Shack & Equipment

My equipment consists of a Kenwood TS-940S, a Flex 3000, a Drake TR-7, a Swan 500CX, and a Yaesu FT-857D. I have two linear amplifiers, both made by Ameritron: ALS-600 for my home operation and the ALS-500M for portable operations with the FT-857D. For 2M/70CM, I have a Kenwood G707A, a Wouxun HT, and an FT-1500M for my go-bag.

We built in an HOA-managed neighborhood. Aerials may not be visible from the street in the CC&Rs. So no towers. However, I had the electricians during the building process to install a 160M loop just an inch underneath the shingles of the roof edge. It resonates between 160M and 80M since we had to trim some wire from it. I’ve also installed an 80M/40M dipole as well as 20M wire beam in the walk-in attic. I had the builder install PVC pipes to two sides of the house in order to pull coax and to come into my 2nd floor shack, located in a corner of my office.

Fox Mike Hotel

Fox Mike Hotel

In an alleyway between my house and zero-lot line neighbors, a Wellbrook ALS-1530s receive loop was installed a foot above the ground on a cheap rotator with bearing registry on the remote control. I received approval for installing a birdhouse at the top of a painted PVC pipe mounted on an MFJ tilt-down hinge and a DX Engineering radial plate. There may be a Hustler 4BTV vertical inside the PVC pipe but we cannot tell since no aerial is visible. You’ll just have to trust me. Some well-placed vertical evergreens will almost shield the 18' high birdhouse in the next few years. The other end of the alleyway has a zig-zag set of ornamental trees and shrubs so that cover up my HVAC and other utilities.

The 2nd floor shack presents the usual RF ground issue. During construction, I followed the advice of Tom W8JI by putting down a 2' grid of copper tape purchased at Hobby Lobby. This went down on the plywood subflooring before the carpet pad was applied. The cabin installers in a nearby bathroom took bets on what the strange professor was doing. Odds on was that I was putting in a heated floor, albeit it in Mississippi! All were amazed to learn what I was actually doing. I’ve connected this grid to a 2″ copper strip from Georgia Copper that flows to my shack ground block (also from GA Copper) and then down to a set of three ground rods hidden beneath pine straw mulch in a flower bed.

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