Category Archives: K9ZW Shack

Creating Durable Systems – Computer Network and Computers

Creating Durable Systems within the K9ZW Main QTH Shack is a series started with:

The Computer Network and Computers system can be broken down further:

  • Internet Provisioning – Primary is via Fiber from the Main House System, Backup is Tethered Cellular
  • Shack Network, including to tower – Primary is CAT6e and Wireless, Backup is direct replacements
  • Main Station Computer – Primary is a i7 Flex-Ready PC, Backup is use of one of the Backup Computers
  • Auxiliary Station Computers – Primary are a mix of Linux and other small PCs, Backups are to move to remaining Auxiliary or Backup Computers
  • Backup Station Computers (additional operating stations) – Primary are fan-less “deskbook” PCs, Backup is redundancy in number of Backup Station Computers
  • Routers, Media Converters, POE/Power Supplies – Primary are marked units, stadardized as much as possible, Backups are direct replacements on site in storage
  • Underground Cables/Fiber – Primary are in conduit and have a second wire or pair of fibers, Backup are laid on ground temporary cables or wireless from stock on hand.

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Creating Durable Systems – Work Stations and Operator Comforts and Shack Water/Waste

Creating Durable Systems within the K9ZW Main QTH Shack is a series started with:

The Work Stations and Operator Comforts and Shack Water/Waste system can be broken down further:

  • Shack Heat
  • Shack Cooling
  • Water
  • Toilet
  • Vermin Control
  • Security

The needs for its final build-out, testing and commissioning include:

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Safety First – Carbon Monoxide in the Ham Shack

CO Detector – 10 year sealed battery type

Saturday Morning I walked to my hamshack, and was greeted by a smell something akin to exhaust gas along with a loud alarm going off as I opened the door.

A sealed-battery wall mounted Carbon Monoxide detector was going off and the room actually had a slight haze.

Obviously the direct vent wall mounted furnace was the cause.

So all the doors and windows were thrown open so I could investigate.

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Creating Durable Systems within the K9ZW Main QTH Shack

Creating Durable Systems within the K9ZW Main QTH Shack is going to be a challenge.

By “system” I mean to break into management units the various components of the new QTH:

  • Tower/Tower Control
  • Rotator/Rotator Control
  • Hexbeam Antenna
  • Sloper Antenna
  • Flagpole Vertical Antenna/Radials
  • Receive RBOG Antenna Array/Controls
  • Guest Antenna Point
  • Tower Bulkhead Power, Ground, and Internet
  • Flagpole Courtesy Power
  • Guest Antenna Point Internet
  • HF Amps
  • HF Transceivers
  • Guest HF Transceiver Point
  • Station Monitor
  • Audio Input Microphones/Preprocessing
  • Computer Network
  • Computers
  • Audio Output/Speakers
  • Transceiver Power
  • Accessory nominal 12 vdc Power
  • Accessory nominal 5 vdc Power
  • Accessory nominal 24 vdc Power
  • Antenna Tuners/Couplers
  • Vintage Station and Integration
  • Geochron and Mapping
  • Logging

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Tower Bulkhead to the Tower Itself – Bridging the Gap

All the undergrounds for the new tower terminate at the Tower Bulkhead, which is offset from the tower hinge-access axis and about 8 feet away to basically keep out of the way.

Cables to cross that gap are:

  • 220 vac tower motor power cable
  • nominal 24 vdc plus control wires cable for the tower motor control
  • 24  vdc rotator plus azimuth control cable
  • CAT6e-type Rotator Genius control cable
  • future provision for a CAT6e cable for future IoT use
  • 110 vac utility outlet power cable
  • 3 feed lines for the Hexbeam (Belden 9913F7) with rotation loopage
  • 1 feed line for the Sloper (Belden 9913F7)
  • future provision for additional feedlines for additional antennas
  • Ground-cable to normalize the potentials

I make it as ten “whips” to cross the gap, and provisions for two or more future whips.

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Standby Power for the Shack?

I’m approaching the standby power issue considering three states of power:

  • (A) Fully on Mains Power (normal condition)
  • (B) Temporary Interruption of Mains Power of less than a day in length
  • (C) Extended Interruption of Mains Power

I’m building my condition matrix with three usage profiles:

  • (1) Casual and Standby condition, minor interruptions okay
  • (2) Ready for Hobby Radio Work
  • (3) Ready for Serious Radio Work, including Freecom

The matrix looks like this:

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