QRZ Shack Report: AB1OC & AB1QB

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by AA7BQ, Jan 7, 2014.

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  1. AA7BQ

    AA7BQ Guest

    Last September we had the pleasure to visit Fred (AB1OC) and Anita (AB1QB) Kemmerer of Hollis, NH. We'd been told of a state of the art shack and wanted to see it first hand and report back to our readers. We were both impressed and inspired by a shack that sets a standard of excellence that many of us can only dream of achieving in our lifetimes.

    Fred and Anita are both employed in the high tech sector and have taken their love of technology, engineering and ham radio and created a dream station from the ground up. As you look through our pictorial essay below, keep in mind that Fred was first licensed in 2011 and Anita a few months later. Yes, in less than 3 years, they have built a station that will rival many old-timer's shacks in both performance and function, and have earned a slew of operating awards to paper their walls. Their "station project" is extensively documented in their online blog at: http://stationproject.wordpress.com/

    This photo shows their back yard and the pair of SteppIR beams which can be operated either independently or in parallel (stacked).

    At the base of the same tower. Note the overall neatness and attention to detail. Three large 4" and 6" conduits bring all of the coax and control lines from the house. It's also worth noting that 110 volt AC power is available for the many accessories above.

    Fred, AB1OC, showing us the scale of the coax bundle for the tower. A mix of large diameter heliax as well as high quality coax support a variety of radiators above. Also note the extensive switching and control system at the left.

    This is a view of the house end of the underground conduit where the coax enters the building. Everything is waterproofed, labeled, grounded, and lightning protected.

    Here is where it all comes together. On the left is Anita's operating position and on the right, Fred's. This room was built expressly for ham radio in a portion of their home's unfinished basement.

    A closup of Anita's operating position. Equipment on the desk, from left to right, include an Elecraft Linear Amp, An Elecraft KX-3, an Kenwood D710, a Yaesu FTdx5000, and a FlexRadio 3000.

    On Fred's side there is the ICOM 9100, the ICOM 7800, an ICOM PW1 Linear, and a 2M-1K2 linear. The system is fully automated with PC control. Note the array of antenna switches to the left of Fred's Desk. These are for VHF/UHF (left) and HF (right). These switches will eventually be replaced by an automated switch matrix.

    Every shack needs a workbench and this one is no exception. This one is ready for most common repairs and adjustments.

    On this wall is but a few of their extensive collection of operating awards. Note the whiteboard which lists upcoming events in which they hope to participate.

    There is a great deal more to say about their station and its construction and Fred & Anita's accomplishments. Rather than speak for them, I encourage everyone to have a look at their very detailed blog which has many more pictures and diagrams. Check out http://stationproject.wordpress.com/

    Our congratulations to AB1OC and AB1QB for one of the finest examples of the state of the art in amateur radio today.

    73, -fred
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 7, 2014
  2. WB2FQL

    WB2FQL Ham Member QRZ Page

    Congrats...what else is there to say
  3. AC5RM

    AC5RM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Fred was kind enough to send me one of my first, if not my very first, QSL card a few months after I upgraded to General. Quite the gentleman, and I'm glad to see the awesome station he has set up. Very nice..
  4. AC5RM

    AC5RM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Duplicate post- computer issue...
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2014
  5. KB7IUV

    KB7IUV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Funny, I just saw this article about 10 minutes after working Fred on 40 meters. I actually just sent him some QSL cards for our previous QSOs on 20 and 17 meters a couple days ago. He's a great operator and very helpful and friendly. Fantastic shack!
  6. N4EYZ

    N4EYZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Very impressive! I built commercial broadcast and cellular towers for near 20 years, their tower install rivals any commercial tower I've ever seen. Professional!
  7. KD5UVV

    KD5UVV XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I had the pleasure of working Fred the other day, very nice gentlemen indeed. And what an outstanding station setup. I would vacation there, (you hear that Fred?) :D

    73, Dale KD5UVV
  8. W1YW

    W1YW Subscriber QRZ Page

    So I think I came up with the ultimate ham compliment: 'your antennas make your house look small'.

    Nice job Fred and Anita:)

    Chip W1YW
  9. KD4MOJ

    KD4MOJ Database Subscriber QRZ Page

    SWEET!! What a setup!

  10. KD4MOJ

    KD4MOJ Database Subscriber QRZ Page

    Dupe for some reason
  11. AC3RK

    AC3RK Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm going to echo Dale's comment. Having been a ham over 40 years, to me it's not their shack (although that's impressive) but Fred's courteous and professional operating style that sets him with some of the greats. I listened to him for a half hour before trying to contact him on 40m a few days ago and he worked quickly with those wanting a short contact and paused to chat with those having some time to rag chew. 73. Rod. AC3RK.
  12. K5ATG

    K5ATG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Impressive shack and Fred sounds like he is quite a guy.
  13. KA2Z

    KA2Z Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've never seen anything like this. I would have never believed such a set up possible.
  14. KC1MAC

    KC1MAC XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Ive died and gone to heaven WOW~
  15. K2NCC

    K2NCC Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I tried bribing the wife... want that house if I can have that antenna? and she just said, nope, too much grass to mow! ;)
  16. VA2BIG

    VA2BIG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Very impressive setup, love the attention to detail!
  17. AB1OC

    AB1OC Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thank you everyone for all of the really nice comments on our station. Also, a very special thanks to Fred Lloyd (AA7BQ) for the opportunity to get to know him and to be part of QRZ.com. We've had a lot of fun putting this together and we've learned a lot along the way. Anita and I are fairly new hams, being licensed for about 3 years now. Its been a real pleasure to meet so many nice folks on the air. Amateur Radio is certainly a hobby that provides a lifetime of learning, fun and chances to meet some really nice folks. We also hope that everyone is also enjoying our blog ( http://stationproject.wordpress.com ). For those that are going to attend the ARRL Centennial Event in CT this summer, we will be doing a presentation on the design, construction and operation of our station at the event. We hope to meet some of the folks here for an eyeball QSO at the Centennial. 73 and we hope to talk with everyone on the air soon.

    - Fred (AB1OC)
  18. N0AX

    N0AX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Lovely station and so well-engineered! I just received Anita's QSL for a couple of Rookie Roundup contacts - nice to see where the signal comes from!

    73, Ward N0AX
  19. N3HEE

    N3HEE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Very nice setup indeed! I'm even more impressed by the fact they can work CW. Hope to work them some day.
  20. N6JRZ

    N6JRZ Database Subscriber QRZ Page

    Very impressive base set up!! Wish I had unlimited funds for that kind of set up!!!! I love how all the cables run under ground and out of the elements!! Just got done reading the blog and I do have one suggestion on your mobile set up. Get rid of the magnet mount for HF!!!! Especially if you do in fact get the Scorpion motorized antenna. That mount will not hold it while driving down the road at 70 mph with 10 mph head wind!!! Trust me I know from personal Xp. Bite the bullet and drill that hole dead center of the roof and you'll be amazed at how much more efficient your HF mobile Xp will be!!! I did that on my Chevy Tahoe and I was taken aback by the difference in not only signal reports and transmissions, but the noise floor dropped as well! From one mobile HF operator to another, drill the hole!!!! Best 73's and hope to one day work you on the bands!!!
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