N9JIG shelves the shack

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N9JIG

Sheriff
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OK, I had the racks for a couple years. They look great and gives me a place to put power supplies and distribution, multicouplers and other ugly stuff but they are kind of a PITA at times.

I recently traded for a IC-746 and was looking for a way to streamline things a bit. I decided to go the shelf route for the most part but kept one of the racks for housing the uglies.

We went to Ikea and found what turned out to be a perfect addition to my shack. For just $15 I found the "LACK" TV shelf. It is intended to support a TV with a DVD player underneath. While it looked like it might be a bit too big for what I had in mind it turned out to be absolutely perfect!

My plan was to place the new 746 alongside my similar sized R8500 and have the shelf over them to hold some radios, probably my collection of BC-15's that I use to search out Mil-Air stuff here in the Valley. The thing looked pretty close to what I had in mind when I saw it in the store but when I got it home I found that it fit perfectly and even matched the other furniture on my radio desk.

So this morning I rearranged things and here is the result. On the left is the shelf unit with the Icom's on the tabletop. On the lower shelf are 12 scanners, 8 BCT15's and 4 BCT15X's. On the top shelf is the TRX-2, the 996XT and the 996P2 as well as a couple portable radio chargers.

In the rack are the CDM's, a 25amp Astron power supply, the PSR600, PRO197, BCD536HP and the Kenwood dual-bander. There is open space at the bottom inside the rack for the 3 Stridsberg multicouplers, the power strips and the PowerPole strip.

In front of the rack are my HP-1 and HP-2 and on top is a scanner stand with some of my handheld scanners. (The 396XT and HT1550 are in the truck for now...) These include the TRX-1, BCD436HP, BCD325P2, BC125AT and a PRO106. Also on the rack are the mics for the CDM's.

Photos? Sure, why not!

First, here is an overview of the whole office. On the left is my work desk with my iMac 5K 27inch. There are additional 27 inch monitors on either side. Both are normally used on the iMac but the one on the right can also be used on the Windows computer by use of the input switch.

The Windows machine in under the radio desk directly below the R8500. It is used mostly for Pro96Com on the local P25 systems, my AirNav RadarBox and my SDR-Play.




Below is a shot of the radio desk. On the left is the shelf unit loaded with goodies. On the bottom is the R8500 with a tone decoder, next to it is the IC-746Pro I recently acquired. The power supply is there too.

There was room for a set of scanners to go between the Icom's and the center shelf but I preferred not to go there. This makes it easy to pull them out to get at the rear panel.

To the right is the remaining rack. In front of it are the 2 HomePatrols, a 1 and a 2. There are two power strips on the lowest level, one with inside sockets and one with outside.

The blank panel above the power supplies allows me access to the interior of the rack so I can get at the muticouplers or rear of the radios. I was thinking of putting the BCD996's back there (and might yet do that) but for now I like them where they are.

Behind the Kenwood TM-731A head is the 25 amp power supply, alongside it is the BCD536HP. Above them are the RS/GRE digital scanners used for PRO96Com, then the CDM's are above them (UHF for GMRS and a VHF one for 2M etc.)



On the center shelf are 8 BCT15's and 4 BCT15X's. These all have dedicated functions. 6 on the BCT15's are used for Mil-Air searching and the other 6 radios are used for things like limit searches, railroad, aviation etc.

The top shelf has the digital scanners used on the local systems. The TRX-2 is used to check out DMR stuff.

The mic on the boom is for the 746. I like the 746 but it is nowhere near as sensitive on HF as the IC7000 I traded for it was. The other thing near the mic is the base for my halogen reading lamp.


Here is the shelf unit itself. As typical for Ikea products it is simple and functional. While is is lightweight it is very sturdy. I was thinking I might need a center support between the Icoms but there is no evidence of any bowing.

All the antenna and pwer leads for the 12 BCT15/15X scanners are bundled and are actually very neat. The wires visible just below the top shelf belong to the 3 scanners there.



I bought a few packs of little rubber feet and used the same ones on each of the scanners so they all stack with symmetry. This also provides a little speaker room. I have found that the audio is plenty loud enough in this layout.

Most of the stuff you see is on the 25Amp power supply. There are a few exceptions however. Both the Icoms have there own supplies and the TRX-2 and PRO-197 as well as the 4-port multicoupler that feeds these and the two HomePatrols are on separate wall-warts. This allows them to stay on all the time, even when I turn off the main supply. I might get a smaller power supply for these items at some point but for now it works fine. (The 2 8-port multicouplers are switched with the main power supply.)


My project for the next week or weekend is to replace the dial lights on the R8500 with LED's. Two of the bulbs are out now, and I have the LED's to replace them with. I just have to decode what color to use. I have red, blue, green, yellow and white. I am leaning towards blue...

After that I plan on adding Carrier Activated Lights to the half-dozen radios that don't already have them. This is a great tool to easily find the radio that is chattering. I have them on many of the radios now. I have the parts (2 resisters, a transistor and the LED's) but want to do the 8500 project first.
 

03msc

RF is RF
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And Rich strikes again! Nice idea and it's almost as if that shelf was made to accommodate all of those scanners! Nice and symmetrical!

As always, great setup and thanks for sharing with us.
 

bkantor

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Jan 22, 2002
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Bay Shore, NY
Wow!!! I want to be you when I grow up :) I love that you have radios dedicated to specific ranges/services. Such a neat, organized set up. If only my bank account was bigger....

Bob
 

Pete27a

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Whats the LED's on the scanners right of the knob?
 

N9JIG

Sheriff
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Far NW Valley
The schematic that csmith00 posted is what I use. I bought LED's pre-wired with the resistor and long leads so I can just run the leads thru the DIN key slot into a little dab of hot glue, then solder directly to the transistor and board.

On the first couple radios I did I had to take apart the front of the radio, drill a hole for the LED bushing and insert the LED thru to it. I found that running the wires thru the slot allows a much faster build time and less chance of damage to the radio.
 
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