My Rack Shack

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HummerMike

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After moving into a smaller home, I had been thinking about rack mounting my shack for a while. I saw N9JIG's post and it was on. This is the first of three Racks. This is an "almost" all Kenwood rack. I am working on a Scanner / Monitor Rack now. And then either a Yaesu or Icom Rack. This Rack is built using and Odyssey CRS08 Studio Rack. This rack can be purchased for $100 to your door. This is the 8 space rack. They also make a 12 space. I have a Kenwood TK-480HX and a Kenwood TS-450 for the HF and Six Meter SSB duties. There is a Kenwood TK-790 for VHF FM. A Kenwood TK-890 for 440 FM. A Kenwood TK-630 for Six Meter FM. Also a Motorola XPR5550 to handle Mototrbo DMR. At the top of the rack is a modified single din space switch unit with an integrated DC volt and Amp Meter. I did use the commercial made Troy / Jotto Face Plates for the mobile radios. I purchased blank plates and cut the openings and threaded holes for the Mobile Face Plates. With the TS-450, I also used a rack shelf to take some of the weight of the Base Radio. The TK450 is mounted through a 3U blank plate that I cut out and used some small rubber trim to edge around the cut out to protect the Radio's Face. In the back I used a 30 amp power supply with a Bud Fuse Panel. I can supply more pics to this post if any interest.
 

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Weaksignal

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A well done and professional looking station... I like the rocker switches as well. You may want to post it on your QRZ page.
 

mrkelso

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Can you post pic's of the back and inside? Very Nice..
 

HummerMike

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Here is a pic of the back. I had to use the flash to get a good pic. In the upper left is the fuse panel and the lower right is the power supply. I'll post some more stats on the TK Radios and how I have them interfaced for programming and a common Mic for all three.
 

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N9JIG

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Excellent work! Very clean wiring!

I tried to keep the wiring neat and organized like that but it never was that neat.
 

12dbsinad

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Wow! Nice wiring! Looks great!

What does your antenna set-up consist of?
 

HummerMike

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I live on a limited space lot. My HF Antennas consist of a fan Dipole for 40 & 80. I have a Hustler BTV5 Vertical for 10-15-20-40-80. There is a I-Max 2000 vertical that works 10-12. I have a dedicated Hy-Gain 6 meter vertical. Since this is my grab and go set up for field days, E-Comm etc, I have the three Kenwood Radios on 6 - 2 & 440 going to a Comet CFX-5140 Tri-plexer mounted in the Rack. I then have one coax that goes to a Comet GP-15 mounted 30 feet up on the side of the tower. The tri-plexer works great. The GP15 works good on 2 & 440. Fair on 6 Meters. I am able to bring up three 6 meter repeaters from where I live with this set up. For the XPR5550 on UHF DMR, there is a older Phelps Dodge Commercial vertical mounted in the attic. It has around 5db gain I think. I can hit the three up state Mototrbo Repeaters with this arrangement.
 

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TailGator911

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Very nice setup! I've been wanting to rack my desk for a couple of years now just to alleviate the clutter and this looks like the best option I have seen. Beautiful work! I checked online prices and B&H Photo has this rack for $89.00 right now, I imagine with shipping it will, indeed, come out to $100 to the door, and well worth the coin. Thanks for the inspiration! Your pics/post motivated me to rearrange, and as soon as the dust settles from the holidays I will be rackin :)

Thanks & 73s
 

HummerMike

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I can use the hand Mics for Field use. But, on the base I found an older Kenwood MC-85 Microphone with all three cords. This Microphone was made for the Ham in mind to operate up to three radios with one Microphone. You simply press the I - II - III selector on the Mic to send the PTT command and Audio to whichever Radio. The TK-790 and 890 have a 25 pin accessory plug on the back that is great for the tinker like me. I was able to input the Mic audio and PTT through this socket. I will incorporate the programming cable for the radio through this socket also. I built up two adapter cords to interface with the Microphone to the Radio. I went with the TK-630 for six meters because it lends itself well to 6. The newer TK-690 is not as good a radio for 6.
 

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HummerMike

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Thanks, this little project has been fun. It is still on going with the other two racks and the finishing of this one. It has got me excited with the continual ideas, research, hunting for good deals, measuring / cutting of panels and assembly to a final product. I just landed a 45 amp supply just like the 30 amp in the current box. Got if off e-Bay for $26 shipped. It was a gamble. But, arrived and works perfect.
 

N1SQB

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Excellent work

Mike, I'd love to hear more details about how you modified that switch unit to add those digital gauges. I'd like to try that.

Manny
 

HummerMike

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Hello Manny .... I used an American DJ PC-100A Switch Rack. (~$30 Ebay). I got two Bayite DC Mini Digital Current Voltage Meters off Ebay. I took the Switch Rack and removed the circuit Breaker, the #1 switch and the #3 switch. I measured the required opening needed for the two meters. Transferred the measurements equally on each side of the number two switch. I used a Jig Saw to rough cut the openings and then finished each with a file. Inserted one meter on each side. Used the left for Voltage and the right for Amps. The current meter uses a DC induction sensor placed over the main DC negative wire coming from the power supply. (You can see that in one of the rear view pictures) I then centered the Circuit Breaker between the left hand meter and edge and remounted. I use the switch between the two meters to control the power supply.
 

HummerMike

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Another option would be to just get a 1U blank plate. Cut out for the two meters and power switch. Then use the rest of the width of the panel for maybe a set of Power Pole Jacks, Clock, Outdoor thermometer read out, USB power jack. Then run the wiring in some ty-wrapped split plastic wire loom. I might do something like that on the scanner / monitor cabinet that is in the works.

Mike
 
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