|I prefer to set up my home station so that the components are stacked upwards from the operating bench, rather than outwards along it. For me, vertical space in the shack is more available than horizontal space. Ideally, I’d like to have my station components laid out side by side in neat columns, with each column extending about two feet (61 cm) in height above the bench.|
Standard wood shelving or cabinets are the conventional ways of doing this, but using these limits rearranging station equipment when new components are added. Rather, I prefer to use 19 inch metal (relay) racks that contain rack shelves to hold the station pieces.
I recently found an excellent new way to do this. The Middle Atlantic Corp. makes a pair of open-frame desktop racks, the DR Series, which are just about ideal for organizing a home ham station. Their DR-8 model has vertical mounting space available for 8 Rack Units (RU) of equipment, while the DR-12 handles 12 RUs (21 inches of space (53 cm). Of course, these relay racks will also mount electronic equipment which is furnished with its own standard 19 inch front-mounting panels, intended for direct mounting into equipment racks.
These DR racks are designed for industrial use, built using heavy gauge metal that is externally covered with a flat black “powder coat” finish. Assembly hardware is included. The racks are shipped flat but can be assembled with hand tools in just a few minutes. These are heavy duty products; it is unlikely that hams will wear them out or destroy them. They are not inexpensive, but they also should never need replacement.
Middle Atlantic has a large on-line product catalog with enclosures and mounting platforms for industrial/commercial purposes. For hams who want to pursue this vertical station construction route, shop around for used rack shelves showing up on the surplus or salvage market.
I have three of the DR-12s already in service in my station. B&HPhotoVideo, New York City, has good prices for these racks.