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 Post subject: Serial Box station controller project...
PostPosted: Dec Thu 10, 2020 6:11 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Somers, CT
A while back I bought a slew of old serial boxes on the cheap and I have been using them for inexpensive project boxes. I figured I show a recent project where two more of them were repurposed for another life.

Over the past week I've used to build a vintage station control system to interface my boat anchor receivers and transmitters.

The design objective was to provide a means to select one of four transmitters and receivers (in any combination) and to provide mic audio, CW keying, PTT control and receiver muting. PTT control includes sensing the CW PTT from the AEA Keyer, which provides an adjustable semi break-in PTT control line, mike PTT or a footswitch. CW keying can be set for either grid or cathode keying depending on how the interface cable is wired. The transmitter box controls the transfer of the mike audio, cw keying and PTT control.

The receiver box allows for relay receiver muting, or for positive or negative 28 VDC audio muting (aka 75a4, NC303 and the modified HQ-150.) It also interfaces with the CW sidetone from the AEA keyer (which can be used with hand keys) by relay switch audio transfer between the RX earphone jack (manually selected plug in cable) and the headphone jack on the RX box. The 28 VDC muting power supply is floating, and is keyed via an opto-isolator for almost instantaneous muting control.

There's a huge pile of cables that had to be wired up for interfacing to the various rigs.

T/R antenna transfer is via a Johnson electronic TR switch.

Pete

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 Post subject: Re: Serial Box station controller project...
PostPosted: Dec Thu 10, 2020 6:16 pm 
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Location: Wayside, NJ Monmouth
I purchase the same boxes at Hamfest for $.25 each, or even given to me to take away. They do make good project boxes. Nice to be able to recycle stuff.


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 Post subject: Re: Serial Box station controller project...
PostPosted: Dec Thu 10, 2020 10:27 pm 
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Joined: Oct Sun 15, 2006 12:57 pm
Posts: 7550
Location: Liberty, Missouri
WELL DONE!! Integrating stations into a single operator control position, calls for a lot of wire and connectors. I've always found making cables to be relaxing, and building projects enjoyable since I was a kid.

I did a similar project some time ago, making all the sets of cables for each position identical, using differing pin count Molex connectors so there was no duplication of connectors within a set. I put adapters/pigtails on each radio as needed, which stay with it. This allows me to swap out boxes from the front of the table in a couple minutes. If it'll physically fit in the space, all is good. Controllers like these get pretty messy after a few changes are made.

Image

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Last edited by Mikeinkcmo on Dec Thu 10, 2020 10:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Serial Box station controller project...
PostPosted: Dec Thu 10, 2020 10:54 pm 
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Very neat and tidy, Mike! Puts mine to shame.

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 Post subject: Re: Serial Box station controller project...
PostPosted: Dec Thu 10, 2020 11:20 pm 
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Location: Liberty, Missouri
When I read your serial box thread title, I thought of cereal box, imagining Wheaties or Cheerios on the front. :wink:

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...Very neat and tidy, Mike! Puts mine to shame...

Thanks for the compliment, but I think it turned into the classic "5 pound sack" long ago. Haven't had to go to bigger bolts to hold the cover down yet, but its not far off. Your switch box looks pretty darn tidy to me, often there aren't many options for mounting and lead dress in cramped quarters.

As for the stack of cables, looks aren't one of the ingredients I've ever seen in any cable "recipe". Many folks have no idea how much time goes into making them.
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Still liking your 8660?

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