Congratulations on passing your ham (amateur) radio technician exam -- you are now ready to use your technician's license and actually talk across the airwaves with other ham radio operators around the world. But before you can turn on your mike and start talking, you need to set up your ham radio shack. A "shack" is just a term for wherever your ham radio is set up -- it can be a corner of your dining room, in the spare bedroom, or outside in the garage.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Surface for equipment
- Ham radio operator's license
- Picture frame
- Ham radio equipment
- Headphones (optional)
Claim your space. Whether your ham radio shack is in a corner of a room in your home or outside in a garden shed or garage, you need enough space to place all your "stuff" -- transmitter, receiver, mic stand (if you have one) -- near a window for easy connection with your antenna. Place a table or desk in your space to hold all your equipment and a chair that's comfortable to sit in; hopefully you'll be in it a lot as you make new friends via the airwaves.
Hang up your license. It's actually a requirement that your FCC-issued amateur radio license be displayed in your shack. Frame it in an inexpensive 4 by 6 inch frame to protect it from damage and hang it proudly on the wall -- you earned it.
Set up your equipment. Leave enough space between your table or desk and the wall to run your connecting and power cables for all your ham radio equipment. Your radio should be able to broadcast in the six meter and above range. Follow the instructions that come with your equipment to set it up and connect it properly. Set up the antenna last -- you will have to adjust its position for optimum signal transmission once everything else is in place.
Make room for the extras. A pad of paper and a pen are good things to have in your shack -- you never know when you'll want to write down a fellow ham's call sign. A good, comfortable set of headphones will allow you to talk and listen to fellow operators without disturbing the rest of your family, especially if your shack is near the television.
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