I built a rack for the radio equipment that would live inside of the truck. It is approximately 24 inches long, 11 inches deep, and the ends are 14 inches tall. I marvel at the capabilities that can be placed into that small a package.
- 160m through 23cm operation on all the amateur bands. Check.
- Decently capable SDR radio with super easy transverter interfacing. Check.
- GPS disciplined 10MHz clock reference with 4-way splitter. Check.
- USB hub and USB power ports. Check.
- Azimuth and elevation rotor control tied to the USB hub. Check.
- AC and DC power distribution. Check.
The rack size was a design compromise to fit the equipment planned. It needed to be light enough that I could move it easily, and fit on top of the center console so that I can access the front controls while sitting in the passenger seat. Contrary to what others have assumed, it is not rational to operate EME Rover in ‘run-and-gun’ style from the driver’s seat. There is more room in the passenger seat for the laptop and second monitor.
It’s all tied down so that none of the parts bounce or move within the rack during transport. It requires 10 cables disconnected to be removed from the truck. The cables are:
- 120VAC Power
- 12VDC Power
- Azimuth Rotor
- Elevation Rotor
- GPS Antenna
- Transmit Coax
- Receive Coax
- PTT to Amplifier
- RX Enable to LNA and RX Relay
- USB Cable from hub to Laptop
In roving operations, I can leave 7 of the cables connected when the rack is stowed into the back seat. The two coax cables and the laptop USB cable need to be disconnected to move the rack to the rear. When in the back seat, I make it wear a shoulder strap, but I may change that to straps that make use of the child seat loops built into the rear seat by Dodge.