Bill W7TI writes:
> Another consideration for any shack, not just a contest shack, is
> making it convenient. I've found that if I have to go into a separate
I have a small building beside my home build for Multi-op radio which
is really nice during a contest but really inconvenient for casual Dxing.
Just getting it up to temp in the winter requires planning ahead.
Been working every day taking the station down for rebuilding out of
the aurora zone. The new QTH is a ocean view hill top far South of this
gosh-awful arctic RF suck hole I now live. By the way, stuff comes down
quick being gravity fed. We took 13 yagis down in two days. The big stuff
is taking longer however, a full day for just one with a 40 foot boom.
The biggest change for me will be "not" having the operating bench
against a wall. If you can stay in the multi-op category during the year it
probably doesn't matter as much but here in Alaska I keep making the
switch between different categories and usually have to spend the week
before a contest under the bench on my back.
The "new" station will have two rows of operating benches each holding
5 positions in the middle of the room facing each other with a walk way
between them. Switching to SO2R for example will just require moving
something from one side to the other leaving the cables attached. The
walkway will have a wall to wall channel covered by a raised floor.
I probably will have to use some sound proofing to split the two rows,
maybe a curtain or something but hopefully this idea will stop the
drudgery of multi-op category swaps.
One advantage is the new building will be built up around the contest
station and not be a family home. I can design ahead and the plan
was to put the station in a daylight basement. This basement thread
on cq-contest has been useful, ground rod installed before the cement
pour for example and a raised floor for the cold slab problem.
I have a SO2R station built in the "corner" using a "L" shaped desk in
my walk-in daylight basement now but it wasn't used much. The pad
is heated and the room has low nap carpet. Other then the fact I didn't
have control of most of the antennas or the stack selects it worked
okay. My daughter did bang on the door once telling me to lower my
voice when I was trying to work a double mult but I just got up and
threw a tent into her bedroom and told her to live in that or start
paying rent if she wanted a noise free environment.
One last thought. To sell this house I have repaired the cable hole for
the basement station. Years ago I had punched a 6 inch hole through
the cedar siding that is below the logs. The other side of the hole was
the inside of a closet. Came out of the closet into the room through
another hole in the wall near the floor beside the closet door. This
cable bundle then ran a short distance long the wall to the desk. It
took only a hour to make these holes but all afternoon patching all
four of them (two per side) with sheetrock, tape, mud, plywood,
insulation, paint and a (as it turned out) very expensive special order
board of cedar siding that does not match the outside weathered
Other then that you can't tell the holes were ever there unless, of
course, you look.