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Author Topic: What is the basic essentials for a ham shack  (Read 4924 times)
G3RZP
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Posts: 4589




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« Reply #15 on: July 26, 2012, 03:32:54 AM »

A coffee pot and a mug.
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KG4NEL
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Posts: 373




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« Reply #16 on: July 26, 2012, 06:31:28 AM »

Surge protector.

GL

On the surge protector note - try to find one that doesn't use metal-oxide varistors (MOVs). They tend to go bad over time and accumulated surges. Brickwall, Zero Surge, and Surgex are all good options for non-MOV models.

And a woman that serves the beer? Are those available at HRO?  Tongue
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KB3HG
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Posts: 404




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« Reply #17 on: July 26, 2012, 07:06:39 AM »

David,
You have received some great suggestions. Might I add looking at Google maps, I see your general operating location but not your exact location, it appears you have trees, nice for dipoles. Books are great, I suggest a local Elmer to walk you down a few contacts. Don't overlook safety. Spend a little time reading about a ground for the shack. Use the search feature on the board here if you like. a ground rod outside is about ten dollars.  Keep asking questions plenty of good people will answer them on this board. There are some really intelligent hams on here and will offer good advice. Baluns are another item that can be of great use.

It's a hobby, enjoy it.

73 es good luck.

Tom Kb3hg
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K8AXW
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Posts: 3839




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« Reply #18 on: July 26, 2012, 07:53:13 AM »

OD:  That shack is pretty complete except for the woman bringing in the beer.  That's once accessory that is no longer available except for the well to do.
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K8AG
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Posts: 351




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« Reply #19 on: July 26, 2012, 09:22:03 AM »

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.

These I like to get from my Computer and the Internet.  That way you have the most up-to-date band plans and time.

73, JP, K8AG
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NA0AA
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Posts: 1042




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« Reply #20 on: July 26, 2012, 08:49:34 PM »

A good quality speaker - sometimes you don't want to use headphones, and most rigs have lousy speakers built in.  Adequate if you must but not really great. 

A cast off small bookshelf speaker can work just fine if you like the sound, you don't have to spend $200 on a matching speaker.

I made an enclosure and spent a few bucks on a 5" speaker from a local electronics shop, a speaker with a really big magnet, and it's got a nice sound for SSB use and even AM.

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K0ZN
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Posts: 1548




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« Reply #21 on: July 26, 2012, 09:54:16 PM »


 Spend a LOT of time listening FIRST to get an idea of GOOD operating practices.

 ADMIT to people you are a brand new ham and learning the ropes. MOST (not all...unfortunately) will be happy to have you on the air and welcoming
 and glad to help if you need it.  ASK questions about things you don't understand.

 Learn PROPER  alpha-numeric phonetics.

 Spending a few bucks on a copy of the ARRL Operating Manual will make you a better operator and feel more comfortable on the air. Money WELL spent.

 If you do not understand antennas and transmission lines, you can save yourself a TON of frustration and problems by spending a few hours
 studying the ARRL Antenna Book (get an old copy off of Ebay....they are cheap and just as accurate for basic stuff as a new one). If you don't
have a basic grasp of antenna theory, you are going to experience problems......even with a commercial antenna.  This is a technical hobby.....
the more you know, the better your success and the more fun you will have.

 Good Luck!   73,  K0ZN
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N5XM
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Posts: 242




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« Reply #22 on: July 30, 2012, 09:07:20 PM »

Great advice from everyone.  I worked DXCC with my first HF rig, a Kenwood TS-520 that I paid 300.00 for 16 yeas ago, and an 80m vee.  Other than that I had a cheap manual tuner, an MFJ 949E.  All this cost less than 400.00.  Remember that you will have the rest of your life to upgrade your station and acquire gear.  Grounding is impotant, as was said above.  Good luck!
    Rick, n5xm
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