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Shack Update 2023

It has been awhile since I posted about the QTH so here goes. Beth and I moved in September 2022 to Clearwater, FL. We decided it was time to leave the beach. While it was certainly pretty looking over the water from the rocking chair on the deck, honestly the wind was getting a bit too much for me. Fortunately, the buyers wanted to leave the tower there so I did not have to arrange for that to come down. A few of the guys from SPARC came over the took down the vertical on top of the tower and the OCF antenna.

Skipping forward to this place in Clearwater, Beth wanted to be on a golf course for the social and tennis aspects of it. I wanted a poll again and to be closer to northern Pinellas to be closer to the gang in UPARC. Madeira Beach was too much of a haul to go to things up here so it is nicer to have people closer to us. Of course, my main concern was avoiding going back to a place with deed restrictions at all costs. We had a few false starts on this house on the Countryside Country Club golf course but we finally settled on a good price and bought it. Oh and there are absolutely ZERO deed restrictions of any kind!!!! This is one of the few places that backs right up to a golf course that does not have deed restrictions. This was a great find.

While this house is bigger (4174 sq. ft.), it is one level with a 3 car garage. We had a much bigger garage in Madeira Beach which meant more places to store my ham stuff. That is both good and bad as I tend to forget what I had in that much space. I have been struggling trying to decide if I want to put up a tower here. Given my style of operating HF, I settled on a roof tower on the flat roof over our lanai out back. I ordered a Mosley MP-33-NW antenna to go on the roof tower with an Alfa Spid RAK rotor I had laying around for my tower project in Madeira Beach. That antenna does not get here until some time in June if Mosley’s estimate holds true so I am thinking int he interim, putting a 6m beam I again already had on the roof tower for June’s Sporadic-E season to pick up some 6m contacts.

In the shack, I reused most everything I had in the prior house. The great guys at UPARC came over and put the Morgan lightning arrestors in the KF7P box and sunk a ground rod. They also put up the tri-band vertical (2m, 70cm, 23cm) and even found a way to install the 40m – 10m OCF antenna I had on the Madeira Beach tower previously.

The Elecraft K4 works great with the Elecraft KPA-1500 (it is like having a 150 watt transceiver). The KPA-1500 tunes the antenna everywhere it needs to and the antenna works great for as low as it is and being essentially a dipole. I am looking forward to the beam to get a bit more gain on 20m, 15m and 10m and the rotatable dipole elements on 17m and 12m.

The Flex station (Flex-6600, PG-Xl and TG-XL are installed in the corner of the new shack as station number 2. It sure would be nice to have a Maestro when they finally start shipping that again. I plan to also make the Flex station available for people to use as a remote so people that may not have an HF station at home can use my station when I am not using it during the workday (yes, 4 more years of work until retirement).

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