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The KK1D Shack

The 2013 shack. FT-950, two QS1Rs, Clifton Labs Z0042A, one of the RX-320s, LDG-100ProII, Autek WM-1 computing SWR meter, Falcon Communications F251A audio distribution system, I.C.E. RF receiver multi-coupler, and a DX Engineering RTR-1 receive antenna interface for transceivers .  The other RX320s, QS1R and an AFEDRI SDR-Net are underneath the shelves along with power supplies and computers.  The antennas are a horizontal dipole 36m long fed with ladder line for 80 through 10 meters, and a tree-supported 60 foot vertical with elevated radials for 160 through 20 meters.. The computers running Fldigi and SDR software are connected via KVM switch to a single monitor and keyboard.  The following figure shows a simplified interconnection diagram:

The following figure shows the signal paths through both the physical and virtual receivers.

The QS1R and RX320 receivers are spotting 24x7 to Phil Gladstone's http://pskreporter.info site and http:wsprnet.org.  The QS1Rs run CW Skimmer Server on 9 bands (160 - 10 meters).  The excellent OL5Q CWSL (CW Skimmer Listener) software splits the QS1R signals to 34 instances of HDSDR with downstream Fldigi (for PSK 31/63) and WSJT-X (JT65, JT9, and WSPR) software decoders.  The TX320 is dedicated to WSPR spotting on 60 meters.  The FT-950 is used for WSPR transceive in a band hopping mode (20% transmit cycle).

In addition to going to the computers, the audio from all transceivers/receivers is also routed through the Falcon Communications F251-0301 audio distribution amplifier.  This allows switch selection of up to 8 radios and 4 speaker systems, allowing any radio to be used with any speaker (Hammarlund, Hallicrafters, Yaesu, homebrew).  Great for A-B tests, and for general listening when one of the radios gets a break from signal spotting duties.


2009 shack.   Alinco DX-70TH transciever, Ten-Tec RX-320 and JRC NRD-525 receivers, with Falcon audio patch panel, keyer, Dentron MT-3000A and MFJ-1279 computer interface.   Antenna is a 140 ft dipole, fed with ladder line.   The computer, out of sight off to the left, is a dual core 64-bit Athlon running Fedora Core Linux.   Main radio software is fldigi, grig, and other hamlib applications all built from source code.   Don't worry, there are still some boatanchors in the basement shack.

Main listening post, circa 2004, with two R-392s, HQ-145X, SP-210LX, R-391, and NRD-525.  All are fed from the same antennas using receiver multicouplers, and all can feed the same speakers using an audio distribution system.

Close up of the R-392s, HQ-145X and SX-122

Shacks from the past....

1985, Nicolosi (Sicilia) Italy, on the southern slopes of Mount Etna.

1981, Nimitz Hill, Guam.  Icom 720A, roof mounted triband vertical and long wire antennas.

The 720A was also operated fixed-mobile from the car.   At Polaris Point in Guam's Apra Inner Harbor, there was a large HF rhombic antenna that was "orphaned" when a typhoon destroyed the station building.   Put the 720A on the front seat, bring a itty-bitty balanced tuner, and use alligator clip leads to hook up to the original feeders.   Working the states was never a problem, and it was pretty awesome on long-path off the backside, too.

Amazingly, 26 years later the shadows of the rhombic antenna poles were still visible in the 2008 Google Earth imagery,   However, the latest imagery, and a check by a co-worker who visited the island in November 2009 confirm that the antenna is no more.

1978, Niantic, Connecticut. R-392, HB CW TX (out of view), Commodore Pet (8K w/ 32K RAM expansion), external normal/CW keyboard.

1976, Ann Arbor, Michigan.  R-392, Kenwood Twins, combo keyer/active audio filter, AN/GRA-93 CU-1696 and 180-S1 antenna tuners.   Antenna was a 400 foot long wire.

CU-1696 at upper right.

1972, Camp Androscoggin, Maine.   The Heron Bunkhouse Gang and me in the shack.   The Hallicrafters SX-117 and HT-44 were mine.   Many camps required radio counselors to provide their own gear.   This camp had some other gear, like the Multi-Elmac AF-67, and a Heathkit DX-100 around as well.   Antennas were multiple dipoles and a long wire.

1969, East Catholic High School Amateur Radio Club, Manchester, Connecticut, in the Physics Lab alcove.   This is where my ham radio career started 45+ years ago.   The station had both novice (Eico 720 and Hammarlund HQ-110) and General/Advanced/Extra (Heathkit SB-101) rigs.   The antenna was an end-fed long wire antenna with simple L tuner.  Logo sketched by classmate Kim Generous.