Rebuilding the VHF shack

As you may have read we have two shacks at our station. One serves as the HF/6 m shack and is usually used by Uwe, DL3BQA. The other one we call the VHF shack which holds a permanent station for 2 m as well as my remote setup. Furthermore I use it for local HF contesting, too, setting up my K3 or IC-7300 additionally. Unfortunately the VHF shack is not that big and with our current installation there’s simply too much stuff and all quite cluttered, i.e. no space for a better monitor, laptop in front of the gear when set up for HF contesting, a.s.o. To be honest I got tired of it so decided to use some spare time this week to change it … for the better I hope! 😉

Old VHF shack layout, all cluttered and little space only. Temporary HF setup normally at the right where the tools lay.

All equipment ripped out of the shack, temporarily parked in our outer room. Quite some stuff, isn’t it?

I constructed a new shack table and shelving system from scratch. Most of the wooden elements needed were already available so the total investment was less than 100 EUR. One major upgrade was eliminating the remote system shelves on the left-hand side thus providing a bit more space for the operating positions. All in all it took about 4 afternoons with most of the time needed to clear the shack and then recabling everything again. 😀 Maybe the following photos will give some inspiration for others wanting to do it themselves, too.

First home-made table legs are ready.

First side part done.

You can already imagine how it might look like finally.

A few planks for better stability and to mount monitors on.

Result of the first afternoon and evening of wood work.

Added two more planks for stability of the tabletop.

Last step of vacation of the shack was taking the remote system shelves apart.

The whole wood construction moved into the shack, thanks Uwe for the helping hand.

Extending the tabletop to 80 cm depth.

Tabletop mounted – looks great, doesn’t it?

Checking height of the first shelf with the metal feet to be mounted temporarily upside-down.

Final assembly of the metal feet. An extra plank is used for additional stability. There will be a bit of weight on the shelf.

Left work place with our IC-9700 finalized. 😎 2 m PA is below the table.

Used some spare wood for a littler higher placement of the rotator controllers.

Elecraft KPA500 amplifier, KAT500 tuner, power supply and homebrew 10×2 antenna controller for automatic antenna selection.

Next to the PS is the new Flex-6600. On top of it the network switch connecting all the remote stuff.

The Flex is connected through a BPF bank to the KPA500 and is also used as an IF rig for the 4 & 2 m bands.

SSPA for 2 m capable of 800 W and (just to the right of the PA) NETIOs for switching mains power on/off.

Final look. The right work place already got parts of it’s IT, too. Can use the Flex on the shelf or an additional local radio.  A second shelf above the remote station stuff added as well. The empty space (well, sort of, hi) on the right side of the lower shelf will be filled by another HF amp which first needs some service.

Some black & white art work. 😉

Some colour artwork, too. 😎

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