Full Day To Radio Build

Made some good progress again today on the radio build:

  • Sorted cables and cleaned the desktop
  • Mounted the two remaining PC’s
  • Ran AC supply lines and UPS
  • Setup Common Mode Choke
  • Completed some PC wiring
Radio Build
The desktop is cleaning up nicely. Future TRX workbench. See those closet doors? They are a problem…

Common-Mode Choke: Research lead me to this great article by Chuck W1HIS. This design will easily handle 1KW output. The choke is inline with my 130ft (height compromised) dipole antenna that I use on the lower HF frequencies.

Big Choke For Radio Build
Common Mode Choke: W1HIS design

I mounted the last of the PC’s today. The server is back online after approximately 10 hours of downtime. Temporary cable connections were made to get the workstation and server back online asap.

Radio Build - K6HR
Business end of the PC’s (Top to Bottom) Windows 7 64, Ubuntu 13.04, Windows 10

One of my measurements was incorrect. Can you tell which one? You are correct! My measurement for the CPU cooler was way off. I could change the cooler or leave the top off. The PRO 2500 power strip will go in the rack space above this PC since it is only 9.5″ deep, no problem.

Radio Build - K6HR
Evidence of the dust problem! That fan is running directly off 12v (no PWM). Probably too fast, hence the extra dust. It’s quiet enough so it stayed. Soon all the dust will be gone!

Tomorrow I plan to complete all the internal wiring. Everything will be reconnected with proper fitting snap-on ferrites on both ends of every cable. The antennas will be reconnected using temporary cables until the rear antenna breakout panels are ready. In the previous setup I had several long USB extension cables, long monitor cables, and long audio cables which acted like antennas and introduced RF into the PC’s and other shack devices. I eliminated any RFI problems by choking off cables one by one anytime trouble came around. On some cables (like my Heil headset) the snap-on ferrites could be ‘unsightly’ and/or create cable strain.

Another benefit of the rack installation is the elimination of all the long cables. Replacing them with short (correct length) cables with ferrite chokes on each end will absolutely eliminate all RFI issues, and, improve RX quality.

The next phase of the remodel will be the furniture movement. Since the rack is 22″ wide and will be placed in between the 45 degree mitre joint of the two desktop pieces, calculations show the desktop pieces must each be moved a minimum of 16.5″ in order for the rack to fit. The left desktop is free to move the 16.5″. However, the right side is not. It butts up against the sliding door to a closet (see photo above).

A decision will be made to either reduce the desktop surface by cutting off 16.5″, or, remove the sliding doors on the closet to allow the 16.5″ of desktop to extend into the closet area and eliminate the need to cut the desktop. (using a hand saw)

Where the heck am I gonna put these friggin’ closet doors….

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Author: K6HR

Licensed since 1994. Active on HF / VHF / UHF / Satellite.

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