It was quite a sad day when I had to remove the equipment from my purpose built shack and take down the antennae, oh well, these things are sent to try us.
Although I’m now back in a room in a house without the luxury of being able to build things as I want, I have managed to retain all the equipment that I’ve acquired over the last few years. Admittedly, some of it has now been put to one side for the moment.
I’m still making use of my trusty Kenwood TS-850, Yaesu FT-7800, Welz SWR/Power meter and one of the shack PC’s. I’m currently using the Hustler 5-BTV vertical antenna due to lack of space, although I’m toying with the idea of somehow getting a dipole or end-fed wire antenna installed somewhere.
March 2020 Shack
After some careful planning I have now finally finished the layout for the latest shack. Gone are the three monitors for the computer, and two brand new 24 inch widescreen HP monitors now take their place.
After all the years of use, the old monitors were starting to show signs of ageing, especially the backlights which are very noticeably dimmer than the new HP’s.
The audio processing rack has now been rehoused into a custom shelving unit built from pine, I’m no carpenter, so I just did my best. The top of this unit serves to stand the monitors at a comfortable viewing height.
Between the monitor stands now sits the Behringer UB-802 mixer and the Tigertronics SignaLink unit. Sitting just behind the monitors to the side of the stands are the Sony extension speakers for the Icom IC-756 Pro3 (left) and the Kenwood TS-850S/AT (right).
To the very outside, are the Edirol monitor speakers for the PC audio. My Kenwood SP-23 extension speaker for the Yaesu FT-7800 sits atop the left speaker, while on the right speaker is a Sony radio controlled clock.
In the space below the audio processing gear, from left to right, is an MFJ-949E antenna tuner, above which is my antenna change-over switch. As I have two antennas and two radios, this is set up to swap from R1-A1, R2-A2 to R1-A2, R2-A1 with just the flick of a single switch.
The small gap to the right of this switch holds my morse paddle when not in use and keeps it off the desktop and away from accidentally getting damaged. Just in case you’re wondering why the paddle is to the left – I’m left handed 🙂
The Icom is passed through sensor 1, the Yaesu FT7800 (positioned above the meter) is passed through sensor 3, and finally, the Kenwood TS-850S/AT which is positioned to the right of the meter is passed through sensor 2. The kenwood is used for all digi-modes and CW.
Finally at the right hand side of the line-up is a Watson W-45XM power supply, capable of supplying 38 amps constant current and peak current of 45 amps.
In the very top, right of the photo can be seen one of my oscilloscopes and frequency counter – the rest of my test gear is also situated in this area just of out shot – it can be seen in the August 2019 – March 2020 photo (top of page).
July/August 2020 Shack
Added since the photo was taken is a Superstar 3900 CB, yes, I do still use the CB bands on occasions.
A shelf has been built above the monitors to hold the test equipment. The Watson power supply is now used for radios on the bench and as a general supply. A new power supply for the radios is now under the bench and can be seen in the bottom-right of the picture.
The Yaesu FT-747 now resides where the power supply used to be. Just out of view is an elaborate switching system for the radios and antennas.
I have devised a method whereby I can connect any of the radios to any of my antennas, this includes any radio under test on the bench. The test radio is passed through sensor 2 of the Welz power meter, while the Kenwood uses sensor 2.
September 2020 Shack
Very little has changed over the last few weeks apart from adding a Kenwood TS-2000 to the shack. The Superstar had to go so as to make room for the TS-2000. Also now removed is the Yaesu FT-7800 as the Kenwood covers the 2m & 70cms bands, with the remote ATU control box being moved to fill the space.