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Author Topic: What is the basic essentials for a ham shack  (Read 4890 times)
N0SOY
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Posts: 72




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« on: July 25, 2012, 12:21:31 PM »

what are the basics to get a working HF Shack.  I Just bought a SSB transciever and I want to know if there is any other items (other then a antenna) and what are they.

thanks

David
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WB6BYU
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Posts: 13243




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« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2012, 01:57:15 PM »

Probably a power supply, unless your radio plugs directly into the wall outlet.  (Most don't.)
Typically 13.8V at 20 to 25 amps, depending on the output level.  (Read the radio manual.)

An SWR meter or power meter is useful for checking your antenna and transmitter.

A dummy load is useful for testing and learning how to use your rig without putting a signal
on the air.

You'll probably want a microphone for the radio.

Headphones are helpful when there is background noise, or when you are trying not to
disturb others in the house.

You'll want some feedline go between the antenna and the rig.


The microphone and probably the power supply (if you need one) are necessities, the others
will just make life easier.
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W5FYI
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Posts: 1045




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« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2012, 02:22:11 PM »

License grant is required, logbook and QSL cards are not, but are useful.

An antenna tuner often comes in handy if you want to use one antenna on several different bands.

Morse code key.

Surge protector.

GL
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N4NYY
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Posts: 4758




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« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2012, 03:08:11 PM »

Don't forget a TV ans sound-proof walls (so you don't hear the XYL screaming at you)
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AC5UP
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Posts: 3864




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« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2012, 03:22:14 PM »

And a BC-610.

No shack is complete without one.................  Roll Eyes
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Never change a password on a Friday                
N0MKC
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Posts: 68




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« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2012, 03:35:40 PM »

some more things that are helpful...

- a 24 hour clock, set to UTC / GMT

- maps:
   azimuthal centered on your location
   US map with Maidenhead grid squares
   regular US & world maps

- frequency bandplan guide:
   ARRL http://www.arrl.org/graphical-frequency-allocations or
   Icom http://www.icomamerica.com/en/downloads/Default.aspx?Category=181

- create your own shack reference book, with printouts of the above downloads, reference sheets regarding your setup, notes on tuner settings, equipment descriptions & serial numbers, pertinent extracts from your equipment manuals, and whatever else you might want at hand.
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VE3FMC
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Posts: 987


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« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2012, 03:44:41 PM »

More amateurs need to go out and buy a DUMMY LOAD and stop taking 5-10 minutes to tune up their amps right on top of an ongoing QSO.

Seriously, buy a DUMMY LOAD people.
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STAYVERTICAL
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Posts: 864




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« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2012, 04:29:46 PM »

Commonsense, courtesy and a sense of fun.

You have everything you need already, it seems - a rig and an antenna.

However - if you are going to use modes other than voice:

CW - you will need a key, bug or paddle - depending on your preferences.

Digital modes - you will need a computer - and an interface from it to your radio.

A map of the world to get an idea of where your signal is going and where your contact lives, is always nice - and shows how big is our playground.

Almost everything else, accessories, ATU, etc - are really for convenience or to solve specific problems with our installation.
Like any hobby, accessories slowly become essentials, but that is not necessarily really true.

My ham station lives in a fat laptop bag, so I speak from experience.
Its contents: FT897D 100W 160m-70cm rig, FP30 integrated A.C. PSU, FC40 160m-6m remote ATU, Paddle, Key, USB-Signalink digi-interface, CT62 rig control cable.
So as you can see it is possible to do ham radio without much space, and without much compromise.

Good luck, 73 - Rob
« Last Edit: July 25, 2012, 04:37:49 PM by STAYVERTICAL » Logged
K0OD
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Posts: 2557




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« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2012, 04:34:49 PM »

Most ham shacks look like this one:

http://elmering.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/schlitz_ham_radio.jpg
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N4NYY
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Posts: 4758




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« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2012, 05:10:14 PM »

some more things that are helpful...

- a 24 hour clock, set to UTC / GMT


I have one on my laptop desktop screen as an exe file. Works great.
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20595




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« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2012, 05:45:00 PM »

I'd say the heck with all other stuff, the antennas are the best place to invest time, effort and funds.

Propagation and operator skill are most important and trump all else; but after that, antennas are most important and "equipment" is a distant fourth.

A very effective "hamshack" can be in a closet, or a corner of a bedroom, or a garage, or almost anywhere.  What's in it isn't anywhere near as important as what it's connected to, outside.
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AG6WT
Member

Posts: 448




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« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2012, 06:00:48 PM »

The ARRL Handbook and Antenna Book. I'm sure you'll come up with many questions as you start out and most answers can be found in them.

And since you don't have an antenna yet, you'll especially want the Antenna Book to help decide what to put up.
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KE4YOG
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Posts: 182




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« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2012, 06:47:00 PM »

K0OD that shack looks like mine except the beer is not a Schlitz. I go with Newcastle and Guiness.

As far at the shack I completely agree about the reference materials especially band plans and allowed frequency for your class. If you use manual tuner right down the settings for each band for quick reference. I can tune my tuner in about 15 t0 30 seconds when I change bands. Another thing I found was a reference to the propagation qualities of each band. That helped me the most.
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VA7CPC
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Posts: 2386




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« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2012, 08:03:27 PM »

Quote
An antenna tuner often comes in handy if you want to use one antenna on several different bands.

Morse code key.

+1 to both.  Even if you're not a CW operator, the key can be use to generate a low-power signal for tuning.  you don't need a fancy one.

If your transceiver is of recent vintage, it probably has an SWR meter and power meter built in.  They may not be perfect, but they'll get you on the air.

         Charles


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K7KBN
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Posts: 2802




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« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2012, 08:24:20 PM »

The operating manual for your radio if you didn't get one with it.
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73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
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