Rebuilding the Macbook – Lessons to Apply to the Ham Shack

I’m in the midst of rebuilding all the “stuff” that departed my Macbook with the removed dead hard drive.  

While waiting for the system to transfer applications from the “twinned” MiniMac to the re-drived Macbook, it was a good time to fire up the Station.

In the end I did one QSO and mostly thought about all the settings, wiring, configurations, jumpers positions and other defining details of my simple station.

Much is captured in the station notebook.  Or so I thought!

Reading through my notes I wasn’t certain someone else could rebuild my station from what is written.  

Certainly wouldn’t want to struggle with a major rebuild in the midst of a contest based on the notes alone.

Some of the lists I did are nice – but lacked enough detail for quickly using the information without thinking for a bit about things like “Where are those jumpers?  Do I take off the top or bottom cover to get to them?” and “Is this slider going to affect any other programs and do I need to adjust the radio to match?”

There is not point writing a manual for a non-amateur – the notes do not need to pass the “Wife Test” as it is called.  

The “Wife Test” is where what I write has to be readable, understandable and actionable by my wife.  Often a writer knows what they meant to say, but lays out words that do not resonate with the same message for a reader.  The “Wife Test” helps to avoid this problem.

A “Station Manual” does not need to pass the “Wife Test,” but rather should pass for a workable guide for a fellow Radio Amateur.  

Of course if your XYL is a with-it Radio Amateur their opinion as to the workability of your “Station Manual” can really help. 

In my coat pocket I had an answer for the question of how to make this documentation process not get in the way of operating, yet be viable if needed for rebuilding part of the station.

That answer was my digital camera.

Just like screen-shots to capture settings in a picture form, the camera can capture almost every aspect of how the station goes together & works.

So I’ve started taking pictures.  Some show my “mess” and are already inspiring cleaning up and clearing away extra gear.

Should have thought of this earlier!



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