Rig Runner – Tidying Up The Shack June 26th, 2013
It’s good to tidy up the radio rom every so often, even though most of us know that it will not remain like that for very long. The main centre of attention in my station always seems to be the many leads that build up over a relatively short period and develop a mind of their own. And DC leads are a particular problem because with the larger power supplies now in wide use it is not uncommon to power a number of bits of gear from a single common power supply. The quick way is to twist the leads round the terminals of the supply unit, but this untidy and you cannot get more than Acapulco of leads onto one pair to terminals. fitting each set of leads with banana plugs makes for a better and tidier connection but the limit of how many leads that can be connected in this way is directly related to how many remittals there are in the power supply. Another factor that always concerns me is that many power supplies have variable output voltage features. if you opt to tuck the supply unit under the desk out of sight, there is always the risk that somehow the control knob may get nudged and the voltage will rise above the standard 13.8v figure. well now there is an answer.
West Mountain Radio in the USA produce something known as the rig runner. This is a multi terminal output box that connects to you main power supply and offers multi outputs. It employs the standard PowerPole connectors which are easily connected and take up very little room which means that they can be grouped together on a small space. West Mountain produce a range of these connector boxes catering for different numbers of output sockets and different total DC currents. Each pair of sockets are individually fused. A novel feature on some of the units is a set of three LEDs that indicate whether the output voltage is normal, high,or low. These units also feature an audible warning that sounds if the voltage rises behaviour the normal value. However, in the case of using the RigRunner in conjunction with a battery, where the voltage drop is the important factor, the user can open up the unit and and change the audible warning from high voltage to low voltage.
Each unit has a 2m lead and is provided with adequate PowerPole connectors to fit on the individual DC equipment leads. So I now have a tidier station and can instantly unplug any lead from the distribution unit, and safe in the knowledge that if the voltage rises or falls I can have an immediate audio warning.
Today we are expecting a visit from Kenwood. They will be bringing the designer of the TS-990 with them. This radio has proved to be a great seller for those who demand the best.