Saturday, June 18, 2016

Contesting Go Box Version 1.0

I participate in a lot of contests that I enter in the portable or expedition category.  If you ever run portable, you know it takes much longer than anticipated to setup.  Antenna location scouting that should take 10 mins takes an hour, antennas support ropes take longer to pull up into the trees, running coax back to your station, etc..

One of the time consumers that should be ultra easy is the radio setup.  What if you had a go-box that housed all your contesting devices?  Your contesting radio, a power supply, a mini-computer, maybe a 2m rig?  Well, I built one.  Version 1.0 to be tested at Field Day 2016.

A total of 6U.  Probably should be 8U, but I had an old 6U 19" rack at the house from playing in a band years ago.  Here is the run down.

Rack Spaces
1U - Furman power conditioner
2U - Kenwood TM-V71A and Astron SS-30M
1U - Intel NUC i5 computer
2U - Flex 6500

Misc Items
Two (2) 1U rack mount shelves
West Mountain Radio fused distribution
DB9 to USB dongle
DB9 to Mini-DIN serial cable
19" rack grounding buss bar

I tried to clean up all the cables as neat as I could, but they might change locations in the future.  Since the Flex and TM-V71A is part of my home station, I'll need to clear out some of my desk to make room for it. I'll plug in my linear Astron 30A power supply to power distribution and leave the Astron switching supply off so it keep the heat down in the box.

On the power supply I removed the rubber feet and cut some aluminium angle brackets to keep the bottom off the metal shelf.

I attached everything through either pre-drilled holes, or I drilled them myself.  I put nylon nuts on the bottom so the nuts would not work loose over time.  This could be an issue if you stack the 1U shelves on top of one another, so watch out for that.

The Kenwood 2m/70cm radio is attached by the mounting bracket that came with the radio, I just flipped it upside down.

The PC is mounted on it's VESA mount that would be used for the back of a monitor.

Again, I'll be testing it out during Field day to see how functional it is and how hot it gets inside.  I'm assuming version 2.0 will be right around the corner, so stay tuned!

No comments:

Post a Comment