A Ham Shack Update

For many who follow this blog, you’ve known me for about as long as I’ve been licensed (almost 5 years).  Unfortunately, during a large portion of this time I’ve been talking about the work I’ve been doing on my new ham shack, home office and man cave.   If memory serves me, I began framing the unfinished portion of the basement in 2008. 

I worked pretty much every weekend (and some evenings) and managed to get the 2×4 framing done in about 4-6 weeks.  Then a few more weeks I had all the electrical, network, coax for CATV and telephone all done.  I also had to do some plumbing work to move the washing machine hot/cold lines and drain down a foot or two.  Then I stopped working on the project.

Weeks turned into months and months turned into a few years.  Some of these delays were trying to decide what sort of wall material to use (sheetrock or paneling).  The decision was made on sheetrock but then we kicked around whether we would do this ourselves or have it done.  Finally we came to the conclusion we would continue with our plans of doing all the work ourselves. 

So just after the new year I began working on the project once again.  I had a few more items to do before I was ready for the sheetrock.  All these final items where checked off the checklist and last weekend we placed an order for the drywall material.  The drywall was delivered today.

Many of you have asked for photos along the way and well I finally snapped a few showing the stud walls.  The picture below is one corner of the main room that will make up my ham shack, home office and man cave.  The room is 16 feet by 16 feet.  (I’m actually finishing out a much larger area than just the ham shack/office area) This corner will be my main operating position.  The wall to the right is 8 feet and the wall to the left is 16 feet.  I will install cabinets above and some below with countertop for the desk surface. 

I’ve been working in a corner type setup for the past several years and actually prefer it. To my right will be my Yaesu FT-950 for SSB operation and to the left will be my Yaesu FT-897 which is setup for digital modes.  My LCD computer screen will be positioned in the middle.

The picture below shows the above mentioned 16’ wall (this wall to my left).  Again this will have some cabinets above and some above with work surface to the end. 

I’ve tried to think of everything I would need not only today but in the future.  Again this space will serve both as my ham shack and my home office.   I also plan to have a nice TV and surround sound setup for when watching those action movies and sporting events.   So I’ve pulled extra coax for CATV as well as extra network cables. 

I plan to start hanging the drywall tomorrow (Saturday) after I move it down into the basement area.  My rough goals are to have the drywall done by the end of March and perhaps painting done by end of April.  We’ll see…

Until next time…

73 de KD0BIK

Jerry Taylor, KD0BIK, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Colorado, USA. He is the host of the Practical Amateur Radio Podcast. Contact him at [email protected].

One Response to “A Ham Shack Update”

  • W8MRL:

    Jerry,
    I had a few ideas for you before the drywall work begins.

    Had you thought about running an empty run of conduit from the desk area over to where you head outside for future runs of wire like a rotator controller cable or weather station data line? Just remember to keep a pull line in the conduit for pulling in those future wires.

    Also, don’t forget about ventilation. Being in a basement that room could be cool and damp.

    Last thing that comes to mind is a ground/bonding method. You might want to look at running a ground into the room behind the drywall and then have it “appear” where needed. Less wire to fight or kick around under/behind the desk.

    Take care and God bless,
    Rob
    W8MRL

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