Ham Radio Desk
Hello everyone. I have searched the internet over in looking for a desk for my ham radio equipment. I wanted something that would look nice, but be very functional and ergonomic as well. I found that most desks were not deep enough. I pride myself on having good equipment, it seem wrong to keep my current desk made up of some 2 x 4's and plywood.
I have decided that I am going to take my time and build my dream desk. I am enlisting your help to tell me what you would like to have on your dream desk. I have listed some of my ideas or constraints, I would love to hear what yours are. Here are some of my needs:
- Mounting four computer monitor at a height, that does not cause neck strain.
- I should be able to sit and reach everything, without moving my chair.
- Easy access to the back of my equipment, thinking of putting the desk on wheels
- Ground bar mounted to the back of the desk.
- Plenty of electrical outlets built into the desk.
- Plenty of connection points for 12V DC.
- Be able to store my power supplies out of plain site.
- Adjustable shelving.
- Desk should have about a 30" main console position, the units coming out on both sides at an 45 degree angle.
- Should be strong, but easily unassembled.
- Should be resistant to Coffee and other drinks. Should it have a laminate top or just good old wood with lots of coats of poly on it.
- Must be hard enough to all writing.
- Good place for keyboard and mouse. Maybe off of the desk.
- Ample righting space.
- Cords should be hidden.
- Coax should come into a distribution area and neatly ran to each radio. Maybe S0-239 connectors prewired for expansion and it goes to single distribution box.
- Prewired for 8 conduction cable for Rotors and other equipment with DB-9/DB25 connectors.
- Place to mount my computer underneath, but to have the ability to access USB and Serial Ports at the console level.
- Should have some convenience AC outlets to plug something in temporarily.
- Jacks for Telephone and internet Easily accessible.
I would be interesting in hearing your thoughts. How deep should the desk be? Any materials you would suggest using or staying away from. For shelves, how deep should they be? What are your thoughts about tilting the radio's back at an angle. Not sure I'm sold on that yet.
Here is my current shack:
I would love to get pictures of your current shacks to give me some idea's. I promised I will post the results of this adventure and make it available for all to see.
73 de wi4usa
Good thread! Ive been trying to get some ideas myself. Ive got a whole room to use and cant decide how i want to build my desk.
Thom, I have to say I like the set-up you have right now. The one thing that you hit on in your list is the easy accessibility to the back of the desk (rigs). My set up, well lets just say I have to be a contortionist to get to the back of my gear.
I'm a Yaesu & Mac geek.
Re: Ham Radio Desk
My desk is homemade, 38" x 72". It consists of two layers of Oriented Stand Board, with tempered hardboard on top. I used contact cement to glue the layers of wood together and trimmed it with 1x2 fir. Plywood would be stronger but, it's strong enough to support my weight! It's stained and then coated with Varathane. I used a homemade crosscut sled on my table saw (with infeed & outfeed rollers) to trim the glued-up slab.
It's held up OK though, a couple of coffee spills have done a little damage to the hardboard. The next iteration will be covered with plastic laminate for better wear & water resistance.
I say build your operating desk as big as you can.
The reason for this is you never know when you are going to add equipment.
I currently have 3 HF rigs I can operate. However I have 3 more I would love to have sitting on the desk. I just do not have room. Half of my desk has one shelf running the entire length of the desk. Then on top of that I have another shelf which covers half the length of the desk. That desk is 6 feet long.
I have an L shaped operating desk, the second part of the desk is 48 inches. I have my digital computer set up on that part of the desk. On the main desk I have my internet computer set up.
It is cramped but serves the purpose other than the lack of space for those 3 extra rigs. I'd like tear this all out and build a new operating desk. But I cringe at the thoughts of having to be off the air for a few days and renovating the entire room!
So that is why I say BUILD IT BIG, THOSE RADIOS, COMPUTERS, POWER SUPPLIES AND AMPS WILL COME! Do it right the first time, build it as big as you possibly can with at least one shelf on top of the desk surface.
I wouldn't build it as big as possible, but build it with the idea of being modular. Able to change or modify it when you want.
Build a desk surface. add above or below that. I'd even suggest so far as to build it to enable you to be able to stand at the desk. It's nice to be able to stand at times more than you.
There are times I have had this at my desk at work and it's so nice to do.
Some additional ideas.
Everything in front of your hand looks pretty good----
TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
Thanks for the links, they are very helpful.
Originally Posted by KD0EAH