N9JIG rearranges and clears off the desk

N9JIG

Sheriff
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Last week I saw the pics from "Firebuff66"'s shack at 2023 Shack Update . I liked that the scanners themselves were out of the way and he could view them from a monitor. As it is now a new month it was time for me to redo the shack again. I emulated his shack, which itself was kind of similar to some prior shacks of mine and others. Once again, no new equipment here, just rearranged a bit from last time.

I have been running a mix of ProScan and Butel products for years and have done something similar with my large network cabinet in the past. While more recently I have run a reduced set of radios in a 3-bay rack, I really have no need to have the scanners front and center. With the mixer I can centralize the audio as well. I figured that I could put the scanners elsewhere since I have long audio and an active USB cable. I can then reduce the clutter on the desk.

Desk2.jpeg
Overall desk view)

I took the scanners from my shack and popped the 536's and 1602 mixer in my existing 4u turret rack, then plopped the 4 additional scanners on top of the cabinet (996XT, 996P2, BCT15X and SDS200).

The radios on the desk include:
Icom IC-7300
Icom IC-705
Icom R8600
Anytone AT-5888UV

Rack.jpeg
Front of the Rack

The rack has an 8-port Stridsberg multicoupler, a 13-port USB hub, a 6-amp power supply (for the 8 scanners and the multicoupler, along with an AC power strip inside. This makes the cabinet pretty much self-sufficient with 4 cables coming out of it: AC power, antenna, USB and audio from the mixer.

The radios include
4 BCD536HP's, (general scanning)
SDS200 (Mostly for the local P25 stuff but it seems to work really well on VHF aviation so I have been using it for that recently)
BCD996XT and BCD996P2 (Usually used for feeding data to Pro96Com)
BCT15X (for GMRS, Ham, rail and marine monitoring) (Marine in Arizona you ask? Well these channels are used by several local trucking operations.)

RackBack.jpeg
Back of the rack in the shop showing the mess of wires

The USB cable goes to the PC on the desk. The audio cable goes to my Bose Companion speakers on the desk. Since these have a headphone jack and a volume control I can adjust the overall volume of the mixed audio thru the speaker, and the individual scanner's thru ProScan or ARC-xx.

The scanner rack is on the back wall so I can reach over and turn on or off the mixer or even adjust a scanner if it is easier to do it there rather than the computer. I usually turn the screen lighting on the scanners themselves off as they are not needed and it makes my wife happier. Being deaf she equates the dial lights as off and doesn't complain that I leave them on all the time to log hit counts etc.

Radios.jpg
Rack and other radios for perspective

On the desk are the larger radios that do not lend themselves as easily to remote access, these include my AT-5888UV for GMRS, 2m and 440 as well as my 3 Icom's (R8600, IC-7300 and IC-705). The AT and the 7300 share a 25-amp Astron power supply, the 8600 and 705 have their own power supplies. I retired (for now) my Kenwood TK-8180 GMRS rig as GMRS is handled easily with the AT-5888UV.

The PC is an Intel Hades Canyon NUC. These are a great alternative to larger tower cases. I am not a gamer so I don't need the fancy water-cooled stuff. This has 32GB of RAM and a pair if 1TB SSD's, plenty of horsepower for me. The main day-to-day computer is my trusty MacBook Pro (M1Max, 64GB RAM) The PC and Mac are connected to 27IN 4K monitors from Acer.

I removed the Raspberry pi running HamClock for now, I just was not using it so I saw no need to devote a monitor to it.

There is another Intel NUC, a Rock Canyon one from a few years back that is running a group of SDR's connected to a multicoupler for a friend's use. He has a group of SDR-based listening points in his interest areas and this seems to work pretty well for him.

SDR.jpeg
My friend's SDR setup stashed on a shelf

I want to see how this works out and if it does I might swap to the smaller desk behind me that the son uses and let him have the larger L-shaped desk. He works from home doing IT support so could make better use of the extra room than I, and the 60' desk he uses now (my former desk) should be sufficient for me.

As for antennas (I always get questions about them!) I have several in my HOA home's attic, including a couple ST-2's, 2 D130's, a couple ham dual banders, as well as a 10m and 10m dipole. This spring I added a pair of end-fed wire antennas on the roof of the house as well as a 20m dipole along the edge on standoffs. This pic was taken before the connectors were weatherproofed:

AntFar.jpeg
Ground view of HF antennas.

Ant Near.jpeg
Closeup on the outside HF antennas

These work pretty well under the circumstances, I do occasionally pop up on 20m but otherwise they are mostly used for SWL'ing.
 

737mech

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Clark County, NV.
Rich one question. The Behringer 1602 has a few optional setup switches are you setting up anything particular to make it work for you?
 

N9JIG

Sheriff
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Far NW Valley
Rich one question. The Behringer 1602 has a few optional setup switches are you setting up anything particular to make it work for you?
Not really. I just plugged it in and connected the cables. I tried the level control on the rear panel and set them to the way it sounded best. The in position (-10dBv) worked best. For the front level control I just set them at 12 o'clock to compare the audio with the local NWS channel and then adjusted the volumes to fine tune the volume levels.
 
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