It probably goes without saying, that behind most radios, there lies a veritable rat’s nest of cables etc. And my shack is no exception. Every antenna is fed with hard-line coax and most of the connections inside the shack are made using professional grade triple-screened coax (the purple stuff). Both the coax switches in the photograph above can also be seen in the shot of my shack in 1980! The 5-way slider switch intended for HF use but used on 2m was becoming a bit of a liability and I could never remember which antenna was connected to which port on the 2-way switch!
Recently, I had the idea to get rid of the need to lean over the back of the radios in order to change transverters or switch antennas on HF. So I built the two shiny boxes in the photograph on the right. The box on the left routes the 144MHz from the IC260 to any of the various transverters with a spare port available for future expansion. The box on the right houses a beefy relay which switches been the Cobwebb and the Mini-Quad.
What shack wouldn’t be complete without test equipment? Quite a few actually! When I was first licensed in 1976, there wasn’t the plethora of ‘black boxes’ that there is today. And as far as VHF, UHF and above was concerned, most newcomers to the hobby simply built their own kit or converted commercial boxes. Sadly, there is little incentive today for the newcomer to get involved with home construction. However some of us still get a real kick out of operating kit which we have built ourselves. I’ve been doing it for nearly 25 years now and I still hate metal-work!!
. . . a veritable rat’s nest