[CQ-Contest] Photos of SO2R Layouts, 2nd Iteration?

Dick Green dick.green at valley.net
Wed Feb 27 11:28:13 EST 2002


The second iteration is similar to my setup, except I use autotune amps that
are away from the operating desk. Also, I don't use any shelving in my
setup -- the radios sit on the desk and the control boxes are stacked on top
of the radios. See below for how the monitor is placed. I keep the top cover
vent holes on the radios clear and the boxes are small enough that they
don't cover the entire top of the radios. Besides, the main airflow is
through the back panel of the radios. I've never had any overheating
problems. I do have to be careful about not scratching the top covers, but
the control boxes have rubber feet (which also provide clearance for

It was good that you lowered the screen. The key is to have the monitor
height such that you can look at it without raising or lowering your neck or
eyes from a relaxed position.

I see that you moved the radios closer together. I guess some people feel
it's better to have the controls closer to your hands, but I've found that
this causes me to reach directly over the keyboard too much and I don't like
that. My radios are about eight inches apart and slightly tilted in towards
me (or, as with stereo speakers, "toed in".) This makes it easier to read
the frequency displays and puts the tuning knobs 3-4 inches from the edge of
a standard keyboard. The clarifier knob on the run radio, which I have on my
left, is within very short reach. That's important because it's probably the
most used control on the run radio. The shift/width knobs are in the same
place and they get used a lot, too.

Another reason the radios are separated is that the LCD monitor stand is
between them and the stand is about 8 inches wide at the bottom. The stand
raises the screen about five inches, which isn't quite enough to clear the
radios. I put a couple of hardcover books under the stand to raise the
screen enough so that it clears the radios -- the lower edge is just above
the tops of the radios. The screen is almost flush with the front of the
radios, which puts it at about 14-24 inches from my eyes, depending on
whether or not I'm leaning back.

If you can visualize it, you can see that this setup doesn't lend itself to
shelving. I guess the shelving could be designed so that the front of the
radios stick out about 4 inches or so from the shelving, allowing enough
room for the shelving to pass behind the monitor. Alternatively, you could
cut a notch in the shelving for the monitor stand so that the radios and
monitor are only slightly in front of the shelf edges. As nice as it would
be to have shelving, it would require reaching  farther to get to the
control boxes.

I use an undersize keyboard that's about 3 inches narrower than the standard
model. The narrower width makes it easier to get at the various knobs on the
radios. Most important, I don't have to reach over the keyboard to tune the
S&P radio. Unlike most keyboards, my contest and standard keyboards are
designed so that the cable plugs into the back. They're both made by IBM, so
they're plug-compatible. I just unplug one and plug in the other for a quick
change. I used a Brother label maker to mark the special keys on the contest

One reason I can get away with this setup is that I share one rotor control
box for three Hy-Gain rotors. I built a simple relay interface to do that.
The motivation for this was that I didn't have any more cables in the
conduit and didn't feel like pulling two more. Another motivation was that
it allowed me to share a DCU-1 digital controller and it would have been too
expensive to buy three. In fact, I didn't have to buy controllers at all for
two of the rotors (a nice feature of buying them from Norm's Rotor Service.)
An unexpected benefit was getting rid of two big boxes that would have added
to the clutter.

I can e-mail you some jpegs of the station if you like. Hope these ideas are

73, Dick WC1M

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