What was your very first "shack" setup?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by W7UUU, Jun 4, 2020.

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  1. KJ7UBV

    KJ7UBV Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I've finally started my "official" hamshack. The 5100a is being used as a VHF/UHF base station primarily for local repeaters and DSTAR when not installed in my truck for road trips. Still shopping around for an HF rig once I figure out an HF antenna installation. (Limited space and PITA HOA :eek:) The HT is an Alinco DJ-MD5 for experimenting with DMR. Hamshack.jpg
    MW7OFS, KJ5T, M7SKO and 1 other person like this.
  2. G3EDM

    G3EDM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I posted this photo of my first shack a few months ago, on 11th June.

    But @WB2WIK correctly took me to task for showing a photo of a shack (back when I lived in America four years ago) that never actually got on the air.


    This summer I finally did get myself on the air for the first time ever, using that very same rig, but from my new QTH in southern England.


    The new shack is much smaller than the old one so I rearranged the equipment in a somewhat impractical layout just so it would all fit in the photo.

    The entire rig is homebrewed and currently operates monoband 40m CW. My first projects were based on ARRL designs from 1968.

    The 10W, crystal-controlled tube transmitter is on the shelf, with the light-bulb dummy load and another, Cantenna-style dummy load next to it on the right. The crystals are kept in the military storage box shown on the desk at extreme right.

    The receiver on the left is a three-transistor, battery-powered regenerative set that was used for my first dozen or so QSOs but proved very "deaf".

    So within a month I switched to another homebrewed receiver, shown at centre, which is also regenerative but more sophisticated and based on my own design (admittedly a very generic, well known circuit for regens). It, too, is battery powered. It uses seven subminiature tubes and is in a continuous cycle of improvements and modifications. It's not bad, but is broad as a barn door and that is typical of regenerative sets, which sets a pretty short time limit as to how long I am likely to tolerate using it as my main receiver.

    In my analysis, the receiver is currently the weakest link of many weak links.... But it's a lot of fun learning to live within the limitations of very simple equipment based on very old designs.

    My main key is a Begali Camelback. On the shelf above: a Vibroplex Classic bug, which I will graduate to when I am ready for it. My sending is at the low end of the old General Class level, at around 13wpm maximum, so it will need to speed up before a bug makes sense. My copying is ropey, so that will need to be improved in tandem with the sending speed.

    The antenna is a full-size 40m dipole (nice) but "up" only 4 metres (13 feet) because of local planning restrictions (not so nice).

    In the future: A superhet, a VFO, a more powerful transmitter, antenna improvements, and operating on additional bands (80m and 20m). All homebrewed, and nothing digital! With a very strong preference for hollow-state gear. Those are the shack rules....

    73 de Martin, G3EDM
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2021
    W0AZ, KA2CZU, WZ7U and 4 others like this.
  3. K4EMF

    K4EMF Ham Member QRZ Page

    I don't have any photos but my first station around 1973, WN4VOO then WB4VOO, was an FT-101 on a desk in my bedroom and a 5 band vertical atop a 74' tower.
    WD4ELG likes this.
  4. M7BCN

    M7BCN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi All, here’s my first setup. Licensed July last year and played with a few different modes. However, HF is definitely my thing. I’m particularly interested with QRP operating. EF47F17A-722E-479A-AB6A-3B061A495216.jpeg Thanks for looking, regards Brian
    W0AZ, MW7OFS, KA2CZU and 1 other person like this.
  5. KI7Z

    KI7Z Ham Member QRZ Page

    Drake TR. Water dripping from coax.

    We learn.
    WZ7U likes this.
  6. NC8V

    NC8V Ham Member QRZ Page

    Globe Scout xmtr and RME 6900 rcvr. Dow-key ant. relay into an L-network to a long run of 16ga house wire thrown along the flat roof of my top-floor apartment. “Ground/counterpoise” ran out the window down to a ground rod. When I exchanged my WN for a WB, the mic on the Scout (AM) was _hot_ with RF biting if I put my mouth too close!

    Ted Morris NC8V,
    AD5HR and MW7OFS like this.
  7. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

  8. N1RND

    N1RND Ham Member QRZ Page

    I wish I had pictures.
    The year was 1977, I was a Freshman in high school.
    Kenwood ts-520s, MFJ antenna tuner, Swan swr meter, straight key and random length improperly installed wire antenna.
    Boy did I cause TVI!
  9. K7TRF

    K7TRF Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Globe Chief and Heathkit HR-10B, Frankenstein knife blade T/R switch and a 40m dipole built with Coke bottles as center and end insulators back in 1972. Only owned one crystal at 7.101 MHz which sat right under the carrier of a short wave broadcast station so I worked weekend mornings and could sometimes grab a short window after school before the band opened up and my operating frequency got swamped in broadcast carrier.

    Picked up a DX-60B and matching VFO after passing my General exam and everything got a lot easier. Thought I'd gone to heaven when I swapped that station about a year later for a Gonset GSB-100 and Drake 2B and had both SSB and a much better receiver.
  10. KC7HDE

    KC7HDE Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    My first shack set up was as a Tech +, Radio shack HTX202 to a 5 element yagi, My trusty (what got me into Amateur radio) SX42 Hellicrafters short wave radio and a (cheap, didn't work you want it.) RCI 2950 10m rig.
    The 5 element 2m antenna was through a friend and ham KC7CAA that had a lead on a new home owner that didn't want this antenna on their new home. Turned out to be a 5 element 2m on a rusty old 2oft telescopic mast with a 2m yagi on it. "I'll take it!."
    The Hellicrafters SX42 was my gate way drug. I had that from my older brother who had found it at a garage sale and it just so happened to just only needed an antenna to work. I listened to the SX42 for about 5yrs before I just had to find out how I too could be in on all the fun.
    The RCI 2950 10m rig was a garage sale find of my own about 2 months after receiving my call sign in the mail. The people said it was dead but when I got home and hooked it up to a dipole it worked all right for me? paid $25 for that....I bought the Radio shack HTX202 new from our local Radio shack the week or so before my license came in the mail.
    All in all I was 27yrs old married with 1 kid at the time and had all this in my single car garage on a bench loving every minute of it....

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