Realizing a Boyhood Dream

I recently completed a renovation of my amateur radio shack. When I say shack, I mean a separate building that is now used for nothing but ham radio. The structure was originally built to house a darkroom and a workshop as well as a place for my radio. As technology advanced through the years, the darkroom became redundant and, with the advent of digital photography, that space became the place where I restored vintage radios and such. The layout became cramped and inefficient in time, so I began to think in terms of a complete renovation. As a young boy of 15, I had always dreamt of a station layout that would be a showplace that I would be proud to show to other amateur radio operators or anyone who visited my home. I now 74. I was fortunate to have come across a surplus GE C3 four-bay console that had been in a local county 911 communications department. This and a couple of Bud equipment cabinets became the foundation for that dream I was destined to realize. Over the past three or four years, I had acquired a collection of vintage equipment from which I chose a few favorites from my boyhood. These, along with a couple of more modem pieces became the station in the accompanying photographs. I demolished the walls separating the main area from the darkroom-come-workshop. I then covered the old floor with a layer of half-inch exterior plywood and painted this with dark gray deck enamel. The resulting room was ideal for the plans I had in mind. I then assembled the console in the rear comer of the space and placed the two Bud cabinets so that when entering the room, a visitor would get the full impact of my eclectic radio station. Next, a new workbench was built for my test equipment and tools at the front of the building just to the right of the entrance. The wall to the left and opposite the radio equipment is an assortment of storage cabinets and small work surfaces. The result is my boyhood dream and the envy of many of my radio amateur friends who visit. Its a blend of anachronistic and modern equipment assembled in the style of the 1950s. Eyes Left The left bay of the console contains the antenna tuner and distribution switch that allows the selection of which antenna or radio I wish to use. The antenna tuner is a Daiwa CNW-518 which selects either a 40-or 80-meter, inverted-V fan dipole or a tri-band, three-element beam. These antennas are shared through a six-position coax switch to the various pieces of equipment. Eyes Center The two center bays are home to relatively modern transceivers. On the left, is a Yaesu FT-920 and on the right is an FT-990. Readers will easily recognize the 2-meter FM transceiver and the rotator control unit below the ’. Beneath these —just above the surface of the desk —are elements of my favorite DX station —the Collins KWM-2 and the 30L-1 linear amplifier. The ElectroVoice 664 microphone, lower left, goes with the Collins. The ’is the radio I use most of the time, as I am one of the net control stations for the Central Virginia Six-Meter Single Sideband Net. The microphone on the boom is an MXL R40. Since ribbon microphones have such low output, I use an Applied Research Technologies commercial pre-amplifier. In addition, this unit provides an audio compression stage and a four-band parametric equalizer. That the unit pictured just below the FT-990. Below the microphone amplifier is a 30-band graphic equalizer used to customize the receiver audio. Eyes Right The right bay holds my computer, monitor, and printer. The four speakers above the monitor —shown square and black to the left —are simply a dummy panel which lifts away to provide access to a storage area for papers and documents used during nets. To the right of the console is my 1950s-vintage AM station consisting of a Johnson Viking Valiant II transmitter, top, and a Collins 75A-2 receiver. Below the receiver is a Bird Thruline Model 4527 SWR and power meter. The microphone is an Astatic 10DA on a UG8 stand. To the right of the AM station is a rack containing three vintage receivers. The Collins on top is a 51 J-4 Navy surplus receiver —a very nice radio. In the middle is the Dream Receiver of the ’s, a National NC-300. At the bottom, is a Hammarlund SP-600 that was rescued from a landfill and which I restored to its original condition. ...And the Bench My workbench, consists of a Hewlett-Packard 5334B frequency counter, an HP dual trace oscilloscope and a Fluke 6060A/AN signal generator as well as the usual assortment of test meters and tools. Satisfaction, Plus The end result of all this exceeds the dreams of my boyhood. It has been a long time coming but, in my opinion, well worth the effort. This station will, no doubt, bring back memories for the old timers who appreciate the boat anchors we loved as kids. Обмен ссылками

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