The WAØTTN Shack
I'm continually rearranging my shack and these represent the most current configuration. You might be interested in some historical photos of the shack to see how it's evolved over the years.

Here's the main operating station.

Top Shelf

  • DirecTV tuner with a video switch on top and an RF modulator to the right that feeds a coax out to the back yard for TV viewing on the patio. The tuner is primarily for the 37" TV just to the left of the photo, which is also the monitor for the computer I use for PSK31 and other digital modes, commanding the antenna rotator, and running the rigs via CAT control with Ham Radio Deluxe.
  • Next over to the right is the SteppIR antenna controller. And behind that is the MFJ window feed-through for coax and control cables.
  • Lastly, the Yeasu G-1000DXA antenna rotator controller with the Idom Press adaptor for computer control.

Middle Shelf

  • Icom IC-2720 VHF/UHF dual band transceiver.
  • Yeasu FT-847 HF/VHF/UHF tranceiver.
  • Kenwood TS-440S/AT - This is my favorite HF radio (second to the Collins gear). It has great audio, all the optional filters, and is a very intuitive radio to operate, being a crossover from the old knob-driven rigs and the modern menu-driven radios.
  • A horribly shelled-out Collins 312B-5 station controller that still has excellent audio with a new, modern, speaker and a very nice forward/reverse wattmeter.

Bottom Shelf

  • Various interface boxes on the left for CAT and PSK31.
  • MFJ keyer and my beautiful Kent dual CW paddle/key. The TS-440 doesn't have a built-in keyer so I use the MFJ keyer with it. I added a jack to the MFJ keyer so I can use the Kent paddles with it instead of the built-in Bencher paddle.
  • MFJ-986 antenna tuner, which I only use for SWR monitoring and antenna switching because all my antennas are now "no-tune".

To the right, on top of the filing cabinet, are some handheld VHF/UHF units, and a couple of hand-cranked emergency radios.

Under the desk you can see the top of the deep-cycle battery box with the charging and power distribution units on top. And to the right is the radio selector switch, TVI filter, and a Heathkit Cantenna dummy load.

This is my vintage Collins/Heathkit station, and "Dave's Museum".

Along the bottom is the Collins S-Line consisting of a 73S-3 receiver, 312B-4 station controller, 32S-3 transmitter, and the 30L-1 amplifier.

On top are a Heathkit SB-620 "Scanalyzer scope", an SB-610 monitor scope, and above those is a solid state SB-610 conversion that includes a digital/analog clock, and which will be featured in an upcoming QST article I wrote.

To the right, on the bottom, is a vintage Kaypro-10 computer from my old and beloved friend Charlie Ros5e. It's a CP/M operating system and is running a little animated "screen saver" program that I wrote myself using the Aztec C compiler.

On top of of the Kaypro-10 is a fine Robot Model 70 SSTV monitor. Early SSTV was really crazy, and this monitor is in great condition. The CRT is a P7 long-persistence phosphor to keep the image visible during the long 8 second frame rate. I'm hoping to repurpose this scope for some other useful project in the future, possibly as a solid state version of the SB-620 "Scanalyzer" scope.

This is my very favorite operating position in the shack!

Here's an earlier photo of the Collins S-Line just after I acquired in 2006. It's beautiful equipment, fun to operate, and still performs as well (or better!) as any modern gear, except no WARC bands. You can actually crystal these things to operate the WARC bands, but the standard operation is good enough for me.

I always get excellent audio reports with these radios, and the received audio is just wonderfully mellow as well. With my refurbished 30L-1 amplifier I can pretty much punch into any pile-up, or step up to overcome weak propagation, with about 900 Watts of "Oomph".

There's nothing like the warm glow of tubes and the real hands-on feel of the plate tuning and antenna loading controls. Talking about peaking your grid and dipping your plate these days will lead to blank stares from the newer hams. Man, those old Pi-network tank tuners can load up into just about any old hunk of wire.

If you're interested in seeing the refurb work I've done on this gear, my photo albums are here.


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