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New Shack Photos

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by K9STH, Oct 21, 2002.

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  1. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Glen, I, too, develop my own B&W since the 1-hour machines can't do it. I wish they could, because it's not fun anymore.

    And it's hard to beat the 1-hour machines using the Kodak "Colorwatch" process...geesh, those things are smart.

    I use a mail-order lab in Massachusetts to do any quantities of enlargements -- excellent work, and they charge less than the paper costs (to me). 8x10's for $1.99, 5x7's for $.59, even for quantity = 1. I can't beat that if my labor and chemicals were free!


    Steve, WB2WIK/6
  2. K9STH

    K9STH Platinum Subscriber Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Actually, the photos that I had up before were made with a digital Polaroid. Unfortunately, the Polaroid takes a much worse photo than the 35 mm. Also, the problem is not with the scanned photos (they were scanned at 300 dpi) it is the fact that AT&T limits any photo on the websites to 75 dpi. Thus, it doesn't matter if the photos start out digital or are scanned, they come out looking the same, not the best!

    My eldest daughter is the principal commercial artist at a very large in-house advertising agency who works with all sorts of media including photo scanning. She insists that anything above a 150 dpi scan is normally wasted and that is what her company uses for all of their catalogues, print media advertising (including color advertisements in magazines), etc. However, I still scan at 300 dpi just in case I want to do any enlarging, etc. In fact, when working with old "snap shots" taken with the roll cameras of the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, I even scan at 600 dpi since these photos are often very small (like about 2 x 3 inches if that). It takes 600 dpi to retain any definition when enlarging these types of photos. When printed on a Cannon inkjet printer using the "photo" option, you usually cannot tell the prints from those done using an enlarger from the original negative.

    My wife's eldest sister was in town over this past weekend and wanted copies of several photos that we have and wanted to take them to a Kinko's to copy them. I told her that I would scan them and make her all the copies that she wanted. Well, she didn't believe that it is possible to make copies using a scanner and computer (although that is exactly what they do at the copy shops!). I made her the copies and even enlarged one of them. She was amazed that this was possible. Of course, I did use "photo" paper instead of just trying to use "normal" inkjet or laser printer paper.

    As for a window: My garage doesn't have any windows! The AM shack is in my home office, and there is a wall that is completely windows including a door with windows to the immediate left that overlook an outside deck. The deck is located next to a retaining wall that goes down four feet to our swimming pool. However, there is no real way to put the AM position in front of the window. It would block a significant portion of the window with the back of the rigs being seen from the outside. There is a second door to the outside to the left of the AM position between it and the wall with the windows.

    The main shack is set up for operating convenience. The Collins 75S3A and 32S3 are my main units. These are used for 80 through 10 meters including the WARC bands. The Collins 75S1 and 32S1 are "backup" units just in case something goes wrong with the S3 line. The Heath SB-401 / SB-301 can be used on 80 through 10 meters (but not the WARC bands), but I normally use the combination through the Hallicrafters HA-2 transverter for 2 meter SSB and CW. There is a switch that controls all of the functions of switching between the transverter and the antenna system.

    For AM from the "main" shack, I use the Globe Champion 350A and the Collins 75A3 which are located on the primary level of the console. For 160 meter SSB / CW I use the Hammarlund HX-50A and the Collins 75A4. Again, since the receiver is used more than the transmitter, it is located on the main level. Six meter SSB is operated from the Heath SB-110A on the second level. I really would like to put it on the first level, but there just isn't room! The Tempo 2001 linear works on 80 through 10 meters including 12 and 17 meters and is hooked up to the 75S3A / 32S3. It is normally not necessary to retune the linear unless very large excursions are made in frequency. It runs from 1400 watts output on 80 down to about 1150 watts output on 10. If I need to use the Heath SB-301 / SB-401 on higher power, I can route them through the Warrior (again with a single switch). The Warrior gives about 650 watts output on 80 and 500 watts output on 10.

    The rest of the equipment is pretty much connected (but not every item), but very seldom used. There are also shelves against other walls that have other boat anchor equipment and most of my antique / vintage radio collection are on those shelves. My wife likes certain of the older radios so they are in either the den, dining room, or entry way. However, she doesn't like a lot of the "looks" of most of the older radios, so they have to stay in either the garage or my office.

    I do occasionally use the Collins 51J2 or the Hallicrafters SX-100 for some casual shortwave listening. I usually find a station and then go about doing other things listening to the shortwave broadcast in the background. Once-in-a-great-while I use the Hammarlund HQ-140X or the BC-348 for the same thing. Also, the BC-348 is useful to listen below 500 KHz for the experimental 600 meter group or to various beacons, etc. It is very sensitive and when coupled with either of my 160 meter antennas works very well.

    The microphone and keyer are connected so that they can be switched to any of the transmitters without moving from their locations. The push-to-talk is also switched. This can be activated by either the bar on the D-104 or by a foot switch located on the floor (a heavy duty commercial footswitch manufactured by Motorola for use at police, etc., dispatch centers). I usually use the footswitch since this leaves both hands free, which is very "handy" especially when operating CW. The only transmitter that I normally use that doesn't use PTT is the Globe Champion 350A, although, it is possible to hook up PTT to it. This would require the addition of an external relay since the voltage switched is much higher that I really want to run through either the footswitch or the D-104 directly.

    From time to time, I "rotate" some of my other equipment to the main console for occasional use (like my Globe Chief 90A / Hallicrafters S-107 which are the re-creation of my novice station). My 2nd primary station is in the AM shack since this was the Hallicrafters S-85 / Heath DX-100 combination.

    Anyway, I do need to take some more photos of the antique radio collection and the rest of my boat anchors, even though a lot of them are just "gathering dust" right now. I have received numerous requests from the various reflectors asking me to do this.

    Glen, K9STH
  3. K9STH

    K9STH Platinum Subscriber Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    A window is not that easy to put in when your house is of brick construction! All of the building codes in the northern suburbs of Dallas have required brick for well over 30 years, in this suburb for over 40 years. Putting a hole through the brick, redoing the edges to get them straight and looking correct, then installing the window (which would need to be of a design to match the rest of the windows on the house - read considerably more than $100 for the window alone - windows on that side of the house are "bay" windows!), redoing the inside wall, etc., would run well over $1000, possibly as much as $2000, in this area! The only place a window could go is towards my neighbor's house on the west side. Also, the inside of the garage is paneled so there would be a need for a little more than just a hole on the inside as well! Then, there is the matter of a building permit, construction drawings (by a licensed architect - read expensive), etc., that are required for the issuance of the bulding permit plus the cost to the city for the permit (read $75 minimum). A licensed contractor is required to do the work, if you try and do it yourself and get caught, the fine alone could be well in excess of $1000! Then you have to go through all of the aforementioned efforts to get the building permit, have a licensed contractor do the work, etc.

    Besides, I don't miss it! I did have windows in all of my downtown offices (27th floor of a 49 story building), and would not have liked to have an office without one. However, when I am operating, I could care less about what is going on outside!

    The "benefits" of living in the suburbs!

    Glen, K9STH
  4. WB4ZOH

    WB4ZOH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Enjoyed the shack pictures! Have you every computed the total weight of the "heavy metal" equipment? [​IMG]

    A fantastic collection of amateur radio history. Thanks for sharing it.
  5. W5ATX

    W5ATX Guest

    Looking at Glen's shack is like being back in my teenage years. He even has stuff I STILL dream of having. Will never happen, but I dream. An S line would be nice. Heck, I'd like a KWM2 while I'm at it. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm . . .

    Glen, I had no idea you are a photography guy too. I lost my darkroom when I was divorced, and having anything set up here in this five room condo (five of us live here too - not always a lot of room to move) is just impractical. I used to have a colour processor, of course the standard b&w darkroom with trays, and a 4x5 enlarger with a Chromega D colour head. It paid for itself as I did work for other local commercial photogs. Prints up to 40x48 were no problem for me. B&W and cololur. I miss it.

    I don't have a view camera either. Without a darkroom, it gets very expensive to use one. I tinker with my Speed Graphic sometimes, as the negatives are still pretty good quality, but . . . ya know.

    Anyway, as other posters have said, thanks for the view of the history of ham radio since ww2. You've got it pretty well covered.

    As for the window - windows shouldn't be blocked. One never knows when one will need to go through that window.


  6. K9STH

    K9STH Platinum Subscriber Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    The 75S-1 / 32S-1 cost me $70 back around 1977. Actually, I paid $150 for a 75S-1, 32S-1, and PM-2 power supply. Since I already had a spare 516F-2 supply (which is really the supply for the 32S-1), a local offered me $80 for the PM-2 (which was in rough shape, but worked fine) for one of his KWM-2(s) that he took on DX'peditions. Thus, $70 for the transmitter and receiver. I then got a brand new Waters Q-Multiplier kit for the 75S-1 (which adds rejection tuning like the 75S-3 series has) for $25 at a local amateur radio club auction. They were going for about $100 at that time.

    The other items have been the result of buying, trading, etc., for over 40 years of operating! I do have a fair amount of other equipment that I really need to "unload". Some of this are duplicates (like restored Collins 75A2 receiver and Hallicrafters S-107 receiver) and some are equipment that I just have no interest in (like restored Knight T-150 transmitter and R-100A receiver).

    Glen, K9STH
  7. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Glen, did you take a look at November CQ yet?

    Ergonomics are wonderful, and so is Feng Shui, or whatever the term is...but as I kid my basement shack had no windows, I stared at a concrete block wall, then filled that wall with QSL cards and awards, and it wasn't ugly any more.

    My most serious operations are in contest station environments where there's too much gear for all of it to be near an outside wall and a window. As such, I'm normally staring at only a video monitor for pretty much the entire operation, as the keyboard and monitor control the rig, the log, the packet spots, and everything else.

    My normal "at home" operations includes a window right over my operating bench, with a peaceful view -- right into my neighbor's bathroom window, about 50 feet away! Of course, they know that and keep the curtain drawn most times...

    I think the best setups are ones with skylights providing views of the towers and antennas...KC1XX's station is like that, and it's very cool indeed. You don't have to wonder if the beam's really turning, etc -- just look up.

  8. K9STH

    K9STH Platinum Subscriber Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Steve, believe it or not, a friend of mine, W5USM, brought me over all of the CQ and QST magazines from 2002 a little while ago! He needed some copies from 1930 about transmitters using type 210/10 tubes. I had run them off on my Xerox (I really do have a Xerox XE-80 so my copies are really "Xerox copies"!) machine for him.

    I have worked on a few of the HT-32 series, SX-115 series, etc., but the only Hallicrafters transmitters that I have owned are an HT-37, and HT-18, and HT-20 (which I still have). Back in the early 1970s I owned a GPR-90 (which I traded off along with a Collins 32V3 - wish I had both of them back!), and had two SP-600-JX-17 receivers back in the late 1960s (don't miss them at all!). I would kinda like to have an AR-88. That particular receiver has always caught my attention. I do have a National NC-2-40D that I acquired over 20 years ago. I never used one, but there was one at the old Radio Distributing Company amateur radio store in South Bend, Indiana, that sat there for sale from the time that I was a novice until I went off to college and got married. As far as I know, they never did sell it (too high priced) until they went out of business. But, I always "dreamed" of having a receiver that had general coverage and also had the amateur bands also cover the entire dial (well, 80, 40, 20, and 10 since 15 wasn't a band when that receiver was made).

    By degree I am not an EE, although I have been employed basically as one since college. I have the equivalent of an MS as an Industrial Engineer plus Management. All of my electives were in EE. Thus, I try to design things so that the most used items are at the finger-tips if at all possible. Of course, with all of my equipment, I did have to choose just what went where!

    Anyway, I definitely don't miss looking out the window!

    Glen, K9STH
  9. K9STH

    K9STH Platinum Subscriber Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    For MB:

    You have never operated using my setup. The ergonomics are such that I have done quite well in various contests (from SS to DX to VHF) over the years including winning, depending on the contest, from the 5th call area to North America. Now, I have never placed higher than 3rd in the world (this was for a DX contest and was for 10 meter only operation).

    As for California: Like Texas and all the other states, it definitely depends on where you live. My middle daughter lives in Las Flores, Rancho Santa Margarita, Orange County. The regulations are so stringent in her sub-division that they even limit what plants you can grow in your front yard! Last year, somehow, a pumpkin seed took root in her front yard, near the house. No one had any idea as to where it came from. But, her neighbors actually helped hide the plant from the neighborhood committee that makes regular patrols around the sub-division looking for infractions! All of those on her cul-de-sac have small children and wanted them to see how things really grow. This year my daughter actually planted some of the seeds from the pumpkins in her back yard where it is "legal" to grow things other than grass and shrubs. Thus, tell me about regulations!

    Now, as for the window: I don't want it! I don't need it like you do. Besides, you are making some assumptions that are incorrect. First of all, I suffer from rheumatoid arthritis and have been on disability for almost 2 years. RA is not the usual "wearing out of the joints" as is osteo-arthritis. Osteo-arthritis is actually reversable through diet, supplements, etc. Rheumatoid arthritis is an immune disorder that causes severe swelling in the joints (normally "pairs" of joints are involved - i.e. both knees, both ankles, etc.) as well as causing large "knots" to be formed near the joints. It is "triggered" by some sort of allergic reaction which can be from anything in the environment. Someone can walk out their door and get a "whiff" of ragweed (which they might have "smelled" for decades) and that "triggers" something in their body which then causes RA. RA is NOT reversable. RA is not cureable. It is a progressive condition that all you can hope for is to slow the progression as much as possible. It is possible in many cases to almost retard the progression. But, you can never go back! Also, you can go for days, even weeks, with only a limited amount of pain. Then, the pain becomes unbearable. The rheumatologists are trying all sorts of things experimentally to help. But, so far, the primary treatment is with normal arthritis drugs plus Methotrexate, a drug that has been around so long that the cost for a month's supply is only $7.95 instead of the well over $100 a month for things like Celebrex. Some days I take as many as 22 pills just to try to keep my RA in check.

    Thus, since my hands are definitely affected (I can type because I don't have to bend my fingers but when I do bend them they "lock" in place requiring some effort to unlock them), I have difficulty at times handling power tools. Also, my knees remain swollen and I have to use a cane to walk outside. Once-in-a-while I have to use it inside as well.

    I am not looking for any sympathy from anyone. I have the condition and I have to live with it. It is unfortunate that I am a number of years away from being able to retire. Also, I have been "fighting" with Hartford Insurance company for almost 18 months about long-term disability benefits. They paid short-term but have been coming up will all sorts of excuses why they shouldn't have to pay long-term. All of the insurance companies do the same thing. If you "hang in there" they eventually pay off in a lump sum and then start regular benefits. However, they haven't been paying any interest on what they pay in the lump sum. All of the insurance companies have their money in bank accounts in which they are paid daily interest. Thus, they gain interest on their deposits but don't pay anything out. There was a case filed in the 3rd US Court of Appeals that was decided September 2001. A woman was finally given a lump sum payment for 4 years 8 months by her insurance company. Of course, they did not pay any interest. She and her attorney went after the interest. The Court of Appeals decided in her favor, but the insurance company has appealed to the Supreme Court. This, of course, will take additional years. If this case is finally decided in favor of the woman, then the insurance companies will have to start paying interest and they will quit this situation of holding off for as long as possible before starting benefits.

    Because of all of this, I would have to hire someone to do the work. Due to zoning regulations, this requires a permit, which requires construction drawings, which have to be done by a licensed architect. Then, a state licensed contractor has to be utilized. The actual people who do the work do not have to be licensed, they work under the license of the owner. It is possible for an individual homeowner to go down to city hall and take several tests which show that they are capable of doing the work. This allows them to work on their own house without having to use a licensed contractor. But, a building permit is still required.

    If you check with most cities that have zoning laws (Houston actually has no zoing laws!) you will find varying versions of this procedure. If you happen to live in a locale that does not have zoning laws, or very lax zoning laws, then you are most fortunate. The City of Richardson does allow towers to be errected in residential neighborhoods not to exceed 100 feet in height (very reasonable!). But, they are strict in the construction of the houses. The result is that the neighborhoods, for the most part, have not had any decline. The houses on my street are at least 33 years old and the street looks "fine". A number of the houses have been recently sold by the original owners who have retired and are moving away. Thus, the number of small children is rapidly increasing once again. Last night, Halloween, I had over 100 children come "begging" for candy. These ranged from under 2 to about 14 in age. Thus, my neighborhood has "turned over".

    For the life of me, I can't understand why you are trying to "force" your ideas of how a ham shack should be set up on others. You stated that you don't like looking at equipment and have all of your equipment hidden behind closed cabinets when you are not operating. That is great for you! Actually, a number of years ago, I became the owner of the console built for Collins Radio that was featured in all of their S-Line ads. It had room for two large "boxes" on the first level plus a smaller box (normally the receiver, transmitter, and station console), on the second level there was room for the linear (normally 30L-1) and two smaller boxes for rotor control, etc. This closed up to make a very nice looking piece of furniture when the station was not in use. But, from an operating stance, it was very hard to use for anything except causual rag chewing. Thus, I traded it off after a year, or so. It was very nice looking, but not practical.

    Thus, I'll make a deal with you: You don't criticize how I setup my station and I won't criticize how you set up yours! I definitely know ergonomics and use those procedures to my advantage when at all possible.

    Glen, K9STH
  10. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Glen, I think your shack looks fine, but you, on the other hand, are obviously getting old! <hi hi>

    I'm 51 and definitely very happy to not have rheumatoid arthritis -- after reading your description, even if RA hit and allowed me to retire early with tremendous benefits, I definitely don't want it! Golly, it sounds bad.

    As I stated earlier, I don't need windows to operate effectively or comfortably. I must say, my shack window provides me absolutely no comfort of any kind. During the hot summer days when the sun beats on the window, I have no choice but to keep the blinds tightly closed to keep the UV from cooking me as I sit and operate. At night, it's dark, so I can't tell if I have a window or not.

    One time when it's really cool to have a shack window is when it is gently raining outside, so I can hear and smell that. Very nice. But here in L.A., that happens about three days a year, so I don't get used to it...

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