Wednesday, 14 January 2009

M1KTA Shack

Was sent an email asking about the shack.

It is not the tidiest it has ever been. Sometimes the main desk surface is almost clean, especially the homebrew bench as the shack has been used for contests with two stations running in it, one using the homebrew bench.

Here are a selection of snaps with some descriptions:

The operating postion, FT897, FT817 (just in picture on bottom right) sitting on a Z11 ATU/AMU. Shelf above holds MFJ993 ATU/AMU, Norcal Power Meter,Just to the left is a 1KW dummy load. The draws above contain all the patch and interface cables. Stations operated often with PC control and there are two behind the monitor, one below (Running Windows XP and Linux) with a WiFi link to the house.

Another view of operating position and you can see my version of the ATX power supply St Louis Switcher (copper PCB reading M1KTA vertically), next to another power supply that runs the auto tuner, a rotary controller and various ancillary kit:

The first image (a lower resolution one is here) homebrew station, currently drilling boards for KD1JV PSK TCVR:

As I am drilling the boards and it has been too cold to work in the shack a lot of things are just dumped where used last so it not as neat as usual. The chair has ( G0BBL SDR/Si570 projects on it and there are a set of AF filter kits for rockmites on top. On the homebrew bench good lighting is essential when working on PCB etc and I have a very bright spot light in that blue lamp in the centre. I use a piece of cardboard as a shade. Behind the bench are the component shelves, and there are a lot of those, here a close up shows how I store most of the components:

Sometimes I have even attended rallies carrying a couple of these so I have almost pre sorted components before I arrive back home.

The white ex-bathroom cabinet contains all the reels of tape, enamelled wire and tins and boxes of fixtures. Behind is a boxed up dual chanel oscilloscope and frequency analyser that I use sometimes. G3RJV sold me the little signal generator (box with thre knobs in centre) and the instructions I found and laminated sit on the shelf next to it. Above the component shelf is a set of little draws simply crammed full of other components. You can see the two Antex soldering irons I use 25W and 18W currently one has a 0.5mm tip other a bit like a 6" nail, as was making up a cabinet from PCB. The pile to the immediate left are the current build projects, I have a few on the go at once. Probably too difficult to pick out but in the centre behind the drill stand is a pile of PCB ready to be driled (just bought some new 0.7mm drill bits) and a number of bags of components from Dans Small Parts (Fixed value inductors, some cenre detent pots and about 250 silver mica capacitors!), The black dotted white square in the middle, they are black foam spots from local £1 shop, I have these fitted to the bottom of cases.

On the very right of the homebrew bench these shelves contain:

Top shelf
New or as yet up started projects (some of the packages in the green/yellow vegtable box contain just the PCB and schematics for projects). Some have been in this state for a while hihi

Middle shelf
Project documentation, reference books and other notes. It is a shed so everything is boxed up otherwise it would probably become damp, although not had problems with damp to date.

Lower Middle shelf, bare PCB, these are mostly the off cuts.
Lowest shelf, as yet un allocated or unsorted boxes of components.

To the right of this I store my antenna supports and yes the green tube with yellow strip is a 12m racal pump up mast. It gets used probably once or twice each year (in Summer) and holds a 2m and 70cm yagi for VHF contests.

Out of the picture further to the right is my collection of telescoping fishing poles 1 x 12m, 2 x10m, 2x 8m, couple 6.7m poles and lots of 5m, 4m and even some 3m.

The almost finished pile under and to the left of homebrew bench:
In this pile are all the completed PCB for projects, as soon as I finish working on them, before boxing them up I store them in these with accompanying documents so I can easily start up where I left off. I seem to be using the top as a shelf as those are my boxes of crystals on top under the blue, current build project file.

The iron is always plugged in, just not switched on as it is used to transfer PCB masks to boards.

There is a dehumidifier sitting behind the file but it is not used currently. It used to be in our previous house and I was worried it might be damp down in the shack, but it isn't.

Note the shack is carpeted! That was the old front room carpet before we changed it, don't drop SMD components on it!