Chapter 17

Station Equipment Tips

Putting together your first station can be exciting, confusing, and challenging all at the same time! This chapter includes some tips and tricks to help you build and use a station that grows with your needs and helps you operate effectively and confidently. The tips might save you some expense, too!

Be Flexible

Don’t assume that you’ll be doing the same activities on the air forever. Here are a few tips on flexibility:

  • Avoid using specialized gear except where it’s required for a specific type of operating or function.
  • Use a computer and software for things that are likely to change, like operating on the digital modes.
  • Don’t neglect grounding and bonding — build this in as the first step (see Chapter 13). It’s harder to do later and having it in place makes it easy to change the equipment layout.
  • Try a different layout to see if something works better — you’re allowed to change your mind! You might find a new arrangement to be more comfortable or convenient.
  • Leave some budget for “surprises,” like a special cable or a power distribution box. You never know what a new interest or operating style will bring.

Study Other Stations

Browse the web for articles and videos that show how other stations are put together and operated. Make note of any particularly good ideas. Don’t be intimidated by big stations, because they started out as small stations!

Don’t hesitate to contact the station owners with questions; they welcome your attention ...

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