Building my Shack pt. 6 the Shelf

A small Sideproject while building my Shack was to make a Shelf where i can organize my HAM Radio gear. Normally this would not be a big deal but i am not a wood guy, but my uncle is. 

I gave him the Dimensions of the 3 planks i needed. He then found some 80 year old floow planks that have been in a farmhouse. After grinding and drilling the holes i cut some (you guessed it…) water pipes of a rod and deburred them. I also used some teakoil to finish the wood. 

I mounted everything with some threaded rods and nuts. 

For the feet of the shelf i uses some threaded balls that you normally use for handles. 

On this Shelf i mounted my Groundplate and installed the gear. 

It fits nicely and i still have some spare space for new gear. 
Best wishes


Building my Shack pt. 5 the Grounding

When i did Hamradio in my Livingroom i didnt have a propper grounding. This was a bit of an issue because i had alot of QRM and TVI. 

I decided when i build my own shack i will make it propperly. 

I read some information about station grounding on thebinternet but there was no way that i could put a 2,5m groundrod into the soil outside my House. The Soil is too dry and there are alot of Rocks in it. 

I decided to burry some steel rods 15cm deep in the ground and connect them to each other. 

I lend a Lamorghini for the weekend to have some make the work a little bit easier. 🙂

I welded a plow together and used a strong tow to bind it to the tractor. 

I laid the rods in the slice and connected the rods with some heavy clamps. Later i also pushed about 5 1m long rods into the ground and also connected it to the rods already in the soil. 

It was a quick act and my girlfriend didnt notice it. She later asked me „why is there some soil on the grass?“ i said „this f$%#ng“ moles!!“ and got never asked again. 

From the grounding i used some 35mm2 fine cable to go to the shack and connected it with a strong clamp. 

In the shack i made myself a groundplate out of bronze where i can connect all my gear. 
Best wishes


Building my Shack pt. 4 the Room 2

As i said earlier, the Room i wanted to build my Shak in was directly under the Roof so it was very good for my Project. 

The only Thing i had a hard time is to figure out how to get the cables from the outside into my Shack. 

I knew i had to drill a hole into the wall but there was ine problem. I had no idea how thick this wall was and what was in that wall. 

I meassured the approximate thickness of the wall and decided to drill a small 5 mm hole throu that thing to check whats inside…

The drill wennt right throu and now i knew that there was no brick inside the wall. 

The wall consists of a 20mm plasterboard, 25mm hardwood, 20mm air (very easy to drill :)), 150mm wool, 20mm woodboard and 80mm styrofoam. 

So i bought myself a 75mm wooddrill and drilled through the plaster and the furst wood layer. I then used a stick to put away the insulating wool. 

My plan was to put a plastic pipe into the hole so i can put the cables through.

I had to stop my work because for the styroform i needed a bigger Drill. 

When the drill arrived i cut a bigger hole from the outerside into the wall. The holes didnt match 100% but this was not an issue because the wool was flexible. 

I glued the plastic pipe into the wall with some construction foam and put a cap on it so the wildlive wont come in. 

The hole was finished and i had the idea to lay some network cables into my shack. It was a hell of a lot work but i think it pays off. 

After painting the wall the most work was done and i was very happy to make good progress. 

Best wishes


Building my Shack pt. 3 the Table

Before i moved to our new House i lived in a smaller Flat. I bought a cheap table for my Room and it was not that good. For my new Shack i wanted something decend so i decided to build my own. 

I wanted 2 long Tables to fit all my HAM Radio Gear on it and still have place for a work Computer and some other Stuff. 

I searched a long time for the wood board and had a hard time finding something for a decend price. 

In a local store i found out that you could buy kitchen workplates in the measure that you wanted for 50€/m (thats like 18$/feet?!? :))

I ordered 2 boards and it took a month to get delivered. In the meantime i ordered some sockets that can be build in the table and a cablecanal that will be put under the table. So there is no mess with all the cables. 

It took me an evening to drill the holes for the sockets and mount the cablecanal. 

A few weeks later i finally had the time to build the feet of the table and you guessed it, I used the good old 6/4“ pipes. 😉

On a Saturday i cut the pipes and assambled the feet and on the afternoon i mounted the feet on the plates.

The whole table got quite heavy and i had a hard time flipping it over but i did it somehow. 

So finally the Table was finished and i grabbed a well earned beer too look at the finished Project. 

Best wishes


Building my Shack pt.2 the Room

I started with an empty room that was painted 10 years ago. It wasnt a beauty. 

I decided to mount new lights in the Room because i like it when its well illuminated. I searched alot for lamps that i liked but they were either crappy build or way too expencive.

I decided to build my own lamp out of 6/4“  steel pipes. I kind of like the look of raw steel and the good thing on waterpipes is you can thread them together, adjust the angle and get nice looking standard connection parts. 

Then i bought 2 pairs of lampshades of amazon and mounted all together on a Saturday afternoon. 

The connection of the wires was a little fiddely but it all went well. 

After i premounted the Lamp my collegue came and hepled me mount it on the wall. It became quite heavy. 🙂

When i swithed that thing on the first time i was a little bit shocked. The Light was very good but because of the Lampshades the light came straight down aso the most of the Room was very dark. I needed a second Lamp and my first guess was to buy one „pipelamp“ from amazon. The package was delivered soon but it was a very bad quality. It looked as cheap as it was.

So again i had to get back in the Workshop and build my own lamp. First i ordered some connectors, angles and T-pieces. I used a rectangular insulated wire where the sockets can be clipped on and it fittet perfectly. I glued the sockets in the pipes with some Epoxy glue and let it cure. 

I liked the second lamp more than the first one. I know that this style is not for everybody and on my second thought it might be a little extravagant but i wont make a new one thats sure. 🙂
Best wishes


Building my Shak pt.1

Since i got my Licence in 2014 being on the air was very difficult for me. If i wanted to do HAM Radio i had to setup my Station in the Livingroom and when i was finished it didnt take much time till my Girlfriend reminded me to put the Stuff away again. 🙂

Mid 2017 I started to think about building my own shack. I had an empty Room right under the Roof and i started collecting ideas on how i would realise this project. I wanted to make a nice looking, functional Shack and in the next few Blogposts i will show you how i did it and why i did it that way. 
Best wishes Hans

Linked Dipole Measuring the right SWR

We are almost done. Now on the last step we have to measure the SWR and cut the antenna to the right lengh.

We will have to put the antenna to some height. I have choosen a 10m fiberglass mast and an Umbrella stand.

You will have to put the antenna up and down a lot so if you are not usig a foldable mast make sure you can put the antenna up and down easily. I have choosen a inverted V setup.

Get your SWR analyser or a radio with a SWR Meter and set it to the 10m band. I have choosen a center frequency of 29mhz.

Tune for the lowest SWR on your Analyser. When the frequency is under (in our case 29mhz) you have to shorten the antenna. If the frequency is over your intended frequency you should make the antenna longer. Wich would be bad.

Now if the antenna is too long let the centerpiece down and cut the same lengh of wire away on both sides. I have began with about 4cm. Just loose the knot a little, make the antenna shorter and tighten the knot again a little.

Not put the antenna up again and measure again.

Do this to get a good swr (i would say 1.0-1.3)

When the first band is ok let the antenna down again. Unisolate both wires on the first isolator and connect them by twisting them together.

Now put the antenna up again. Set your analyser for the 20m band (in my case i choose a frequency of 14.200mhz).

Now again measure the SWR and shorten the wire for a good SWR.

Do this for every band until you have a good SWR on the 80m band.

We are almost done. It took me about 2 hours but it was my first try and i fckd up one time by closing the connection on one band and a different on the other side. 🙂

When you are done solder your connectors on the unisolated wires. I have choosen some small banana plugs but you can also use some crocodile clips or something similar.

Now we are done. 🙂
Wind the wires on the centerpiece and wait for some good weather to try your new antenna in the nature.

Best wishes


Linked Dipole Final Assembly

So we have all the parts and the wires cut to a lengh where we have a little spare lengh. 

Solder on the cables for the 10m Band a Ring and secure it with the nut where the cables from the Balun are mounted. 

Put the wire throu the upper hole and make a secure knot. Make sure you have a little spare wire so there is no force on the ring on the screw. 

Put a knot on the wire like on the picture. 

Now, on the other side of the isolator put the wire from the 20m Band. Go on for every wire from every band until you reached the wire for the 80m Band. 

On the last isolator put about 4m of some kind of string. I have chose some thick fishing wire. On the other side of the string put a loop for fixing it later. 
Best wishes


AOEC All Austrian Contest. 

On may 1st was the yearly All Austrian Contest. The goal in this Contest is to reach as many Austrian Stations as possible. You get multipliers for every new district, for a stations from the state and when you operate with a power supply off the grid. 

This year was the first time i participated in this Contest and it was a Hell of a lot fun. 🙂

The location i have chosen was our small “chalet” on a mountainside where i life. 

The main thing why i have chosen that location is because we have a water turbine on there. All energy needed there comes 100% off the grid wich is nice because of the extra multiplier. 😉

The antenna i wanted to use was a NVIS antenna that i have build according to a pdf from OE7OPJ. I was using i 3d printed Topcap. You can find the designfiles for 3d printing on Thingiverse

The feederline was 45m long Coax Cable. I put the coax cable on some electric fence posts so it doesnt lay on the ground and gets wet.

On 6 in the morning local Time the next day i drove again to my improvised shack to setup my Station. I have chosen to use my “Portable/Emergency Station”. 

In total i have made 57 contacts in the first period and 78 contacts in the second period. I have only worked on 80m because the 40m band didnt work that day. (At least not for me ;))

I dont know if that is good or bad and i would really like some comments from other participants to see their results. 

As said before. It was my first contest and it made a lot of fun. I am looking foreward to next year. =)
Best wishes


The HamRadio “Maker” Challenge

A few Weeks ago i had the idea of making a Challenge for HamRadio operators. Not a Challenge like eating a spoon full of Cinnamon or post a picture from a pen that will stay under your boobs (really?!)

No. I thought of something like:

Scenario: X-Event occured today. There is Y-Problem.
Goal: You will have to find a way to build/make/hack Z
Rules: Because of the X-Event you only have Q-Parts to reach your goal.
Rewards: Recieve something (like a Diploma) for the 3 People with the most points.
Points are given by different factors like speed, creativity, “1337-value”, …

I am not sure if you understand what i mean so let me make a easy example:

Scenario: You made it. You are the only CW guy that will take part to the DX-Pedigion to P5! While taking a Nap on the Airplane you suddenly awake and it comes to your mind that you have forgotten your Morse-key at home. You remember that you put a big piece of Paper over it with the Inscription: “DO NOT FORGET!!”. You grab the Telephone on the seat in front of you, swipe your Creditcard and call all Hamradio shops in P5 but noone has a Morsekey for sale. You realize that you have a big problem and that you have to come up with a solution quick because kenny (the main organizer) is getting suspicious.
Goal: Build a Morsekey with the things you find in your Hotelroom. Special points will be given if you can build the Morsekey with parts from Insode the Airplane (parts you have access as a passanger! Dont rip the plane apart).
Rules: Use whatever parts are in a “normal” hotel/airplane. A normal guest/passanger must have access to these parts. No vandalism! You may also use parts that a “normal” person has in its hand luggage. You can also modify things. The Morsekey has to work with a normal HF Radio/Your Radio.
Prove: Make Pictures/Videos, write a small text what you used and why. Make a Call/QSO. Confirm that QSO with a Video. If you havent learned CW yet Send a Call: “YourCall HAM Challange” and get a video from a receiving station.
Points: Points will be given for speed (time from anouncement to QSO/Call), creativity, “HackValue” by a Jury containing: Me
Rewards: The winner of every Category will get a Printed Diploma and the official Title:”Problemsolver” (issued by:Me)

That is just a small and easy Challange that came in my mind right now but i have a few ideas for interesting and funny Challanges.

So Why should we do that? Why wasting time instead of logging some DX stations instead?: Well i dont know you but i personally think that the HAM Radio Hobby is really special in what it is and what you can do. And it went from “i made all of my own stuff with nothing like a bunch of old stuff” a little bit to “i shopped that VooDoo endfed long wireantenna that can do all bands with just 6.4m lengh”. I dont judge anybody. I fully understand that some people like to build and some people like to use. I am ok with that and i am also one of the electronics consumer and not that big of a electronics builder.

I think the Spirit of HAM Radio is to make and test stuff and its always fun when you have a Problem and solve it. You can solve it quick and dirty. You can hack that thing laying in the corner to something usefull. And you can build something beautifull and good that everyone admires you. It is up to you to choose your path.

The other thing is: (and i really dont want to hop on that survival/emergency train!) What if you have to make something with really a habd full of parts. Very much can be done with very little parts. Believe me.

I would like to publish your ideas to inspire other people. To help them learn and understand the principles of physics and how things work.
Please write me a email or contact me on twitter and tell me your opinion on my idea. I would really like to try this and see if its the fun that i think it is.

Best wishes

Email: oe8hsr [at]

Twitter: @MeltdownCore