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Author Topic: HF rigs - rear access in tight quarters  (Read 6808 times)
KASSY
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Posts: 167




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« on: September 10, 2014, 09:33:23 AM »

I'm on a new project, details not important, but one result is that the company will provide me an apartment overseas.  Very small, but I've already got the license and permission to put an antenna on the roof (35 stories!).

I change my operating techniques a lot, and find it necessary to access the rear of the radio to plug/unplug computer connections, audio for digi modes, flip the switch for internal keyer versus straight key, etc.  At my home shack, the desk is set up with the back of it some feet from the wall, so this is easy.  In the new place, I will have to go two-high: rig on main desk, shelf over it, with amp/tuner on top.  In the past, this has been messy, and sliding the rig out from it's little cubby causes many cables to come undone.  I think the apartment is maybe 350 square feet, everything is tiny.  The kitchen serves as bedroom: push the Murphy bed back up into the wall and hinge down the table...

Is there some other way?  Maybe a "port extender" of some sort, so that the connections all can be routed somewhere more convenient than "behind"?

- k
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AA4PB
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Posts: 13032




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« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2014, 09:58:08 AM »

You could build a patch panel to bring all the cable connections to the front. The keyer switch may be a bit more problematic. One option there would be to always run the radio in straight key mode and use an external keyer when you want to use the paddles.
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WA9UAA
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Posts: 321




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« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2014, 10:50:30 AM »

How about a desk on wheels, where it can be pulled out for rear panel access. A few extra feet of cable going to the antenna/ wall outlet ought to do the trick. hth 73, Rob
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K9IUQ
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Posts: 2078




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« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2014, 01:24:02 PM »

Is there some other way? 
- k

Sure.
Place the front of the Radio towards the wall. All the rear connections will now be facing you. Control the Radio via computer and HRD rig control. Plug, unplug to your hearts content. No need to move anything.  Wink

Stan K9IUQ
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W4FID
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Posts: 138




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« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2014, 04:26:01 AM »

I have 2 "desks" -- actually big box store dining room tables about 3 ft x 5 ft each. One has my boat anchor station -- one my modern station. QRZ bio has some pix. Not a tight space issue like you -- but an availability behind them issue. Same problem just a different reason -- how to get access behind. Both have extensive cables -- some the large diameter stiff due to the amps -- and with transformer power supplies and the linears they are heavy. Makes access to the rear difficult. I solved it by using "sliders" under the table legs. My shack has a carpet floor -- so the bottom of the slider is smooth plastic and the upper is soft rubber. The table legs "sink" into the rubber and stay put. Even with all the weight they slide easily. They also make them with a felt bottom for use on a tile floor.
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W1JKA
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Posts: 1821




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« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2014, 06:40:51 AM »

  Being a practical minded type of guy I like K9IUQ's easy solution but with one addition, mount a narrow full length dressing mirror horizontally about 8 in. in back of , up a bit with slight slant down ward to the now turned about rig for good visual view front panel control indicators, meters etc., but take into account flash reflection from camera when taking pictures of your rigs real front side for eHam Shack in Spot Light section or your QSL cards and if anyone can learn Morse code and use CW they won't have any difficulty learning to read backwards.
 
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