Spring 1994 Shack Report

by Michael Cecere, KF2NV

The CUARC radio shack is looking pretty sharp these days. Thanks to a couple productive "shack beautification" parties we've got a nicely organized operating station and a mural on the outside wall. We recently acquired a Kenwood TR-751A 2 meter "all mode" radio which is proving very useful in our routine and emergency net operations and Joe has been kind enough to lend the shack his 440MHz Yaesu. The Kenwood TS-830S is still going strong and the Heathkit 2KW linear (SB-610) is QRV after a T/R relay swap- out. With the addition of the Swan ST-2 antenna tuner (donated by KB2EM) we have a well-rounded shack.

The roof is doing pretty good this days though some work needs to be done with the VHF/UHF tower. The power coupler on the phased 440 MHz antenna disintegrated and needs to be replaced or somehow manufactured and the Az rotor needs maintenance also. The 11 element 2-meter beam has been making W2AEE heard loud and clear now with the new rig in the shack. The HF tri-band beam (Mosley CL-36) is been, and hopefully will remain, as strong a work horse as ever. For a 2 meter omni antenna we have a simple 1/4 wave straight out of the handbook (assembled by KF2NV) and a 5/8 wave omni for 70 cm also. It seems that the G5RV needs some minor maintenance every couple weeks but does at least get us on a number of bands. Steve (WB3I) even had a contact on 160 meters!

The old 19 inch rack was given a new look with the addition of three permanent shelves and is affectionately known as the "Tower of Power". The top shelf holds a guest to the shack, a Toshiba portable PC that is being used for a wireless LAN experiment by the CS department. This has given as a direct connection to the campus computer network which is accessed through the 286 PC located on the shelf below (donated by Brendan). This computer is presently serving as both network access and for packet communications through the Baycom packet/modem. It is hooked up to the Toshiba by a simple serial connection which has been causing many problems. We hope to find an ether card for the PC so that we can avoid having to go through the Toshiba at all. We have another 286 motherboard (donated by N2AJZ) that is presently being configured but we are in dire need of components such as a hard disk, a floppy disk, and, to really bring the shack into the 90's, a color monitor.

We were very fortunate to inherit a rather old, but in fine condition, RCA 440 repeater. Unfortunately it seems that getting frequency coordination in Manhattan is next to impossible and the repeater might require significant continuous maintenance. Since a 440 radio is less popular among our members this is on the back-burner for the time being. We have heard rumors about a 220 MHz machine that once existed but have no idea where it may be these days.

So if you ever just happen to be in the neighborhood please make it a point to stop by the 14th floor! We even had the floor waxed!