Welcome to my Shack

The shack and antenna system is changing so expect some updates soon.

With the announcement from Flex Radio at Dayton about the release of the new 6400/6600 radios I decided it was time to upgrade the Flex 6500 to a 6600m.  The Icom 7800 which is an amazing transceiver rarely got used and I sold it mostly to alleviate the guilt of having such a fine radio and never using it. I also sold the Icom 8500 wide-band receiver and small 2 meter rig and replaced it with a Icom 9100. Now I have 2 meters and a backup HF rig. Image on right is a 3D CAD rendering of the new layout. Much less equipment but easier to operate.

Also on order is a Telepost LP-500 station monitor. I think I have been on a waiting list for about 9 months now and it looks like I am down to the final month of waiting.

Outside, I added a MyAntennas.com EFHW 8010 and was shocked with how it performed. The wire gauge as shipped was only 18 ga. so I rebuilt it with something heavier and changed it to a Balun Designs 55:1 UNUN which I thought would be a little more durable than what ships. That may or may not have been a good move.  More on that later.  I also added a relay to bypass the UNUN so I can use the antenna on 160 as an inverted L. That I can insure you was a worthwhile move 🙂

In the garage is a new Array Solutions Windom waiting for cooler weather to get installed. Speaking of Array Solutions I ordered a 2×8 antenna switch (8 pack) to make switching antennas and radios easier.

And finally, replaced the Palstar SP30H speakers (two) with a set of Bose Companion computer speakers. This was NOT an upgrade but something I did to save space as the SP30H are quite large.  Took me a while to get used to the Bose units but in the end they are a fine speaker and have auxiliary input so I can feed the Flex and computer audio into them at same time.



Main operating position

Welcome to my amateur radio webpage.  I received my amateur license in 1985.  My interest is strictly with HF although I do have a 2 meter rig which to me is just “CB for hams”. You can click on the various menu items above to see pictures of my station setup. I will add pictures as time goes on.

The shack is in order but its time to do something with a few more antenna’s. We bought this property about 4 years ago. The picture on the bottom right is how it sits currently. It was totally over-run with fallen trees and  no access to the property to speak of.  movie-reelCindy and I cleared the land and had a drive installed across the creek and then built our home. We have been working hard to get the place in shape and have struggled with defacing the property with antenna’s beyond wires in the tree’s but now  its time to do something.

This year I finally got around to installing a vertical. After careful deliberation I ended up with a SteppIR BigIR with 80 meter coil add-on.  You can see more information on the antenna from assembly to on the air in the menu under equipment above.


After taking the plunge  at “property defacing” I am now thinking a tubular crank-up tower might be OK .  Crank-up is on my list of must have requirements not only because its easier to maintain but I am starting to realize the importance of height above ground with some of antenna modeling I have been doing.

One thing for sure. I plan on adding several resonant dipoles on various bands. As you can see from my acreage photo on the right I have a few trees to assist in doing this and its towards the top of my list of things to do. However, I might have to get a second job before doing so as the price of copper for feed-line and antenna material has gone through the roof in recent years.

The bulk of my contacts have been CW and Phone but after getting a new FlexRadio 6500 this year I have jumped into the digital modes. I suppose its about time after 30 years of being a ham.  The video above is a video of my completed shack showing the equipment I have (as of January 2015).  Subject to change 🙂

73, and look forward to meeting up with you on the air.