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2E0EES England flag England

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The New Shack

It has been a busy summer doing my other hobby - music - and im looking forward to a winter with my radio and 40mtrs until the festivals come again.  No better way to start than to move my shack.  I did have a shack in the bottom of my garden (see below).  It was cold in the winter however so I am relocating and improving my condition generally.

First improvement is a new radio.  I know have a Icom-7410 at the centre of my station and it is a big improvement over my venerable and effective FT-840.  I'm running the 7410 with an MFJ-1026.  I am lifting and tilting my 40m full wave loop and this is half done.  The SWR has suffered as a result but i need to migrate everything first before the weeks of playing to get everything optimal.


Photo's and more to follow.

Let's Do the Time Warp...

The first HAM radio I bought was a FT101ZD Mk3 and for no particular reason I have stayed with Yaesu ever since for HF.  I am new to licenced radio although I have a career in telecommunications and as a 16 year old student I had a Saturday job with Nevada Radio of Portsmouth (UK) repairing CB gear during the CB boom of the early 1980's. Then, "Nevada", was more of a music shop (Smoke on the Water was a constant riff coming from the guitar section...) and Mike Devereux wore white trainer boots, washed out jeans, tweed jacket, mullet hair cut with blond highlights! He looked like the manager of Bon Jovi!  It was 35 years ago....

To my shack...  I have a Yeasu FT-840 based HF set up.  over the last year I have collected the Yeasu accessories and the station is easy to use and fully functional.  It is truly effective in Europe where I can usually get stations I can hear.  DX'ing is a challenge but when I get my full licence I hope to run a little more power but I can't really put a Yagi up in my QTH so my 40m loop will always limit me a little.  That said the loop is resonant and works well.

Around the year 2000 my shack would be viewed as a modern and complete station.  I use HRD and using a laptop really does help to bridge the divide between the year 2000 and today.  For £1300 including the masts/antennas, I'm really happy with it and my shack is a cool place to chill out - I like it in here.  In the summer I bring my Fender Jaguar down here and play Smoke on the Water looking out on the countryside that surrounds me.  All very pleasant.


My station is located in a wooden shed in the bottom of my garden in Melksham, Wiltshire, South West England near the River Avon.  I mostly use a Yeasu FT-840 powered by a matching Yeasu FP-800.  It is widebanded with an FM board fitted.  I also have a matching (excuse the pun) and very rare Yaesu FC-10 Auto ATU.  My HF antenna is a horizontal 40m rectangular full wave loop about 3 to 5 metres off the ground and that gives me an SWR of 1:1.5.  It uses a 4-1 BALUN, and tuned where necessary by a MFJ-949E that mainly acts as my antenna switch and SWR meter.  I live close to an electrical sub-station and i use a MFJ-1026 to reduce noise and a BHI NEIM 1031 DSP to clean up the FT-840 audio.  My microphone is a Yaesu MD-100 A8X. I link my laptop to the CAT I/O port on the FT-840 and use Ham Radio Deluxe (free version!).  The 2 most important things in my shack however are my chair (an old passenger liner deck chair) and the heater!!!

I am an Intermediate licence holder and that means I operate at <50 watts.  I am aiming to get my full licence in June-July 2017 and change my callsign for the last time.  I was formally M6HJF (UK Foundation level).

For 10, 11 and 12 metres I have an Antron A99 vertical atop a 7m mast.  I have upgraded the A99 by changing the top section for a FU-99.  According to Firestick this now makes the A99 a 5/8 wave antenna for 11m.

For 2m work I have a 5 element Yagi at 5m in height.  I use Kenwood TM-241E or a Trio TR-9000 on 2 metres (for SSB) in the shack.

I have a cool white van and as well as a excellent hifi it has a 2m dual band cheap chinesse rig and a more expensive to buy but even more cheaply made chinesse export rig 6900n.

My station is quite near a large electric substation with electric pylons only 50m away.  On the 40m band my noise floor is at 9 on my meter without the MFJ-1026.  With it properly set this is reduced to <3 on a good day.  It has taken a long time to get it right but my station has big ears!  I can now hear stations around the world even if they can't always hear me!


Steve, 2E0EES (Formally M6HJF)

P.S.  Yes, I do play the drums :)



8358692 Last modified: 2017-09-29 19:15:36, 6546 bytes

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