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eHam Forums => Station Building => Topic started by: KE7RNK on May 08, 2013, 08:26:55 PM



Title: Ham radio desk/rack
Post by: KE7RNK on May 08, 2013, 08:26:55 PM
Anyone know where to purchase a "ham radio" desk or racks. 


Title: RE: Ham radio desk/rack
Post by: KQ6Q on May 08, 2013, 09:32:29 PM
Check out the possibilities at www.globalindustrial.com - wire rack shelving and desk options.
I am using a unit about 6' wide and 6' high, with a desktop surface the full width, and a comfy height for computer keyboard, laptop, keyers, keys, etc. One shelf above the floor, with slide out bins for coax and computer paper and such, and three shelves above the desktop, for accessories, manuals, etc. The whole family tech area is on it - my side has ham gear and books, my laptop, the other side has tower PC and big monitor, the printer/scanner, network hard drive, router with wifi, etc. It cost nearly $800 with all the accessories - side rails, and such, but it's been ideal - and sincie it's open on all sides, it's easy to get to cables and such.
I don't see my exact unit on their web site now - the closest models are mobile, have big casters. Ours has no casters. If you go for something like this, do NOT use the pullout keyboard tray - put the work surface at a comfortable height to begin with - ours is 27" from the floor.
You'll do best with their hardcopy catalog, much easier to find the basic model you need, and see the accessories.


Title: RE: Ham radio desk/rack
Post by: KV7W on May 09, 2013, 07:27:03 AM
I'm building my own right now as a built in unit. It's sized for my 101 station. (Which I had no idea would end up taking this much shelf space when I started collecting 15 years ago - over 8' of horizontal space!)

My wife gave me a challenging space and budget to work with. If I had a a normal room in my house to work with a trip to a cabinet shop would have been a definite trip. Not the home box store, but a local custom shop. Draw up a rough sketch of what you want and they can build modular units for a reasonable rate. They make their bread and butter off truckloads of the same sized units, but if you don't time pressure them they like to have an odd sized single job to do when things are slow. They can do in a couple hours what takes me a couple days.

A couple rules of thumb that I've learned through trial and error over the years: I like 29" for operating height with a area that's at 32" for a bench I can stand and work at, (I'm 6' tall and slowly shrinking). 9" deep shelves for books, with at least one of the shelves 12" high. Any boat anchor shelves are 18" to 20" deep, so there's room to hook up cables. These are a lot deeper than standard shelves - so many station pics show guys with their rigs lined up - but they are only for display, since there isn't room in back for cables. A corner table works well for this.

Years ago I built a lawyer style stackable bookcase for my 101 stuff with wood framed glass doors that lift up and slide in. This was pretty much the ultimate for something that keeps the rigs dust free, yet you can still see. I'll never forget the moment I got them all done, put the rigs in there and stood back... Then the realization hit that the 16" depth didn't allow for cabling.

I guess the one bit of advice I can give is to make things deeper than you'll think you'll need. 


Title: RE: Ham radio desk/rack
Post by: KE5IUN on May 10, 2013, 06:20:04 AM
Check out the possibilities at www.globalindustrial.com - wire rack shelving and desk options.
I am using a unit about 6' wide and 6' high, with a desktop surface the full width, and a comfy height for computer keyboard, laptop, keyers, keys, etc. One shelf above the floor, with slide out bins for coax and computer paper and such, and three shelves above the desktop, for accessories, manuals, etc. The whole family tech area is on it - my side has ham gear and books, my laptop, the other side has tower PC and big monitor, the printer/scanner, network hard drive, router with wifi, etc. It cost nearly $800 with all the accessories - side rails, and such, but it's been ideal - and sincie it's open on all sides, it's easy to get to cables and such.
I don't see my exact unit on their web site now - the closest models are mobile, have big casters. Ours has no casters. If you go for something like this, do NOT use the pullout keyboard tray - put the work surface at a comfortable height to begin with - ours is 27" from the floor.
You'll do best with their hardcopy catalog, much easier to find the basic model you need, and see the accessories.

Do you have any photo's of your setup?
Thanks, Bill


Title: RE: Ham radio desk/rack
Post by: NA0AA on May 14, 2013, 08:34:37 PM
Wire shelving is a double edged sword, the wires do not support stuff very well, although it ventilates exceptionally well.

I have a Fletcher Ham Desk - which must be one of less than a hundred of them as I think he priced himself out of business, giving 'em away too cheap - that's nice as the top shelf rolls towards you on casters so you can reach behind the hardware, and there's a bottom shelf for power supplies, batteries, dummy load, etc.

I tried to more or less emulate that in this shack, using a dining table that is 36" deep, which is room for deep hardware, wiring behind it and plenty of writing surface in front of the rigs - which I prefer.

The challenege is a wall mounted overshelf - in order to make it 18" deep for my oversized tuners, I needed to source some pretty big special wall brackets and used BIG honking screws - fortunately the wall is solid logs. - and the shelf itself is two boards to make a wide enough surface.  ALWAYS mount wall shelves with an inch space to the wall and if you can, notch out a larger gap between each set of brackets - that way if you need to pass a big plug, you can, then slide it over into the inch gap.  This really helps you run wires.

If I had the room I would either make a walk-behind desk, or put it on wheels so it could be rolled away from the wall - heck you could even put big hinges on one side and swing it aside.  That's ideal for a guy whose always rebuilding his station or messing around with the configuration of the hardware.  A rack-mounted station is sort of a fantasy of mine - or one of those video editing rack desks - those are really pretty neat if you like the commercial look.

So much depends on just how much hardware/plunder you feel your station requires.



Title: RE: Ham radio desk/rack
Post by: K1CJS on May 15, 2013, 10:28:46 AM
Look into getting a used office desk, wooden not steel, one with drawers on both sides of the desk including one file drawer.  Then build a hutch above the back half of the desk using melamine shelving or a couple of half doors that you can get from any home building supply store.

The drawers come in handy for storing tools and test equipment, the file drawer can be used for rig manuals and station paperwork (using hanging file folders).  You can get one (a desk) for less than $40 or $50 in a second hand store and the shelving for about $30 to $40.


Title: RE: Ham radio desk/rack
Post by: W7KKK on May 27, 2013, 01:30:42 PM
Having moved around a few times and had to set up in different manners I have found overall for my use that an L shaped Desk in the corner is about the best for me and you can find them in different sizes too.
I also had a U shaped at one point. I picked it up in a used furniture store and it had apparently been a computer repair desk of some sort.


Title: RE: Ham radio desk/rack
Post by: K0JEG on May 28, 2013, 06:11:35 AM
After looking at a lot of different options I finally settled on an old kitchen table. It fits well in the shack, is deep enough for monitors, keyboards and all that stuff, is plenty solid, and is completely open underneath. It is also a good working height for me. Find a good one at a thrift store and you'll pay about $100-$200, depending on how big you want.


Title: RE: Ham radio desk/rack
Post by: KT4NR on May 29, 2013, 08:04:18 AM
I actually used an old counter-top left over after a bit of demo at the house. We just simply had to build a frame and legs for it. Fun part was we liked it so much we found another remnant of the same counter-top at a place that sells odd lots and built 2! The whole desk cost under $50 in counter-tops, lumber and supplies.


Title: RE: Ham radio desk/rack
Post by: KB2FCV on May 29, 2013, 08:26:49 AM
I built mine using plywood and 2x4's (it didn't have to be too pretty.. it's in an unfinished basement). There are pics on qrz.com. It was relatively inexpensive and I could make it the way I wanted it.

As far as purchasing, in the past I have found computer desks work pretty well depending on size of your radio equipment. They go together in an hour or so and can also be relatively inexpensive.


Title: RE: Ham radio desk/rack
Post by: W4TTZ on June 09, 2013, 05:31:31 PM
I have a built in desk in what I turned into a radio room.  it is between two small closets,  I then went to target and purchased two wooden two shelf units that are usually used for shoe racks in a closet system.  They can be stacked and are 24 X 12 X12 inches.  I stacked them and now have plenty of room for my two HF rigs, power supplies, speakers Digimaster Pro, etc.  along with the usual VHF and UHF gear and the control portion of an ALS-600  the rest of the desk has a 24" monitor keyboard and mouse.  computer and power supply for the amplifier is under the desk.


Title: RE: Ham radio desk/rack
Post by: W6HDG on May 02, 2014, 06:24:19 PM
.....A rack-mounted station is sort of a fantasy of mine - or one of those video editing rack desks - those are really pretty neat if you like the commercial look.

I realize that this thread is quite old, but wanted to comment on the video editing desk idea.  I agree.  I recently completed installing my equipment in a modified non-linear editing desk which is perfect for ham equipment - if the equipment is fairly modern and you don't have a lot of rigs or accessories! The rigs are angled down at 45 degrees which makes for easy operating, the desk height is 27 3/4" for easy CW and keyboarding, and the monitors are below eye level to avoid neck cranking.   I cut the bezels out of cheap vinyl sheet and didn't use the rack rails since none of my equipment had rack mounts or was rack width.  The 3 bays can hold just about any equipment from a Alpha 9500 to a FTdx9000, IC7800 or TS990.  Howard W6HDG

(http://www.quickharness.com/hamdesk12.jpg)


Title: RE: Ham radio desk/rack
Post by: K7FSU on May 04, 2014, 10:02:56 AM
Well done, Howard!  Completely jealous...

73, Kevin K7FSU


Title: RE: Ham radio desk/rack
Post by: KC6RCM on May 04, 2014, 10:51:14 AM
Very professional looking, clean and effective set-up, Howard.  Nicely done.

-Doug


Title: RE: Ham radio desk/rack
Post by: K2GWK on May 06, 2014, 06:08:17 PM
Have a look at the Studio RTA Producer. At $499, I think it is the best value you will find.


Title: RE: Ham radio desk/rack
Post by: ZENKI on May 07, 2014, 04:14:00 AM
WOW very nice. Reminds me of the Collins Desk that I once owned.  I am surprised that nobody has offered this style of desk again.

.....A rack-mounted station is sort of a fantasy of mine - or one of those video editing rack desks - those are really pretty neat if you like the commercial look.

I realize that this thread is quite old, but wanted to comment on the video editing desk idea.  I agree.  I recently completed installing my equipment in a modified non-linear editing desk which is perfect for ham equipment - if the equipment is fairly modern and you don't have a lot of rigs or accessories! The rigs are angled down at 45 degrees which makes for easy operating, the desk height is 27 3/4" for easy CW and keyboarding, and the monitors are below eye level to avoid neck cranking.   I cut the bezels out of cheap vinyl sheet and didn't use the rack rails since none of my equipment had rack mounts or was rack width.  The 3 bays can hold just about any equipment from a Alpha 9500 to a FTdx9000, IC7800 or TS990.  Howard W6HDG

(http://www.quickharness.com/hamdesk12.jpg)


Title: RE: Ham radio desk/rack
Post by: W6HDG on May 07, 2014, 11:09:18 AM
Thanks very much for the nice comments.  I am really enjoying the desk.  I am trying to talk the vendor into making this into a commercial "hamdesk" model.  But because the cost would be over $1k, I'm wondering if that might nix it for most hams.  Many NLE workstations are over $5K so its all relative I guess....

73, Howard W6HDG


Title: RE: Ham radio desk/rack
Post by: VE3TMT on May 08, 2014, 12:15:47 PM
Look into getting a used office desk, wooden not steel, one with drawers on both sides of the desk including one file drawer.  Then build a hutch above the back half of the desk using melamine shelving or a couple of half doors that you can get from any home building supply store.

That's exactly what I did. Picked up a steel frame, wooden top office desk for $35 and used some 3/4" melamine shelving from Home Depot cut to size. Use lots of support braces under the shelving, the weight on top of it will add up quickly.


Title: RE: Ham radio desk/rack
Post by: K2GWK on May 09, 2014, 12:26:02 PM
Here is a picture of the $499 RTA Studio Producer I mentioned a few posts back. I also posted a picture of my RTA Studio Producer in my shack loaded with gear.

(http://www.blackdogbrewery.us/images/desk.jpg)


(http://www.blackdogbrewery.us/K2GWK/images/large_shack1.jpg)


Title: RE: Ham radio desk/rack
Post by: N8XI on May 10, 2014, 06:19:43 AM
Mine isn't as elegant as shown above.
I bought an old oak desk many years ago from a surplus office/school equipment store.

Several years ago I took the top off, split it in half and used the two end drawer units to support
a wood grain finish (8 foot) kitchen counter top. I found a used metal two drawer file cabinet to support the center.

I built some 1x12 shelving.
I have been using this system since around 1988.

73, Rick - N8XI


Title: RE: Ham radio desk/rack
Post by: W6HDG on May 10, 2014, 07:18:11 AM
Here is a picture of the $499 RTA Studio Producer I mentioned a few posts back. I also posted a picture of my RTA Studio Producer in my shack loaded with gear.

The RTA Studio desk doesn't seem to angle the main equipment downward, but it really is a bargain at the price and holds an awful lot of equipment!  You did really well.  And oooooh - 3 monitors!   Enjoy.

Howard W6HDG


Title: RE: Ham radio desk/rack
Post by: K2GWK on May 10, 2014, 07:50:02 PM
Here is a picture of the $499 RTA Studio Producer I mentioned a few posts back. I also posted a picture of my RTA Studio Producer in my shack loaded with gear.

The RTA Studio desk doesn't seem to angle the main equipment downward, but it really is a bargain at the price and holds an awful lot of equipment!  You did really well.  And oooooh - 3 monitors!   Enjoy.

Howard W6HDG

Thank you. I like yours very much also! You did a wonderful job and have one of the nicest stations I have ever seen.


Title: RE: Ham radio desk/rack
Post by: W2RWJ on May 20, 2014, 05:56:46 PM
Link to the homemade operating positions at the N2MO station.   Legs are cut-down workbench scrap pulled out of the dumpster, tops are re-finished workbenches.    Risers are made from salvaged MDF desk sections.

http://www.n2mo.org/temp/9116_radio_room_one.jpg

Warning:  40 MB Panoramic Image!!  Click at the risk to your bandwidth cap.


73 Martin Flynn
W2RWJ

 


Title: RE: Ham radio desk/rack
Post by: K0JEG on May 31, 2014, 09:13:29 AM
If price were no object (and I lived in the house of the future)

http://www.winsted.com/l3_customenvironments_talon.htm

(http://www.winsted.com/img/l3_customenvironments_talon/sample_1.jpg)

Just the thing for that new Flex 6500...


Title: RE: Ham radio desk/rack
Post by: KV7W on June 01, 2014, 10:39:36 AM
Mine's still a work in progress. Most of it's built out of pallets and scrap plywood. I did splurge on the top, bamboo flooring, and picked up the cabinet door and drawer front at a scrap barn. It's really deep and have over 3' at that corner to push the radio back and about 2' for the rest. I'm thinking of building a shelf from the left side to the feedline service entrance to put a tuner/watt meter and maybe the 2m and 6m units - and a YC-601B if I can ever find a decent one, (I didn't want a lot of vertical clutter and the ceiling vault makes it claustrophobic enough as it is). I have a few 15 amp outlets and two dedicated 20A.

If I had to do over - it would be downstairs in the spare bedroom, but the way the kids sporadically move back in and the wife demanding a sewing room - this works. I debated on installing another cabinet, but didn't want to make it a bench area, so just need enough storage for operating stuff and manuals.

Computer? I have a dual screen downstairs that I hardly use; my goto seems to be either my 13" screen laptop or even smaller tablet anymore, so I didn't even plan for it. OS like Win 8 with tactile screens are probably the way of the future. I have enough room to fit a 101 station.

(http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y248/1Howdy1/KV7W/001_zps6f1edb47.jpg) (http://s6.photobucket.com/user/1Howdy1/media/KV7W/001_zps6f1edb47.jpg.html)


Title: RE: Ham radio desk/rack
Post by: WD8DKB on July 11, 2014, 07:42:10 AM
Scott, I really admire your handy work. The whole room , not just the desk. Color combinations , flooring and desk arraignment is really nice. I like the exit in the wall for the ladder line too.  I have no talent for color and style decisions. Even though I can do the work.  If it were not for my two daughters, God only knows what I would come up with on my own.  ;D  Job well done.
  Max


Title: RE: Ham radio desk/rack
Post by: W2RWJ on July 16, 2014, 08:17:26 PM
If real rack hardware is what you are after, check eBay and use the search term "Winsted".   We picked this set up for use at the EME position at N2MO:

(http://sarex.us/temp_pix/omarc_4_bay_console.jpg)

Cost was around $100.00 per bay

73 Martin Flynn
W2RWJ




Title: RE: Ham radio desk/rack
Post by: K0JEG on July 20, 2014, 11:06:05 AM
If real rack hardware is what you are after, check eBay and use the search term "Winsted".   We picked this set up for use at the EME position at N2MO:

Cost was around $100.00 per bay

73 Martin Flynn
W2RWJ


Including shipping?


Title: RE: Ham radio desk/rack
Post by: W2RWJ on July 20, 2014, 11:54:00 AM
Cost was around $100.00 per bay
Including shipping?
We picked it up in Hawley PA, dropped off in Wall, NJ was about $80.00 in tolls and fuel


Title: RE: Ham radio desk/rack
Post by: W8VCK on October 24, 2014, 07:16:45 PM
The studio producer is what I have and it's really good.

The only nit is that the rack mount is only in the front, so you can't put slides in it.  It Is sturdy, on one side I have an sp600 jx17 and an rs 50m...