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Author Topic: Ham Shack HVAC  (Read 6631 times)
NN7AA
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Posts: 5




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« on: March 06, 2011, 09:01:17 AM »

I am house hunting and the current top choice has a room in the garage that would make a perfect ham shack if I add heating and cooling. I want to identify a heat pump that is quiet--both acoustically and RFI. Any experience to offer from members of the forum?

Thanks,
NN7AA
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NN7AA
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« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2011, 11:43:51 AM »

I should have made it clear that I am asking about a window-mounted unit. They tend to be acoustically loud, and it will be near the receiver, so RF noise is also a potential issue. Neither kind of noise is acceptable, of course.

73,
NN7AA
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K8AC
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« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2011, 04:54:50 AM »

You might want to consider one of the Japanese units that are meant for smaller areas.  They come in two pieces - the compressor sits outside and the evaporator mounts on the wall.  Very quiet and effective - not as inexpensive as a window unit, however.  You need only to make holes to run the refrigeration lines through the wall.  LG is one brand, and I think Sanyo makes them as well. 
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WX7G
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« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2011, 08:15:06 PM »

Active noise cancelling headphones are great for fan noise.
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W6CD
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« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2011, 01:33:14 AM »

I have a GE PTAC unit in my ~500 Sq Ft garage / hobby room (wife's quilting and sewing, my ham radio). A PTAC is the unit commonly used in hotel rooms - mounted under the window. It's a heat pump and air conditioner.   Mine is mounted high in a side wall - and a thermostat on the opposite wall.  Has freeze/heat safety feature - even when off, it will automatically turn on if the room temp goes above 80 or below 40.  Four or five years ago, I paid about $1000 with thermostat, power cord, through-wall mounting sleeve, and shipping.

It does a great job of both heating and cooling the space.  No RF noise issues.  No audible noise issues.  While not silent, the running sound level is low and not a problem or objectionable. 

If concerned about audible noise levels, you might consider a mini-split unit - much the same thing but in two parts, with a separate outside unit.
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K2ZA
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« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2011, 08:59:41 AM »

At my work we use many of the Sanyo split units, they are very reliable and the interior evaporator / fan segments are very acoustically quiet. I checked the one in our control room with my handheld set to AM mode and could not detect any RFI. Far from a lab EMC test but it's one data point.

73 de K2ZA
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NN7AA
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« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2011, 05:09:46 PM »

Thanks everyone! I will do homework on the split units and PTAC. You have convinced me that I will find a good solution.

73 de NN7AA
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WS4E
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« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2011, 11:40:31 AM »

I have a room off the back of my detached garage which is where my 'shack' is.  And it has one of the split/wall units like you find in Hotels.  It works well, does not seem to generate much RFI at all, and once it warms/cools the room it rarely cycles.
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KG4YMC
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« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2011, 03:51:42 PM »

for what its worth, I think mitsahbushi , killed spelling makes one of those split units also . also check if fan slows down once it is cool enough ,  might help with electric bill also . Terry kg4ymc we have lg heatpump window iunit in two car garage that was coverted into moms apartment works great, radio room is on othe side of house , but never had an rf problem. with two speed fan quiet, also some have timer and remote option if interested.
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W5DPK
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Posts: 12




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« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2011, 08:35:36 PM »

I have been in the HVAC and Appliance repair business for 43 years.  Everything everyone has said is good advise.  There is one option that may be open to you.

If this house has central air and heat you may be able to "tap" into duct work and provide heat and cooling to the room if it isn't too big.

There are many factors involved so a visit by a HVAC tech may be in order.  Remember you will need a air return line back to the air handler.

Good luck and it's a great time to buy a house.  Interest at 4.75% around here.

AMAZING!!!

Dennis n5dpk
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N1TZU
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« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2011, 04:45:32 PM »

Hello Devon,    Just read your post...Others my have recommended the Mitzubishi mini split system,aka Mr.Slim.....I highly do because I've installed many of them for my customers and they have all been very pleased...Systems are very very quiet...You can do both heating and cooling..Have more than one evaporator off one condenser and cosmetically they,in my opinion are fine for most any application..Hope this helps....Bob....N1TZU....Please feel free to E-mail if you have any question about system...
« Last Edit: March 20, 2011, 04:51:37 PM by N1TZU » Logged
NN7AA
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Posts: 5




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« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2011, 12:40:32 PM »

Thanks, its 4.75% here also. I will look into the addition of a duct through the wall. That would eliminate the need for extra hardware outside the house.

I have been in the HVAC and Appliance repair business for 43 years.  Everything everyone has said is good advise.  There is one option that may be open to you.

If this house has central air and heat you may be able to "tap" into duct work and provide heat and cooling to the room if it isn't too big.

There are many factors involved so a visit by a HVAC tech may be in order.  Remember you will need a air return line back to the air handler.

Good luck and it's a great time to buy a house.  Interest at 4.75% around here.

AMAZING!!!

Dennis n5dpk
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NN7AA
Member

Posts: 5




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« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2011, 03:21:41 PM »

Hello Devon,    Just read your post...Others my have recommended the Mitzubishi mini split system,aka Mr.Slim.....I highly do because I've installed many of them for my customers and they have all been very pleased...Systems are very very quiet...You can do both heating and cooling..Have more than one evaporator off one condenser and cosmetically they,in my opinion are fine for most any application..Hope this helps....Bob....N1TZU....Please feel free to E-mail if you have any question about system...

Thanks Bob. My one concern with these units is that the window to the shack is on the front of the house and I don't want any anomalies showing in the window or anywhere in front if possible. The alternate suggestion to tap into the main house ductwork would be interesting for that reason, but then it will be tricky to adjust the airflow for temperature control since the room is isolated from the thermostat. Still pondering...

73, NN7AA
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