I’m in the process of putting all the bits into the SKB roto-molded 4U rack case I’ve got. Mostly that has consisted of arranging things on the two rackmount shelves I’ve got to see how I can arrange things for space efficiency as well as ease of making connections, replacing the micro-SD card in the controller, and so on.
Picking up one of the steel 10″ deep shelves I got I was struck by how heavy they are. So I popped one on the scale and was staggered to find each shelf weighs just over four pounds.
I want this thing to be light enough to be portable. My original goal was to have it weigh around 15 pounds, but with the case itself weighing more than six pounds that’s out the window. But if the shelves themselves weigh 4 pounds, the case and shelves alone weigh nearly as much as my goal weight, and then we have to throw the radios, duplexers and everything else inside.
I can cut the shelf weight by mounting the radios on top of one shelf, and the duplexers to the bottom, so that a shelf is shared. I could cut the weight further by getting an aluminum shelf (although so far sourcing an aluminum shelf has been futile). Or I can build a lighter shelf, perhaps by cutting all but the perimeter of the shelf away and replacing the interior with something like 5mm foamed PVC sheet.
Probably the best plan is to ignore the weight problem until I’ve got a working repeater, and then work the packaging problem independently when I know more about exactly what I need. In the meantime I’ll arrange things without regard for weight or space, and concentrate on making progress on getting it working.