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Survey Question
Where was the most unusual HF Ham Shack Station located from which you operated?
  Posted: Feb 22, 2017   (739 votes, 80 comments) by AA7LX

    (739 votes, 80 comments)

Survey Results
Bedroom 19% (137)
Closet 15% (114)
Basement 13% (98)
Garage 6% (46)
Attic 6% (41)
Automobile 6% (47)
Other 35% (256)

Survey Comments
ALCAN telegraph lines
17 miles of them remain as a historic relic on a loop off the main route. Was at the north end and wired the 4-5 wires to an IC AH3 tuner on 75m using IC735. Worked great into California in the early evening. nL7sx

Posted by NL7SX on September 30, 2017

Barber Shop

We* operated 'Phone Telephone, Texas from Calvin Phleps barbershop in Telephone, Fanin County. Calvin has 40 some acres there and when he is in the field you pull up along side the two room barbershop and flash your lights for a haircut.

*North Texas High Frequency Association (now merged with the Denton County Amateur Radio Association.


Posted by KC5YN on August 27, 2017

OK, Already...
OK, OK --- I'll say it: when comments are almost a week
apart on the topic posted, it may --- just MAYBE --- be time
for a new survey question…

Don't you agree…?

This one is getting so old it's sprouting hair...

Posted by VE3CUI on April 12, 2017

Literally, in a Shack
My ham shack is in the back room of a 1-bay detached garage, where the garage bay has my workbench, tools, and lawn care equipment.

Posted by NG9W on April 7, 2017

Literally, in a Shack
My ham shack is in the back room of a 1-bay detached garage, where the garage bay has my workbench, tools, and lawn care equipment.

Posted by NG9W on April 7, 2017

Over the water
French Polynesia, island of Bora Bora: in a hut over the water. ICOM 706, ant tuner, dipole, over the water to another hut. Fun stringing the dipole thru the water.

Posted by K9KUZ on April 5, 2017

Aeromobile & HF BC
As a cockpit jumpseat traveller in commercial airliners in the mid/late 80's.

Also from a decommissioned HF broadcast site in 2010 using a very large curtain antenna array.

Posted by SM0AOM on April 4, 2017

Aeromobile & HF BC
As a cockpit jumpseat traveller in commercial airliners in the mid/late 80's.

Also from a decommissioned HF broadcast site in 2010 using a very large curtain antenna array.

Posted by SM0AOM on April 4, 2017

Fort Sumter Special Event
On the anniversary of the Civil War in 2008 we were invited to set up two radios at Fort Sumter and to have the privilege of staying over night at this historic site to operate our radios. It was a really an eye opening experience when the sun went down to be on this sacred place and to be talking to hams all over the world. You can watch a video I created on this special event here: Go to the bottom and look for the "Special Event At Sumter" link. (you may have to download the player).

Posted by W4JRV on April 3, 2017

Field Mobile
In a park I used a Harbor Freight 700 Watt generator as my power, and ICOM 706 with a mobile tuner. The antenna was a Crappie Pole with a4 foot PVC extension to make it 23 feet. The ground plane was 4 rolls of 25 foot long aluminum foil placed on the ground like a + sign. with wall board nails used to keep it from blowing away. Not exactly a powerhouse but mad many contacts.

Mark KC3JV

Posted by KC3JV on April 3, 2017

HAWAII mobile / MARS
I operated KH6 mobile from 1980 - 82. Also very briefly operated the MCAS Mars station atop radar hill at Kaneohe MCAS - I was stationed there!

Posted by WB9YCJ on April 2, 2017

VW Camper in Monaco
In 1971 I bought a VW camper in Europe and spent 5 months operating portable/mobile with a Yaesu FT-101 and a Hustler whip antenna. I had many reciprocal licenses and my favorite was using 3A0FP in Monaco. I parked my camper in the Monaco harbor area right along side the multi-million dollar yachts where I made about 1,000 QSOs. Other favorite QTH's were Lichtenstein (HB0XTL) and Andorra (C31EC)...what a trip!

Posted by W6KC on April 1, 2017

Utility Closet
My first shack was in a utility closet shared with the hot
water tank. Yaesu FT-101EE hooked up to a Commodore
VIC20 for CW. Twenty-seven years later my shack once
again, is in the room that used to house our electric
water tank. It's gone, but the 220V feed runs my amp
quite nicely. And the accommodations are a little nicer as

Posted by VE3TMT on March 31, 2017

Still trying to figure out why a bedroom is unusual? Id
figure my prior location in the kitchen would be more
unusual? But for my wife and I we live in just the 4
rooms (bedroom. Living room. Bath and kitchen) that
we choose to heat in the winter so I guess any of these
rooms would be "unusual" to most.......the room for
jokes also abounds here but ill refrain!

Posted by KC1GCG on March 29, 2017

The Closet
My first shack was my bedroom closet. Dad
removed the clothes rod and squeezed in an
odd shaped piece of furniture for my
"desk." The two-step kitchen stool served
as a chair. The center conductor of my
Knight Kit T-60's SO239 was connected to
my bed spring . My receiver was a
National NC-60 with magnet wire strung
around the room. My first contact was
WA1BVN (SK) who sent me a QSL card on
which he wrote, "You must have had ur foot
in a water bucket!" The year was 1963. I
still have his card. Oh, the durability
of vacuum tubes, the flexibility of Pi
Networks, and the pure joy of being so
young and stupid.

Posted by WB2LQF on March 28, 2017

Combat zone
The worst or the most unusual was In Iraq as YI9WP in a conex shipping container/home summer temps where over 100 and very dusty and A?C worked so so. other was down town Kuwait as 9K2/KD4TWP 15 stories up with G5RV and 5BTV on roof at 19 stories. Static in the air caused what I called blue bunny's to run off of the coax when unplugged during wind storms.

Posted by KD4TWP on March 26, 2017

Prudhoe Bay, Alaska
In about 1987 I operated from the Alaska north slope oil fields at the Arco base camp station in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska.

Posted by AL7ID on March 25, 2017

Un-usual location
In 2006 I and several other HAMs activated a private lighthouse on Lake Superior. 9 miles from the nearest land. Operated Light houses on the air and Islands on the air. Fully restored lighthouse last used in the 1930s, restored in the 1990s. The owner was very gracious!
73 Rod KB8DNS

Posted by KB8DNS on March 25, 2017

In the summer of 1963, I was on a ship involved in a classified search for a sunken submarine. We used a KWM-2 for communications on a frequency not far from 40m. I was able to make a few Qs /MM on 40 phone; it was fun because the vertical antenna seemed to work well, but tough because I couldn't tell anyone where I was or why!
73, Andy AE6Y (then WA2BWS)

Posted by AE6Y on March 23, 2017

High School
In the 60's when I attended West Phoenix High School, there was a Electronics program there, run by Mr. Jepsen. A bunch of us took Electronic Class all four years, and after hours we met twice a month for our Ham Club. In the back room of his rather large classroom was a shack, containing a old Navy TX, and a beautiful Hammarlund HQ-170. As a Novice I worked my dad, the original Baker-Dog-Dog, and have a couple QSLs from him for those CW QSOs we did from my school to our trailer a few miles away.
That remains the most unusual, and most memorable place for me.

Posted by K7BDD on March 23, 2017

Atlas210x/TR-7850/IC-37 on a houseboat in Lake Mead - ID as Marine-Mobile since we were inland and not at sea.

Posted by N6JSX on March 22, 2017

The Office
Back in the mid 1970's I installed a Johnson
500 and hallicrafters SX 101a in my office at
work. I had a 60 foot high tilt over mast that
I hung my dipoles off of.

Finally, I had a reason to never go home.

Posted by K2ANE on March 21, 2017

Basement Shack
I use a quarter of the unfinished basement as
my home office, computer side business and
Ham Shack. I feel pretty lucky to be able to
have a shack at all.

To W2YM, who are you to judge others for
where they put their shack? Who knows, maybe
his closet is bigger than your bedroom.

Posted by KC9NRN on March 21, 2017

Aboard the Soggy Paws
I brought my trusty FT-817 with me and once aboard, I
found out the Captain had a TS-50. Aboard the Soggy
Paws for 10 days in the Caribbean.

Posted by KG9H on March 20, 2017

closet shack
Our first home was very small, but the XYL
graciously allowed me use of the hall
I put in two full width shelves, one for
the transmitter and one for the receiver
(a compact Drake 1-A). For a year I
worked from there, CW skeds, chasing
states for WAS and DXing, with an old
Heathkit transmitter. It worked fine, but
the coax had to work thru the attic to
reach the station. Best part - close the
closet door, and no ham shack visible.

Posted by NZ5L on March 18, 2017

Closet, Attick
You people nuts. Be the day when I put my radio
equipment in a closet, garage, or attic when
I'm using it... wow,, go in a bedroom or make a
room for yourself.. What is wrong with you

Posted by W2YM on March 17, 2017

1st Cav Division Main
November 1999.

AN/GRC 93 radios, IIRC.

Posted by KD8M on March 16, 2017

Portable operating location
From eastern Afghanistan I setup inside a 20 Ft shipping
Made over 300 contacts from there is 2013 on my Buckmaster
7 band OCD and Icom 7000.

T6/K5WEJ portable call sign.

Posted by K5WEJ on March 15, 2017

Hidden Station
I saw a war movie many years ago in which a preacher on an island near Australia during WWII had a station hidden in a pump organ. So when I had the chance to get an empty pump organ case for free, I took it. My current station is in this case and when closed it just looks like an antique pump organ.

Posted by W5JAI on March 15, 2017

6 M Road Grader
Field Day weather a couple of years ago changed from warm and sunny to rainy and windy. Our exposed 6 M station had to find a new location. We were at a township garage location that had an old road grader on the property, currently unused. We moved the 6 M station into the driver's cab, strapped the antenna onto one of the blade hydraulic cylinders, ran power from our generator, and got back on the air. K8CY Roadgrader Portable

Posted by KC8FNJ on March 14, 2017

From a pick up truck
Years ago while on active duty when and the
cycle was all bright and fluffy I got
permission to operate a rig I had brought
along on the Naval Station, Guam.

I had an assigned vehicle so I when onto one
of the abandoned WW2 Japanese runways on
base, managed to get a temporary vertical
dipole into a coconut tree with boatswain's
line and had a blast on ten.

Posted by K0CBA on March 14, 2017

Laundry Room and Half Bathroom
My first shack was located in our laundry room which also served as a half bathroom.

Posted by W2KG on March 12, 2017

Laundry Room and Half Bathroom
My first shack was located in our laundry room which also served as a half bathroom.

Posted by W2KG on March 12, 2017

Ratt Rig
I was an HF RTTY operator in the Army, stationed at Ft
Sill, Oklahoma when first licensed. I did not have any
gear or a shack when my ticket came in the mail so I
fired up the AN/GRC-106 HF transceiver in the RATT
rig. I strapped a J-38 straight key to my leg and made
my first contact on 15 meter CW.

Posted by KG5UN on March 12, 2017

Has anyone used this antenna and does it work

Posted by KM4AOD on March 10, 2017

Bedroom BAs
When I was a young novice a Hammarlund HQ170A
and Heath DX100B resided in my small bedroom over
a small desk that eventually warped due to the weigth
of these two. I worked the world with them on CW and
used the HQ170A as my alarm clock radio.

Posted by KP4FAR on March 10, 2017

Sunken Apartment
It is little known that Washington, DC, averages 11 feet below sea level. My sunken basement apartment in the Georgetown section of DC was at least 11 feet below sea level.

In my dreams, my shack is on a yacht and I can work maritime mobile DX with probably someone else steering the yacht.

Posted by N3FSH on March 10, 2017

I have worked 20m when halfway up an oak tree.

Posted by M1CXF on March 10, 2017

Old Ham Radio Magazines
I like to take them to club meetings and let
other members take them home to read. They
bring them back at the next meeting so other
members get a chance to read them. Our own
Ham Library! The older hams that have had
their ticket back in the 60's and even
earlier get a kick reviewing and reliving
their past.

Posted by K3JWL on March 8, 2017

WWII Bunker
Dragged my equipment to an old WWII semi-underground bunker to connect to a very old, very large, long abandoned rhombic antenna on Shemya Island in the Aleutians. Worked some great European DX!

Posted by WA7SKG on March 5, 2017

Lounge chair portable
Out on the beach, stuck a vertical in the sand, kicked back in a lounge chair with my FT-817ND. Tide slowly came in and water was going under the vertical mount.
I think some of the suggested answers are not unusual at all; I'd think most home stations are located in spare bedrooms, basements, etc, rather normal.

Posted by WB4M on March 4, 2017

US Navy Destroyer
Dates, Times and Places unspecified.

Posted by W7TZ on March 3, 2017

odd operating position or odd QTH?
I once operated K7UGA in Phoenix, for the
CADXA event station, at the home of one of
the members.
I also operated W100AW in Newington CT
during my trip there in 2014.
Probably my most unusual was a normal HF
mobile on 75m one night in March 2004. I
was parked at the parking lot for
Badwater, in the bottom of Death Valley,
~282 feet below sea level. Nobody else was
out there, and it was really quiet. There
weren't even any insects! Spookiest place
I ever operated from!

Posted by AD7DB on March 3, 2017

Bedroom BAs
When I was a young novice a Hammarlund HQ170A
and Heath DX100B resided in my small bedroom over
a small desk that eventually warped due to the weigth
of these two. I worked the world with them on CW and
used the HQ170A as my alarm clock radio.

Posted by KP4FAR on March 3, 2017

Had my shack in a loft in a barn in Rhode Island. Full sized 40M dipole was also inside the barn.

Posted by AA4PB on March 2, 2017

In a very small hallway between the bathroom and the kitchen. The desk had to be built vertically to allow people to exit the bathroom!!!! :)

Posted by WB2TQC on March 2, 2017

ROOF of a Bank
During/following a hurricane, I operated for 3+ days from the rooftop of a downtown bank.

73 de K3CSA

Posted by K3CSA on March 2, 2017

Sno-Cat in Antarctica

Posted by K7NG on March 2, 2017

Ham radio sailboat
Hi folks, Back in the late 80,s I would take
my Ten Tec Scout 555 on my tune it up on 40
meters and call CQ/MM on my sailboat had many
stations calling back

it was great conditions ,would load up the
back stay under way on the Chesapeake Bay.

Posted by WD4EIB on March 2, 2017

In the Tub
We lived in a 8 x 48 foot trailer when first married. The tub did not work so placing a board across it made for a good place to sit the radios.

Posted by W3ML on March 2, 2017

Former Cruise Ship
Operated one of the positions at the W6RO
station located in what was the radio room of
the Queen Mary.

Posted by N0IU on March 2, 2017

1989 Loma Prieta Quake
On October 17th, 1989 during the Loma Prieta quake at 5:04PM(SF Bay Area). I was the AEC for ARES. This is before cell communications. Myself and another ham met at the command center in downtown Los Gatos at the foot of the Santa Cruz Mountains that overlook the Silicon Valley. Myself and another ham were driven up highway 17 in the back of a Sheriff's car as the only vehicle on the damaged and buckled mountain highway. I provided health and welfare communications to county communications till 2AM at a Elementary School antenna drop in a closet at the school.

Posted by KB6QXM on March 1, 2017

A few years back had the opportunity to work from the radio room of the USS Silversides Submarine, docked for public display in Muskegon, Mich. The Navy was very stingy on the total area for radio rooms on submarines.

Posted by K8TS on March 1, 2017

Farm Trailer
In my younger days. For couple of days my
friends and I set our stations up in my
Fathers grain trailer pulled by our John Deere
"A". We parked by a wooded creek and operated
for field day. Used a donated generator for

Posted by WB9USY on March 1, 2017

Took a holiday to Hawaii. In advance I emailed the club that
operates the radio room on the USS Missouri on public display
at Pearl Harbor. A wonderful group of guys. An experience I
will not forget. WOW - HAD FUN!

Posted by K7NSW on March 1, 2017

My shack
I don't have a place in the house for a shack. I have used my camper in the driveway and an Ice fishing hut with propane heater when operating portable in the winter.

Posted by NA5XX on February 28, 2017

My shack
I don't have a place in the house for a shack. I have used my camper in the driveway and an Ice fishing hut with propane heater when operating portable in the winter.

Posted by NA5XX on February 28, 2017

In an USAF aircraft, flying at 31000 feet.

Posted by NR0A on February 27, 2017

Clean signal
My shack at VK4CWT was in the laundry room.
Fortunately the room was large enough that I
could have a desk AND the XYL never did laundry
while I was on the air!

Posted by K9RJ on February 26, 2017

during 1996 to 1997 at the king radios Olathe Kansas facility we had a Sabre systems 6 to 32 MHZ log periodic on a ~70 foot tower it was first rate but still 2nd in uniqueness even with the companion Multi Kw hf amp..

The most unique was the KING mobile HF van with the rear ladder wrapping around to a top bar that was loaded to operate ~3 to 30MHz with a very hi powered amp included.

We used the mobile hf van to talk back to the Saber LPDA in Ks. and to Mil helicopters down in Central America to enable radio test on their King HF systems.

Needless to say both systems saw some ham band use during lulls in radio checks with amazing success.

Posted by WB8VLC on February 25, 2017

Ham Shack in Bedroom
One day the house will be mine when parent are no longer living Then i can turn my bedroom into Hamshack with work bench this i can have more room for Ham radios !

Been Hamming since 2001

Posted by N4MJG on February 25, 2017

Shipping Container
I built my shack in a 40 foot shipping
container. Insulated and framed out the back
12 feet.

Posted by N5XTR on February 25, 2017

Unusual Station Location
When I was stationed at Fort Hood, TX (1979 to 1981) my station was located in the pantry in the kitchen.

Posted by WA0TML on February 25, 2017

Small Study Room
First Station location was in an unused really small Bedroom-Storage room my Wife and I turned into a study room while I was in College-- If I turned around immediately from behind my desk there was my first Station in a small Bookcase 5 feet behind my Desk!

Posted by AA7LX on February 24, 2017

Always a Bedroom
Since being licensed in '91, everywhere we
have lived my wife has delegated the spare
bedroom as my shack. I never get a lot of
time on the radio when family comes to visit.

Posted by WJ5G on February 24, 2017

Long, Long Ago In A Place Far, Far Away...
Back in the early 90's I visited ARRL headquarters, where I
took advantage of the opportunity to guest-operate

"What band & mode do you wanna use…?" asked the
station attendant.

"Forty meters --- on A.M. phone," I responded, to the
stunned-looking manager.

I immediately thought he'd grant me use of the ICOM 781
there, coupled to their (then) full-bore rhombic antenna -
-- but no such luck. Upon hearing of my desire for the
not-so-politically-correct (at THAT time, anyway) "A.M."
from me, I was directed to a smaller Yaesu sub-station --
- and a dipole antenna.

Still, I DID manage to put W1AW on A.M. phone for what I
believe was the very first time in years --- actually made
about 5 QSOs on the mode, too. It was a great thrill ---
and a ton of fun! --- for me.

Posted by VE3CUI on February 24, 2017

Coal bin
My shack will always be in the renovated Coal bin in my home! Nice and quite and it's not much bigger than a small walk-in closet.

Posted by N7RVS on February 24, 2017

Friend's "shack"
While stationed in Rhode Island while in the Navy, a buddy and I were studying for our Novice and Tech licenses in the early 90's. My ham "study buddy" and I found out that one of the guys stationed with us was an Extra, so we had a great Elmer to answer our questions as we studied. He invited us over to see his "shack". We were total beginners, so we think we're going to go over and see some HUGE thing like a comm suite on a ship which would be fitting for a "lofty" Extra. The guy brings us up to his spare room on the second floor. There was a regular desk in there, and on it sat a Kenwood mobile, a packet TNC, and a key. To say we were underwhelmed by that setup, is overstating it! BUT, the guy takes a Spider portable HF antenna, throws it out the window onto the top of the carport, sits down at the key and IMMEDIATELY makes a contact in Germany! He obviously didn't care much about guy wires, masts, towers, big racks of equipment or anything else. That showed us that you never really NEED some outrageously complex setup (though I don't begrudge anyone with all the bells and whistles). You need just a couple of things and you can have rewarding QSO's. We left pretty excited about what we had seen in that "shack", and we both passed our Novice and Tech Plus license and were pretty proud to enter the hobby. We're now both Extras ourselves.

Posted by W6SWO on February 24, 2017

Not really unusual
I started with my shack in the garage but
since it was neither heated or cooled I
realized that it was not workable. I move to a
corner of a bedroom where I operate from

Posted by NQ2N on February 24, 2017

Cold Basement
A very cold basement when I got my novice ticket. I ran a heavy duty extension cord to a socket near the washer and dryer. My radio time was limited to the time the washer and dryer were not being used.Moved up to spare bedroom about 15 years later after the kids were all married and moved.

Posted by K2MMO on February 24, 2017

Tin shed
I first had my shack in a tin shed with an
extension cord for power. After I moved into
the laundry room I ran a wire to the shed and
loaded it up on 75m. Glad to be in the house
as SE Louisiana gets muggy on a summer night.

Posted by AE5MW on February 23, 2017

Get the antenna high
I had to go on a business trip from Paris to central Africa. We
chartered a private jet. While over the Mediterranean
international air space, I sat in the jump seat and was able to
use the spare HF radio to make some contacts in Europe. Very

Posted by K9RJ on February 23, 2017

Other than my Shack
Well, once for Fieldday we operated from a cow barn.
The cows did make a lot of noise, due to the traditional bells combined with lots of moo. They tried to eat the antenna wire and ropes.
Learnt a lesson. Keep away from curious animals.

Posted by HB9IRF on February 23, 2017

Felt Like A Munchkin
I operated during Field Day from 2 man dome
tent. To put it in perspective I am 6'2' and
375 Lbs.

Posted by KG4RUL on February 23, 2017

Prop wash, anyone???
Abandoned WW-II aircraft hanger on field day.

Posted by W9GMT on February 22, 2017

In a barn
My very first contact was with my Heathkit Twoer which I
had set up in our barn while monitoring the expected
births from my 4-H sow pig project.

Posted by K7AAT on February 22, 2017

Please flush twice!
My first shack was in the half bathroom in the
lower level of my parent's house. Very cozy
and convenient!

Posted by WE8Q on February 22, 2017

Maritime portable
I have a low table that I set up next to my
pool and set up my QRP station so I can play
on HF while floating on a air mattress. AZ has
some perks!!!

Posted by N0FPE on February 22, 2017

As a young ham, I was stuck in a storage building behind the house.

Posted by WA4BLM on February 22, 2017

Not So Rare...
Hi Guys,

All of my Ham shacks at home were ALWAYS located in the
basement, as a rule…the sole exception is my portable
operation at the cottage: I set everything up right on the
kitchen table, & it stays there from June until September each
& every year…!

Posted by VE3CUI on February 22, 2017

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