in the above screen shot is the wonderful WFView software controlling the 8600.There are 2 other mini-PC's, both Dells, that provide for amateur digital modes, Airspy control (as shown on the left monitor), and DSDPlus digital mode decoding. The 3rd PC is headless and runs ProScan for unattended monitoring. All of this is accessible remotely via VPN.

7 - Intel NUC.jpg

And finally, here are some other radios I use periodically. From left to right an AnyTone dual band DMR portable, the incredible authentic direct from Russia "real" Malachite SDR that covers HF through over 1GHz, the Afedri LAN-IQ SDR that has similar coverage, one of those stinkin' Alexa Dots (love hate relationship there), a Uniden 436, the brilliant Bluetail Technologies P25RX, an old Motorola MTS2000 portable (800 MHz), and a Uniden BC125AT.

11 - Other Radios.jpg

I anticipate it will be a while again before a major reconfiguration...but we all know it's coming and inevitable...because I'll "think of something better" I'm sure! Thanks for looking!
 

N9JIG

Sheriff
Moderator
Joined
Dec 14, 2001
Messages
4,674
Location
Far NW Valley
Looks great Scott!

I too love the NUC's, I have the same one you have as well as a Hades Canyon one. They are great computers and usually outperform machines many times their size.
 

iMONITOR

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Sep 20, 2006
Messages
9,645
Wall mounted monitors, movable desk on castors, very innovative! (y)

More desk space, and total access to the back of the desk for cable management and floor for cleaning! You solved both common problems for most of us! I really like it, great job!
 

Listen365

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Sep 17, 2020
Messages
59
Great shack setup. Intel NUCs are a great fit, enjoy the small form factor. Really well planned out.
 

WatnNY

Database Admin
Database Admin
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
1,105
Location
Knoxville, TN
<jaw hits the table> "Uuuuh, Uuuuh, gaga, goo..." All I can say is you are a PROFESSIONAL like Rich and take the time, effort and money to make one hell of a set up!
 

commscanaus

Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2006
Messages
512
Location
Melbourne VK
Outstanding work!

Another rack shack done in black!

And yes, another Wellbrook user here who also endures a high suburban noise floor.
But the Wellbrook has made it possible to keep listening.

Enjoy your setup as it is a real credit to you!

Commscanaus.
 

llwade

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
May 28, 2009
Messages
614
Location
Chillicothe Illinois
WOW! what a great shack. It is obvious you thought the project out in advance of the build. The outcome is just fantastic. Cannot wait to see what comes next.
 
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