The New KY6R Ham Radio Operating Position
I have been working on a ham radio shack re-model since about Christmas Time. Part of the deal was getting the Collins KWS-1 RF Deck from W3HM – who did an awesome job restoring it (while I restored the Massive Power Supply). With a small room that is about 8 x 12′, every inch of space was important – and before, I had been wasting that space. Its amazing what happens when you economize and use space effectively – and how long it takes. Its like figuring out a jigsaw puzzle – and the results are something to be proud of.
The first thing I did was get rid of an old Ikea kitchen table – actually – I cut it down to a size where I can use it in front of the KWS-1 power supply. You can see a little bit of it in the lower right of this photo. The second thing I did was add a small workbench on wheels – and framed it with redwood so I could build up a nice electronic workbench. The KWS-1 and power supply also slide right in between that and my operating table – and where no wires get pinched or pulled. That’s important – especially because one wire is 2000 volts!
I also added a Geochron 4K with large screen TV. Its hilarious that I bought a TV so I can dedicate it to a world map / clock, but that’s how I roll. No binge watching mind numbing TV shows for me – I’m way too busy doing stuff hands on – with mind engaged. Even when just goofing off and relaxing in the shack – I’m at least dreaming – my “inner dialog” is my TV show – heh heh. I do come up with tons of “What if?” questions – and while maybe 20% of these lead to something, that’s pretty good in my book. The point is – you need time just to relax and “muse” a bit – its a form of meditation, and its always fun.
I moved the electronic parts organizers to a new framed in shelving unit above the bookshelf, and added lighting there. The only last thing I need to do now is build a steam punk style lamp for a little additional lighting.
I have a 4 position antenna switch – where the SW-3, IC-7300, one QRP rig (NorCal40A or Red Hot 40 are used) and Gold Dust Twins can be switched in. The really, really big deal is the Begali HST III – I still cant get over what an epiphany stumbling on that idea was / is. Its changed the way I send CW – and for the better. I can now switch it between the IC-7300, QRP rig and Gold Dust Twins – with the new switch box that I built. The Collins 75A-4 is such a joy to listen to – I use it to copy the nightly W1AW code bulletin in my head.
After I build the steampunk lamp – which will most likely be attached to the wall behind the laptop on wall monitor, I will take some decent pictures using my wide angle lens and decent lighting.
My shack is now “curated” – every piece and every inch of the shack has a purpose and everything fits like a glove. I can experience a different aspect of ham radio and electronics “Making” that covers different time periods:
+ 1931 Regenerative Receiver (National SW-3) while listening to KPIG AM on 1510 khz
+ IC-7300 – SDR technology
+ 1990’s QRP Technology
+ 1958 Collins Gold Dust Twins technology
I also use the shack as my home office – to write blogs and sometimes do work – work. And lastly – I can build and test and repair gear when I need to.
Out in the Back 40, the UrbanBeam and Diamond W735 work the Etherial Magic, all from one single and tall support.