New Ham Station Plans
by Ron Chester ★ Friday, February 26, 2021

I'm getting ready to add a second ham radio station in our house. My station for the last three years has been in a corner of the spare bedroom on the second floor. It has my favorite Icom HF rig (IC-775DSP), a terrific radio, especially on CW. It uses a Norcal Doublet antenna one floor up in the attic.   I expect that it will stay there, although I might change some of the rigs that are there. I have a LOT of rigs!

But when spring arrives, I want to add a station that uses antennas that are outside, such as high up in our 85 ft tall tuliptree (the tallest variety of tree in North America, east of the Mississippi River). This tree is a variety in the magnolia family which blooms with large flowers that resemble tulips. This station will be in my office on the ground floor of our house, which has a large picture window looking out into our back yard. The operating position will be looking right out that window, allowing me to watch the bunnies, squirrels, Cardinals and other birds, and our fish pond in the back yard while I am on the air. Just to the right of the operating position and the picture window is a sash window which will provide the exit for the various antenna feedlines and the ground wire going to a ground rod just outside the picture window.  The tuliptree is twenty two feet to the west of the sliding glass door on the right side of the room, near the center of the north-south border of our property, a perfect position for supporting wire antennas, the taller and longer the better. The tree has a diameter of about 34" (106" circumference) at its base.

I will have five feet of table top running along the bottom of the picture window, which will allow me to have many rigs set up and ready to go at all times. I'm expecting that this will become my main station with rigs for all the HF, VHF & UHF bands I use.  I will be moving various boxes of client records and supplies out of the office and down into the basement, where I've had many sturdy wood shelves built, as well as wooden carts that will each be able to hold up to four banker boxes, moveable to various parts of the basement. A computer database will keep track of where to find any particular item in storage.  

Originally I thought the basement might become my ham shack, but it is more suited to being my storage hideaway, with ham stations and radios located throughout the main house upstairs, among the living. And I don't doubt that I will also sometimes operate portable from outside in our yard and maybe from some of our nearby parks.

I'm really looking forward to getting this all set up!