By Toshen, KEØFHS – last updated Oct 2017
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Yep, I'm a bit scrappy. My shack is a corner of a desk in my workshop, which is primarily a haven for my woodworking passion. My shop is so full of woodworking tools that there's not a lot of free space, so I have to make use of every cubic inch, for example, the monitor I use when logging into the Raspberry Pi is balanced (securely) on top of the water heater next to my desk, and a phonetic alphabet and morse code chart is taped to the side of the water heater. Hey, it works!
1) Base station
HF – Kenwood TS-480SAT. Not using this much as I haven't figured out a decent antenna solution yet.
- I find the Kenwood approach to key and menu layout more intuitive to understand than some other radios I've tried, and I'm happy I need to learn that basic approach only once.
- Power supply: Powerwerx SS-30DV 13.8 Volt 27 Amp
- Speakers: I mounted two of the optional Kenwood KES-3S speakers—which provide crisp, clear audio with good volume that I can hear throughout the shop—up high above the radio, one on each side of the shelf that's above the desk. Each is connected to one of the bands (VHF and UHF); that way I can tell which band I'm hearing, even when I'm over at my workbench.
- Headphones: Radiosport RS20S from Arlan Communications. Wow, they are so comfortable!
We basically live on top of solid rock here in the foothills (I guess that's why they call them the Rocky Mountains), so it's crazy difficult to install a ground pole … pounding something into the ground one foot is nearly impossible, let alone eight feet!
So I decided for the time being to put up an antenna only when the weather is fair, that is, no chance of lightning.
I temporarily mount the antennas above my deck, sitting atop a 7′ pole that rises from a mount attached to our deck. It takes me just a few minutes to mount/dismount the antennas using this system.
- I use a strong 1″ tubular steel pole made by Erva (designed for bird feeders) to mount the antennas. That gets the base of the antennas up about 14′ above the ground.
- I use an 8″ UHF-Female SO-239 Bulkhead Coaxial Connector to bridge the wall between the exterior and interior of my workshop.
- Although, as I mentioned before, it's basically impossible to drive an 8' ground pole into our rocky ground here, I have been able to drive a shorter pole a few feet into the ground near this spot.
- As an extra measure of protection, I added an OPEK LP-350B - Arc-Gas Lightning Transient Voltage Surge Protector inline tied into that ground pole. I'm not relying on it for full lightning protection—I still pull my antenna down whenever there is a storm brewing—but hopefully it does provide an extra ounce of protection for the unexpected.
- A few good antenna-related articles:
⇄ Give me a holler!
keØfhs at toshen.com