[CQ-Contest] Do you have A/C in your shack?

David Hachadorian k6ll.dave at gmail.com
Tue Jul 27 14:28:49 EDT 2021

So I live in Yuma, AZ, one of the hottest places in the U.S.  The shack 
is in a small spare bedroom, about 9X12 feet.  The house has 5 tons of 
central air conditioning, but the thermal time constant of the shack is 
totally out of sync with the rest of the house.  With two radios and two 
tube-type 1500 watt amps, the normal duct work that brings central air 
into that room simply can't be expected to keep up with the thermal 
load. Instead, I have a 6000 BTU window unit that I install temporarily 
for warm-weather contests, and I close off the room from central air by 
closing the door and closing the vent.  The bedroom has a window that 
opens sideways, so I am severely limited on width. 6000 BTU is about all 
that will physically fit in there, and fortunately it is able to keep up 
with the load, even when it is 110 degrees outside.  It's a kluge 
installation, using cardboard and packing material to seal up the 
opening.  With the thermostat set to 78, the AC unit runs almost 
continuously.  About once every two hours, it catches up and cycles off, 
and the room temperature approaches 85 while the compressor is disabled 
during the mandatory 5 minute waiting period before a restart.  I found 
by experience that it was necessary to place a Styrofoam poster board 
between the cold air outlet and the return inlet on the AC. Without that 
board, the AC cycled on & off happily, keeping its area of the room cool 
while the rest of the shack sweltered. The Styrofoam board directs the 
cold air toward the radio equipment.

To make the AC easy to install, I made a permanent shelf for it outside 
the window.  The shelf holds all the weight.  I have a pulley system and 
sling to lift the AC into position and lower it again onto a dolly where 
it resides between contests.  The AC is about the same level of noise as 
the blowers on the two amps.


Dave Hachadorian, K6LL
Yuma, AZ

On 7/27/2021 7:22 AM, ve9aa at nbnet.nb.ca wrote:
> Keep in mind when reading the following, I am from the Maritimes and have lived
> all my life in VO2, VO1, VE1 and VE9....so I don't do the high temps well ;-)
> During the recent IARU contest I think this was the first time I  *ever*  really
> stopped operating due to heat/humidity.  I laid my head down "for a few minutes"
> and woke up 5.5hrs later. Oof !
> My el-cheapo thermometer on the desk next to my keyboard said it was 31.5*C
> (88.8*F)...I don't recall what the humidity was in the house,(probably a bit
> lower than outside)  but outside was up to 94% at 11pm according to Environment
> Canada.
> I QRT'd not long after midnight, shattered from the "heat".
> So....has anyone installed A/C in their shack? How did you like it? Run it every
> contest? Only in the summer?
> Y'day I bought a teeny-tiny window A/C unit ~5000btu (on sale at that) and will
> hopefully once installed, will try it out next contest,  assuming no QRM/RFI.
> Living way out in the country. I like a quiet RX.
> I think in my mid-late 50's, I am finally getting soft.
> In the winter, I just turn my shack heat off and sometimes even open a window.
> In the summer, I often operate LP or QRP....
> In the IARU, with HP SO2R it was pretty warm and my shack is very very small.
> What has been your experience with heat/humidity while operating? (doesn't have
> to have been in YOUR shack)
> Tnx !
> --
> Mike VE9AA
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Dave Hachadorian, K6LL
Big Bear Lake, AZ

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