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Author Topic: Ham radio desk/rack  (Read 49527 times)
KE7RNK
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Posts: 10




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« on: May 08, 2013, 08:26:55 PM »

Anyone know where to purchase a "ham radio" desk or racks. 
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KQ6Q
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Posts: 993




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« Reply #1 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.
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KV7W
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Posts: 136




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« Reply #2 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. 
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KE5IUN
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Posts: 26




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« Reply #3 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
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NA0AA
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Posts: 1042




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« Reply #4 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.

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K1CJS
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Posts: 6061




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« Reply #5 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.
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W7KKK
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Posts: 374




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« Reply #6 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.
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K0JEG
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Posts: 679




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« Reply #7 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.
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KO1D
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Posts: 392




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« Reply #8 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.
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KB2FCV
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Posts: 1351


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« Reply #9 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.
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W4TTZ
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Posts: 1




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« Reply #10 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.
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W6HDG
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Posts: 5




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« Reply #11 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

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K7FSU
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Posts: 7




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« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2014, 10:02:56 AM »

Well done, Howard!  Completely jealous...

73, Kevin K7FSU
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KC6RCM
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Posts: 20




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« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2014, 10:51:14 AM »

Very professional looking, clean and effective set-up, Howard.  Nicely done.

-Doug
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K2GWK
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Posts: 534


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« Reply #14 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.
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Guy
Lawn Guyland, New York

K2GWK Website
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