Planning for a Shack Relocation – Six Steps Away Rule

Back when I first set up my present station in what was supposed to be the Wine Cellar/Cool Storage of this home, I knew I was violating the “Six Steps Rule.”

Several very active long term operators strongly advised to put a person’s operating station no more than Six Steps from their usual living area in their home.

For reasons Domestic, Technical & Logistical I knowingly violated this – first I had to respect that my radio station was perhaps a center in how I spend my time, but was not a center of our family time. Then there were issues of ready power & routes for feedlines and cables. Logistically the space was available, undeveloped would put a station in a decent spot.

The downside is having it tucked out of the way, rather distant from the “lives in the house” and the forced physical space design limitations are limited the station effectiveness.

Deep in thought on how to correct the situation, bringing the station nearby to our main living area.

In the back of my mind is the question of whether a bigger transition is in the cards, as we see the children one by one depart for University & Careers. Do we appropriate some of that space for hobby use – as I would also very much like to have a designated space to practice & rehearse in. Practicing long-tones and scales is just as well kept in a off-space if others are home.

Back to the Six Step Rule, one friend has violated this in a big way, and very successfully! He has a separate building about a 50 yards from their home, which could double as second home. A wonderful solution, though with several children at a time in University for the next roughly eight years the checkbook is already committed elsewhere.

Have been thinking of converting the “guest room” into a combined Radio Room, Study & Dressing Room. As I am prone to be an early riser, a late reader and operate the radios just about anytime something good is worth catching on the radio waves, a combined function room might be the ticket.

As this room could open into the Master Bedroom through a short passage, the small alterations seem to beg doing. Don’t think the rehearsal area could overlay well, and am thinking of co-opting one of the boys room, perhaps with a change to a murphy bed for the weekends they are home from school.

My potential new radio area is close to the tower & feedline box, has reasonable access for adding the power circuits & cable pass-throughs needed, has a view of the tower & antennas and solidly meets the Six Step Rule from our main living areas while being a bit buffered from the main space at the same time.

Not that the space is perfect, as a floor plan that allows for the doors & station desks to work seems a challenge. And a review with my builder friends to make sure there isn’t something structural in the way of the minor alterations hasn’t happened.

Once those milestones are achieved perhaps a few sketches will be put up to share.

Six Steps…. hmm, wonder if that also described the design process?



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One thought on “Planning for a Shack Relocation – Six Steps Away Rule

  1. Kuby, N6JSX-EN70 says:

    My shack/office/dungeon is in the basement directly under the living room. Hence, an issue – sound proofing my ceiling/living room floor from my radio speakers, my stereo music, my office big screen, and occasionally my clarinet – plus it’s my space I can descend to my dungeon, close the door and vegetate, without fear of disrupting the living room TV, our Jack-Russel terrorists, or her world!!!

    The only other thing I would consider in room placement is length of coax runs (db losses vs expense) and minimizing the distance to a good ground system!

    The other mocking reason I’m in the basement is that if any serious WX happens the house may fly but my shack goodies should remain! It is cool having an outside PTZ-zoom color CCD camera to watch the WX/traffic coming and a PEET WX station to report same to SkyWarn/NOAA.

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