Saturday, October 27, 2012

Internal Rack Progress

The internal rack is back from being wielded and looks great!

I've spent the a few hours the last couple of days cutting out the instrument panel, and have gotten most of that done, just need to add the fans and a external battery connection plug and that part will be done. However quite a bit of work is still required to wire up the panel and make sure it all works properly.

The biggest issue right now is how to mount the power supply. Because the frame is designed to be snug in the box it is not possible to simple bolt things to the frame. I am thinking that I might be able to put in some sheet metal to the inside of the frame with some rivets and then take a modified L bracket and rivet that to the sheet metal and then screw that into the side of the power supply. If that does not work then the frame will have to go back to the wielder to have special bracket wielded to the power supply case.

The internal frame with some things installed, my workbench is a disaster area!

In this picture you can sort of see my clever way of dealing with the sound issues of the radio. Since the plan is to operate the radio inside the can, the speaker of the radio would be projecting audio into the can. I decided that was less than idea and even worse was that how would you deal with audio in a loud environment or in an Command Center where headphones are required?

What I did was went to Goodwill bought a cheap pair of computer speakers for $3. These old speakers had a nice heavy cord with a good amount of wire, I then soldered the wires to the 2 4 ohm 10 watt speakers. Yes that doesn't seem like much but after much reading I discovered the external speaker jack on the radio is setup to output at 4 ohms. I could have gotten speakers that were more than 10 watts, however they would have been too big. These ones fit nicely beneath the radio mount. 

You will notice a toggle switch and a jack below it. The toggle switch is used to select either the two speakers or the headphone jack, it is neat way to deal with a big problem. The toggle switch is a DPPT switch, which is a toggle switch with multiple outputs and a single input. 

Also on the panel is the coaxial mount, basic analog volt meter and the temperature gauge that reads in Celsius, it is easier for me to determine how hot it is without having to do a conversion to Fahrenheit.

The cool thing though are the folding handles that allows one to pull the rack from the can with ease! Regular handles were too big so I had to get these custom made from a shop in California, the owner is interested in this project.

The rack sitting snug inside the can!

Still need to add two small fans that will circulate the air and the external battery plug which will use a set of Anderson Powerpoles. The battery for this setup has arrived, I got a 51 Ah Gel Cell battery. I wanted to keep the weight down as much as possible, the battery weighs about 30 pounds and will work flawlessly with the Powergate.

While the rack looks good there is still a bit of work to do yet, mounting the power supply and powergate, fans, battery plug and then wiring everything together. The project has taken a giant step forward the last few days and is really starting to come together now.

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