N9JIG Desk Stack Updated

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N9JIG

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Besides my radio cabinet I have a Desk Stack that I use here. While the cabinet is right behind me that is mostly used for logging of activity and specialty monitoring. Since I, like many of us, am pretty much stuck at home these days, meant I had time to do some work to it.

On the desk itself I have a Scanner Master 4-radio mount stuffed actually with 5 radios inside it (SDS200, TRX-2, 2 996XT's and a PSR400) as well as my SDS100 on a side bracket. Also on the desk is an HP1 and an HP2. All are supported by a Stridsberg 8-port multicoupler mounted to the back of the stack. I stole that idea from another poster (KA1NJL Scanner Rack).

When I as looking at the prior iteration of this I saw a lot of empty space between the radios and had a TRX-2 with no home. I thought that if I removed the screws from the center radios (996's) and dropped them to rest on top of the bottom radio I might be able to squeeze the TRX-2 in. I had little rubber feet on the 996's and that kept them separated from each other enough to be able to hear them with the internal speaker. The TRX-2 however would not fit in the space available with feet and had its speaker blocked so I used an external speaker for it.

These are the radios I use for every day monitoring and to support calling customers for my work-from-home job. I usually have one set up for railroads, one for local aviation, one for CloseCall and one for odd stuff I like to listen to (FRS/GRMS, Marine channels, etc.) Even though I am out in the middle of the desert there is a lot of use of the marine channels by truckers and others out here.

Here is the rear of the rack with the multicoupler:
82283


Here is the front showing the radios. The HP-1 and HP-2 are off to the left and out of the shot. The SDS100 is on a microphone speed-clip so I can grab it and go.

82284
 

ra7850

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Besides my radio cabinet I have a Desk Stack that I use here. While the cabinet is right behind me that is mostly used for logging of activity and specialty monitoring. Since I, like many of us, am pretty much stuck at home these days, meant I had time to do some work to it.

On the desk itself I have a Scanner Master 4-radio mount stuffed actually with 5 radios inside it (SDS200, TRX-2, 2 996XT's and a PSR400) as well as my SDS100 on a side bracket. Also on the desk is an HP1 and an HP2. All are supported by a Stridsberg 8-port multicoupler mounted to the back of the stack. I stole that idea from another poster (KA1NJL Scanner Rack).

When I as looking at the prior iteration of this I saw a lot of empty space between the radios and had a TRX-2 with no home. I thought that if I removed the screws from the center radios (996's) and dropped them to rest on top of the bottom radio I might be able to squeeze the TRX-2 in. I had little rubber feet on the 996's and that kept them separated from each other enough to be able to hear them with the internal speaker. The TRX-2 however would not fit in the space available with feet and had its speaker blocked so I used an external speaker for it.

These are the radios I use for every day monitoring and to support calling customers for my work-from-home job. I usually have one set up for railroads, one for local aviation, one for CloseCall and one for odd stuff I like to listen to (FRS/GRMS, Marine channels, etc.) Even though I am out in the middle of the desert there is a lot of use of the marine channels by truckers and others out here.

Here is the rear of the rack with the multicoupler:
View attachment 82283


Here is the front showing the radios. The HP-1 and HP-2 are off to the left and out of the shot. The SDS100 is on a microphone speed-clip so I can grab it and go.

View attachment 82284

Rich,

Great looking rack of scanners. Have you noticed and interference being caused by the sds200 on the other radios? I had mine on a shelf with 2 HP536 scanners and it appeared to have quite a negative effect on them. 1 was using 3 separate antenna not plugged directly into the scanner with the coax separated and not near or touching the other antenna cables. Moving the SDS away from the other scanners to a seperate shelf
(8 feet away) solved the issue.
 

03msc

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Nice little stack with some heavy hitters monitoring the airwaves.

And marine channels out in the desert, huh? I guess because of that "ocean front property in Arizona..." as George would say. haha

I would think this could easily be made to be a portable setup where the whole little rack could go with you if you were going on a trip or something...for monitoring while at the other location. Might not be necessary but just if desired. Of course, it looks like other scanners may be connected to your Stridesberg on the back so that wouldn't work but I was thinking if you could do it where you had just 2 or 3 lines to disconnect (power and RF, whatever) then that'd be cool.

But, not needed for a desktop-only application. :)
 

N9JIG

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I could do that pretty easily, I was thinking of putting a handle on the top anyway. Just wire in the GRE/WG scanners into the mix and pop off the external scanners sharing the multicoupler.

As for the Marine channels there is a surprising amount of activity on them here. Hunters and hikers in the mountains, truckers and construction crews use them around here. I heard a couple truckers just this week on Marine Channel 19 chit chatting about what restaurants they can get into etc.

For ra7850: I have not had any experience with the SDS200 interfering with the other scanners, perhaps the isolation provided by the multicoupler helps reduce/eliminate that.
 

sallen07

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Have you noticed and interference being caused by the sds200 on the other radios?
First of all, awesome setup Rich. Gives me scanner envy. :)

But I have a question for ra7850: Are you using the ethernet port on your SDS200? I got one in early February and overall I am *very* happy with it; it does an excellent job on the local P25 system. But the thing is incredibly [electrically] noisy when the Ethernet port is active.

There was a thread from last year that suggested that the noise was from a cheap Ethernet cable but that certainly does not appear to be the case since I've tried not only one of those little USB-powered Wi-Fi dongles but also a couple *good* cables connected to a switch port. I first noticed the issue when I plugged in the Wi-Fi dongle and turned on database scan (just for the heck of it) and got strong interference on any frequency around 160 MHz. The interference is both internal and external since it does the same thing on any nearby scanner.

Sorry to hijack your thread Rich!
 

ra7850

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First of all, awesome setup Rich. Gives me scanner envy. :)

But I have a question for ra7850: Are you using the ethernet port on your SDS200? I got one in early February and overall I am *very* happy with it; it does an excellent job on the local P25 system. But the thing is incredibly [electrically] noisy when the Ethernet port is active.

There was a thread from last year that suggested that the noise was from a cheap Ethernet cable but that certainly does not appear to be the case since I've tried not only one of those little USB-powered Wi-Fi dongles but also a couple *good* cables connected to a switch port. I first noticed the issue when I plugged in the Wi-Fi dongle and turned on database scan (just for the heck of it) and got strong interference on any frequency around 160 MHz. The interference is both internal and external since it does the same thing on any nearby scanner.

Sorry to hijack your thread Rich!

Yes, in my situation, I have a large attic and no Ethernet cable there. Inevitably I want to run a cat 6 Ethernet wire to the attic but its quite the endeavor. What I'm doing is using NetGear range extenders one on each floor, and 1 in the attic, 4 in total. I use a USB-powered WiFi dongle also. With Proscan running the (3) scanners remotely in my office on the 1st floor I've found that the combination of the extenders and WiFi caused a lot of packet loss, so I use the USB-powered WiFi dongle to get the Ethernet to a 100/1000 Cisco switch, then I use cabled Ethernet to each of the scanners. It helps in packet loss but the USB-powered WiFi dongle limits the traffic to and from the switch so some packet loss still exists. I'm going to run the Ethernet cable to the attic from the data closet in the basement using cat 6 cable to the Ethernet switch in the attic, then I can eliminate the USB-powered WiFi dongle altogether.
 

Ubbe

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WiFi dongles usually doesn't have any kind of interference protection, like you have on bigger WiFi routers. One WiFi channel are 6 channels wide, +/-3channels, so people should use only Ch1-6-11. One channel consists of timeslots, I believe it's 54 of them, that's why you sometimes see 54MB/s as the lowest speed for one type of connection as one timeslot can handle a 1MB datastream. A scanners low speed controldata and limited audio range should fit nicely in one timeslot.

If several WiFi systems use the same channel they will interact with each other and handshake what timeslots should be used by each system so they do not collide. When one system needs a lot of speed it allocates a lot of timeslots and when it's idle it only use one. If one WiFi system use a neighbouring channel he will interfere RF wise with the other channel and there's no way to handshake and communicate with that offending system. In those cases most WiFi dongles have no protection for it and gets biterror, low speed or stops working completly.

When setting up a WiFi channel, check what channels are in use and select one that has no systems on neigbouring channels. It doesn't matter if there are several WiFi systems on the channel you choose, the important thing are to have no strong interfering channels 1 or 2 channels away. I guess most people tries to go for a "free" channel, maybe Ch2 when Ch1 already has some users, but that is a big mistake as each WiFi channel are +/-3 channels wide.


/Ubbe
 

fnnm400

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What kind of angle did you use to get the 100 mounted off the side? That is a great idea. Thinking of a way to do that here, but we are basically on lock down so no shopping for parts right now :).
 

ra7850

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WiFi dongles usually doesn't have any kind of interference protection, like you have on bigger WiFi routers. One WiFi channel are 6 channels wide, +/-3channels, so people should use only Ch1-6-11. One channel consists of timeslots, I believe it's 54 of them, that's why you sometimes see 54MB/s as the lowest speed for one type of connection as one timeslot can handle a 1MB datastream. A scanners low speed controldata and limited audio range should fit nicely in one timeslot.

If several WiFi systems use the same channel they will interact with each other and handshake what timeslots should be used by each system so they do not collide. When one system needs a lot of speed it allocates a lot of timeslots and when it's idle it only use one. If one WiFi system use a neighbouring channel he will interfere RF wise with the other channel and there's no way to handshake and communicate with that offending system. In those cases most WiFi dongles have no protection for it and gets biterror, low speed or stops working completly.

When setting up a WiFi channel, check what channels are in use and select one that has no systems on neigbouring channels. It doesn't matter if there are several WiFi systems on the channel you choose, the important thing are to have no strong interfering channels 1 or 2 channels away. I guess most people tries to go for a "free" channel, maybe Ch2 when Ch1 already has some users, but that is a big mistake as each WiFi channel are +/-3 channels wide.


/Ubbe
Ubbe,

Thanks for all of the info!

Robert
 

N9JIG

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What kind of angle did you use to get the 100 mounted off the side? That is a great idea. Thinking of a way to do that here, but we are basically on lock down so no shopping for parts right now :).
Using parts in my stash I used a simple mending bar and a speed-clip. Using a lock-washer it is just bolted to one of the radio's mounting screws.

The radio's belt-clip stud fits in there right nicely. I had to remove one of the screws on the speed clip and push it off from the side a little extra to clear the SDS200 Ethernet cable.

82917
 

fnnm400

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Thanks.... I’ll work off that idea. I had some old metal dash brackets from a few years ago that would probably worked great with the angle they had. But of course in and office clean about 3 months ago, i thought WTH would I even use these for again! Go figure :). Thanks for the great idea.
 

N9JIG

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It never fails that the item you need was tossed in the last purge. I have done that dozens of times!

Just last week the plastic bail for my work phone broke and a month or two ago I had tossed out a phone stand that would have been perfect for it.
 

JimD56

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Rich, Where did you get your BNC pigtails from the scanner to the multicoupler? I like the smaller gauge cable, looks easier to hide and manipulate. I can't seem to find them online.
 
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