Monday, 18 August 2014

SDR on wheels - Plug & Play

I have been toying with the idea of having a mobile Plug & Play setup for my G11 SDR that I could move around the house (I have the shack at the front of the house, 15m away from my antennas at the garden) and also take out into the garden in the good weather. I also needed a little bit more space on my shack.

My XYL Eva found a 40x40x40 Ikea kitchen wall cabinet, big enough to house all my SDR kit and some planned upgrades; which even matched some of our other furniture!! - and a few other bits to complete the design. All credit to her.

Top view
 - Dimensions 40x40x40cm
 - Removable front door
 - Lockable castor wheels
 - Top handle
 - Drawer/cabinet catch (baby proof)
 - Self contained - Plug & play - just connect AC power and USB cables to laptop

Front view - door removed

Material Costs - GBP 38
  - Ikea Cabinet incl. shelves and door - 22
  - Aldi lockable castor wheels - 7
  - Handle (set of two) -2
  - Drawer/cabinet catch (pack of 5)- 2.5
  - 5.5x16mm self taping screws -4

Future upgrade plans
 -G11 SDR - 160m-6m + general coverage RX multiband board  [waiting on my self]
 - Hardrock 50W PA

 Some drilling was needed at the back to help with ventilation, after the first operation, the G11 got a little hot even with the door open. We used the 10mm drill, settled on two rows of holes per shelf. The rear panel came with the holes in the corners, quite handy to pass the wires, we only had to turn in 90 degrees to fit out cable arrangements.

Now I just need a couple of anchors at the rear to tie up all the wires when not in operation.

Rear side - ventilation

Whilst testing on Sat night, I gave JT65 a go and noticed the very favorable conditions...I was heard in Alaska & Japan.

JT65 - JT9 - 5Watts into Gwhip 20m end fed - whilst testing on Sat evening

I tried it on Sunday at our back room with the patio door open and enjoyed the good weather and a few ragchew CW QSOs on 40 & 17m.

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