The Desk Rack of 2021

N9JIG

Sheriff
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Dec 14, 2001
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4,576
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Far NW Valley
I looked at and inquired upon a 2u panel for an SDS200 from Alberta Radio Supply a couple weeks ago. They said it might be doable but I have not heard anything since so I decided to go ahead and add an additional 996XT and put the SDS200 on top.

My original plan would have had a panel with a cutout for an SDS200 with the outer case removed (to allow more room at the top and bottom for rigidity) and a DIN cutout on the other side for a 996. This would have required a set of angle brackets for the SDS200 as there are no DIN sleeves available for it. I would have accepted that, and if ARS comes up with one will likely get it and revert to my original plan.

The nice thing is that racks are easily changed. If a better solution that includes the SDS200 comes along I can go with it.
I had emailed Alberta Radio Supply back in January asking about an 2u panel for an SDS200 and a DIN slot and they said they would see if it was doable and get back to me. I never heard back but checked their website today and it appears they have made one (19).

The OCD guy in me would want a matching panel for a couple 536's since ARS's panels have hardware on the panels. So I guess if I go that route it will include 2 panels. I can reuse the existing panels in the large cabinet.
 

merlin

Active Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2003
Messages
527
Location
South East Idaho
The rack for my listening post is an open 22 U. Room yet for my 3U homebrew preselectors.
Not as pretty as the console look but effective.
Nice job, I can appreciate the work in this.
73s
 

TailGator911

KF4ANC
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Joined
Feb 12, 2005
Messages
2,688
Location
Fairborn, OH
Fantastic setup, Rich. As always, you do good work. You'd get my vote for one of the best shacks in the hobby.
 

TexScan780D

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Joined
Feb 20, 2003
Messages
916
The rack panels arrived today and I got the desk cabinet done! I still need to order some custom length cables but that will wait for now. The outward appearance will not change though

Here are some pictures of the finished project:

First, the front view:
View attachment 97828

Now the view of the interior. I am thinking about getting a rear panel but for now it will remain open:
View attachment 97829

The view from the side:
View attachment 97830

The overall view with the big cabinet nearby:
View attachment 97831

I hope to do a YouTube video on this very soon.
How do you get all those scanners connected to a computer?
 

TexScan780D

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Feb 20, 2003
Messages
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Does each scanner have a comm port on the computer? Seems to me one would run out of comm ports on the computer.
Rich Says in Post #48 "I have a trio of USB hubs and a single USB cable to the scanner, works great!"
Thank you for your reply, but I am not asking about the physical connection.
 

sallen07

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Dec 22, 2013
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641
Location
Rochester, NY
Does each scanner have a comm port on the computer? Seems to me the computer would run out of comm ports.
They are virtual com ports. When you plug in a USB 'COM' device, the PC creates one for the device. While I'm sure there is a limit, it's a lot higher than 32.

My Windows 10 box is up to "COM19" right now, but that's only because I deleted a bunch of the unused ones before I rearranged my USB hubs the last time.
 

N9JIG

Sheriff
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Dec 14, 2001
Messages
4,576
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Far NW Valley
On my shack I have 20 in the cabinet and a half dozen more in the room. I use Device Manager to set the Com Ports to the number I want to make it easier for me to select what radio I want to control, read or write. In the cabinet the Uniden scanners are 1 thru 16, and the OCD guy in me arranged them that way from top to bottom in order.

One thing to remember is that the specific USB port you plug a cable into matters! Once you have the com ports all set be sure to always leave the cables plugged into the same USB ports, on the hubs or the computer, lest the com ports change. Then you gotta go back and re-label or readdress them all.
 

TexScan780D

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Messages
916
On my shack I have 20 in the cabinet and a half dozen more in the room. I use Device Manager to set the Com Ports to the number I want to make it easier for me to select what radio I want to control, read or write. In the cabinet the Uniden scanners are 1 thru 16, and the OCD guy in me arranged them that way from top to bottom in order.

One thing to remember is that the specific USB port you plug a cable into matters! Once you have the com ports all set be sure to always leave the cables plugged into the same USB ports, on the hubs or the computer, lest the com ports change. Then you gotta go back and re-label or readdress them all.
Thanks Rich.
 

Azgunguy

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Joined
Jun 2, 2015
Messages
76
Location
Scottsdale, AZ
The SDS300 and SDS400's are already there but I have the optional Invisibility Upgrade installed.

When I retired I had to return my APX's. I considered getting one for myself a few times but was never able to justify the expense for my needs. I do have a TYT MD9600 in the large cabinet and an AT 878 handheld. I have some DMR ham stuff in them but rarely use it. My SDS, X36 and P2 scanners all do DMR so I am fine there. I am more active on our local GMRS system than any ham stuff these days.

With only 6 12v devices in the small cabinet there was no need for a RigRunner, the harnass I made works just fine. Each lead is fused. The big cabinet does have a RigRunner however.
in regards to the apx, I have an APX8000 and APX1000(up for sale) and I love them both.
 

wa8pyr

Technischer Guru
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Sep 22, 2002
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5,536
Location
Ohio
OK, I made a couple changes already. Although I usually do not use external speakers I thought since i had the room for them I would give it a try. I had one of the 2x4 inch speakers in the garage already so I tried it out and it fit nicely in the cubby behind the HomePatrols. I bought a few more and mounted them with Velcro under the overhang behind the HomePatrol.
Handy hint for external speakers. . . mount one on the ceiling in each corner of the room, and run the wires above the ceiling over to the scanner rack. Having the audio sources separated like that makes it really easy to identify which radio is talking; we did this in the radio room at a fire department I worked for and it worked like a charm.

When I retired I had to return my APX's. I considered getting one for myself a few times but was never able to justify the expense for my needs. I do have a TYT MD9600 in the large cabinet and an AT 878 handheld. I have some DMR ham stuff in them but rarely use it. My SDS, X36 and P2 scanners all do DMR so I am fine there. I am more active on our local GMRS system than any ham stuff these days.
Don't discount the older XTL and MCS mobiles; I use an MCS2000 as my primary 2m rig in the shack and its a gem. I've also got a Harris M7100 VHF which usually handles railroad monitoring.

With only 6 12v devices in the small cabinet there was no need for a RigRunner, the harnass I made works just fine. Each lead is fused. The big cabinet does have a RigRunner however.
Take a look at the power blocks sold for RV use. I've got one in the rack cabinet holding my scanners and it works a treat; uses standard automotive blade fuses and made the wiring so much neater. Also have one in the truck for all the aftermarket stuff (ham rig, amplified scanner speaker, etc), and another in my portable battery box.

 
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