Clean Up The Shack – Part 2

Well, when I posted on Twitter that I had ordered all the bits to make a mains filter for the shack I did not realise what the response would be.

The tweet has generated more likes, retweets and comments than anything I have ever posted and I suddenly also have 1,200+ followers to the blog. I am not sure why, but hey, if folks are interested that can only be good!

However, let’s get a couple of things straight, building the mains filter and blogging about it is NOT because I am going to do anything different. I am simply following the instructions given in GM3SEK’s (Ian White) blog, presentation and diagrams.

My blog, is simply showing the processes of applying his knowledge and expertise and the challenges I will need to overcome in doing so.

As many of my Twitter followers already know, I am a white stick operator and, what is simple and straightforward for many, is not going to be for me. Again most will know that I have absolutely no interest in the science around Amateur Radio – I am simply an operator who is purely interested in the QSO and nothing else!

Many believe that I have a “duty” to understand the science behind it – sorry to disappoint but I have no interest whatsoever and only seek the LoTW confirmation of our QSO.

Primarily I operate on digital modes and hence weak signal modes such as JT65/9 and FT8/4.

I live in a very RF hostile environment with high density terraced houses and in the middle of a triangle of electrified rail lines. 12m away is a chapel that is full of fluorescent lighting and I have significant sources of interference with dozens of LED bulbs and more powerbrics than I can count in my own home. In addition, I live in very close proximity to 2 tower block which are covered with more antennas than I can count with paging systems, repeaters, broadcast radio transmitters and point to point, and, point to multipoint microwave systems – many of which I installed for commercial purposes!

About 40% of the power bricks have now been replaced with a single 12 volt supply but, I have not managed to replace them all – yet

Living in a small house with a small garden meant that I had to compromise on my choice of antenna and have a 1m diameter magnetic loop which is fed via Ultraflex 7 to a Flexradio 6400 connected to a dedicated “shack PC”

In the past 2 years – with a 12 month lay off – I have managed 136 confirmed DXCCs including VK and ZL so I know I have plenty of capability with the existing system.

What I am now trying to do is make as much improvement as I can as every db counts when working weak signals.

GM3SEK’s blog and presentation can be found here

Clean Up The Shack – Part 1

I have known for a long time that I am suffering from a lot of interference in the shack.

Some of it, I can do nothing or very little about quite simply because of where I live. However, like most, there is a lot of interference that I/we can do something about – it just needs sorting.

Well over 12 months ago I noticed – well it was staring me in the face – powerful signals on my waterfall.

A little bit of investigation showed that a power supply on my home’s CCTV system was causing the problem – so it was replaced.

Then other strong signals were noticed, then more and then even more.

Over the last 12 months I have removed a lot of “power bricks” replacing them with a single 12v power supply and now, have a 12V supply running throughout the house.

Once “lockdown” came into being, and, my wife and son started to work from home. more interference cropped up due to the power supplies on their respective laptop computers.

I have been aware for a long time that there is a solution to deal with this, but, being lazy, I have never got round to dealing with it!

As it now appears that I will be confined to home for some considerable time, coupled with other family members causing interference, I have decided to address the problem once and for all.

The solution is quite simple, just visit https://gm3sek.com/2019/10/11/clean-up-your-shack-2019/ and all the information you need is there together with a very good presentation in video and PowerPoint formats.