1. In celebration of the launch of the new redesigned site, we just gave away a FREE antenna! Click Here to See Who Won!

Just finished building my new radio desk.

Discussion in 'Station & Mobile Pics' started by Captain Kilowatt, Sep 9, 2010.

  1. Captain Kilowatt

    Captain Kilowatt Professional Amateur Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2005
    Messages:
    11,354
    Likes Received:
    2,821
    Last year I started to rebuild my shack starting with new flooring and a new paint job. I also decided to do something about the radio desk which I was outgrowing.Adding a Kenwood TS-820S with matching VFO, speaker, and tuner to a Heath DX-60/HR-10 AM station meant that I had far too small of a desk and since there was not much available in the way of ready made stuff that suited me I decided to build my own. Some of you may remember a thread I started about converting an RCA broadcast TX to 80m AM that fizzled when the modulator blew up and fed 3100 volts back straight to the audio predrivers wiping out everything in it's path including the mod transformer. It was then that I decided to scrap the TX and look down the road at building an amp and maybe using the steel side panels to build an operating desk. The desk was finished this afternoon except for a couple pieces of trim yet to install.It is 74 inches wide by 32 inches deep with a shelf 12 inches above it measuring 74 wide by 16 deep. These were made from the 1/16 inch thick steel side panels from the old broadcast TX which are formed panels 1 1/2 inches thick. you can see them in this picture of the TX laying on it's side.



    [​IMG]


    I had to cut down one end to allow a wood panel to be inserted in the end to finish the underside.You can see where I removed about a quarter inch from the right hand side.

    [​IMG]


    Next I planed down some 2X4's to fit inside the panels to add some strength and attachment points for the legs and shelf and to allow something to attach the side trim panels too.

    [​IMG]


    Here you can see where I removed the 1/4 inch or so of the steel panel to be able to insert the stained oak plywood panel underneath.

    [​IMG]


    Inserting the oak plywood panel.

    [​IMG]


    Plywood trim panel secured with screws thru holes that were already in the steel panels. The legs are 3/4 oak plywood stained with Minwax "Special Walnut" stain. The 1/4 inch plywood used for underneath is stained the same color.The black angle iron brackets are from an old bed frame cut to size and painted gloss black.The tie piece across the back is solid oak.

    [​IMG]


    The finished product in the radio room awaiting the reinstallation of gear. The desktop does not sit on the file cabinets but rather about 1 1/2 inches above them.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    Finished product with shelf installed. I used dowel pins on the bottom of the shelf legs to prevent the shelf from moving. The shelf is very heavy and strong because it has to support all the Kenwood TS-820S station gear plus future boat anchor stuff like the DX-60 transmitter and whatever else I may acquire.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    All I have yet to do is cut and stain a couple pieces of oak trim to cover the ends of the panels of the desktop and shelf. I have some perfect oak planed to about 1/2 to 5/8 of an inch just waiting to be cut to size and stained. I will install them using furniture type fasteners that have a hex head and screw into a captive nut set into the ends. Time ran out today and I go back to work tomorrow but hopefully Saturday I will begin the process of laying out a new station configuration and possibly get started on the remaining trim pieces.
     
    #1
  2. nat19

    nat19 Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2009
    Messages:
    232
    Likes Received:
    2
    Looks really good!!:p:
     
    #2
  3. CTStallion

    CTStallion Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    Messages:
    196
    Likes Received:
    12
    Looks GREAT! Nice job making the shelf high enough to put even even the largest transceiver below it, and strong enough to hold the boatanchor(s), amp(s), or whatever other goodies you have instore.
     
    #3
  4. Captain Kilowatt

    Captain Kilowatt Professional Amateur Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2005
    Messages:
    11,354
    Likes Received:
    2,821

    Forgot to say that the shelf legs sit directly on top of the desktop legs to transfer the weight straight down better. The shelf is 12 inches above the main desktop and each shelf leg is 18 inches in from the end. That was by design. I have a cabinet that measures 17 inches wide by 10 3/4 inches high and will eventually house a small homebrew 811A or 572B amplifier and Retro-75 AM transmitter and will go at one end of the desktop.
     
    #4
  5. bioman

    bioman Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2005
    Messages:
    263
    Likes Received:
    0
    #5
  6. pro151

    pro151 KB4RMA

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2007
    Messages:
    1,983
    Likes Received:
    221
    Nice. Very nice!
     
    #6
  7. Beetle

    Beetle Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2005
    Messages:
    2,501
    Likes Received:
    359
    Sweet! Looks like you'll have enough room for a while. My handicrafting is similar to what Bioman is talking about.
     
    #7
  8. depark

    depark W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    221
    Likes Received:
    14
    That look AWESOME!!!(y) I like the craftsmanship of the work. I wish I had something like that.
     
    #8
  9. AudioShockwav

    AudioShockwav Extraterrestrial Admin Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2005
    Messages:
    5,234
    Likes Received:
    903
    Captain!
    What an abomination of a Desk!!
    I will spare you the embarrassment of having that thing sitting in your Radio Room and take it off of your Hands, I am SUCH a great guy I will even pay the shipping to get it out of there.....Let me know when I can have it picked up!!
    :D:D:D:D
    Hey...no thanks needed, I got your back.....what are friends for anyway!!

    Ok... Really, that is nice, good work! And an awesome use of recycled materials...Hats off to you on that project!

    73
    Jeff
     
    #9
  10. jazzsinger

    jazzsinger Bullshit Buster

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    Messages:
    1,709
    Likes Received:
    259
    Looking good there Captain kw,all thats missing is a couple of superwhackpacked export radios and a mammoth linear and your ready to blow 11m apart.
     
    #10
  11. Captain Kilowatt

    Captain Kilowatt Professional Amateur Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2005
    Messages:
    11,354
    Likes Received:
    2,821

    I did that a long while ago and couldn't put it back together so I gave up. Don't bother to keep looking for any of those to appear anytime soon. It must be almost 20 years since I did any 11m stuff, never used a superwhackpacked rig :eek:, and make no promises about the mammoth amp. :D I still have all the RF and power supply parts from that broadcast transmitter taking up space and the wife wants me to start making some room so I figure I can make room by consolidating all those parts into one nice 42 inch rack cabinet on wheels. Nothing too mammoth however. Just a pair of 3-500Z's.:p:
     
    #11
  12. HomerBB

    HomerBB Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    Messages:
    2,489
    Likes Received:
    401
    Looks really great! And it is well made. (y)
     
    #12
  13. tuner

    tuner Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2010
    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    3
    Very Good Sir, Well Done!
     
    #13
  14. Captain Kilowatt

    Captain Kilowatt Professional Amateur Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2005
    Messages:
    11,354
    Likes Received:
    2,821
    Well I finally got back to doing some more work on my radio desk. I added some oak trim pieces to cover the ends of the desktop and shelf as well as added a oak small shelf in the middle. The first picture shows a close-up of the trim and the furniture fasteners that I used to attach them. They have a hex head and screw into inserts that are driven into a hole drilled in the wood inserts in the steel panels.


    [​IMG]





    [FONT=&quot]This picture is an over view of what the desk now looks like with the trim and shelf in place.


    [​IMG]


    [/FONT] This picture shows what I think will be the final layout of the gear, at least for now.The gear consists of :

    Top shelf L-R: Heath HR-10 receiver (needs work), Heath DX-60B transmitter for AM use, Heath HG-10 VFO with Wavetek 4101 AM/FM modulation monitor good for 1.5 MHz to 2.0 GHz, Kenwood TS-820S with Hitachi scope and MC-50 microphone on top, Kenwood VFO-820 external VFO, Kenwood AT-230 antenna tuner, Kenwood SP-820 external speaker with Hi/Lo filters.

    Middle shelf L-R: RCI-2950DX for monitoring 10m openings especially FM, Icom IC-2000H 2m rig, MFJ-264 dummy load, Diamond SX-1000 SWR/power meter good for DC-daylight practically, external speaker for FT-857

    Main desktop L-R: Tripplite PR-40a 40 amp power supply with homemade volt/current metering with DC distribution terminals on the back, Kenwood R-1000 general coverage receiver, Ten-Tec AT-227 antenna tuner with Radio Shack DSP unit on top which is connected to the R-1000, Yaesu FT-857D with LDG-Meter on top, CDE rotator control.




    [​IMG]




    I have some other small items like test gear, microphones etc. that is stored in the drawers. I will be adding a microphone boom arm for my Sennheiser MD-421 as soon as I can find a decent arm that will support the weight. The thing I like about the MD-421 is that it has a five position bass roll-off feature that is built into a rotary switch located on the plug end of the mic body which is great for 20m DXing or 80m AM rag chewing equally well. Other things will inevitably make their way onto the desk somewhere, like the Ameritron RCS-10 remote antenna switch controller that I just remembered I had stashed elsewhere, but this pretty much what I have to offer so far. The big empty space on the far right of the desk is reserved for a desktop amplifier of some sort either a homebrew 811A/572B type or an Ameritron using similar tubes. There is also just enough room on either side of the desk to accommodate a 42 inch high standard 19 inch Hammond rack I have for a future 2 X 3-500Z amplifier. You will notice no computer in the shack. That is because there is another desk with a computer on it directly behind the radio desk on the opposite side of the room out of view. It’s only about six feet away and the plan is to use it for now and get a decent laptop to use at the operating position s I have the desk space for it. Not everything you see is wired up at the moment but the Yaesu is and is connected to an 80m ladderline fed doublet for now. I hope to wire up the rest soon as well as get the old beat up and refurbished A3 installed on the tower before winter sets in.
     
    #14
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2014
  15. AudioShockwav

    AudioShockwav Extraterrestrial Admin Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2005
    Messages:
    5,234
    Likes Received:
    903
    Wow. I got to say that is one sweet set-up....I do not know how you work the crazy hours that you do and still find time to put together a first class set-up like that...Kudos!

    73
    Jeff
     
    #15

Share This Page