Matches for: “Rack” …

Thinking Ahead – Mitigation of cell phone surveillance and online tracking and when you can use them to advantage as an Amateur Radio Operator

Continuing the series started at i’d like to briefly touch on some items that track you that you might not have thought about.

As radio amateurs we have the idea of RDF (Radio Direction Finding) as a recreational part of our hobby through Fox Hunting.  If you need to get up to speed on Fox Hunting check out the ARRL’s index page of articles at

There are other transmitters and transponders we have in our lives that you should be aware of, and manage their impact on your OPSEC & PERSEC.
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Rack Ideas – Answering the Question on Power

Rack Ideas – Answering the Question on Power

Paul W7PFB posed a great question – what is the power distrbution of the rack going to be like?

I wrote about the ideas I had at:

Returning to the issue I’ve brought in two Rigrunners, on with a USB set of outlets to distribute the radio power supply and the accessory power suply respectively. Presently I’m testing different physical positioning of the Rigrunners, as I would like the fuses inspectable and accessible, while avoiding having wires hanging out in a vulnerable position.

I’ve also brought in prepared 1/2 inch and 1 inch grounding straps, which will be gathered using a grounding buss bar intended for marine usage. If the gear is meant to be station-grounded, it will be gathered up to the buss, which then will be grounded by a 1″ strap jumper to the permanent ground wiring.

From the rack will be one 240v single phase from the amp, two 120v single phase from the pair of power supplies, one 120v single phase from the 120v distribution panel, a CAT6e jumper from the rack’s router to the building internet, the ground strap, and then of course the antenna feed lines. There will also be a rotator control cable.

I’m expecting to build a pair of patch-panels for a future operations desk tha will include balances audio connectors (XLR), a USB patch for use of a FlexControl, provisions for audio out for headset usage, a PTT patch, and grounding.

Presently undecided whether to use my present i7 computer or to buy a new machine – perhaps one small enough to be configured to be part of the rack?

The configuration on the rack provides the following power distribution:

240v Single Phase – direct to the amp only
120v Single Phase – for each power supply, AND to a distribution panel for all 120v plug-inspectable
13.8v DC – two separate distributions, one dedicated to the Flex-6700 alone, and the other to all the other 13.8v DC plug-ins
5v DC – USB outputs for future use

The configuration provides service distributions:

Ethernet via CAT6e and an on-rack switch
Radio Grounding

Point-to-Point/Jumper Connections:

Rotator Cable(s)
Feed Lines
The Operating Desk Patch Cables
Rack to Ground jumper

K9ZW Rack Layout Sketch from the planning phase:

K9ZW Rack with Power Markup

Plan is to use computer room plastic cable conduit/organizers to keep things tidy.

Pictures to follow when the installation is finished.



Rack Ideas – A Question on Power

In my post on my working on rack configuration ideas, Paul W7PFB bought up a great question – what about the power & wiring configuration?

I’m envisioning three distribution situations, a 240v amp power supply, a 110v AC power supply and a nominal 12v DC (actually 13.8v) dual power supply.

The Amp’s 240v single phase is straight forward, as I have a 240v receptacle where I’m planning to position the rack.

The 110v AC is being handled by the rack power strip, which has as many receptacles on its back as on its face. Including plugging in the two DC power supplies all 110v needs will be routed there.

The nominal 12v DC (which is of course actually 13.8v) is supplied by two Astron power supplies. Here I have a pending decision to make of whether to transfer over the existing West Mountain RigRunners or to finally make the leap to a preferred type of power connector?

Realistically the connector change is going to wait and the existing setup will move over.

I’ve sketched the general flow:

K9ZW Rack Layout Sketch

K9ZW Rack with Power Markup

Planning to “pin” the Power Poles for security until such time as make a transition.

Actual cable routing has started with some general rack hardware, and I’ll likely use some plastic removable-top square cable tray in places.

Another set pair of wiring considerations are Cat6e to a router (not shown) that will be at the back of a shelf on the rack, along with “other control wiring” for the Flex-6000 (USB cables) and Serial Cables for the Station Genius plus legacy device usage.

Ground is going to be pretty straight forward, as I will run a copper pipe down the rack, and us braid to ground the various devices.

RF will also be fairly straight forward by a jumper from the tuner off the rack.

Additional jumping off the rack will be a station ground tie-in by braid, Ethernet, rotor control cables where I’ve been using 10-pin trailer type hookups, audio balanced cable for a local studio microphone, and the two types of power. Whew!

Great question Paul W7PFB!  Thank you!



Rack Ideas

Working on rack configuration ideas.

Here is the sketch:

K9ZW Rack Layout Sketch

Basically I took the size, including free space if required for ventilation, and out the heaviest at the bottom.

The Amp opening is sized for an Alpha 9500 rather than just the PGXL so they can be interchanged.



Computer and Audio Racks for Amateur Radio

As I start moving my main station from the QTH we are selling to our new QTH 12 miles west, I’ve wanted to put my Flex-6700 Station into a rack.

I’ve not found an all-in-one information resource on how to do a cost effective rack design.

So I’m going to hammer the keys with the tidbits I have picked up and hopefully these notes will be helpful for someone else.

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Rack Mount – Preparing for the FlexRadio Systems Flex-6700

Search for a rack found either very rough gear, very dated gear (one which I will hopefully acquire for vintage gear later) or hugely expensive racks.

Bought an unused surplus odd comm’s rack – double-ended doghouse thing.  Wrong shape, but built like a tank.

Got my buddy Ray to cut in basically in half, moved wheels to the lower section, and reassemble with stiffeners.  Ray did this with a purposeful 2 inch set back on upper cube to make it more pleasing.

It is reinforced and now ready for gear

Lower will get shelves for amps, power supplies, and tuner.

Upper will get the Flex-6700, a rackable customer i7 Win7 computer, full W2IHY set up, Greenheron Rotor Control  and Array solutions PowerMaster SWR/Watts meter, Rb Frequency Reference, and Flex-5000 (possibly on top of the whole rack if I run out of room).

Looking at another rack I found for vintage/boatanchor gear (SP-600 and similar).

BTW the Collins S-Line Station will go on a desk – show-n-tell sort of thing.

Here is a sketch (click on it for a larger version):

K9ZW Main Rack

K9ZW Main Rack

Should work pretty good!



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