sept 18 2007 radio rack

Until now I've had all of the good ship Galena's radios just suspended over the nav station with some make-shift metal brackets. Not attractive and not secure. I had a teak plank left over from some de-construction that was large enough to hold all of her radio equipment.

I cobbled up the wood by cutting a bunch of holes in it and came up with this:


It's pretty much hanging from the brass hooks you can see on the front. That and a couple of brackets at the back of the shelf hook it to the trim just above the cabinets that are visible at the back of the nav station. There is a shelf under the teak facing and that will keep (most of) the wiring under control and out of the way.

From left to right on the rack are:

TNC (radio modem): PTC-II by SCS
Speaker: for the HF radio
HF Radio: Icom 706MkIIG (I'm a licensed ham: N4UDE)
12-VDC Receptacle (can't have too many of these around)
Car Radio, AM/FM/CD/MP3 player: Pioneer P2900MP
VHF Radio: Uniden 525 with DSC

Under the car radio is the wireless remote and charger for the VHF Under the TNC is the fuse block for some of these devices and a good 12 VDC access point for future add-ons.

At the far right, under the VHF mic, is the small control panel I made a few years ago for the Air-X Marine wind generator. It consists of a Volt Meter, an Amp Meter, a speed break switch, and a 50-amp circuit breaker.

I still have to wire in the GPS to the VHF (for the DSC functions). I've included three buss blocks inside for that. It's not going to be perfect. But I plan to just wire the GPS data out to the VHF data in, and vise versa. I already have the GPS wired like that to the Raymarine auto pilot and the depth sounder. I wired in the depth sounder because the GPS will record depth on each data point of a track, if available. I wrote a program that would plot the depth info on a chart so I can update the local charts with my own sounding.

I also might mount a DB-9 connector near the HF radio to keep the connection between the TNC and the laptop computer a little less cluttered. If I do that, I'll also put a second DB-9 connector there to hook the computer to the GPS for uploading/downloading routes, et al.

And, finally, you can see some wires sneaking into the locker below the VHF radio. They go to the chart light that I have not yet remounted (I just tucked it into the locker for the photo session)

The project took five days. Well, it would be more accurate to say that five days went by betweeb start and finish. As with all my boat projects I tend to spend a great deal of time worrying about how I'm going to do them, and not so much time actually working on them. Once I start, I only work for an hour or so then have to take a break while I think about it more. In this case I also had to spend a lot of time with friends at several of the pubs that are conveniently located within crawling distance of the marina.

So far it seems to be working OK.