The Shacks

The 2017 Shack – My Personalized Man-Cave

2017 shack bench constructionMy QTH between the end of 2016 and mid 2019 had a nice large garden so I took advantage of this and purchased a nice, good quality wooden shed in which to construct my 2017 shack.

The 2017 shack was fully chipboard lined and any gaps filled as an aid to help soundproof and insulate it. The chipboard also gives a nice clean feel to the interior.

Benches were installed for the equipment and also to provide a working space. The main frame for the benches is constructed using CLS timber and through moving, a wardrobe became surplus to requirements, the sides and doors were used as the worktop and shelving.

Electric power was supplied from a separate RCBO in the house consumer unit (CU) to the shack using armoured cable (SWA) buried underground. Upon entering the shack, the armoured cable is terminated at another CU which had individual RCD’s for the lighting circuit and the sockets.

The shack had it’s own TT earthing system, completely isolated from the house TNC-S (PME) system. Two CAT6 cables were also buried in plastic conduit alongside the power cable to provide a reliable connection between the two shack computers and the main router in the house.

This short video was taken within the few 2 or 3 days after moving in to the new QTH. The radio was balanced on the car dashboard and my portable mast tied to the fence at the rear of the property.

Moving away from a busy town where RF noise levels were a constant S8 or more to a quiet place in the countryside made the radio enjoyable again, this is 80m with only S1 of RF noise – absolute bliss…

Watch until the end and you’ll see the nice wet English weather at it’s best during the winter months and half of the drive turned to mud after removal vans driving in and out.

The 2017 shack looked like this.

g7syw mid 2017 shackOn the shelf above the monitors are two printers. One is used for general printing, the other is set-up to print my outgoing QSL cards. To the right is a small corner shelf upon which I have placed my Silver Eagle microphone and Yaesu hand-held PMR radios.

There are two computers situated under the main desk to the left below the Kenwood. One computer is set up as a dual monitor system using the two monitors to the right.

PC #1 (left monitor) is configured to run the Ham Radio Deluxe radio control software in server mode. The HRD logging and data-modes suites are run on PC #2.

On the main level can be seen the three monitors. Along with these are my speakers which can take audio from both PC’s.
Also on this level is my Kenwood SP23 speaker, on top of which is a SignaLink digimodes interface unit which is connected between PC #2 and the Kenwood.

Finally, there is a world time zone clock, my Yaesu FT-7800 VHF/UHF radio and to the very right, a digital satellite receiver. The satellite receiver is connected to PC #1 via an Easycap capture device. Above the right speaker is my Yaesu VX-6r 2m/70cms hand held.

The main operating bench is home to the HF radios, and some test equipment including a Welz SP-300 power & SWR meter, frequency counter, oscilloscope, digital multimeters and antenna analyser.

As with almost everything related to amateur radio, everything keeps evolving and changing and the 2017 shack has been changed – yet again!

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