Category Archives: K9ZW Shack

The Skyneedle has landed – On site & getting ready for base installation

The second TM-370HD Skyneedle is now on the property.

Second TM-370HD as unloaded at the new house.

We will be giving everything about it a good going over.

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Internet by Fiber Ethernet to the Radio Room

Thanks to an empty conduit put in several years ago when a directional boring machine was on site, 110m of fiber is serving as an Ethernet Backhaul to my radio room.

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Taking Care of Business – a Remote Radio Shack Necessity

Okay folks, while this may be a bit of sensitive subject, I ask you – who wants to contest or chase DX from a Radio Room that is several hundred feet away from the nearest bathroom. On a nice day that round trip takes much more than a quick “comfort break” typically would, and in inclement weather you can add a few minutes to put on your winter gear & boots, take them off at the house end, and then repeat on the return trip back to the shack.

It would seem easy to just run piping to the shack, wouldn’t it?

Well in may case there is a small brook in the way, and the plumber said I would need to dig very deep, then add a lift pump to be able to connect to our private septic system. I didn’t even ask for formal quote when I found the excavation and the lift pump EACH exceeded by shack toilet budget.
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Rack Ideas – Answering the Question on Power

Rack Ideas – Answering the Question on Power

Paul W7PFB posed a great question – what is the power distrbution of the rack going to be like?

I wrote about the ideas I had at:

Returning to the issue I’ve brought in two Rigrunners, on with a USB set of outlets to distribute the radio power supply and the accessory power suply respectively. Presently I’m testing different physical positioning of the Rigrunners, as I would like the fuses inspectable and accessible, while avoiding having wires hanging out in a vulnerable position.

I’ve also brought in prepared 1/2 inch and 1 inch grounding straps, which will be gathered using a grounding buss bar intended for marine usage. If the gear is meant to be station-grounded, it will be gathered up to the buss, which then will be grounded by a 1″ strap jumper to the permanent ground wiring.

From the rack will be one 240v single phase from the amp, two 120v single phase from the pair of power supplies, one 120v single phase from the 120v distribution panel, a CAT6e jumper from the rack’s router to the building internet, the ground strap, and then of course the antenna feed lines. There will also be a rotator control cable.

I’m expecting to build a pair of patch-panels for a future operations desk tha will include balances audio connectors (XLR), a USB patch for use of a FlexControl, provisions for audio out for headset usage, a PTT patch, and grounding.

Presently undecided whether to use my present i7 computer or to buy a new machine – perhaps one small enough to be configured to be part of the rack?

The configuration on the rack provides the following power distribution:

240v Single Phase – direct to the amp only
120v Single Phase – for each power supply, AND to a distribution panel for all 120v plug-inspectable
13.8v DC – two separate distributions, one dedicated to the Flex-6700 alone, and the other to all the other 13.8v DC plug-ins
5v DC – USB outputs for future use

The configuration provides service distributions:

Ethernet via CAT6e and an on-rack switch
Radio Grounding

Point-to-Point/Jumper Connections:

Rotator Cable(s)
Feed Lines
The Operating Desk Patch Cables
Rack to Ground jumper

K9ZW Rack Layout Sketch from the planning phase:

K9ZW Rack with Power Markup

Plan is to use computer room plastic cable conduit/organizers to keep things tidy.

Pictures to follow when the installation is finished.



About the RBOG Antennas

I’d started putting together a V-shaped array of RBOG Antennas (Reversible Beverage on Ground) originally intended to be installed at my Washington Island home.  Everything major gathered but the actual install delayed with personal distractions which included moving our main home late in 2018.  Currently evaluating whether to deploy the RBOG array at the Island or at home.

A discussion at the FlexRadio Community forum seemed like a good excuse to consolidate the RBOG material acquisition information I had in emails and put together a reference, especially as based of achieved performance I might want to duplicate the setup at the other QTH.

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More Windows Adversity

Here are two pair of pictures demonstrating the attenuation the switch in Windows caused:

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