Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Handiham World for 16 February 2011

Welcome to Handiham World!

Take a video tour of the KA0PQW ham shack

Matt with hand microphone, refected in the shiny roof of Gordon West's car.  Taken at a CA radio camp.

Larry, WD0AKX, paid a visit this week to Matt Arthur's ham shack to help with some equipment maintenance. He brought along his HD video camera and a handheld microphone, and he and Matt did a video tour of the KA0PQW station. The last scene shows the antennas. Look for Matt's Courage North sweatshirt and listen for a mention of Courage Center's Handiham program.

The tour, available in both YouTube video and in MP3 audio from the Handiham website, lasts about nine minutes. Matt describes all of the equipment in his ham shack, which also has some audio equipment for his radio show, which is done on a non-amateur radio feed. The impressive setup includes a repeater! Matt knows the layout of the shack very well, and is of the opinion (which I share) that we should all know enough about our operating area to use the equipment independently. Furthermore, a system of "a place for everything and everything in its place" serves the efficient amateur radio operator well, because when things are where you expect them to be you can grab that first spot in the DX pileup or quickly silence a radio when the phone rings. In an emergency, you certainly want to concentrate on communicating, not on trying to find a microphone or an accessory in a pile of clutter. Since Matt is blind, he needed to develop his own system of knowing where things are in the ham shack. Being organized in this way is a discipline that we can all use to be better amateur radio operators.

Visible in the video, but not mentioned in the audio, is the electrical breaker box in one corner of the room. There is also a basement window, which lets in some natural light. The repeater rests on some 2 by 4 boards, lifting it above the basement floor.

Ready for a tour? Those of you listening to the audio podcast can just keep listening, because we will go right to the audio tour. If you are reading the HTML version, you can follow the link to the story on, which has embedded video.