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Tuesday 21 August 2018

Shack improvements should begin this week

With my shack workspace obviously very limited I want to start getting the new custom desk built this week so instead of building it all together my plan to start will be to build it in stages, starting with the section from the window wall to the socket by the store cupboard (former wardrobe), this should at least give me more space to work and allow rearrangement of radios and power supplies and the computer from the metal desk to the larger custom desk, the metal desk is, as previously mentioned, to be retained for soldering and will be put closest to the window, this new desk will be ideal as I want to film many YouTube videos in the shack and want the shack to look better on camera than what it does now.

The computer will remain configured with its current hardware configuration due to cost, this will be done last, starting with internal changes to increase performance and then a replacement monitor (this could either be a new monitor or the existing monitor from my desktop PC if I use a new monitor there, the changes to the computer should be done for early 2019 if possible.

The start of this build will come at a good time considering the National Hamfest is now just over a month away and I could come back with something, I do need an antenna that blends in with that outside wall and the Diamond X30 and X50 do that job very well, and there could be a new rig in the shack as well depending on what I do and do not see and buy, as I am there for both days I can get in early to get the best deals, I rarely leave a rally empty handed and the National Hamfest has not been an exception to this rule, at the very least I will get another Pixie kit as I want to assemble one on a YouTube video, and hopefully a CW key and perhaps a buzzer and battery to train myself with CW (though batteries are easy to source locally anyway) and not QRM the bands, so a large desk with a good writing surface (the metal one is far from ideal) will certainly prove its worth.

The backing cabinets for the radios will be drawn up once the desktop assembly is complete, and I am considering under-desk storage for components and other such items as these are scattered around the shack, also the existing power supply arrangement will be reviewed in due course as I mentioned I'll be replacing the Maplin supply and the ATX supply that have given sterling service over the years with at least two switched mode PSUs of the Chinese open-frame type (or "fredintheshed" type as I've affectionately come to call them after YouTube user fredintheshed 26CT1664 brought them to my attention).

One thing I did not mention on the last post of this build is the fact I plan to put a laser printer into the shack for fabrication of printed circuit boards, this would get networked rather than fed direct from the shack computer as the software I will work with, Fritzing, is installed on my personal desktop and laptop computers rather than the shack computer due to its current lack of power, and I cannot use my existing inkjet printer, this will also come later on possibly now into early 2019 unless I can get a cheap used unit from somewhere, once the rest of the desk is complete

Tomorrow I hope to go out to get what I need to begin the first part of the job, the assembly of the desktop between the window and the farthest power socket, that will allow me to move the HT chargers and the Jumbospot into a less precarious position and allow me to move the metal desk to its spot directly under the window, and ultimately increase my YouTube output from the shack.

I'll update tomorrow if I do make progress in good time.

73 de 2E0EIJ

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