K0GKJ – Just Another Ham
The New QTH – A Floating Shack

Hamoire – Part Two

Remember my telling you I need to be extremely stealthy, both inside the condo as well as outside on the roof? Enter the armoire converted into a “hamoire”.

Well, I added another objective to this project. I want to rip the guts of this hidden station right out by the roots and take it on the road. Yeah, maybe for field day or mobile HF ops, but also to haul it down to the boat for a floating QTH. That meant this baby had to be “luggable”.

I might want to make it bang-around-proof too ultimately, but one step at a time.

I needed a main frame (pun intended, for you big-iron computer nerds like this ex-IBMer), so I built a small shelving unit approximately 26″ wide, 10″ deep and 15″ high. The bottom shelf is both a box bottom and a shelf. Actually, this thing started out as a shelf with legs on it, tipped it upside down and sawed off the legs to fit into the central shelf of the armoire.

All my station’s main components fit into this “frame”, including an MFJ-949E tuner, an MFJ-752C Signal Enhancer (a dual notch/peak filter). an MFJ-493 Super Menu Keyer with MFJ-79 Remote Controller, a West Mountain Rig Blaster Plus for digital ops, a low pass filter bolted onto the right side of the frame, and the Icom 706 MkII-G bolted onto the left side. There are a couple of other adapted components in there too, like an audio mixing board and a spectrum analyzer for audio interconnectivity convenience and sound quality (I’m an ex-studio engineer – what can I say?).

The “front end” for this mess is a an MFJ-299 desktop mic with integrated 4-band equalizer, an MFJ-422D Electronic Keyer/oscillator with a built-in Bencher iambic paddle (gosh, you’d think I was an MFJ guy – guess I am somewhat), and a sweet EFJ/Nye/Speed-X straight key (I think – bought it at a hamfest – no logo, but looks like an old E.F. Johnson model, maybe updated).

I mounted the 706’s faceplate on the front of the armoire’s (now ham junk) drawer for easy access.

So what do you guys think? I can pick the whole thing up, set it on the seat of the golf cart, and haul it down to the boat for the occasional CXpedition (get it? CW on the sea? Pun on DXpedition? Aw, never mind. Stupid attempt at humor! At any rate, the antenna on the boat is basically a longwire – one of the wires holding up the mast (the tall thingy on a sailboat) called a backstay – insulated, top and bottom, uses a copper foil strap connection to a sintered bronze block bolted to the outside bottom of the hull. Seawater makes a GREAT counterpoise! That QTH will come together after THIS one!

And being a boater, how will I keep stuff from sliding outa this contraption? Well, bungee cords, of course! Actually, I’ll solve that problem after a few quality QSOs. See you on the air…

ham rack windows rain 001

Front:

ham rack windows rain 012

Back (whole unit slid out of the “hamoire” for access to the backside (sans connections, so far):

ham rack windows rain 005

Close-up left side:

ham rack windows rain 016

Close-up right side:

ham rack windows rain 007

Front-end (operator’s desk):

ham rack windows rain 019

Well, you get the idea… kind of a fun project.

73 de k0gkj dit dit

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