I wanted to share a little more about our new shack which was recently completed. Anita and I each have our own operating positions and both positions are SO2R capable. Anita’s setup consists of a Yaesu FTdx5000 and has provisions to add a second radio in the future. Fred’s position uses an Icom IC-7800 and an Icom IC-9100. Some of the key specifications and capabilities of our shack include:
- A manual antenna switching matrix which allows us to connect any one of 6 antennas to our radios
- W3QN bandpass filters systems for each radio to allow simultaneous operation of multiple transmitters at the same time on different bands
- microHAM MK2R+ and SignalLink USB sound cards to enable digital mode operation
- Dedicated displays and keyboards for the FTdx5000 and IC-7800 radios to enable better use of their built-in Pan Adapters
- Icom and Yaesu desk microphones and Heil ProSet headsets with boom microphones
- Bencher paddle for CW
- Windows 7 (64-bit) computers with dual monitors for running all manner of HAM software (we mainly use Ham Radio Deluxe at this time – more on software in a future post)
- An Icom PW-1 Kilowatt Solid State Amplifier
The shack also has 125A of dedicated AC power, 70A of DC power and its own Heat Pump system for heating and cooling. Our house also has a 20 KW automatic generator system that provides emergency power to the shack.
The following are a few pictures of our shack:
Our shack also has a dedicated area for equipment construction and test. It sure is nice to have a place where all of our test equipment, etc. can be left connected and set up for immediate use.
Our shack includes areas for storage and an A-V area with a TV and entertainment audio. These are all essential items for a complete HAM-cave.
Anita and I were able to use our new shack in its multi-op configuration for the 13 Colonies Special Event over the 4th of July. We were both on the air at the same time as K2K New Hampshire and this was the first test of our station in a multi-operator configuration. To avoid audio interference, one of us did SSB-phone on one band while the other operated digital modes on a different band. For now, we built a matrix of manual antenna switches which allows any of our four radios to use any of the available antennas. In the future, we plan to automate all of this with a microHAM system.
The work to construct our shack took about 8 months and was quite a bit of work. We started with an unfinished area of our basement and we did the framing, electrical, HVAC, plumbing, drywall, ceiling, floor, and finish work. We had the help of several great contractors along the way. We plan to do a series of posts sometime in the future to explain a little more about what went into the construction of the room and the systems which support it.
The video playlist above provides a “Virtual Station Tour” of our station.
Are you interested in learning more about our shack design and construction? Here are some links with more information:
- Shack Construction – Part 1/4 (Planning And Framing)
- Shack Construction – Part 2/4 (Electrical, HVAC, And Grounding)
- Shack Construction – Part 3/4 (Insulation, Drywall And Finish Construction)
- Shack Construction – Part 4/4 (Final Setup Of Equipment)
- Complete presentation on the Design and Construction of our station including Towers and Antennas
– Fred, AB1OC