Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Shack in a Box Project

I just finished my shack in a box project and here are a couple of photos. The neat thing about this box is that everything is self contained. All external connections are to the box. There are three bulkhead connectors two of which are for HF and one for VHF. There are no visible wires outside of the box except for the plug wire for power supply. The power distribution within the box is through a 5 connector Rigrunner. The battery is is topped off with a West Mountain Radio Powergate which distributes the power to the rig runner and the battery and indicates the charging rate on the battery from float to bulk charge. Their is a small circuit board that monitors battery voltage. A button push (shown by my finger in the photo) indicates battery charge through a 3 color LED - red means below 11.5 volts and green is above 12 volts and yellow in between. Another feature of the box is a drawer for accessories which keeps everything neat. There is a switch in the back which switches between the primary radio and the back up radio. One radio is always connected to an antenna while the other is connected to a dummy load. This feature protects against connecting to an open feed line. The antenna tuner has provisions for two antennas and can match a wide range of impedances. There is a sound card interface for digital modes and metering is provided for two radios - one of them having 10/1/0.1 watt scales for QRP and QRPp. The entire box can be carried to another room or a remote site. It is a great box for an EOC Emergency Operations Center or for ARES command post.

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