Sunday, 27 July 2014

Boxing Clever

Having dealt with the small amount of electronic preparatory work the time had come to cut some metal and put my experimental HF rig into its new enclosure. Or - to be more accurate - into its old enclosure...

The first task was to make a rectangular cut-out in the 2U front panel to accept the nice new 20*4 LCD display - a task which I tackled on my "trusty rusty" milling machine...

After a few more strategic holes had been drilled (and existing ones enlarged to suit new purposes), I had the beginnings of a rough panel...

Here's the "first fit" of the components into the enclosure, in which I mounted the "RF" system and ran the "digital system" out on the bench...

As you see, the main RF board occupies the greater part of the floor of the enclosure and the I2C controlled band-specific filters sit over at the left hand side of the enclosure, close to the antenna socket. 

Having already occupied all the "ground" area of the enclosure, I had to take inspiration from the Tokyo town planners and extend into the third dimension to accommodate the digital system - it is mounted on a hinged platform in the right-hand-side of the enclosure (when viewed from the front). The hinge allows access to the RF board below, such that modifications / adjustments can be made without completely stripping down the rig.

The view above shows the speaker / phone output (currently via a 1/4 inch jack as I don't have any chassis-mount 1/8 inch jacks in the junk box stores), the inputs for key and paddle, the power input and the antenna connections (via BNC and SO 239).

Here's a shot of the newly enclosed system on the bench...

You can see my home-brewed fist mic at the left hand end. The display - although not very visible in the shot - is very much easier to read and use in vivo. There are two push-buttons just to the right of the display, which are used for various functions within the menu system and the main tuning control is the large black knob. The red push button does nothing - it fills a hole that was in the original enclosure that I was too lazy to fill! Last grey knob on the right is the audio volume control.

The system works well - first impression is that putting it in the box has made it work much better than before.

But perhaps I'm biased!

...-.- de m0xpd

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